Entertainment Magazine

The Last Time by The Rolling Stones.

Posted on the 27 January 2020 by Melodicwisdom

It's been seven years since my last blog post on Music Loves Lyrics. I had no idea it had been that long. Time really does fly...as everyone says.

To kick off my first post of 2020, let's stay with this whole "time" theme.

Above you'll find a group of young boys from England, who today are still loved, and always will be loved by every generation. I had the pleasure of seeing them live just last year. They're all up there in age now but man,they can still put on a show! I loved Mick Jagger's outfits too - the guy's got style...that's for sure!

"The Last Time" was released in 1965 (February in UK, March in US) and was the band's first UK single written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, but their third single to top the UK charts. It came in at number 9 on Billboard's Hot 100.

The song's refrain is very close to "This May Be the Last Time", a 1958 song by the Staple Singers. In 2003, Keith Richards acknowledged this, saying: " We came up with 'The Last Time', which was basically re-adapting a traditional gospel song that had been sung by the Staple Singers, but luckily the song itself goes back into the mists of time." The Rolling Stones' song has a main melody and a hook that were both absent in the original version. Listen to their version HERE.

There was a bit of a debate among gospel fans on whether or not the band should give The Staple Singers any royalties from it, as they themselves never received any compensation because they didn't have full ownership rights.

Another issue came up many years later. In 1997, a band called The Verve also sampled the Rolling Stones version, for their hit "Bittersweet Symphony." The Verve got the rights to the sample itself from Decca Records, but they didn't get the publishing rights to "The Last Time" until just before the song was released.

The Stones' former manager Allen Klein, who owned these rights, was able to hold up release until The Verve signed away 100% of the publishing for the song, giving him extensive royalties, as "Bittersweet Symphony" was a radio hit and even used in a Nike commercial. (Source: Songfacts)

Listen to Bittersweet Symphony HERE. I personally never noticed the similarity but either way...that was probably The Last Time anyone ever sampled the song.

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