British band Led Zeppelin, one of the most well-known bands in rock music history, has achieved legendary status now for their music. But this status comes with its own set of controversies, the most recent one involving their most well-known song "Stairway To Heaven."
Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page, recently stood trial in Los Angeles for allegedly lifting the introductory arpeggio and opening chords of "Taurus," a 1971 song written by Randy Wolfe of rock band Spirit. The case was initially filed in 2014 by a trustee of Wolfe's estate, Michael Skidmore.
If the case turns in the favour of Wolfe's estate, then it could very well change rock music history as we know it. But this is not the first time that the band has been at the centre of copyright claims. The band has been sued on multiple occasions for allegedly being "inspired" for a few of their songs.
Let's take a look at some well-known songs by Led Zeppelin that were allegedly inspired from others.
"Whole Lotta Love"
That introductory guitar riff in "Whole Lotta Love" is amazing, isn't it? You might have also sighed, "Led Zeppelin are Gods!" after listening to it for the first time. But wait, it was not written by the band in the first place. Originally named "You Need Love," this song was written by Willie Dixon and first performed by blues legend Muddy Waters. Page had originally adapted this song for "Led Zeppelin II" without mentioning Dixon in its songwriting credits. The band was eventually sued and Dixon was given the songwriter's credit and a portal of the royalties.
"Babe I'm Gonna Leave You"
"Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" is the best song for getting over a bad break-up, isn't it? Those angsty teenage years! Led Zeppelin sounded so wonderful back then (they still do actually). We do not want to be party poopers but this song was written by folk singer Annie Brendon and first performed by Joan Baez. When Led Zeppelin released their version of the song, no credit was given to Brendon, that is, till 1990. The singer also received a considerable amount of royalty back payments after being credited for the song in 1990.
"Dazed And Confused"
This song being in this list is another bummer, right? What to do? Page created this song based on Jack Holmes' eponymous track. Holmes was not credited for it till 2010 when he finally sued Page.
"Bring It On Home"
Led Zeppelin's version of the song was mostly original expect for the intro and outro, both of which acted as homage to the eponymous track by Sonny Boy Williamson. Dixon wrote the lyrics for the original song, but was not credited in the Led Zeppelin version till 1972.