Stairway To Taurus?

A Philadelphia judged has ruled that the copyright infringement case against Led Zeppelin may move forward and ordered it be transferred to federal court in Los Angeles.



At issue is the opening of the enormous hit song “Stairway to Heaven.”

Plaintiffs claim that the chord progression was taken from the song “Taurus” by the band Spirit who toured with Led Zeppelin in the late 60s.


The family of Randy California, who brought the case, are seeking credit on the song and a share in royalties. This is not the first time the Led Zeppelin has been challenged and the band has had to share credit on at least four other songs.


25 Comments on Stairway To Taurus?

  1. Fortunately they jumped on this infringement quickly.

    Can you imagine if they had waited 46 years instead of just 45 years to address this issue?

  2. What Led Zeppelin did with what sounds like some wandering noodling from Spirit seven years earlier made that cord progression part of a piece for the ages.

    I mean, I’m as tired of hearing Stairway to Heaven as anybody who works in a guitar store – but taken as a whole there’s a lot more to the entire song than the opening acoustic guitar solo.

  3. I always thought it was a guitar version of a common piano practice piece. There are several of them that work you either up or down the keyboard, and it sounds just like one I did at least 100 times on the piano as a kid.
    Luckily I got to escape the piano and move over to the accordion.

  4. Manderin – Get a copy of ‘The Best of Spirit’ – a good collection of some great Spirit songs. They were really a good band, with good song writing.
    Ironically, I would not rate Taurus as even in the top ten or fifteen Spirit songs.

  5. Bullfuckingshit. Given enough time I could cite 10 songs with the same progression. There’s only 11 keys. I’ve been playing music for over 30 years. There are only so many progressions.

  6. If you play Stairway along with the recording of Taurus, it’s nearly identical. Tried it on my guitar and Bingo! Spirit was epic, and I miss them.

  7. Something, by the Beatles… same A minor descending contrapuntal.

    Let It Rain, Clapton… same A minor descending contrapuntal.

  8. Ralph Vaughan Williams used it, I think, and Grieg.

    It’s a common counterpoint in the minor keys. The tonic descends chromatically against the pedal.

    In Am it’s A G# G F#. Common as toilet paper.

  9. this is such horseshit …. maybe I’ll copyright the whole pentatonic scale & sue every rock & roll & blues guitarist that ever lived

    every artist copies from every other artist … get over it

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