06 July 2009

More from the Telegraph about Allen Klein and The Verve

"...Klein may no longer have been a significant power in the music business, but that didn’t stop him apparently enjoying making trouble. His last headline grabbing incident was seizing 100 per cent of the royalties of The Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’, over the use of a sample from an orchestral recording of The Rolling Stones ‘The Last Time’.

According to Verve bassist, Simon Jones, “We were told it was going to be a 50/50 split, and then they saw how well the record was doing. They rang up and said, ‘We want 100% or take it out of the shops.’ ” It was arguably songwriter Richard Ashcroft’s finest moment, a number one hit all over the world, but he never earned a penny from it.

The publisher rubbed salt into the wound by leasing the track for use in Nike and Vauxhall commercials. Ashcroft, however, remained admirably philosophical. He said he was tempted to take the sample out, but didn’t want to ruin the record. “It was a perfect piece of pop art with the sentiment that ‘you’re a slave to money then you die’ … and they all came running.”

Discussing his reputation, Klein once remarked: “Artists **** groupies, I **** the artists.”

Click here for the Telegraph obituary.