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Bitter Sweet Symphony

Leadoff single "Bitter Sweet Symphony" entered the UK charts at #2. The single reached #12 on the U.S. charts, the band's highest position ever in the USA. The song borrowed a looped sample of a symphonic recording of the Rolling Stones song "The Last Time". The band had obtained composition rights to the sample from ABKCO Records owner Allen Klein, which controls the Rolling Stones' back catalogue and permission to use the recording of the sample from Decca, the publisher of the original album.

Just before the CD came out, Klein obtained a copy of the song and decided that the band had used "too much" of the sample and threated a lawsuit. At that late time there was no way the sample could be removed, so the band and Klein came to a verbal agreement, “We were told it was going to be a 50/50 split" says band member Simon Jones. Later, when it was apparent that the song was a huge, worldwide hit Klein demanded 100% of the royalties or they would be forced to removed the CD from the record shops. The band settled out of court with Klein resulting in ABKCO Records obtaining 100 percent of the songwriting royalties. Further, as a result of the lawsuit, Rolling Stones members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were given songwriting credits. With full publishing rights to the song, ABKCO Records could legally sell licenses to advertisers and did several times. The song appeared in a Nike commercial against The Verve's will and then in advertisements for Vauxhall automobiles. After the song was used in the movie Cruel Intentions, The Verve filed a moral rights (copyright) suit to ensure the song was not distributed commercially any more. The Verve is said to have not made a penny from the song.

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