The video below compares the Spirit song “Taurus” that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are being accused of having lifted with Led Zeppelin’s song “Stairway to Heaven.” Heard of it? Stairway, that is? Yeah we thought so. But Jimmy Page claims he had never heard the Spirit song before composing the signature start of Stairway, which became so iconic that guitar stores asked people testing out Gibsons not to pick its opening arpeggios.
A court will hear a copyright case against Page and Plant in May — and if they’re found to have borrowed key elements of “Taurus” it will be a costly bit of pilfering. “Stairway to Heaven” is said to be worth over half a billion dollars in royalties. Page has defended his composition in the past as being run-of-the-mill stuff, popular only after infused by Led Zeppelin’s unique power and sensibility. “I consider descending chromatic lines and arpeggiated chords basic skills learned by any student of the guitar,” Page has said. “Certainly, as a guitarist, I was aware of descending chromatic lines and arpeggios long before 1968.” The man who wrote Spirit’s “Taurus”, Randy Wolfe, is dead. Here is a comparison: