It’s come to my attention that a musical court case is happening. With a jury and everything. Let’s examine it, shall we?
The opening chords of Led Zeppelins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ are in dispute. Apparently they stole the chord progression from a song called ‘Taurus’ by a band called Spirit, who, it seems, toured with LZ for a while before Led Zeppelin made it huge. Spirit is claiming that they wrote the chord progression four years before LZ wrote Stairway. Apparently this battle has been happening for quite some time, but only now has it hit the major mainstream world of news.
I have listened to both, and I have to admit, it’s not just similar, it’s almost exactly the same. I make no secret of the fact that I’m not LZs biggest fan, they sort of bore me. I apologise to the hard core fans, but they’re just not my thing. This is probably why I’ve not heard of this argument before now, because I pretty much don’t really care for LZ, and if I’m honest, I had never heard of Spirit until yesterday. Ooops.
A judge has declared that it must go to a full jury led case but that’s not the most interesting bit.
The really interesting bit is that LZ have declared the chord progression to be so generic that it doesn’t really require copyright protection.
With that in mind I make a suggestion, if that most famous chord progression, one of the most recognisable, and overplayed, intros on the world is too generic to need copyrighting then that sound is fair play to all. So anyone who feels like using that progression in their music, feel free. It’s generic, you know.
Oh, by the way, here’s Taurus.
And here’s Stairway.
Decide for yourselves if you wish.
Oh, pic is unrelated, I just really like it!