Led Zeppelin lawsuit goes down like a lead Zeppelin

in Blog, Classic Rock, Hard Rock by Gareth Peebles

After two years of legal proceedings, it took jurors only half an hour to decide the outcome of the Zeppelin vs Spirit case after listening to both compositions one last time.

The case was filed in 2014 and claimed that Spirit’s instrumental track, ‘Taurus’ had been plagiarised by Zeppelin (a la Stairway to Heaven) and as a result, representatives of the band were seeking damages in excess of $40 million, and as if this wasn’t enough the composer of Taurus also wanted to be credited for Stairway to Heaven!

In the run up to this case, sleuthing audiophiles have racked up over seven million views of the Spirit track on YouTube, which if you haven’t had the time to investigate yourself yet, you can have a listen to here:


Usually a link to Stairway to Heaven would be included here for comparative purposes, but if you aren’t familiar with this song already then you shouldn’t be here in the first place. Nuff said.

It’s easy to recognise an initial flutter of similarity between the two tracks, as the purportedly plagiarised riff begins. But this blossoming familiarity soon dwindles, before eventually nose diving and sounding nothing like the behemoth whirlwind that the Led Zeppelin track winds its self up in to.

Spirit have been lambasted on comments boards and across industry publications for attempting to sue over their simple use of a step down progression. With their inspiration for this legal battle arguably being inspired by the high profile of the ‘Blurred Lines’ lawsuit which was filed in 2013.

Protection of an artists intellectual property is so very important in this day and age, but we really hope that we are not about to enter a period where legalities and court cases take up more headlines than the music itself!

About the Author

Gareth Peebles – I have always been in love with popular culture – but, being a child of the 80’s and part of “the MTV generation”, I suppose it’s fitting that the one constant in my pop culture obsession has been music. Music, music, music. All day, everyday, in every and any way that I can get it.

My first full time job was at a now defunct major label store – which I loved. Then I taught Media Theory & Production for a few years – which I also loved. Now I get to listen to music all day and create stuff using computers, which I love too!

Punk, Funk, Hip-Hop, Trip-Hop, Jazz, Blues & Electronic music (to name but a few) are always staples in my weekly audio diet (that, plus they sound good when written next to each other). I always have an ear open for something new and love learning about music through other people’s love of music – so let me know if you hear something good

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