Rock legends Rolling Stones give back Bitter Sweet Symphony writing credits

The artist who wrote one of the most well-known songs of the 1990s will finally earn royalties from it after a long-running copyright dispute.

Almost immediately after 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' was released by The Verve in 1997, songwriter Richard Ashcroft had to add Rolling Stones writers Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to the songwriting credits.

Jagger and Richards laid claim to the song because its famous strings were taken from an orchestral version of the Rolling Stones' song 'The Last Time' from 1965.

At the time, the Stones' manager said The Verve used too much of the sample than was agreed.

On Thursday night, as Ashcroft accepted an award for outstanding contribution to British music and credited his career to the song and announced the bonus news.  

"And now Mick and Keith have given me the royalties back for bittersweet, it's even more sweeter than it was before "

While the feud over royalties has gone on for years, it had hit a calm patch of late. In fact, Ashcroft opened for the Rolling Stones on tour in 2018 and says it's the band's publishing company, ABKCO, he blames.

Ashcroft claims he's owed millions of pounds but, while the song still brings in a steady stream of revenue, the original band may have to get back together again if it wants to reinvigorate some verve around royalties.