When you talk about the greatest Classic Rock songs, Stairway to Heaven definitely becomes a hot topic. Arguably the best rock song of all time, Stairway to Heaven has had its fair share of controversies as well. There is a trial that starts today in which allegations have been put on Led Zeppelin of plagiarising the opening riff of the track.
The law suit claims that the band stole the lick from a 1968 song called Taurus by the band Spirit. Randy Wolfe was the composer of that song, and Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust, filed the claim.
This is how Stairway to Heaven starts off:
And here’s how Taurus starts:
There has been a lot of discussion about the similarities between the two songs but there has been no concrete evidence of Led Zeppelin plagiarising the song. The funny thing about this controversy is the fact that the two bands – Led Zeppelin and Spirit – toured together for a long time.
Spirit’s argument is that Jimmy Page, the composer of Stairway to Heaven, was already an established musician before being a part of Led Zeppelin. They believe that Page was never a songwriter but a musician so him composing the controversial song doesn’t really make sense.
Led Zeppelin have issued a statement saying there was no evidence that they stole the Stairway to Heaven opening and that the Wolfe estate does not own the copyright. Fans have also argued that the songs have too many dissimilarities for Spirit to actually blame Led Zeppelin.
What do you think about this? Are Led Zeppelin innocent? Let us know in the comment section.