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Wednesday, January 20, 1999 Published at 15:26 GMT


Bands challenged over 60s samples

The Prodigy's Keith Flint during one of their shows

The Prodigy's mastermind Liam Howlett has been banned from using a Beatles sample from his new album - even though Sir Paul McCartney was happy for the track to be used.

Howlett, who fronts the multi-million selling dance band, had planned to use two verses and a chorus from Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on his new album, Prodigy Present Dirtchamber Sessions Volume 1.

But despite the approval of songwriter Sir Paul, the Fab Four's record label Apple refused to give clearance for the track to be used.

A spokesman for Howlett said: "The record sounded great in there and we were going to include it on the commercial release of the record, but Apple wouldn't grant us permission to licence the track.

Release date delayed

[ image: Sir Paul McCartney: Was happy for song to be sampled]
Sir Paul McCartney: Was happy for song to be sampled
"Apparently Paul McCartney didn't have any problem with it - it's simply that Apple never do let Beatles tracks appear on anything other than Beatles albums."

The album features samples from around 50 tracks - and the time-consuming task of getting clearance for each one of the tracks has forced the release date to be delayed.

"There are about 52 tracks used on this album and we've had to try to get clearance for them all. A lot of them are on small and hard-to-find hip-hop labels that could easily have gone out of business," the spokesman added.

Apple said the decision was "nothing personal" against the Prodigy.

The offending sample has now been replaced by one from Been Caught Stealing by US rock band Jane's Addiction.

Verve row continues

Meanwhile, another 1990s band has hit more trouble over a sampling issue. Former Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham is reported to have issued a writ against Virgin Records over The Verve's 1997 hit Bitter Sweet Symphony.

According to the New Musical Express he is asking for damages and wants an injunction to stop any commercial use of the song - which could result in their Urban Hymns album being taken off the shelf.

The long-running dispute centres on a sample from Loog Oldham's 1963 orchestral version of the Rolling Stones' song The Last Time.

Royalties were paid to the Stones' original label, Decca, before the song was released. But Loog Oldham contends he owns the recording copyright to the track.

The situation is complicated by the fact that the Stones' former manager Allen Klein won back all the publishing royalties after a court challenge last year.

Loog Oldham insists that while Klein owns the publishing copyright, the recording copyright is still his.

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