Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Song Still Remains the Same: the unauthorized etymology of Led Zeppelin songs. Stairway To Heaven

Stairway To Heaven
We've brought you three articles on the history of Led Zeppelin songs and how some of their songs may just have been lifted from the works of others.

The song we first looked at was Dazed and Confused. We talked in-depth about how the song was taken from Jake Holmes' 1968 composition called, wait for it, Dazed and Confused. Read about and listen to both versions of Dazed and Confused here.

Then we wrote about Zep's Whole Lotta Love and how that was lifted, vocal style and all, from The Small Faces, who, in turn had lifted it from Muddy Waters. Read and listen to a side by side comparison of Whole Lotta Love here.

Most recently we talked about Led Zeppelin's Since I've Been Loving You and how that shares a more than passing resemblance to Moby Grape's 1968 composition, Never. Read about and listen to both Since I've Been Loving You and Never here. 

In the news today is the story of Led Zeppelin's signature song, Stairway To Heaven. The family members of the late Randy California, guitarist for the band, Spirit, have brought a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin and Atlantic Records alleging that the iconic opening riff of Stairway To Heaven was lifted from Spirit's 1968 song entitled Taurus.

Led Zeppelin, in both 1968 and in 1969, opened for Spirit numerous times and would have had ample opportunity to hear the number performed both live and on record.
"It was such a pretty moment, and it would typically come after a big forceful number and always got a good response," [founding band member, Mark] Andes told Bloomberg. "They would have seen it in that context.... It is fairly blatant, and note for note. It would just be nice if the Led Zeppelin guys gave Randy a little nod. That would be lovely."" [Los Angeles Times, May 22, 2014]
For the sake of brevity, we'll just say, you be the judge. We formed our opinion years and years ago. Now is your chance to play both Sprit's Taurus and Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven back to back. And then ask yourself, does anyone remember laughter?

Enjoy, and let us know what you think.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!


  1. I love THIS! I have been a silent advocate of exposing Led Zep, whom I used to admire, for decades, after I began to gradually realize all the rip-offing they would do. The onion peeled very slowly shedding light on how many artists the4y have deprived of their rightful props. Now, I saw THIS very story on CNN a couple days ago! BITCHEN, I SAY. ALSO, what about the time the drummer & roadie beat the hell out of some poor dudes backstage at an out door venue, back in the 70's? WHAT ABOUT THAT? Led Zep should wind up the way of Il Duce did!

    1. Il Dulce, huh? That's rough. Even for known pilferers like Zep. But I like your style.

    2. Yes, Il Duce. And I do NOT refer to the lead singer of The Mentors. I of course, mean Mussolini.......

  2. I smell trouble in river city.