The controversy around Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway To Heaven' and it's similarity to Spirit's predecessing track 'Taurus' is back, making headlines.
Led Zep were accused of stealing the 'Taurus' riff after touring with Spirit in an early American tour. Spirit wrote 'Taurus' in 1968, three years prior to 'Stairway to Heaven's' release.
In 2015, a representative of Randy California, the composer of 'Taurus', filed the case against Led Zep accusing the band of stealing the opening riff from 'Taurus'. California died in 1997.
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are currently credited as the songwriters, and have testified that the song was their original work.
In 2016, the the court ruled in Led Zep's favour. However, USA Today reports that a three-judge panel of he 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that "the lower court judge provided erroneous jury instructions" and sent the case back to court for another trial.
Have a listen to 'Taurus' below and judge for yourself (we think it's pretty safe to assume you know exactly what 'Stairway' sounds like).
This isn't the first time Led Zeppelin have been in hot water around copyright issues. In facts the iconic rockers are notorious for taking other people's work and only providing credit when under duress.
Take Jack Holme's 1967 tune 'Dazed & Confused', released two years prior to Led Zeppelin's hit of the same name. The two tracks sound eerily similar.
Holmes eventually filed a lawsuit in 2010. The case was settled out of court and Led Zep now credit the song as "written by Jimmy Page; inspired by Jack Holmes."
'Whole Lotta Love' was one of the first songs Robert Plant "wrote" for Led Zep and he was found using direct quotes from Willie Dixon's 'You Need Love' - Dixon sued in 1985 and is now listed as a co-writer.
Then there's 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You'. A blatant cover of 1950's folk singer Anne Brendon's song.
The band heard Joan Baez's cover, then released it as an "original" track, giving arrangement credit to Page. Fast forward to the eighties, Brendon found out about the band's successful cover of her song and was rightly pissed. Now the band split the royalities with the folk singer.
Interesting stuff... Maybe that'll simmer down those punishers who are forever moaning about how Greta Van Fleet ripped off Led Zeppelin.
Turns out Led Zeppelin wasn't all that original themselves.
Don't get us wrong, we're big fans of Led Zeppelin here at The Rock - but gummon boyos, give credit where credit is due...
We will keep you posted on the new 'Stairway' courtcase.