🎵 How Good Are They Really 🎵 The Rolling Stones


You’re absolutely right - it was Klein that bought the original case. Oldham brought the mechanical royalties case later on


Also meant to add that the Stones’ song - The Last Time - that was the original source of the sample in question was basically stolen from the Staple Singers anyway (who obviously saw no royalties whatsoever)


The point about the sample was that the Verve had already negotiated to clear it.

It was settled out of court (assume that the advice they received was that the sample wasn’t properly cleared and they would lose) but my main beef with it is that Klein and Jagger / Richards were already being paid. They just wanted more. Would understand the action if they hadn’t cleared the sample at all, but bringing the action on the basis of what was effectively a technicality relating to the length of the sample used is more than a little off when you’re talking about an insanely rich band and a band who weren’t that huge at the time.

The second case re the mechanical royalties would not have needed Jagger or Richard’s involvement, so I’m not holding them responsible for that one

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From what I read it was some rule about sampling that it can’t form the entire foundation of the new work, and as it is the main hook of the song and runs all the way through can see why they made that ruling, no resemblance to the stones original though


‘Between the Buttons’ and ‘Exile on Main Street’ are my personal favourites. both sound great on headphones on a hot day, I reckon.

as I said, I used to have this same aversion to the idea of them of a dad rock band that stopped me from hearing them on their own terms.

I think something that influenced the way I hear them is knowing that a bunch of cool, weird bands properly rate them, and that I know a lot of women who rate them too - whereas Zep, for example, often feel oppressively masculine.

a lot more detail to those tunes than I ever appreciated.


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.

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