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Zachman

Stairway intro.

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Every zep fan knows that jimmy page has been accused of lifting the intro from a band they first went on tour with named Spirit. The song called "taurus". However, taurus was nicked from davy graham's cry me a river". Jimmy was influenced by graham on white summer and I believe he heard cry me a river and made his own arrangement. To say taurus is original is a joke and a half. The chords are the same, the descending bassline is the same and in anji. That song(cry me a river) is noted as traditional. The music came thru davy. Im only bringing this up cuz im sick and tired of people knocking stairway to heaven and saying its stolen. The melody is a trad.melody been used for forever. Spirit (randy california) knows he used cry me a river and made taurus. The main guitar line is from davy graham.Im tired of hearing how much better california is than jimmy.Its absolutely false and sickning. I will say jimmy admitted to getting the idea of using the theremin on WLL from him. But obviously didnt invent it. Music goes in cycles and jimmy page is a mastermind, we zepp fans know what is real. Jimmy page was influenced by graham not fucking spirit. Im tired of hearing that and for people who dont know its on youtube. Cry me a river by davy graham. The last 6 seconds there is an arpegio the same tempo as taurus and stairway. Who stole what? People who attack zep need to search these things before making arrogant statements about the greatest band of all time. We all know who that is..

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Pink Floyd?

umm neep... that would be the MIGHTY LED ZEPPELIN MEAN MR KETCHUP! you know that pink floyd is good but not in the same universe as zeppelin.. not even close

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umm neep... that would be the MIGHTY LED ZEPPELIN MEAN MR KETCHUP! you know that pink floyd is good but not in the same universe as zeppelin.. not even close

well, in your opinion.

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Anyway back to topic.

I love the song tbh, and who cares if it sounds a bit like, or is inspired by another song.

Only thing that bothers me is that it is the most famous lick ever written. And to see it get bashed is saddening as a led head. We know the masterpiece jimmy wrote, and I guess that is all that matters. Led heads need to stick together. Im just saying the guy who jimmy apparenly stole off of stole that song too. Music grows in cycles and people need to realize that more. Stairway is zeppelin's and zeppelin's alone.

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First of all: there is no such thing as originality that does not rely on precedents, however few - or many. To put it differently: Everybody learns from others. And this holds even for what you could call radical transformations or "revolutions" in music (or elsewhere). So let us just approach this realistically: There is no either-or here, in the sense that either they nicked the song from somebody or it's original - originality can be seen precisely as a new take on the old which then results in something unprecedented or new.

The idea underlying the intro to STH is an old one, and can be found in a gazillion places. You use a minor chord as the base of an arpeggiated chord progression, and at the beginning of it, and then progressively go down half a step in the bass line. This basic idea can not be claimed by anyone - it's just a commonplace. Think about Paul McCartney's "Michelle" for example - exactly the same idea, except here it's played on dulcimer, and in E minor (STH is A minor). That was a song that Macca used to play in parties as a joke, with silly French-sounding nonsensical lyrics, but then seemed to acquire a life of it's own, and in the end it was included on Rubber Soul.

Davy Graham's song is written roughly around the same time, but is in A minor if I am not mistaken (will assume that in the following), and played on acoustic guitar, of course. The arpeggio is very simple, each chord consisting of four notes, with the descending bass line in place, and other than that always the same three notes, yet interestingly ending on B, instead of the expected A (I mean the note played on the high E string).

Now, this high note Davy Graham is using as a sort of constant throughout his chord progression could be seen as providing Jimmy with an idea - even unconsciously - for the expansion of the Spirit chord progression, where each chord consists of only three notes, lacking the high end; except, and note this, Jimmy only uses this note for the second chord, right after the A minor. Taurus is picked in a mood more similar to STH, but again, it's a much simpler progression, each arpeggiated chord consisting of three notes - whereas in STH it's four notes, and a much more imaginative high end than in Graham's song, where you have a simple repetition of the B note.

