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I’ve told you once and I’ve told you twice

Wednesday, 12 August, 2015

Our intermittent series on the great songs of 1965, that pivotal year in modern music, continues with The Last Time, the first Rolling Stones single written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It became the band’s third song to reach No. 1 in the UK charts, spending three weeks at the top in March and early April that year and although it’s credited to Jagger and Richards, “Keef” has admitted that it was based on a traditional gospel song called This May Be The Last Time, recorded by The Staple Singers in 1955.

That was a material fact in 1997, when the former Rolling Stones business manager Allen Klein, whose company ABKCO Records owns the rights to all the band’s material from the 1960’s, sued The Verve for using a sample of The Andrew Oldham Orchestra recording of The Last Time in their Bitter Sweet Symphony hit. The Verve had obtained a licence to use the sample, but Klein successfully argued in court that the band used more material than the licence allowed. The Verve had to relinquish their royalties to ABKCO and the songwriting credit was changed to Jagger/Richards. Following this, Andrew Loog Oldham, who owns the copyright on the orchestral version that was sampled, also sued The Verve. Litigious lot, eh?

BTW, the footage here proves that the distinctive Last Time riff was played by Brian Jones, while the chords and solo were played by Keith Richards. Oh, and look out for legendary Manchester United footballer George Best jiving at 1.37.


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