ZEPPELIN TOOK MY BLUES AWAY Trading Cards – An Illustrated History Of Copyright Indiscretions! …plus 25 Track Various Artists Collection

#0 Zeppelin Took My Blues Away FrontThey’re one of rock’s greatest bands. They’re also one of rock’s worst… when it comes to properly crediting their sources of inspiration. Led Zeppelin’s many incidents of copyright infringement are legendary. There are those who have called it outright theft, and have sworn in a court of law that Led Zeppelin (primarily Jimmy Page and Robert Plant) have repeatedly taken credit for writing music that wasn’t their’s to take credit for. And, many of those cases have been vindicated. Of course… this is not to take away from Led Zeppelin’s greatness; the amazing arrangements, renditions, covers, interpretations, performances and history they’ve created and been a part of. But, the truth is they’ve become rich partly from royalties they were never entitled to. Jimmy Page was uncharacteristically candid on the subject when he spoke to Guitar Player Magazine in 1993, downplaying his own culpability while simultaneously throwing his partner, Robert Plant, under the bus. “I always tried to bring something fresh to anything that I used. I always made sure to come up with some variation. In fact, I think in most cases, you would never know what the original source could be. Maybe not in every case – but in most cases. So most of the comparisons rest on the lyrics. And Robert was supposed to change the lyrics, and he didn’t always do that – which is what brought on most of the grief. They couldn’t get us on the guitar parts of the music, but they nailed us on the lyrics. We did, however, take some liberties (laughs), I must say.” Note that Page says, “Robert was supposed to change the lyrics…” which might accidentally say a lot more about their process than Page intended.

Trading Card #1 is below, to illustrate what you’ll find with each card. Click for a pop-up enlargement. Streaming players of the songs are provided for comparisons. Collect Them All! (plus a bonus card)!

TRADING CARD #1: Jake Holmes (Click For A Pop-Up Enlargement)
#1 JAKE HOLMES#1.1Dazed And Confused

LED ZEPPELIN “Dazed And Confused” 1969

JAKE HOLMES “Dazed And Confused” 1967


click a title, any title
#1 JAKE HOLMESDazed And Confused
#2 BERT JANSCH Black Mountain Side
#3 HOWLIN’ WOLFHow Many More Times
#4 ANNE BREDONBabe I’m Gonna Leave You
#5 WILLIE DIXONWhole Lotta Love
#6 HOWLIN’ WOLFThe Lemon Song
#7 WILLIE DIXONBring It On Home
#8 BUKKA WHITEHats Off To (Roy) Harper
#9 BOB MOSLEYSince I’ve Been Loving You
#10 BERT JANSCHBron-Y-Aur-Stomp
#11 RANDY CALIFORNIAStairway To Heaven
#12 MEMPHIS MINNIEWhen The Levee Breaks
#15 RITCHIE VALENSBoogie With Stu
#16 BLIND WILLIE JOHNSONNobody’s Fault But Mine
#17 DAVY GRAHAMWhite Summer
#18 SLEEPY JOHN ESTESThe Girl I Love She Got Long Wavy Black Hair
Bonus Card: HONORABLE MENTIONS (“You Shook Me,” “Communication Breakdown,” “Thank You,” “Gallows Pole,” “Tangerine,” “Black Dog,” “Rock And Roll”)

FrontZeppelin Took My Blues Away (2014)
25 Tracks Led Zeppelin Took To The Bank

Many of these tracks, which form the basis for quite a number of Led Zeppelin’s earlier recordings, have found their way onto “Roots Of” Zep collections before, so this gathering is nothing new. Many already know this story, and these songs, but those that haven’t stayed abreast of the decades of abuse Zep has endured for their costly “borrowing” from others just might be shocked at what they hear on this collection. Of course, musicians borrow from each other all the time. Zeppelin were just way too blatant about it, and way too often took the credit (and royalties) for themselves. And, depending on how you slice it, this is only the half of it. On its own, this is a fun, mostly old blues collection made up of all the original songs heard on these pages… with a strangely familiar twist.

JAKE HOLMES Dazed And Confused (3:48)
BERT JANSCH Blackwaterside (3:45)
HOWLIN’ WOLF No Place To Go (a.k.a. How Many More Years) (2:53)
ALBERT KING The Hunter (2:46)
JOAN BAEZ Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You (2:39)
MUDDY WATERS You Need Love (2:43)
SMALL FACES You Need Loving (4:00)
HOWLIN’ WOLF Killing Floor (2:49)
ROBERT JOHNSON Travelling Riverside Blues (2:39)
SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON Bring It On Home (2:38)
BUKKA WHITE Shake ‘Em On Down (3:02)
MOBY GRAPE Never (6:15)
BERT JANSCH The Waggoner’s Lad (3:26)
KANSAS JOE McCOY & MEMPHIS MINNIE When The Levee Breaks (3:11)
SPIRIT Taurus (2:37)
SLEEPY JOHN ESTES Drop Down Mama (3:12)
BLIND BOY FULLER I Want Some Of Your Pie (2:45)
JOSH WHITE Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed (a.k.a. In My Time Of Dying) (3:06)
RITCHIE VALENS Ooh, My Head (1:47)
BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine (3:11)
SLEEPY JOHN ESTES The Girl I Love, She Got Long Curly Hair (2:58)
BOBBY PARKER Watch Your Step (2:44)

THANKS: The “Zeppelin Took My Blues Away” Trading Cards are a new twist, but the information is not new. The band’s history of infringement – real and imagined – is well-documented, and thanks must go to numerous informational sources for the help, including The Led Zeppelin Home Page, Wiki, ASCAP, Turn Me On Dead Man, Perfect Sound Forever, Now That’s What I Call Bullshit and a few other places. And, of course… many apologies to R. Crumb, as we’ll as William Stout, whose illustrations on this post are from his book, Legends Of The Blues, available HERE (and autographed). Some details may change with the 2014 re-issues still coming out. We’ll update as we can. Frankly, I’m mostly interested in who sees the humor in all this and who gets their panties in a twist… like some did on the Neil Young String Theory post (HERE).