But here's the main point: Even if Jimmy got parts of the idea from these songs (I'm not saying he did, but he may have) it would be perfectly legitimate. It's no longer the exact same chord progression (which basically isn't very original anyway), and apart from this, the opening four chords of STH form only a part of Jimmy's idea for STH. And the whole spirit and musical content of STH, aside from these few chords, is entirely different to both the older songs.

Thus there is simply no way at all you can come up with a convincing case that STH was nicked from anybody. Some people have tried to imply that, but they don't have a case. Case fucking closed. :D

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Whether intended or not, consciously or not, credited or not - imitation is the truest form of flattery.

As stated, if I were one of those old blues guys and somebody imitated a part of one of my songs and brought it out of obscurity I'd be flattered.

If they were making a lot of money on it, I might have to consider going after some of that cash, which some have done, but I'd still be damn flattered.

Imitation or not Stairway is a unarguably beautiful masterpiece of a song - even after the millionth listen. Was it copied? I couldn't care less.

Bring on the new stuff!

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First of all: there is no such thing as originality that does not rely on precedents, however few - or many. To put it differently: Everybody learns from others. And this holds even for what you could call radical transformations or "revolutions" in music (or elsewhere). So let us just approach this realistically: There is no either-or here, in the sense that either they nicked the song from somebody or it's original - originality can be seen precisely as a new take on the old which then results in something unprecedented or new.

The idea underlying the intro to STH is an old one, and can be found in a gazillion places. You use a minor chord as the base of an arpeggiated chord progression, and at the beginning of it, and then progressively go down half a step in the bass line. This basic idea can not be claimed by anyone - it's just a commonplace. Think about Paul McCartney's "Michelle" for example - exactly the same idea, except here it's played on dulcimer, and in E minor (STH is A minor). That was a song that Macca used to play in parties as a joke, with silly French-sounding nonsensical lyrics, but then seemed to acquire a life of it's own, and in the end it was included on Rubber Soul.

Davy Graham's song is written roughly around the same time, but is in A minor if I am not mistaken (will assume that in the following), and played on acoustic guitar, of course. The arpeggio is very simple, each chord consisting of four notes, with the descending bass line in place, and other than that always the same three notes, yet interestingly ending on B, instead of the expected A (I mean the note played on the high E string).

Now, this high note Davy Graham is using as a sort of constant throughout his chord progression could be seen as providing Jimmy with an idea - even unconsciously - for the expansion of the Spirit chord progression, where each chord consists of only three notes, lacking the high end; except, and note this, Jimmy only uses this note for the second chord, right after the A minor. Taurus is picked in a mood more similar to STH, but again, it's a much simpler progression, each arpeggiated chord consisting of three notes - whereas in STH it's four notes, and a much more imaginative high end than in Graham's song, where you have a simple repetition of the B note.

But here's the main point: Even if Jimmy got parts of the idea from these songs (I'm not saying he did, but he may have) it would be perfectly legitimate. It's no longer the exact same chord progression (which basically isn't very original anyway), and apart from this, the opening four chords of STH form only a part of Jimmy's idea for STH. And the whole spirit and musical content of STH, aside from these few chords, is entirely different to both the older songs.

Thus there is simply no way at all you can come up with a convincing case that STH was nicked from anybody. Some people have tried to imply that, but they don't have a case. Case fucking closed. :D

Beautifully said, I just wish that asshole that went onto the howard stern show and called zeppelin a "fraud" would see what you just wrote.. couldnt agree more with u.. long live the mighty zeppelin!!!!

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Beautifully said, I just wish that asshole that went onto the howard stern show and called zeppelin a "fraud" would see what you just wrote.. couldnt agree more with u.. long live the mighty zeppelin!!!!

Thanks! :beer:

In the interest of accuracy though, I did forget to mention that the chord sequence in "Michelle" isn't arpeggiated, but more like a repeated strumming of the three notes against the descending bass line. Same basic idea though. B)

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It seems like I read somewhere that LZ opened for Spirit during their early days. Page must have heard Taurus played at some time and might have been inspired by it later to write STH. But.....as ZZ TOP says, "...I might be misstaken."

Myself? I'm a half-a**ed.......make that quarter-a**ed guitar player. There is always that desire to write something that no one has ever heard before. Short of making a pact with the Devil, this attempt would be difficult without the influences of others.

