🎵 How Good Are They Really 🎵 The Rolling Stones

Just had a quick search, and this here suggests there was never an actual lawsuit - EMI just cleared the recording and didn’t get round to clearing the publishing until after the album was finished and before it was released, and Allen Klein knew he had them over a barrel and took advantage (so they could presumably have rerecorded like Spiritualized did with Ladies & Gentlemen…when they couldn’t clear the Elvis sample)

Doesn’t make any of it less reprehensible I suppose, but interesting how it was misreported if this was true

I read that too. He make a convincing case.


The talk of Rolling Stones songs sounding good on film soundtracks has reminded me of the ending of Bottle Rocket. Spoilers obviously

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I’ve always thought that the dispute revolved around the length of sample used and Klein kicking off about them breaching the terms of their sample clearance agreement. There is an extract from a book about copyright cases in music in the below website that would seem to confirm this.

Would seem a bit of a strange move to agree to hand over 100% of your publishing on what everyone assumed was going to be a massive hit in exchange for a sample before the record was actually out, when, as you say, the band could have re-recorded the sampled part. Not sure what to believe now though…

Slightly different point. If the new work takes what is deemed to be a ‘substantial part’ of the original work and reproduces this, then then the new work potentially infringes the copyright of the original. In this case (as I’ve understood it, the dispute wasn’t about the infringement per se, but rather than the new work used more of the original work than it was agreed in the clearance agreement. After further discussion, not sure if this is the actual basis of the dispute any more though.

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Yeah, ‘major label fucks up sample clearance so songwriter forced to give away his royalties to allow album to come out’ is a different story than ‘plucky upcoming band ripped off by The Man’ really (and I suppose it makes no difference to EMI either way as their profits come from sales anyway). But if the label were at fault it’s odd that the band or their management never said anything further down the line once they’d imploded.

Maybe it’s some complicated mix of the two, I dunno

A lot of things about that Fred Goodman account that don’t really add up to be honest. Just don’t buy the idea that the head of EMI would fly to New York, play Klein the then unreleased Urban Hymns, and be “look, this record is obviously going to be massive, so please please please please can we clear the sample”? I mean, a child wouldn’t negotiate like that, let alone the head of a multinational record label.

This band interview from around the time also suggests they received the call when the record was already out, rather than everything happening beforehand.

Still don’t know what to believe tbh


Copyright and royalty stuff is beyond me but if it was a case of someone at the record company messing up surely Verve would have sued the record company?

Weirdly, just after us discussing it:

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Wo no way

Can’t believe no one else has commented on this

Ashcroft is such a bellend

can’t believe Mick and Keith read DiS.


this explains it well

weird how the original sample the violins are mainly sustained, the catchiness is something they added with additional violins, reckon they easily could have got a way without using the sample at all, without those bells I don’t think that sample would be that distinctive