This is a terrific song. It's just so.... pretentious and opulent. To call your humble little song a "Symphony" is a bit arrogant. And the video! Richard Ashcroft is pretty much a jerk to everyone on the street, and they all express their displeasure.
Oh, and the little fact that they lifted a huge part of the song. That was proven in court. Which is why the song is officially credited to Jagger/Richards. But more on that in a moment.
Still, the song, in all its opulence, is instantly catchy. I bet you're singing it to yourself right now. The combination of the angry, depressed cadence and the orchestral grandeur make for a truly moving song.
But did they actually steal the vocal stylings, like the courts said? Here is the Rolling Stones song in question. I, personally, don't think they actually did steal it. The cadence is similar, but the tempo is completely different.
What IS true is that The Verve, with permission, sampled the Andrew Oldham Orchestra cover of this very same song. The violins and tubular bells you hear in Bitter Sweet Symphony are a sample. The rest of the cover is a snoozer that no one would have noticed if not for The Verve.