September 30, 2018

THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME: Led Zeppelin forced to defend ‘Stairway to Heaven’ in court again.

A federal court jury in June 2016 found Led Zep did not steal the opening riffs of “Stairway to Heaven” from the song “Taurus” by the band, Spirit.

But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered the retrial because the jury should have been allowed to hear a recording of “Taurus” — an obscure instrumental on the first album of the California band.

A trustee for the estate of Randy Wolfe, the writer of “Taurus,” claimed in the suit that Led Zep copied the song’s descending chromatic scale for the opening of rock anthem “Stairway to Heaven.”

Although, as musician, producer and prolific YouTube maker Rick Beato notes, Spirit didn’t invent descending chromatic bass notes under chord changes, which were a staple of the Beatles, all the way back to Duke Ellington and Richard Rogers.

However, Zeppelin’s documented history of actual musical plagiarism does them no favors in this retrial.

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