Page/Led Zeppelin being sued over "Stairway" by surviving member of Spirit

Caoimhin

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Without the controversy caused by Page and others, the Blues greats would most likely still be unheard of. They would have no recognition, no fame, no money. Nothing. I've always found it interesting that it was the British bands who took the great Blues masters to another level while American bands stagnated. Bands like LZ and The Animals did more for those great artists than any American artist or company ever did. They shouldn't be demonized for what they did, they should be applauded and thanked.

I heard John Lee Hooker, BB King, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson years before I heard Led Zeppelin.

I think Led Zeppelin stole or "borrowed" from more people than any other band in history.
 

Arzachel

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I think the point is they keep finding dodgy reasons for reissuing the back catalogue with all the hype that goes with it and each time its probbably a kick in the nads for the original artists

and here we are at reissue time again
 

James Carney

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I honestly, truly, think Page never thought of the Spirit song when he wrote Stairway. I do think however it is within the realm of possibility he heard the piece, and subconsciously stole it.

I remember reading somebody pointed out to Kurt Cobain that before he wrote Negative Creep, some of other indie Seattle band (was it TAD?) had a chorus of "daddy's little girl ain't a girl no more" - he only then remembered he had heard that song before he wrote NC and admitted he must have stolen it subconsciously and didn't do it on purpose. I 100% believe him. I think the same thing happened to George Harrison with My Sweet Lord.

This has happened to myself all the time. Years later, I'll listen back to a song and hear a lyric of musical phrase and think, "oh wow, I totally ripped that off from such and such", and didn't do it on purpose at all. Any musician who doesn't think they do it is not being honest with themselves and how music works.

And besides, Stairway is a hugely complex song musically with all sorts of changes. That intro riff is the only thing that is similar.
 

xrr

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It's a descending bass line under a minor chord, harmonised from there.

Spirit did not invent that.

Start with Bach & work forward through the hundreds of examples that pre-date Taurus, and you will see that the line was cliché long before Spirit came along.


Interesting, can you point me to a classic with this line ?
 

huw

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...And besides, Stairway is a hugely complex song musically with all sorts of changes. That intro riff is the only thing that is similar.

I posted this on another web site last week back:

huw said:
Because it's Friday afternoon & I was bored, I just checked:

Stairway is 165 bars of music long.

The part that resembles Taurus does not reappear after bar 40, and only makes up 24 bars, with a different theme making up the rest of those 40 bars.

So that's 24 bars out of 165 that are in dispute. That's 14.5 % of the song (told you I was bored).

Of course, I forgot that words & music get a 50/50 split of publishing, so as Taurus is an instrumental that makes only half of that 14.5% is up for grabs = just 7.25% of the song, even IF you accept Taurus as the source of Stairway (and as I posted before, a descending line under a chord has been around at least since Bach...)

My guess it that Spirit know they won't win, but think that they have a chance that the threat of a delay to the Zep re-issue programme will increase their chance of a quick settlement.
 

huw

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Interesting, can you point me to a classic with this line ?

Headed to bed - I'll try to remember tomorrow.

:)

PS - Air On A G String (Bach) is a similar thing, if not exactly Stairway...
 

hecube

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I posted this on another web site last week back:



Of course, I forgot that words & music get a 50/50 split of publishing, so as Taurus is an instrumental that makes only half of that 14.5% is up for grabs = just 7.25% of the song, even IF you accept Taurus as the source of Stairway (and as I posted before, a descending line under a chord has been around at least since Bach...)

My guess it that Spirit know they won't win, but think that they have a chance that the threat of a delay to the Zep re-issue programme will increase their chance of a quick settlement.

Nothing as fancy as that.

I'd bet my entire career in music rights that they're thinking the LZ camp will want to settle out of court, with no prejudice.
 

Barcham

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Where's all the outrage over Robin Thicke doing worse with his stupid song?
 

Kashmir

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Spirit should be happy it's bringing attention to one of their originals, a song that most people never even knew existed.
 

Bobby Mahogany

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Where's all the outrage over Robin Thicke doing worse with his stupid song?

I listened to and watched Marvin Gaye's performance on "Got to Give it up" and I didn't see no nude girls dancing.
So no plagiarism there.

marvin10.jpg


images


As much as I try, I don't see any resemblance either.
Sorry.
 

Jakeislove

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Without the controversy caused by Page and others, the Blues greats would most likely still be unheard of. They would have no recognition, no fame, no money. Nothing. I've always found it interesting that it was the British bands who took the great Blues masters to another level while American bands stagnated. Bands like LZ and The Animals did more for those great artists than any American artist or company ever did. They shouldn't be demonized for what they did, they should be applauded and thanked.

If I stole your home, tore it down, and built a mansion...... would there be applause and thanks? :)
 

Barcham

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Spirit should be happy it's bringing attention to one of their originals, a song that most people never even knew existed.

A song? How about a band that most people never even knew existed! :laugh2:

If I stole your home, tore it down, and built a mansion...... would there be applause and thanks? :)

You know something? When I'm dead I don't care if you drag my carcass down main street or feed it to dogs. You can disparage my name, insult me, I really won't give a damn. Take my possessions, what little I own and keep them or give them away. I won't care! I'll be dead!
 

Torren61

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I couldn't name a Spirit song, other than Taurus now, if you gave me $1000 as a reward. If anyone "stole" a piece from their song, I don't see an issue. They certainly weren't using it. This is the most attention that band ever had. California should sue Randy California for stealing their name to use as his last name. Are they gonna sue Spirit cigarettes next?
 

VictorB

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My cousin has a horse named Spirit, she'd better put a lawyer on retainer.
 

Torren61

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I looked up these guys and went through the discography. I found two songs I knew. "I Got A Line On You" and "Nature's Way".
 

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