Zeppelin vs Spirit

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Zeppelin vs Spirit

Postby LD50 on Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:28 am

Wondered what everyone thinks of this.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/led-zeppelin-stairway-to-heaven-trial-copyright-case-could-be-declared-a-mistrial-after-just-one-day-a7082911.html

Posted that for links to Taurus intro.

It seems to me that it is a fair cop, JP must have heard the other tune and, whether deliberately or not, incorporated it into Stairway and probably should have acknowledged......

I believe initially only $1m was asked for but someone took the gloves off and is going the whole 9 yards?
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Re: Zeppelin vs Spirit

Postby shakti on Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:23 pm

There are a ton of songs using that chord progression. There's a Youtube video compiling songs with that classic descending progression, which shows that Spirit may just as well have "borrowed" from somewhere else in the first place. There is a vague similarity, yes, but IMHO the case is rubbish. If this is plagiarism, then what isn't? Stairway is just a whole other ballgame to that Spirit song.
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Re: Zeppelin vs Spirit

Postby Unit_1 on Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:40 pm

:shock: That's like suing someone because they used the C to Am transition....
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Re: Zeppelin vs Spirit

Postby LD50 on Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:41 pm

Unit_1 wrote::shock: That's like suing someone because they used the C to Am transition....


Oh, I quite agree, but the success of the action will depend on the vibe and general similarity.

I used that ("common progression in lots of songs")argument with the Thicke vs Gaye family action, but the result was expensive for Thicke :| .

So much music is subtle borrowing from here and there, tweaked, turned around, after all there are only so many notes and progressions that please our ears and one can say what is truly original and never heard before, but if you go on the hippy vibe, feel and add in a similar chord progression, albeit with different arpeggio, you can see where the claim comes from. Stairway does have lots more to it (including lyrics and that lead guitar solo but if the case does not get chucked out for courtroom shenanigans then we shall see.

Anything I write or record always sounds like something borrowed when I play it back :roll:
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Re: Zeppelin vs Spirit

Postby Unit_1 on Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:02 pm

When I was a teenager, back around 69 or so, I had a friend whose father had played at the hollywood bowl with all the great country western singers. His dad had a saying, "It doesn't matter what you play, it's already been done"

btw, Matt has a pic of him singing with his dad, Wesley Tuttle at the bowl - pretty cool... :highfive:

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Re: Zeppelin vs Spirit

Postby tonewoods on Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:46 pm

Unit_1 wrote: His dad had a saying, "It doesn't matter what you play, it's already been done"


LZ claims to have never heard Spirit or "Taurus"...
Yeah, right...

I remember the first time I ever heard LZ live--at the Whiskey in LA in early '69--they opened with a tune that had Spirit's "Fresh Garbage" tucked in the middle of it...
I turned to my friend (both of us were huge Spirit fans), and said WTF?
I mean, it was a direct rip. Not the words, but just the bass/guitar line...
Wonder if that little tidbit will show up in court?

Have a listen here, from about 3:50 on:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz7VgYlw0Cc
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Re: Zeppelin vs Spirit

Postby LD50 on Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:20 pm

All bleeding stops.......eventually.
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Re: Zeppelin vs Spirit

Postby tonewoods on Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:09 am

Shit, it's even in the same key... :wink:
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Re: Zeppelin vs Spirit

Postby pckpat on Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:51 am

I agree with the previous posts stating that this snippet was almost certainly not originally conceived by Randy Califonia/Wolfe. Yes, Page did nick that progression, and it is a rather vital cog in the opus that is Stairway. So perhaps some monetary compensation is due-(pennies on the dollar?)-which in the case of such a monster song as this could well be a million $ perhaps. But a writing credit?- uh,no-I don't think so. Seriously it is only like four bars, and is only one rhythm guitar chord sequence, which I'm sure had been used somewhere previously-(at least once)- I think most likely in some jazz or classical or flamenco/Spanish-type piece of music.
My gf and I were discussing this case yesterday, and she told me that apparently the royalties judgement will likely be only for the more recent performances. What I find most curious (according to my gf, who is usually quite well-informed on most matters musical-is that JPP is vehemently denying he even ever heard of Taurus ( :? ) I mean everybody knows Page was a musical sponge, and a genius at melding many compositions from various parts and influences. Why bother trying to deny that? He has plenty of great songs to claim as his own that are world-renowned.
Jimmy, do you not remember doing that tour with Spirit? Actually, the other old plagiarism case with Jake Holmes over Dazed and Confused was even stronger. I don't remember what the final resolution of that one was.
Anyway,as an aspiring (hack)songwriter myself (although somewhat less-successful, unfortunately $$ :P ) I can easily identify with originality issues such as these- as I'm sure other creators of melodies, chord cadences, lyrics, riffs,whatever, etc. on here would agree...it is incredibly hard not to assimilate idea from the subconscious into our own compositions. Like the Stones when they purloined an entire melody from K.D. Lang (Constant Craving)- and to their credit, imo, they never even argued about it when hit with a lawsuit.Jagger/ Richards just admitted, yeah, we probably heard it on the radio in the limo a couple times and then mentally recycled it. Quite innocently, in all likelihood. (or the Harrison/ Chiffons case over My Sweet Lord, similarly). Like the Book of Ecclesiastes stated- "Nothing new under the sun..."
All that being said, it would be nice for Randy's family to get some financial benefit out of it all-esp.considering the tragic and rather heart-rending way he perished-while trying to save the life of his drowning son off Hawaii.
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