Judge Just Says No to Early Zep Request in ‘Stairway’ Case


Here we go again: Someone in the music community is taking exception to a classic Led Zeppelin track that sounds an awful lot like a previous composition by another artist, reports the New Musical Express, among many other media outlets. This time, it’s gone to court >>> http://www.nme.com/news/led-zeppelin/80536utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ledzeppelin

The current case involves the similarity of “Stairway to Heaven,” probably Zep’s most famous track, to a track that was written by the late Randy California, formerly of Spirit, called “Taurus” >>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd8AVbwB_6E

While I question the timing of the lawsuit, I find it very interesting that it is gaining enough traction that more may come of it. Zeppelin (specifically Jimmy Page, whom we can call a great arranger, at any rate), which played with Spirit on early tours, has a long history of nicking the creations of other musicians and claiming it at copyright time as their own. For more examples, check this list from Wilson & Alroy’s Record Reviews out >>> http://www.warr.org/zep.html#Thieves

My most oft-used example is that of “Whole Lotta Love,” which a cynic might call a cover version of a little-known track by the Small Faces called “You Need Loving,” which is included herein in a post from the Music Times >>> http://www.musictimes.com/articles/6250/20140520/7-songs-other-than-stairway-to-heaven-that-led-zeppelin-stole.htm


2 thoughts on “Judge Just Says No to Early Zep Request in ‘Stairway’ Case

  1. The opening chords on Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” can hardly constitute as ripping off the entire song of Spirit’s “Taurus” the way many people are making it to be. I’m sure Led Zeppelin will win this in the end. Randy California, who wrote “Taurus”, had decades to file a lawsuit and failed to do so year after year. Who knows why the judge didn’t throw this out of court. Stay tuned…


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