View Poll Results: Sabbath or Zeppelin?

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Thread: Zeppelin vs Sabbath

  1. #91
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Room2201974 View Post
    So if I read a book that is half brilliant and have stolen material, it's still a plagiarised work. And the only recourse for the original author(s) of the stolen material is through the courts. This type of behavior is lower than a snakes belly in a wagon rut. And all Page and Plant had to do was acknowledge the original authorship from the beginning. But oh no, not from those macho s%$thead egos. Led Zeppelin, the China of rock and roll.

    36 songs on the first four albums. 11 rip offs...... That's a pattern that all of us should find inexcusable.

    https://liveforlivemusic.com/feature...ic-was-stolen/
    I read the above referenced article (I think I've read it before) and invite others to do likewise. The tone of the reporting is one of resignation, of sorrow rather than anger, and we learn of the plagiarising of others by others--a sad business surely. Yet the article's author ends by acknowledging the quality of the final product and he appears to still have the music of Led Zeppelin in his library:

    "When it’s all said and done, over their first four albums, a majority of the band’s songs were original compositions. While they ran into trouble during their earlier years, especially on their blues-laden debut album, Zeppelin paved their way to stardom by cultivating a unique and distinct sound, which is why they have remained so memorable for so many years."
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Aug-04-2019 at 12:23.

  2. #92
    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I agree that Zep's examples of cribbing without giving due credit was a blot on the 'scutcheon, but when we were teenagers a) did we know about it, and b) if we did, did we actually give a ****?
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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  4. #93
    Senior Member Room2201974's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    The Wikipedia entry on Music Plagiarism is interesting reading, especially the section titled "Cases". It seems we must jettison a lot, a whole lot, of popular music, be it Blues, Rock, Pop, as all sin is equally contemptible and inexcusable. A whole lot of plagiarizing goin' on. I admire Room2201974's zeal in eliminating the Led Zeppelin catalog in its entirety from his personal listening, but I cannot share in that zeal, as the results are so darn good--the final product redeems, for me, the sin. Again, Ars gratia artis.

    This discussion reminds me a bit of the Wagner as Anti-Semite arguments: must we jettison Wagner?
    Nowhere did I indicate that I have eliminated LZ's entire music catalog from consideration. What I have argued for is a simple belief that I cannot respect thieves. And neither should you. Your position is akin to giving praise and respect to Bernie Maddof for the few legal deals he did.

    If in any other field you had published a body of work with such a high percentage of stolen material......you'd be laughed right off your Millie Vanilli rear end and out of that field. Disgraced! Shamed! And if that field had the equivalent of a Hall of Fame.....you....would.....not....be...in...it!!!!!

    Was Led Zeppelin a talent laden band? Sure! But talented thieves.....are still thieves. And these are thieves who have shown a pattern of deception and lack of respect for original authors as if it was their inherent right to do so. I mean, come on now......you're rolling in money and drugs, you're worshipped and plastercasted for goodness sake.....and STILL you feel the need to steal someone else's work on your 4th album?????????

    LZ does have some great original music, true. So let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. Let's just recognize that the body of work contains a very stinky air that can never wash clean.

    I prefer bands who are original enough not to have to resort to a pattern of illegal musical theft. And I have great empathy for original authors who were denied artistic recognition and economic justice by the egos and greed of a couple of English rock performers.
    I wrote a song about dental floss. Did anyone's teeth get cleaner? ~ Frank Zappa

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  6. #94
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    ^^^^Question: do you have Led Zeppelin albums in your possession? I cannot get my mind around a scenario that easily combines the stinging, excoriating harshness of your rhetoric with your owning or listening to Led Zeppelin. I cannot see how we separate the baby from the bathwater, given your post--both must go out the window.

  7. #95
    Senior Member Room2201974's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    ^^^^Question: do you have Led Zeppelin albums in your possession? I cannot get my mind around a scenario that easily combines the stinging, excoriating harshness of your rhetoric with your owning or listening to Led Zeppelin. I cannot see how we separate the baby from the bathwater, given your post--both must go out the window.
    When I was a teenager I bought the 45 of Whole Lotta Love. I believe I still have that 45 in my attic, with no means to play it, nor any desire to. I have no LZ music in my CD collection and when I had vinyl albums, this ex radio announcer also had no LZ in that collection. But I've heard their body of work. Heck, even played it on the radio and covered their songs in concert.

    And then I went though an intensive self study on guitar of the blues originals....Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Howlin Wolf......at that point I began to lose respect for LZ. To have obtained success on the backs of other uncredited artists seemed to be another example of a cruel cultural appropriation. And oh so greedy too!

