Spirits rise again.
Belated guitarist Randy “California” Wolfe never seemed to have had an issue with the intro of Taurus from his band Spirit first self-titled album and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to heaven” having the same chord progression. But blood is thicker than water (true meaning). 35 years later thanks to a trustee (reads like parasite) of the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust and a stone deaf (stoned and/or deaf) U.S. District Court judge the hunt for free money has opened on Jimmy Page (guitar) and Robert Plant (vocals) who co-wrote Stairway in 1970, to be released on Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, accordingly titled “IV” (aka the “Runes Album”).
But who’s to blame? Take a listen at the beautiful rendition of the popular American tune written by Arthur Hamilton “Cry me a river” by Davy Graham and decide if perhaps Spirit stole the riff first …
The whole story gets an ironic twist when both songs share the same melodic arpeggio with a 17th century baroque composition titled “Sonata di Chittarra, e Violino, con il suo Basso Continuo” written by Giovanni Battista Granata.
Let’s cut this one very short: one must conclude that both songs start with a common descending chromatic four-chord progression, and then go each other’s way. ‘Nuff said. No judges needed. No parasites rewarded. Only good sense and musical feeling.
Chord progressions can’t be copyrighted, which makes the assertion that they ripped off the chords from another song seem stupid; Western harmony is pretty limited, and most chord progressions are just substitutions of other chord progressions. You can’t copyright that or there would be like three or four normal sounding songs and the rest of music would be atonal.
For further listening on other interesting chord progression, we advise readers to have a listen to following musical pieces:
“Space Truckin'” (Deep Purple) Vs “Red Sea” by Warhorse (with Nick Simper, bassplayer, later in Deep Purple’s first line-up) – Warhorse, early Deep Purple and Black Sabbath share a lot together! And where do I recognize this “way down inside” screaming from … ?