Today’s #MusicMonday feature is the instrumental Taurus by the sixties band Spirit.
Why is this relevant? Notice the riff in Taurus. Does it sound like the beginning of Stairway to Heaven?
Last week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a jury’s decision that Led Zeppelin did not plagiarize the chords from Spirit’s Taurus. The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit that accused Led Zeppelin of stealing portions of “Stairway to Heaven” from “Taurus,” which was written by Randy California (né Randy Wolfe) of the 1990s band Spirit. The dispute stemmed from a passage 45 seconds into “Taurus,” which sounds like the opening guitar tones of “Stairway,” which was released three years after “Taurus.”
I won’t comment on the merits of the lawsuit, but it’s unfair to say “if the other guys were any decent, more people would have heard of em.” No, no, no. Spirit was great. Songs like “Fresh Garbage” and “I Got a Line on You” were fixtures of late 1960s FM radio.
C. Clarke [Aus4Aus] (2018, September 29). Great, what a crock! Some of the notes sound the same, but they are completely different. Love Led Zeppelin, if the other guys were any decent, more people would have heard of em.. The Artist is dead, just a Greedy estate rep trying to scam $$$$$$$$$ [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/Aus4Aus/status/1045890297241063424.
Dolan, M. (2018, September 28). Court orders new trial over claim that Led Zeppelin stole ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Retrieved September 30, 2018, from http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-zeppelin-copyright-9th-circuit-20180928-story.html
Wolfe, R. (1968). Taurus. On Spirit. Retrieved September 30, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFHLO_2_THg