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.