Would I be flattered if I heard another artist playing my song without my permission......or my writing credit?? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! I don't care if it is Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, or Jimmy Crack Corn And I Don't Care.

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Thats retarded that people do that. News Flash nobody has ever heard of "Spirit" or "Taurus". He took an idea and made it 80000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

000000000000000000000000000000000000000004 times better!!!!!

Edited by King Jalepeno

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Now....breeeeathe my friend...breeathe.. ;)

Listen, some accusations have been made to LZ for taking parts or whole songs from other unknown artists.However, the bottom line is: If Jimmy Page would have never taken these songs and made the masterpieces that they are now, NOBODY would have loved them or even know them.

People rip LZ for "living off the poor black men music", but let me tell you something: If I wrote a nice song, but didn't have the enough resources to promote it or bring it to the light... hell I would be flattered as hell if a man like Jimmy Page took my song and made it 100 times better.

I couldn't have said it any better. If Zeppelin hadn't made those songs, the songs that they took parts of wouldn't have ever been heard again.

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Every zep fan knows that jimmy page has been accused of lifting the intro from a band they first went on tour with named Spirit. The song called "taurus". However, taurus was nicked from davy graham's cry me a river". Jimmy was influenced by graham on white summer and I believe he heard cry me a river and made his own arrangement. To say taurus is original is a joke and a half. The chords are the same, the descending bassline is the same and in anji. That song(cry me a river) is noted as traditional. The music came thru davy. Im only bringing this up cuz im sick and tired of people knocking stairway to heaven and saying its stolen. The melody is a trad.melody been used for forever. Spirit (randy california) knows he used cry me a river and made taurus. The main guitar line is from davy graham.Im tired of hearing how much better california is than jimmy.Its absolutely false and sickning. I will say jimmy admitted to getting the idea of using the theremin on WLL from him. But obviously didnt invent it. Music goes in cycles and jimmy page is a mastermind, we zepp fans know what is real. Jimmy page was influenced by graham not fucking spirit. Im tired of hearing that and for people who dont know its on youtube. Cry me a river by davy graham. The last 6 seconds there is an arpegio the same tempo as taurus and stairway. Who stole what? People who attack zep need to search these things before making arrogant statements about the greatest band of all time. We all know who that is..

they way the intro seeks the resoultion back to the tonic are completely different in both songs, in sth it's far more satisfying, in taurus, it's somewhat more dissonant, yes for about 2 bars the songs sound similar,

everyone who's ever made a living from writing music has been influenced by the music that moves them,

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A couple of things I'd like to add. Despite my tendency to defend Led Zeppelin it has to be said that certain lines of defense are not based on sound argument, but rather are simple apologetics. However, I also happen to believe that for LZ fans there is no need to resort to such things here - no reason to at all.

The kind of pseudo-argument that I have in mind here is this: the fact that Led Zeppelin's fame has turned a lot of attention towards musicians they were inspired by is of no importance whatsoever in a discussion like this one - absolutely nil. Yes, it is certainly true that many people know about these musicians, like them and buy their albums because they have found out that the boys liked them and even found bits there that they could use for their own purposes, and in a different context. But this fact is completely irrelevant here. Everybody is supposed to have equal status with respect to laws - no matter how rich and famous, and the same goes for laws protecting music people write.

Again, of course you can argue that we have such laws to defend the interests of songwriters, and when the theft actually seems to have been profitable for them in the end you might then conclude that the important thing, namely the values that the laws are supposed to defend, is ensured anyway. The theft proved to be in their interest, so to speak. But this argument can't withstand criticism, because the only way we can defend these interests in general is by making - and enforcing - laws that are valid in every case. And this in fact is not unfair.

Of course the question arises how such laws should be formulated and then understood in practice. I am not qualified to say much about that, but to say that the basic idea I mentioned in my earlier post, the one employed in the STH intro, is stolen from somebody else is completely absurd. You can not make somebody "the author" of a minor chord progression with a descending bass line - that would be like saying that chord progressions as such are the property of somebody. They are not, because they can't be - simple as that.

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