"Bitter Sweet Symphony" is a song by the English rock band the Verve, from their third studio album, Urban Hymns (1997). It was produced by Youth and released on 16 June 1997 by Hut Recordings and Virgin Records as the album's lead single.
"Bitter Sweet Symphony" is based on a sample from a 1965 version of the Rolling Stones song "The Last Time" by the Andrew Oldham Orchestra. The Verve added strings, guitar, percussion and vocals. They obtained rights to use the "Last Time" sample from the copyright holder, Decca Records, but were denied permission from the Rolling Stones' former manager, Allen Klein. Following a lawsuit, the Verve relinquished all royalties and the Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were added to the songwriting credits. In 2019, after Klein's death, Jagger, Richards and Klein's son ceded the rights to the Verve songwriter Richard Ashcroft.
The music video features Ashcroft walking down a busy pavement in Hoxton, London, bumping into passersby. It was played a lot on music channels and was nominated for several awards. The music video was nominated for Video of the Year, Best Group Video, and Best Alternative Video at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards.