The decision of the Brits to leave the EU made it so very few people saw this story. Led Zepplin's 'Stairway to Heaven' was upheld as not plagarism in a jury trial. The problem is that it WAS 100% stolen from 'Taurus' by the band Sprit. Jimmy Page even tried to lie and say he had never heard 'Taurus' even tho he owned Spirits album with it on, and the bands toured together in the 60s. The reason Zepplin won was the Jury didn't hear the recordings, rather instead a guitarist played each song from ancient music sheets that were submitted who knows when and sound barely anything like the songs. It was the 60s i doubt they were too into paperwork. So tell me do you think they got by on a technicality and they did steal from Spirit? Or are they really guilt free? To hear them: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music/hear-stairway-heaven-v-s-taurus-article-1.2685650
I listened to both and it sound vaguely similar but not like a complete rip.
If I remember correctly this "everything is a remix" video points out a number of examples where zepplin songs are "remixed" (or ripped off) from other songs. So I wouldn't put it past them if they did steal it.
I definitely hear similarities in the songs. Basically a few parts of Spirit's song Taurus do match up well with that on Stairway to Heaven.
Is it possible that it was stolen? Definitely. Especially if Jimmy Page had the album, he may have subconsciously picked out those small parts and put them together into a melody for Stairway to Heaven.
As for why they waited so long to sue, I have no idea. Perhaps Spirit was hoping fans of Stairway to Heaven would hear the similarities and they would get some recognition. But I have no idea.
I do think Stairway is similar to parts of Taurus. But it's hard to say that it was ripped. The melody in Taurus changes, it's not exactly the same.
The whole case was BS. If Taurus felt the song was stolen, they'd have sued LZ back in the 60s, but they didn't. Taurus never had an issue with Stairway to Heaven, because both songs incorporate chromatic scales which have been used in music for hundreds of years - it was nothing new.
In fact, it was the estate of the deceased lead singer who sued - almost 50 years later - to try to get money. That's crap.
The history of music is being inspired by other music, and incorporating existing ideas into new works - but in this case, BOTH songs do that by incorporating a chromatic scale. That's the only thing in common, and there's no way that's enough to award an un-involved copyright holder 50 years later.
I read about this case and followed the day by day news accounts of the trial. And of course I know "Stairway" by heart and can play that intro (which was the only part of the song at issue in the case) on my acoustic guitar. I think the jury got this one right. From the account I read, the jury did hear the recording of "Stairway," but there was a statute of limitations issue when it came to what was actually copyrighted. The musicologists who testified for both sides basically said the descending minor chord progression of the intro to "Stairway" and of "Taurus" had been around for hundreds of years. And that's not surprising considering what both pieces sounded like, and certainly when you consider what Jimmy Page was aiming at with that intro. Yes, there were similarities to the two pieces, but they weren't note-for-note the same. I think a jury might have been more sympathetic to a copyright infringement claim had the case been brought over 40 years ago, when "Stairway" first became a huge success. I don't know why Randy Wolfe didn't bring a lawsuit back then. But for his estate to bring it after all that time had passed probably seemed to the jury to be suspicious. I've read interviews with many different songwriters. Everybody is influenced by everybody else, both past and present. The same chord progressions are used over and over and over in popular music. But the upshot is that there was no note-for-note infringement and the similarity wasn't enough for the jury to find for the plaintiff.
@TadCurious got it right. There are a finite number of possibilities for chord progressions, and that one had been around for hundreds of years. And the notes were not exactly alike. If one were to believe that LZ "stole it from Taurus, then one would have to say that Taurus originally stole it from other from a lot further back.
No it's not stolen. There is evidence in all sorts of music of a descending patterns, and similar chord changes. If the case is about copying then everybody in the world should be sued for writing essays and stories and movies and TV shows and just speaking everyday. Howw many people use cliche phrases like, ' I got to second base', or whatever.
The chords in the Zeppelin song are different, and more complex. Plus then the song takes on a completely different 'persona' throughout the song.
I agree. I'm actually surprised and I like both Zeppelin and Stairway. Honestly, I think they made about as much of an adjustment to the opening riff as Vanilla Ice did to Ice Ice Baby (blatantly ripped off from Under Pressure).
While the first few notes seem the same, I think there was sufficient difference. If I was on that jury, I'd have to find for Led Zeppelin. However, if the next three or four notes were the same, I'd have found for Spirit.
The thing is even if they got it from there, it's a chord progression that's been used literally hundreds of times in songs. It's very possible that Taurus wasn't even the first either, and there are kids more that have used it-the songs just haven't become as iconic as stairway to heaven