    To us blues afficandos back in the day it seemed incongruous that a band who claimed such inspiration from American blues, clearly had no respect for those who helped create it.
    Last edited by Room2201974; Aug-05-2019 at 05:09.
    I wrote a song about dental floss. Did anyone's teeth get cleaner? ~ Frank Zappa

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  9. #96
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    EY, I agree mostly with your post above, with the caveat that while many bands were influenced by Zeppelin, almost nobody ever replicated the rich and kaleidoscopic textures of Zeppelin's sonic tapestry behind Plant's vocals. Heart of course began by espousing some of the eclecticism of Zep, and even penned their own Kashmir in Mistral Wind. But Led Zeppelin's sound is unique in that it is rarely if ever (merely) a rhythm track/template to which the vocals/lyrics are fitted. There is always something going on behind Plant on a Zeppelin track, and that something is way more than what one hears on just about any other band's ''equivalent" track. Zeppelin stands (or soars) alone, far above any who assert their debt to the group.
    While true, I also think this statement would be true of most of the greatest musical artists (and composers, for that matter). When it comes to the greats, their influence rarely leads to perfect imitation; at best, it's usually future artists taking some part of that sound and/or style and infusing it with others. As I said elsewhere, the next generation of metal was, in large part, a combination of Zep's, Sabbath's, and Purple's influences, and the generation after that (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, etc.) threw punk into the mix, and the generation after that (Queensryche, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Opeth) threw prog into the mix.

  10. #97
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwv 1080 View Post
    But one can look at a zeppelin song and find elsewhere the pieces that went into it - Willie Dixon, Bert Jansch etc. what they did with the material they stole (which is what it was) from others was brilliantly remolded, But nothing like the song Black Sabbath had ever existed before 1969
    There's much that can be said of this. First of all, I'm reminded of the great TS Eliot quote that goes (paraphrased): bad artists borrow, great artists steal (and I paraphrase because both Stravinsky and Picasso have also uttered variations on this quote that's often attributed to them; rather ironic when you think about it). Second of all, it could be said that, when it comes to art, originality is really code for "an unrecognizable rearrangement of pre-existing ideas and material." True originality in art is almost non-existent. Every artist has influences, and those influences inevitably show up in their art even if it's not always in immediately recognizable ways. What the Eliot quote tells us is that what separates the greats from the rest isn't true originality, but the deftness with which the greats make their thefts their own.

    To extend the Eliot quote, he went on to say: "bad (artists) deface what they take, and good (artists) make it into something better, or at least something different." There's no way that someone can listen to Zeppelin's "sources" and then listen to Zeppelin and say, with a straight face, that they didn't either make it into something better or at least different. Stairway to Heaven takes one scale from a Spirit song and transforms it into one of the greatest masterpieces in all of popular music. Nobody, absolutely nobody, would claim the Spirit song is anywhere close to the quality of Stairway to Heaven (except, perhaps, rabid haters of Zeppelin). Likewise with Zeppelin's blues sources, there's no way to listen to both and say that Zeppelin are just mere imitators or copycats. In fact, it's possible to say that Zeppelin are at their worst the closer they are to their sources; the worst tracks on their debut LP are the outright covers (the same is often true of The Beatles' early albums).

    Finally, I'll say that I, for one, actually appreciate being able to hear the influences of artists in their music. There's a reason I started the (Favorite) Modern Pastiches thread and it's because I genuinely get a kick out of hearing artists imitating other styles. Part of it is because all art is made up of a combination of expectation and surprise, and imitating other artists/styles fulfills the expectation part, which makes it easier to appreciate the "surprise" part--or the part where the new artist adds their interpretation/style/stake on whatever it is they're imitating.

    As for Sabbath, while their sound had less of a precedent it was not wholly original either. Hendrix's Purple Haze was another song with a heavily distorted guitar intro playing a tritone. Vanilla Fudge already had the slowed down, heavy, sludgy sound going, with the main difference being they relied on the organ as much as the distorted guitar (thus making them a key influence on both Sabbath and Purple). Coven, who opened for Vanilla Fudge, were also full-on with the occult stuff (though they probably sound closer to Jefferson Airplane than Sabbath). Hell, Coven's first album opens with a song called Black Sabbath, and though the legend goes that the band (Sabbath) were named after a Karloff horror film, Geezer Butler has admitted Coven were an influence. What Sabbath did was take the heaviness/distortion and guitar/rhythm styles of Vanilla Fudge and Hendrix, combine it with the occult stuff of Coven, strip away the psychedelic elements, and the rest is history. Though I say hear less of these bands in Sabbath than Zep's influences in Zep, it's a matter of degrees, not kind.
    Last edited by Eva Yojimbo; Aug-05-2019 at 10:53.

