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Thread: Did Led Zeppelin Really Rip Off Spirit / Taurus?

  1. #1
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    Did Led Zeppelin Really Rip Off Spirit / Taurus?


  2. #2
    This will be interesting to follow.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    This will be interesting to follow.
    Yeah I like the part where the family waited this long because they didn't have the money.. Jimmy and Robert ripped off lot's of folks in the early days.. this one is blatant..

  4. #4
    Did they ever sue the guys that wrote Cheap Trick's "The Flame"? The opening riff of "The Flame" is very similar to Spirit's "Nature's Way".

  5. #5
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Meh.

    I'm guessing they are hoping LZ will settle out of court and the family gets a payday. That's not to say they don't deserve it, but it also brings up an interesting question as to how much a "riff", a lead line, a few key lyrics, a singing style, etc. play into why a song became popular.

    Zeppelin already had 3 albums to their credit and the song STH is as much about the lyrical content, the epic length (for radio), and the three distinct movements as it is the primary riff.

    It also brings into question how much music is not created in a vacuum. Looking back at the late 60s and 70s for example, the distinctiveness and progression of a year or two where you can almost pin down the year something was made is as much of a product of bands copying each other's sound and technique as it was about making interesting music.
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    Yeah I like the part where the family waited this long because they didn't have the money.. Jimmy and Robert ripped off lot's of folks in the early days.. this one is blatant..
    It is blatant, yes, but it is also only a single five-second riff... Two measures if I am counting it out correctly. Just an afterthought in the Spirit song!

    If they actually win this case, will every band in history who has played a I IV V IV progression in a song have to pay royalties to the Kingsmen?? Jeez.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    If they actually win this case, will every band in history who has played a I IV V IV progression in a song have to pay royalties to the Kingsmen?? Jeez.
    Probably only the ones who shared a bill with the defendant prior to the alleged offense and had a history of ripping other musicians off.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    It is blatant, yes, but it is also only a single five-second riff... Two measures if I am counting it out correctly. Just an afterthought in the Spirit song!

    If they actually win this case, will every band in history who has played a I IV V IV progression in a song have to pay royalties to the Kingsmen?? Jeez.
    That's I-IV-v-IV, actually.

  9. #9
    Member dgtlman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    It is blatant, yes, but it is also only a single five-second riff... Two measures if I am counting it out correctly. Just an afterthought in the Spirit song!

    If they actually win this case, will every band in history who has played a I IV V IV progression in a song have to pay royalties to the Kingsmen?? Jeez.
    Exactly! That's why this is total BS. 40 years later, they're just now coming up with this?

  10. #10
    I went to college with a guy who was firmly convinced he invented I-IV-V. Of course, he also thought he was the reincarnation of Mozart.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Probably only the ones who shared a bill with the defendant prior to the alleged offense and had a history of ripping other musicians off.
    So The Eagles may actually pay Ian Anderson for stealing "We Used To Know?"

  12. #12
    Someone online figured out it's something like 14% of STH - that "stolen" riff. I hear both, and hear where Page made it great, where California's just sounds muddy. All those countermelodies, plus recorder overdubs make for a MUCH better song. And aren't lyrics/vocal melodies the only things that can be legally copywritten as songs? Not riffs? No drum parts like the opening to "Rock And Roll?"

  13. #13
    And while we beat this horse to death, here's Dolly Parton's We Used To.

    http://youtu.be/5L1jkFQd4yM

    Sound familiar?

    Bill
    She'll be standing on the bar soon
    With a fish head and a harpoon
    and a fake beard plastered on her brow.

  14. #14
    Is this any more off from the original than Lennon's "Come Together," for which he got sued, and lost, for copying Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me"?
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  15. #15
    I'm a total Spirit fan, yet this somehow appears to intend for California's son (whom he was rescuing from drowning when he himself was swallowed by the sea) to have his finances secured. Not an unworthy case in itself, but the "StH" ripoff from "Taurus" has been an outspoken thing even longer than I. Anderson's point towards "Hotel California" (from "We Used to Know").
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  16. #16
    Member No Pride's Avatar
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    Oh, this again! Geez, it's just a chord progression; I don't think you can patent them. Richard Rogers used it when he wrote "My Funny Valentine" in 1937. The Beatles used it in "Michelle." Stevie Wonder used it in "Don't You Worry About a Thing."

    Sometimes I wish you could patent a chord progression; then we wouldn't have 500 pop songs that use I V vi IV.

  17. #17
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Pride View Post
    Oh, this again! Geez, it's just a chord progression; I don't think you can patent them. Richard Rogers used it when he wrote "My Funny Valentine" in 1937. The Beatles used it in "Michelle." Stevie Wonder used it in "Don't You Worry About a Thing."

    Sometimes I wish you could patent a chord progression; then we wouldn't have 500 pop songs that use I V vi IV.
    Exactly, that's a pretty common chord progression that's been around a lot longer than the Spirit song.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    This is not nearly as blatant as how they stole, word for word and note for note, "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You," more or less did the same with "Dazed and Confused." I believe 7 of the 9 songs on the first album had "borrowed bits" on them. They have subsequently had to revise writing credits on many of those songs.

  19. #19
    Member dgtlman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adm.Kirk View Post
    And while we beat this horse to death, here's Dolly Parton's We Used To.

    http://youtu.be/5L1jkFQd4yM

    Sound familiar?

    Bill
    There ya go! Sue Dolly too bygawd!

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by jrw View Post
    This is not nearly as blatant as how they stole, word for word and note for note, "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You," more or less did the same with "Dazed and Confused." I believe 7 of the 9 songs on the first album had "borrowed bits" on them. They have subsequently had to revise writing credits on many of those songs.
    Don't forget "The Lemon Song" lyrics.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  21. #21
    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    Why do people get all worked into a froth over something like this. Let's all get lawyers and get stupid.

  22. #22
    Or Bring It On Home.
    "Young man says you are what you eat, eat well."
    http://www.blissbomb.net/

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    Deep Purple will no doubt watch this California court suit with some interest....
    Hell, they ain't even old-timey ! - Homer Stokes

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    I was only commenting on the 1st album. Several examples on LZ2, can't remember anything about LZ3.

    The Taurus riff is, at least to my ears, not that much of a ripoff.

    However, I didn't think Lennon or Harrison had ripped off Chuck Berry and The Chiffons respectively either.

    Don't get me started on Men at Work getting shafted on "Who Can it be Now?"

    I do wonder why it has taken over 40 years for the suit to be filed.

  25. #25
    "My Sweet Lord" seems pretty blatant to me. John claimed that when George was working on it, they suggested it was "He's So Fine." Now, that being said, John was not one to stick with the facts. He also claimed, when asked if George was working on ATMP as a Beatle that "That all came afterward," which clearly isn't true. In all honesty, I think George squeaked by with an "unintentional plagiarism" judgment.

    A few of the words ("Here come a flat-top," for example) and some of the lyrical structure in "Come Together" is a bit close to "You Can't Catch Me." But, I really see them as completely different songs.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

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