Thursday, November 01, 2007

Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
You're a slave to the money then you die

I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
Where all the veins meet, yeah.

No change, I can't change
I can't change, I can't change
But I'm here in my mold
I am here in my mold
But I'm a million different people
From one day to the next
I can't change my mold

Well I never pray
But tonight I'm on my knees yeah
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now
But the airways are clean and there's nobody singing to me now

No change, I can't change
I can't change, I can't change

-The Verve

In case you were wondering, the Rolling Stones sued The Verve out of existence. The song quoted above utilized an unlicensed sample, namely that violin sample that drives the song.

That sample comes from an album of orchestral covers of Rolling Stones' songs, released in the '60's or early '70's. The song in question was "The Last Time," as in this could be the last time, maybe the last time, I don't know-ow.

Anyway, they lifted that sample, and somebody forgot to clear it.

That song became a HUGE hit. I'm sure you can see why. It is an awesome song.

Somebody in the Rolling Stones camp recognized the sample, ran it up the flagpole and realized that it hadn't been properly cleared... and more importantly, that Mick and Keith hadn't been paid.

So, they sued, and basically took every cent that the band made from that album, and then some. The Verve went bankrupt and dissolved.

ON THE ONE HAND, hey, they took the song and didn't clear it. P-Diddy and every other hip-hop star making money off of other peoples' hits goes through the proper channels and gets the underlying song cleared. I can understand. Essentially it is PLAGARISM.

On the other hand, that song bears no resemblance to "The Last Time." It's not like they covered it, or it is a Dani California/Mary Jane's Last Dance thing. (In that case, the Chili Peppers lifted the melody and chord progression of Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance. It was blatant. Tom Petty said, "Eh. There are enough lawsuits. I don't think it was malicious."

Tom Petty shrugged his shoulders and moved on.)

I think you could make a valid argument for both sides. Even though I love the Stones, I come down on the side of the Verve. I think Mick and Keith are fucking assholes for doing what they did. Like they needed another million.

Stanette, who actually made a living writing and performing music comes down squarely and firmly in favor of the Stones. The Verve (or their producers or lawyers or whoever) were stupid for trying to rip off the Stones. The Stones wrote the song. The orchestra that covered it went through the proper channels, cleared everything and made sure that Mick and Keith got their "taste." The Verve lifted the sample illegally. End of story.

The courts agreed with Stanette.

Ironically, they would have gotten away with it, had it not been such a huge hit... their first and only, by the way.


Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry.

I will sing a LULLABYE.


Anonymous breokejaw said...

I wonder how Springsteen managed to rip off Tommy Tutone's 867-5309 in his new single "Radio Nowhere" and nothing is being said?

6:20 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

I haven't heard it.

(And I loves me some 867-5309.)

Actually, I can't stand Sprinsgteen. I feel like I am going to get struck by rock-n-roll lightning for writing that, but fuck it.

He and Melissa Etheridge can take their overwrought, self-important musical histrionics and shove it in Clarence Clemon's saxophone spit valve.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Task #1: Fix your typos....
1)On the one hand
2) Plagiarism
3) Lullaby

Task #2: Study up on property rights.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

This isn't an appellate brief, neither in terms of making a legal argument nor grammar and punctuation.

So, in the words of the immortal Alec Baldwin, I've got two words for you, "Shut the fuck up."

1:43 PM  
Blogger outdoorspro said...

Sorry, but all legalities aside, i hate the Stones for this.

In my not so humble opinion, The Verve was one of the greatest bands ever.

If it's true that the Stones are responsible for their demise, i will vow that forevermore i will hate the Stone as much as i hate The Eagles.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

You know I hate he fuckin' Eagles, man.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous me said...

a poop sandwich for you for not liking Springsteen.

2:53 PM  
Blogger P. said...

You know who I hated in the late very late 70's/early 80's?

1) Bruce Springsteen
2) Tom Petty
3) The Rolling Stones (among others)

It was the demise of disco, the advent of "New Wave," and MTV was just a twinkle in an electric eye.

I liked, among loads of others, the Eagles.

My taste in music has done a complete flip, and now I like all of the above, except maybe Springsteen not quite so much, but he's growing on me, and the Eagles a bit less.

So yes, people can change. We're a stubborn lot though.

Today, I just bought the new Robert Plant and Alison Krauss CD, as well as the new Backstreet Boys...and I am cognizant of the fact that I may have just destroyed any cred I had with this post up until that last statement.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard a different story. The Verve contacted the Stones to get rights to use the sample and the Stone refused. The Verve realized that song was basically dead without the sample and went ahead and released it anyway knowing it was a hit. THAT really pissed the Stones off which is why the Verve got their asses handed to them. I heard this on VH1 which featured this song and the Verve as a "one hit wonder".

I like the song and I think the Stones are a-holes for not granted permission. They've got millions till they die.

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Fred Shero said...

Mick and Keith merely wanted to 'wet their beaks'.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tom shrugged his shoulders and moved on"

Yeah, that's Tom. It's pretty much there in his music for anyone to pick up.

You'd never see him dancing around like a nance in leotards without a shirt either, like Jagger is in the movie currently playing on Showtime documenting one of the Stones 1983 concerts.

That comes through too, on Petty's side and that (talented) nance Jagger's.

6:09 PM  

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