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  12. #98
    Senior Member EddieRUKiddingVarese's Avatar
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    What I got against LZ is that it was just a money making venture (company) set up by Jimmy and Grant. purely designed to rip the pockets of unsuspecting teenagers who didn't understand what Page & Grant were up to.............. and the fact they deliberately ripped other musos off
    "Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes"

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  14. #99
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Room2201974 View Post
    So if I read a book that is half brilliant and have stolen material, it's still a plagiarised work. And the only recourse for the original author(s) of the stolen material is through the courts. This type of behavior is lower than a snakes belly in a wagon rut. And all Page and Plant had to do was acknowledge the original authorship from the beginning. But oh no, not from those macho s%$thead egos. Led Zeppelin, the China of rock and roll.

    36 songs on the first four albums. 11 rip offs...... That's a pattern that all of us should find inexcusable.

    https://liveforlivemusic.com/feature...ic-was-stolen/
    With that line of thinking, I guess you consider TS Eliot's The Waste Land a plagiarized work? It's made up (in no small part) of quotes from previous works, yet it's also considered the most influential (and even original) poem of the 20th century. Imagine that!

    Instead of just repeating the results from that list, let's actually go through it and exercise some critical thinking:

    Led Zeppelin I

    Babe I’m Gonna Leave You - As the article said, the most popular version was Baez's, who herself credited as "traditional." So Zeppelin weren't "stealing" when they credited as "trad. arr. by Page," they were just mistaken. It would make no sense for them, if they were falsely trying to take credit for it, to say it was "trad." at all, so it's beyond stupid to consider this a theft. Plus, it's impossible to listen to the earlier versions and not recognize how nearly unrecognizable Zep's version is musically.

    Dazed and Confused - I'm listening to the original. What Page took was the descending chromatic lick and the call-and-response bit, but other than they're entirely different. The original completely lacks the electric sledgehammer of Zep's when the breaks come in and the tempo speeds up. Hell, one of the best parts of Zep's is the solo, and Holmes's solo is entirely different, far more eerily psychedelic than Page's blues barnburner.

    Black Mountain Side - Actually fairly close here. Page fleshes out the instrumental part some, but I'd say this is far closer than the above.

    How Many More Times - As the article says, it's a medley of pre-existing stuff, and as such sounds different and leaves quite a different impression than any of the other pieces on their own. This is basically Zeppelin doing "sampling" before sampling was a thing, and montage of this sort takes talent in its own right.

    So of this first album, I'd say only Black Mountain Side and How Many More Times outright qualify as "thefts." Babe... was an accidental miscredit, and sounds so different from the originals it should hardly count as theft, and similarly Dazed takes two small ideas from its source and does completely different things with them. That kind of "theft" is rampant in music, and if we're going to condemn Zeppelin for that then our hit list would grow exponentially beyond them quickly.

    Led Zeppelin II

    Whole Lotta Love - Zeppelin stole the lyrics. Who TF cares? Most all blues lyrics are variations on the same theme and are, by far, the most unoriginal aspect of the genre. This song was a hit because of its iconic riff, the psychedelic breakdown, and the thunderous re-entry/solo into the recapitulation. So, basically, everything that makes this song famous has everything to do with Zep and nothing to do with what they stole.

    The Lemon Song - Probably the closest one so far. This I have no problem calling "theft" (it's also one of the least interesting tracks on the album, IMO).

    Moby Dick - The riffs are kinda similar, but it's also very typical blues stuff so it's a stretch to call it theft, and the piece is, as the article admits, mostly a showcase for Bonham's drumming.

    Bring It On Home - Agree with the article: intro and ending (about half the song) is a direct copy of its predecessor, the middle is entirely original. So, half-theft.

    So of this second album, I'd say 1.5 thefts. I don't give a rat's ****** about the stolen lyrics (who listens to blues/Zeppelin for lyrics?), the riff in Moby Dick isn't the point and both it and the "original" are so typical blues stuff that that it's hard to call such prototypical stuff "theft," and only half of Bring it On Home is theft.

    Led Zeppelin III

    Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You - It is basically a cover of that M Grape song, and while I don't mind calling this "theft," I'd put it squarely in the class of what I said above about theft being when an artist makes something their own. The Grape version is so subdued and lifeless by comparison. Zep's is so much more vital and dynamic. Grape's sounds like pretty typical blues, Zep just channels the desperation so much vividly with Plant's wails, Page's licks, and that rhythm section's tempo fluctuations and changes.

    Hats Off To (Roy) Harper - A medley much like How Many More Times. Theft? OK, but, again, still takes talent to pull off convincingly.

    So of this third album, I don't have a problem calling both of these thefts, though the first case is theft in the best sense; taking something uneventful and making it great.

    Led Zeppelin IV

    Stairway to Heaven - As I mentioned above, it's absurd to call this theft. Page takes one guitar scale/chord progression and that's it. It's an awesome scale/chord progression, but it's only one small part of what makes up this masterpiece.

