Led Zeppelin has been making a ton of headlines as of late but the most recent isn’t good news. The band is being sued for copyright infringement over ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ perhaps the most well-known song in the legendary rock band’s catalog. The suit is brought by the founding bassist of Spirit, a 1960’s band that Led Zeppelin toured the U.S. with in 68’ and 69’.
At the heart of the lawsuit is a claim that the iconic opening notes of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ were lifted by guitarist Jimmy Page from ‘Taurus,’ a relatively unknown folk song Spirit often played in concert. Lawyers for Spirit say that Randy California, the original composer of ‘Taurus,’ wrote the song in 1968. They argue that Page heard the song while the two bands toured together, and that Page then used the riff to write the beginning of Stairway to Heaven, which appeared on Led Zeppelin’s 1971 untitled fourth studio album known as ‘Led Zeppelin IV’.
Take a listen to both and you be the judge. Did Led Zeppelin rip off Spirit? But why wait this many years to say something… Is Led Zeppelin perhaps in on it?
With their reissues coming out, is it all a marketing ploy to garner sales?
Wait until the 44 second mark of Taurus and then decide!
‘Taurus’ by Spirit, 1968
‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin, 1971