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‘Stairway to Heaven’ and 5 Other Alleged Song Ripoffs

For boomers who grew up playing air guitar to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” it’s mind-blowing to think that the 1971 classic rock standard might actually have been copied from another song. Lawyers for the estate of the late Spirit guitarist Randy California reportedly are planning to file a suit claiming that the opening riff in “Stairway” was ripped off from Spirit’s considerably less famous 1968 song “Taurus.”

Thanks to a helpful YouTuber, you can listen to a comparison between the two songs.

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It’s not the first time that a music icon has been accused of melodic appropriation. Here are some other notable examples:




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