Is it plagiarism?

Slingwig26

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I watched a special on the making of Physical Graffiti over the weekend and a portion of it focused on how Zeppelin took old blues tunes and plagiarized these artists using the language “put their stamp on them”. I’ve heard this before, the latest being the Spirit/Stairway To Heaven lawsuit from a couple years back. The special played snippets of the original recordings first and then Zep’s recordings. It was to brief to hear a similarity other than similar words such as Neil Young’s “Down By The River” and “Down By The Seaside”, or the words “Custard Pie”.

So yesterday I listened to the full recordings and quite honestly I don’t hear plagiarized songs. Okay, maybe “Boogie With Stu” but that just seems like a jam based on an old rock tune they knew as teenagers that they did for fun and it turned into something they included. I genuinely don’t think that there is a running intent to rip off other artists. Blind Boy Fuller and Zeppelin using custard pie as a euphemism for two completely different sounding songs doesn’t seem to be plagiarism.

I may just not understand the intricacies of songwriting legalities, but blatant stealing I don’t hear.
I would say a case could be made for some, but not all the accusations.
The Stairway to Heaven does not sound like the Spirit song in question, but lyrically, they out and out stole verses practically verbatim, and it only took 20 years to catch up to them....DAMN internet!
and i LOVE led zeppelin, for all their triumphs! and all their faults....candygram...half a gram....mudshark.....
 

cobaltspike

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I always thought Zep’s “Baby I’m Gonna Leave You” and Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4” shared an almost identical motif. The odd thing is that they came out at nearly the same time IIRC.

Beginning at 2:23:

Opening:
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You is a song that Joan Biaz wrote.
 

Matched Gripper

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Baez didn't write it -- she did a cover, like Zeppelin. Anne Bredon wrote the original.

Neither the Baez nor the Bredon versions have the LZ / Chicago riff in them.
That riff is so powerful and iconic, and so similar, is it possible that it appears in a LZ song and a Chicago song, recorded near the same time, by coincidence?
 


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