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 Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?

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PostSubject: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Sat May 17, 2014 2:49 pm


Photograph by Heilemann/Camera Press/Redux

By Rich Davie
@RichDavie
May 17, 2014

I have to admit straight away that it really isn't a stolen riff that's in question here, but rather a series of notes that are finger-picked on the guitar from Spirit's tune 'Taurus' and apparently used by Led Zeppelin for their tune 'Stairway To Heaven'... but I needed a catchy title for the article.

I stumbled across an article today on Bloomberg Business Week that brought this to my attention.

There shouldn't any question that Led Zeppelin didn't steal the song 'Taurus' from the band Spirit for their mega-hit 'Stairway To Heaven'... but the finger-picked intro on acoustic guitar in 'Stairway To Heaven' is unmistakably at least "borrowed" from Spirit's tune 'Taurus.'

Have a listen and tell me what you think.

Spirit's tune 'Taurus' :


Led Zeppelin's tune 'Stairway To Heaven'


So what do you think ?

Is this a valid argument by the estate of Randy Wolfe (aka Randy California) the man who wrote the song 'Taurus' for the group Spirit ?

Check out the article that sparked me to write this article :

Bloomberg Business Week

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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Tue May 20, 2014 9:31 am

I wrote this article a few days ago, and I see the subject is finally trending on FaceBook today.

#LedZeppelin #StairwayToHeaven #Spirit #Taurus #Plagiarism

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Even when I'm 100% certain of a fight outcome, I'm only 75% sure... and of that, there's only a 50/50 shot that I'm right.

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Too many people prefer the blue pill... me, I prefer the red pill.         Belief Creates Its Own Reality

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The problem confronting the world today is that the world is full of ideologues who are more concerned with promoting their ideology than dealing in the facts.

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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Sat May 24, 2014 9:16 am

I've read where Zep freely admits to "sampling" (Not like today's DJ's and rappers) other people's music and using it themselves. They seem pretty up front about it. And it supposedly goes far deeper than that one song you mention above - I read an article awhile back that draws lines from a number of Zep hits to other folks music.

Regardless of whether they did or didn't, though - (and I'm neither a lover or a hater when it comes to Led  Zeppelin)- They certainly packaged and presented the music they "stole" in an attractive package, and with their own "flavor" added, to make it as much theirs as possible. I don't have a problem with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Sat May 24, 2014 10:56 am

Yeah... I've seen articles that point out more than a few songs that Zeppelin have "stolen" their works from, and I've also heard and have seen a video on YouTube that compares quite a few songs from that list.

I don't necessarily agree with all of the claims of plagiarism against Zeppelin, but they have been sued and lost on some of these claims... and they had to go back and change writing credits.

I'll see if I can find the video I saw on the topic.

I know back when I was writing songs and music, I didn't listen to any music on the radio so I wouldn't be subliminally influenced in what I wrote.

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Even when I'm 100% certain of a fight outcome, I'm only 75% sure... and of that, there's only a 50/50 shot that I'm right.

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." - George Orwell

Too many people prefer the blue pill... me, I prefer the red pill.         Belief Creates Its Own Reality

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Isoroku Yamamoto

The problem confronting the world today is that the world is full of ideologues who are more concerned with promoting their ideology than dealing in the facts.

An uneducated populous will fall for anything - Dr. Benjamin Carson

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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Sat May 24, 2014 11:00 am

Here's one of the videos I saw :


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Even when I'm 100% certain of a fight outcome, I'm only 75% sure... and of that, there's only a 50/50 shot that I'm right.

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." - George Orwell

Too many people prefer the blue pill... me, I prefer the red pill.         Belief Creates Its Own Reality

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Isoroku Yamamoto

The problem confronting the world today is that the world is full of ideologues who are more concerned with promoting their ideology than dealing in the facts.

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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Sat May 24, 2014 11:03 am


_________________
Even when I'm 100% certain of a fight outcome, I'm only 75% sure... and of that, there's only a 50/50 shot that I'm right.

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." - George Orwell

Too many people prefer the blue pill... me, I prefer the red pill.         Belief Creates Its Own Reality

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Isoroku Yamamoto

The problem confronting the world today is that the world is full of ideologues who are more concerned with promoting their ideology than dealing in the facts.

An uneducated populous will fall for anything - Dr. Benjamin Carson

Stick with me... and you'll be wearing horse turds as big as diamonds !
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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Sat May 24, 2014 11:04 am


_________________
Even when I'm 100% certain of a fight outcome, I'm only 75% sure... and of that, there's only a 50/50 shot that I'm right.

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." - George Orwell

Too many people prefer the blue pill... me, I prefer the red pill.         Belief Creates Its Own Reality

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Isoroku Yamamoto

The problem confronting the world today is that the world is full of ideologues who are more concerned with promoting their ideology than dealing in the facts.

An uneducated populous will fall for anything - Dr. Benjamin Carson

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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Sat May 24, 2014 9:55 pm

Yeah, that's more on the order of what I read about, some time ago. But, nonetheless, Zep still injected enough of themselves and their own individual and collective talents into the finished product they released to the masses to make it their own.

Unlike todays "DJ's" who steal a 3 second sample of someone's unique composition, loop it over and over, and have the gall to call it music.

This is kind of in line with the subject, but definitely describes how I feel:
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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:33 pm

Has anybody heard anything more on this ?

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Even when I'm 100% certain of a fight outcome, I'm only 75% sure... and of that, there's only a 50/50 shot that I'm right.

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." - George Orwell

Too many people prefer the blue pill... me, I prefer the red pill.         Belief Creates Its Own Reality

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Isoroku Yamamoto

The problem confronting the world today is that the world is full of ideologues who are more concerned with promoting their ideology than dealing in the facts.

An uneducated populous will fall for anything - Dr. Benjamin Carson

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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:30 pm

An update on this story :

A judge has cleared the way for the lawsuit over this incident to proceed.

_________________
Even when I'm 100% certain of a fight outcome, I'm only 75% sure... and of that, there's only a 50/50 shot that I'm right.

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." - George Orwell

Too many people prefer the blue pill... me, I prefer the red pill.         Belief Creates Its Own Reality

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Isoroku Yamamoto

The problem confronting the world today is that the world is full of ideologues who are more concerned with promoting their ideology than dealing in the facts.

An uneducated populous will fall for anything - Dr. Benjamin Carson

Stick with me... and you'll be wearing horse turds as big as diamonds !
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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:02 am

Yeah, I was just reading that myself. Interested to see how that's going to play out.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:09 am

A lot of these songs do sound like bits are taken from other songs, and with their history on being taken to court and losing they just might have to share authorship on this song also.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:29 am

You're probably right on that... it's a shame that a similar sounding finger-picking melody that has become instantly recognizable with Stairway To Heaven will likely be what causes them to share authorship rights to the song with the remaining members of Spirit and their estates.

I know when I started writing music the copyright ownership was not as generous as it became in the 70s... I don't recall what that duration originally was though.

In the 70s authorship copyright was extended to the author's lifetime, and an additional 50 years to his / their estate after death.

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Even when I'm 100% certain of a fight outcome, I'm only 75% sure... and of that, there's only a 50/50 shot that I'm right.

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." - George Orwell

Too many people prefer the blue pill... me, I prefer the red pill.         Belief Creates Its Own Reality

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Isoroku Yamamoto

The problem confronting the world today is that the world is full of ideologues who are more concerned with promoting their ideology than dealing in the facts.

An uneducated populous will fall for anything - Dr. Benjamin Carson

Stick with me... and you'll be wearing horse turds as big as diamonds !
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PostSubject: Re: Did Led Zeppelin Lift a Riff From Spirit's Tune 'Taurus' for 'Stairway To Heaven' ?   Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:56 pm

When Led Zeppelin was big in the music industry I was just a kid and don't know much of their early work, but I have to agree that a lot of their music seems to be borrowed from other musicians and songwriters.
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