Led zepplin thievery

I am shocked.

I don’t know if this has been discussed here before (I couldn’t find it by searching) but what the fuck, Mr. Jimmy Page?

I love your arrangements and your guitar work but when you steal errrrr I mean borrow and improve a song (or two, or three, or four) you should give the original creator SOME credit, I would think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyvLsutfI5M

Comments?

Maybe if you could spell Led Zeppelin properly you could search for them.

Cultural Heresy: Dylan and Led Zeppelin are “song theives”?

Led Zeppelin - shameless copiers so it seems.

Heh, it was a real blast to first hear some of the original old blues recordings of songs Led Zeppelin later made famous - a very surreal “WTF?” moment, for me at least, as I wasn’t previously aware the Zeppelin versions were covers. :smiley:

thanks! I figured this must have been here before.

Not to diminish your shock, but this has been a common criticism leveled against them for quite some time now (I assume since the beginning of their career, but I wasn’t around for that.)

Yes, they borrowed the feel a lot of songs, and outright ripped off others. I think Jimmy Page playing dumb and saying he never heard “Dazed and Confused” by Jimmy Holmes and then happens to come up with pretty much exactly the same song with the same hook is complete bullshit.

I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to accusations of plagiarism in the musical world, because I know how easy it can be to subconsciously internalize another tune and then have it creep up in your compositions. Also, there’s much to be said for coincidence. Melodies and chord progressions will repeat themselves just by coincidence eventually. I’ve heard music on the radio where significant parts of the song remind me of something my brother or I or some friends composed or noodled around with years ago, and there’s no chance it could have been ripped off.

That said, to me, it’s clear that Led Zeppelin stole some (well, many) compositions without crediting the original artist. I’m not sure what the culture was at the time (borrowing and reworking songs has a long history in music) but what they did is certainly unacceptable given the standards of today (and, I’m guessing, back when they were writing and recording, too, but I don’t want to make any definitive statements.) But I still love the music.

Led Zep were rather notorious for heavy and unacknowledged borrowing early in their career. They have paid several settlements in this regard.

It should be noted that this is not at all uncommon in the history of blues. To begin with, blues started out as a form of folk music, and part of the “folk process” involves modifying existing songs, sticking a piece from one song into another, etc. Even in the era of recording and copyrighting, there was a lot of overlap across songs, and it continues today.

As one example… take “Someday Baby”, which is a song on Bob Dylan’s 2006 album Modern Times. Although he takes sole writer’s credit for the song, it’s clearly based on “Trouble No More” by Muddy Waters (famously covered by the Allman Brothers). But wait… “Trouble No More” is simply a variant of Big Maceo’s “Worried Life Blues”. And both of them come from an earlier song by Sleepy John Estes, called… “Someday Baby Blues.” And do you really think Sleepy John didn’t base that song on something he heard somebody else do?

Another example would be “Rollin and Tumblin” of the same Dylan album, credited to Dylan himself. But didn’t he steal it from Muddy Waters? Yes, but wait, then there is “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day” by Robert Johnson, recorded in 1936. This must be the original source… except there was “Roll And Tumble Blues” by … and so on and on … for the whole story read the Wiki article.

The difference is that nobody made any or much money from the songs before the blues revival of the sixties. But even though the ‘original’ songwriters were paid royalties after sueing Led Zep (I think Willie Dixon got some share), you only can be sure that they were the first who credited the songs as their own, but not that they really were the original writers.

I never knew how deep this joke went until now. I just thought it meant Led Zeppelin was influenced heavily by the blues but never acknowledged it.

LZ may have taken credit for writing those songs, but they were hardly alone in being influenced by the blues (or American music in general). Go listen to any of the early records by British Invasion bands and you’ll hear blues covers. It was a huge status symbol back in those formative years to have a massive collection of blues and soul LPs. Everyone from Jimmy to Eric Clapton to Pete Townshend to Jeff Beck to just about anyone who started a band in those days started off by trying to copy stuff they heard on those records.

The difference was that while Eric Clapton would go out of his way to track down the heirs of blues composers to make sure they got their royalties, Led Zeppelin never even acknowledged that they stole anything unless sued.

Doing covers is fine. Screwing the artists out of their rightful royalties is not.