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> A Rock And Roll Ripoff
SeeJay
post May 22 2014, 05:39 AM
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In the progression of rock and roll we see a few important stages.

Early on, there's the American blues and jazz. Born from the south, it pushed music with it's driving backbeat and soloing instruments. From that we split into rockabilly and country of the 40s and 50s. Though similar in structure, the difference really in the rhythm and storytelling elements.

Up until this point, probably for about 10 years, everyone was borrowing from everyone else. Chord progressions were similar, instrumentation was similar. The biggest difference in the progression of the music that I see, was in the rhythm.

Then sometime in the 60s, british kids fell in love with this music and started emulating it, which really pushed rock and roll into a contemporary field. The Beatles, The Animals, The Rolling Stones all became the faces of the new british revolution. Which was a great movement, again just borrowed from older music, but with a new exciting rhythm and new ideas. There were folk music lyrical elements incorporated in these tunes. Indian inspired music was the basis for Beatles tunes. What a truly exciting time. Artists were carving the trail of what rock and roll sounded and looked like.



I read this week that Led Zeppelin is being sued by a band named Spirit for copying the opening guitar part of Stairway to Heaven from one of their songs.

Zep have been in trouble before for directly using older blues and folk songs and not giving credit where credit is due, but this one seems a little bit of a stretch to me. Sure they are similar, but I wouldn't say its a direct ripoff.

Have a listen.




My thought is this, at a time where the foundation of rock and roll was so new, there was a lot of overlapping. It's a grey area for sure, but probably a more forgivable one considering what was going on. It seems interesting to me that after 50 years, someone decides to sue.

I know there is a legal definition(and I'm sure someone can post it) but what really draws the line between complete ripoff and divine inspiration. There are some bands that wear their heroes on their sleeves and get applauded for it, while other bands get labeled as poor imitations. How do you decipher the difference of such an objectionable thing?


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 22 2014, 05:40 PM
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It's awesome to hear how similar both introductions are... but I can say that the intro of Stairway to heaven isn't the only thing that made it one of the most beautiful rock ballads ever. If this son helped as an inspiration to create such an amazing piece, all I want to do is to say thanks to Spirit! smile.gif


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SeeJay
post May 23 2014, 03:35 AM
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I'm totally with you.

On that thought, maybe if your case gets dropped, you can at least be noted as the band that inspired the riff from stairway. . . .and that's not so bad. wink.gif

QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ May 22 2014, 04:40 PM) *
It's awesome to hear how similar both introductions are... but I can say that the intro of Stairway to heaven isn't the only thing that made it one of the most beautiful rock ballads ever. If this son helped as an inspiration to create such an amazing piece, all I want to do is to say thanks to Spirit! smile.gif



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bleez
post May 26 2014, 06:27 PM
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Led Zepp get a lot of hassle for this kind of thing. I dont know that its completely warranted. Ive heard a lot more blatant ripped off songs by other bands.
I recently heard about them having stolen 'dazed and confused', which is one of my favourite Zepp songs. I listened to the 'original' and it really doesn't do anything for me at all. Maybe if they had credited the original song sooner as the inspiration then it might not have been such a 'thing'.



.... is this classed as plagiarism?

This post has been edited by bleez: May 26 2014, 06:28 PM


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klasaine
post May 26 2014, 07:35 PM
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Jimmy Page, besides being a great musician/producer/songwriter is also a great business man.
It is 'standard' practice in business to evaluate the financial risk of adapting (or stealing) another companies idea.
i.e., will your product make more profit than you'll get sued for.
I firmly (pun intended) believe that Page took that risk. And it did pay off for them.


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SeeJay
post May 26 2014, 09:23 PM
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QUOTE (bleez @ May 26 2014, 05:27 PM) *
Led Zepp get a lot of hassle for this kind of thing. I dont know that its completely warranted. Ive heard a lot more blatant ripped off songs by other bands.
I recently heard about them having stolen 'dazed and confused', which is one of my favourite Zepp songs. I listened to the 'original' and it really doesn't do anything for me at all. Maybe if they had credited the original song sooner as the inspiration then it might not have been such a 'thing'.
.... is this classed as plagiarism?



