Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page Pleads Ignorance In ‘Stairway To Heaven’ Plagiarism Lawsuit

first_imgWhile Led Zeppelin has endured a powerful legacy among classic rockers, one sharp criticism of the band is their unfortunate penchant for stealing songs. So much so, in fact, that we wrote an in-depth feature with a track by track analysis to determine the extent of the problem.However, one song gave us pause in the article: “Stairway To Heaven.” Easily the band’s most iconic song, “Stairway” came under fire when the band Spirit accused them of ripping it off from their 1968 original, “Taurus.” Led Zeppelin IV, featuring “Stairway,” was released in 1971.Currently, the plagiarism case is in the courts, and guitarist Jimmy Page recently made something a definitive statement on the matter. As The Hollywood Reporter shares, Page denied ever hearing the “Taurus” song until 2014.“I had not previously seen it in my collection and do not know how or when it got there,” states Page. “It may well have been left by a guest. I doubt it was there for long, since I never noticed it before. But, again, I know I did not hear Taurus until 2014.”The band’s main argument can be read here: “The similarity between ‘Taurus’ and ‘Stairway’ is limited to a descending chromatic scale of pitches resulting from ‘broken’ chords or arpeggios and which is so common in music it is called a minor line cliché… There is no substantial similarity in the works’ structures, which are markedly different. Neither is there any harmonic or melodic similarity beyond the unprotected descending line. Rather, straining to find something, the plaintiff’s expert argues that ‘Stairway’ and recordings of ‘Taurus’ have only five of the six chords in a centuries-old work — part of public domain material is still public domain material — and that both have the unprotected sequence of notes in a minor scale, A, B and C.”Meanwhile, Spirit is arguing that they performed with Led Zeppelin on a number of occasions, thus providing ample time for the band to morph “Taurus” into “Stairway To Heaven.”You can listen to both songs and compare for yourself, below:last_img

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