24.05.2019

Peaceful resolution between Richard Ashcroft and The Rolling Stones proves the world can still be a delightful place

Rolling Stones
Words by Leland Tan

Fuck yeah, mutual respect between artists.

A classic Britpop anthem. ‘Single of the Year’ 1997 in multiple music publications. Ten times platinum. ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ had it all.

But Richard Ashcroft never did. The frontman of The Verve, who wrote and starred in the song’s one-shot music video, was stripped entirely of his rights because of the sampling of its iconic orchestral opening. The sample was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, but it was a cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘The Last Time’.

Allen Klein, the former manager of the Stones (who owned the rights to the band’s tunes) and his label, then embarked on legal action to strip the rights off Ashcroft and his band.

Cue the drama of ‘The Verve v The Rolling Stones’, except in court. 100 per cent of the songwriting credits and its royalties were ultimately handed over to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in 1997, in what has been an ongoing talking point for over two decades.

Now though, it seems like Ashcroft, Jagger, and Richards have put all that behind.

According to Consequence of Sound, Ashcroft appealed to the Stones directly for the royalties instead of getting embroiled in more legal shtick. He succeeded.

The two members “unhesitatingly and unconditionally” agreed to give a share of the song back to him. Naturally, Ashcroft celebrated.