Hmm, interesting. I haven't heard that track. I heard this a few years ago from the Howard Stern Show.



QUOTE (klasaine @ May 26 2014, 06:35 PM) *
I firmly (pun intended) believe that Page took that risk. And it did pay off for them.


I don't think that. I read a Plant interview years ago where he said Page would have a lot of blues riffs and it was put in Robert's hands to come up with something new on top of them. Early on it seems like he didn't.

But zep really moved into different musical ideas later on.

But I think that's my point, as a band, early on you can really seem obvious in your influences. And ESPECIALLY at a time where everyone at that period was ripping off old blues tunes, it seems like a bummer they get jumped on so much for it.

But then again, maybe I'm too much of a fan.


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klasaine
post May 26 2014, 09:40 PM
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It doesn't bother me in the least that he/they did that. I think they actually evolved and improved upon the ideas they took and that they moved music forward. IMO the calculated risk was totally worth it - for LZ and rock music in general.
The fact that they settled 'out of court' as well as gave W. Dixon songwriting credit on Whole Lotta Love is evidence enough for me that they knew what they were doing ... regardless of what Plant says.

This post has been edited by klasaine: May 26 2014, 09:42 PM


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Becca
post May 26 2014, 11:27 PM
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Yeah I heard this and I thought "why wait so long"? Then I remembered what happened to Men At Work and their song "I come from a land down under". They used a couple of notes from a kids song that was a kind of traditional one but that had been recorded and arranged by someone way back when. No one ever complained until a couple of shysters who specialise in doing this, bought the expired rights to the original song with the express purpose of screwing the band for as much as they could get. They are still doing it. It occurs to me that it may not be Spirit behind this lawsuit.
Also I worked a little with Tim Rose before he sadly passed away. He has always got a lot of stick about Hey Joe. He never claimed to have written it but rather adapted a traditional song and added extra verses. Some one else did similar with it too but it was just a coincidence.
Dazed and Confused was a bit of a standard. The Blues Breakers and The Yard birds both used it in their live sets prior to Zep.


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SeeJay
post May 27 2014, 01:12 AM
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The Yardbirds version is funny. Especially since Robert Plant is a beast on the recording.


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bleez
post May 27 2014, 12:54 PM
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QUOTE (SeeJay @ May 27 2014, 01:12 AM) *
The Yardbirds version is funny. Especially since Robert Plant is a beast on the recording.


WOW! never heard that one before. The vocalist really seems like the song is quite alien to his style.
I think I like the zepp one even more now!


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 27 2014, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE (SeeJay @ May 26 2014, 09:12 PM) *
The Yardbirds version is funny. Especially since Robert Plant is a beast on the recording.



Awesome! I though that this was a song originally recorded by Zep. There are a lot of secrets behind them. biggrin.gif
It's true that this versions lacks Plant too much...


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klasaine
post May 27 2014, 04:33 PM
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In a way the Yardbirds version illustrates my point perfectly: LZ (plant, page, jones, bonham), however much stuff they may have borrowed (stolen?) from their predecessors or contemporaries, they made it better.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 27 2014, 04:47 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ May 27 2014, 12:33 PM) *
In a way the Yardbirds version illustrates my point perfectly: LZ (plant, page, jones, bonham), however much stuff they may have borrowed (stolen?) from their predecessors or contemporaries, they made it better.



they made it magical.


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SeeJay
post May 28 2014, 04:08 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ May 27 2014, 03:33 PM) *
In a way the Yardbirds version illustrates my point perfectly: LZ (plant, page, jones, bonham), however much stuff they may have borrowed (stolen?) from their predecessors or contemporaries, they made it better.



Precisely!! It was really the sound the 4 of them created!!! I'm going to get to caught up on where they sourced some riffs from, I'm just going to find another bootleg and turn it up.


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