    ***************

    So, my scorecard is quite different from that site. I have a total of 5.5 thefts. Of those, two are medleys, the half is only half of a song, one is a vast improvement on its source material, and the last, and probably the only one I'd consider egregious, is The Lemon Song. At this point, I'm pretty convinced that people complaining about Zeppelin "stealing" are about as credible as people complaining of The Patriots cheating; it's been proven that The Patriots have cheated as much as the average NFL team. They've been accused of it more (and it's made more news) because they win so much. Same is true for Zep. They steal probably as much as the average artist (especially working in a genre as theft-heavy as the blues), and the only reason they've been under such scrutiny is because they've won so much. It's more a comment on their reputation than their talent.
    Last edited by Eva Yojimbo; Aug-05-2019 at 11:46.

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  16. #100
    Senior Member EddieRUKiddingVarese's Avatar
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    ^ I bet Plant/ Page would read cr@p apologetics for themselves all the time and laugh themselves stupid at it.
    "Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes"

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  18. #101
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EddieRUKiddingVarese View Post
    What I got against LZ is that it was just a money making venture (company) set up by Jimmy and Grant. purely designed to rip the pockets of unsuspecting teenagers who didn't understand what Page & Grant were up to.............. and the fact they deliberately ripped other musos off
    What hogwash. LZ were a band set up like any other band to make music and only became a "company" when they ended up being better at doing that than most all other bands at the time. You can't just successfully design any musical act to "rip the pockets of unsuspecting teenagers" if said teenagers don't like the music; and if you were, indeed, going to attempt such a thing you probably wouldn't construct a band who were "ripping off" old (and unpopular at the time) blues guys; you'd be taking the path of least resistance and offering pop fluff imitating stuff like The Archies' Sugar Sugar, or funk/soul stuff like Sly and the Family Stone, or hippie anthems like Aquarius... or any number of other things besides blues rock.

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  20. #102
    Senior Member EddieRUKiddingVarese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eva Yojimbo View Post
    What hogwash. LZ were a band set up like any other band to make music and only became a "company" when they ended up being better at doing that than most all other bands at the time. You can't just successfully design any musical act to "rip the pockets of unsuspecting teenagers" if said teenagers don't like the music; and if you were, indeed, going to attempt such a thing you probably wouldn't construct a band who were "ripping off" old (and unpopular at the time) blues guys; you'd be taking the path of least resistance and offering pop fluff imitating stuff like The Archies' Sugar Sugar, or funk/soul stuff like Sly and the Family Stone, or hippie anthems like Aquarius... or any number of other things besides blues rock.
    Read your rock history - Jimmy had to put together a band with Grant to complete contractual obligations playing as the New Yardbirds- that's how it started.................
    "Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes"

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  22. #103
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EddieRUKiddingVarese View Post
    ^ I bet Plant/ Page would read cr@p apologetics for themselves all the time and laugh themselves stupid at it.
    Well, here I am requesting critical thought and I get hit with such piercingly insightful commentary such as this. What is one to do in response except offer congrats to their profound interlocutor and proceed to hide their shame in the sand dunes of time?

    (And, in all seriousness, was that interview clip meant to prove something? Because all I heard were three guys have a lark in a conversation... typical late night talk show business).

  23. #104
    Senior Member EddieRUKiddingVarese's Avatar
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    "Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes"

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  25. #105
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EddieRUKiddingVarese View Post
    Read your rock history - Jimmy had to put together a band with Grant to complete contractual obligations playing as the New Yardbirds- that's how it started.................
    That's an extremely abbreviated view of their history. By '68 The Yardbirds' commercial success had radically declined, Page had all but taken over the musical direction of the band, and two of the members had left for good despite having scheduled tour dates for that summer. Page had little choice but to "reform the band" to fulfill those obligations, and was given permission to do so. He'd already worked with John Paul Jones before, so that was an easy choice. His first choice for vocalist declined, but recommended Plant, who in turn recommended Bonham. The band completed the tour dates and, afterwards, received a cease-and-desist letter to stop using The Yardbirds name, and that's when they (officially) became Led Zeppelin.

    I don't see where in this you're getting they were "a money making venture (company) set up by Jimmy and Grant." They were a band set up by Page, because his old band had abandoned him, who first had to fulfill tour obligations (thanks to the unprofessional actions of the previous band members) and, afterwards, decided to stay together because they were damn good together. Had the '68 summer tour gone badly, I'm guessing they would've parted ways either partially or wholly. This kind of stuff happens all the time in rock; band members come and go, bands split up, form other bands with other band members. There aren't many bands you can name that have had a single lineup throughout their entire careers.

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