  • Willard
    June 4, 2014 - 08:19 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • buzzbabyjesus
    June 4, 2014 - 09:40 | Permalink

    You know I love this. I see that “White Summer”, Jimmy’s total ripoff of Davy Grahams interpretation of “She Moves Through The Fair” is included in the new re-issuse of “Led Zeppelin”. I wonder what the writing credit is this go-round.

    Here’s Davy


    • Willard
      June 4, 2014 - 09:45 | Permalink

      Same as it ever was… written by Jimmy Page.

  • Paul
    June 4, 2014 - 09:58 | Permalink

    Not forgetting Leadbelly’s “Gallis Pole”

    • Willard
      June 4, 2014 - 10:00 | Permalink

      Not forgotten… referenced on the “Bonus Card.”

    • Anonymous
      June 25, 2014 - 20:48 | Permalink

      Lead Belly ripped it off. It’s an old English folk tune from the 1700’s

  • Fourcade
    June 4, 2014 - 10:20 | Permalink

    Never new they even nailed the great Bert Jansch… Cheeky guys…
    BTW my daughter who is a Led fan (well, same as I), I’ll give her this to shock her,
    as you mention above ;-)
    Thanks a lot!! for this great comp. Cheers from Spain.

  • Gummo
    June 4, 2014 - 10:29 | Permalink

    I guess the bottom line is, Plant & Page are sons-of-bitches, but goddam it, they’re fucking talented sons-of-bitches.

    Thanks for this!

    • cole
      June 26, 2014 - 13:47 | Permalink

      not talented enough to write songs tho

  • Telemaster17
    June 4, 2014 - 10:38 | Permalink

    Love this site, and especially loved this post. And I’d love to see a similar expose on BOB… his first few albums have their share of borrowings, only he changed lyrics where Zeppelin moved music. Thanks so much!

    • pete
      June 4, 2014 - 13:47 | Permalink

      Bob rewrote words but he did nick themes & phrases as well as tunes, for example:
      The Parting Glass —> Restless Farewell
      The Patriot Game —> With God on Our Side
      Down on Penny’s Farm —> Hard Times in New York

      YouTube has them, just search. More recently, aside from Rollin’ and Tumblin’, there are:
      Red Sails in the Sunset —> Beyond the Horizon
      Snuggled on Your Shoulder —> Floater
      Titanic [the Carter Family one] —> Tempest

      Now, I’d say Dylan improved every one of them, but then I would, I’m a big fan. Some were out of copyright, but the first two at the time certainly were not. From memory, Liam Clancy talked somewhere about Dylan playing him the newly written With God on Our Side, and Liam said, hey, that’s The Patriot Game, which we do, to which Bobby replied “You do?” and Liam said, “Bobby, I saw you in the audience last week when we did it.” Something like that. It was all recounted with great good humor.

      • Anonymous
        June 25, 2014 - 20:50 | Permalink

        The carter Family never wrote an original,tune. AP carter would find tunes in the deep woods, then copyright under his name? Talk about a plagiarist

  • Paul
    June 4, 2014 - 10:45 | Permalink

    Peter Green nicked the melody from Howlin’ Wolf”s “Who’s been talking” for “I loved another woman”. I think that is relatively common. Zeppelin were in a different league. They barely bothered to change the words for “Levee breaks”.

    • Anonymous
      June 25, 2014 - 20:52 | Permalink

      Memphis Minnie is listed as a writer along with the lads. This was properly credited.

      • Steve
        June 27, 2014 - 15:27 | Permalink

        Only after she sued them. The first pressing did not credit her.

  • rochacrimson
    June 4, 2014 - 15:59 | Permalink

    Simply amazing!
    Thank you!

  • Steve626
    June 4, 2014 - 15:59 | Permalink

    Thanks for this one. While I know most of this, it is brilliantly executed and a real hoot! This is why the Wormhole is my favorite site!

  • Bruce
    June 4, 2014 - 17:58 | Permalink

    Laughed ’til it hurt!

  • 3410
    June 4, 2014 - 20:34 | Permalink

    W., you never cease to amaze.

  • Grant
    June 4, 2014 - 21:27 | Permalink

    SO, so, so good and so fun. Thanks for this great post, Willard. And for what it’s worth, maybe this should dampen my enthusiasm for all things Zep (much like the eternal plagiarism charges against Dylan) but it doesn’t. Love their stuff, and love the roots music they so liberally borrowed from.

    • Willard
      June 4, 2014 - 21:49 | Permalink

      They’re one of the greats. Just lousy attributors.

  • joao
    June 4, 2014 - 21:28 | Permalink

    Oh Willards that’s the reason that I love yolu !

  • gmb
    June 4, 2014 - 21:52 | Permalink

    i’ve been telling my pals (for years) about this b.s. and now I have “proof”…….
    you’re the best!!! altho’ this one didn’t tickle my funny bone as much as your “string theory” did (which is STILL hilarious!). i am (however) surprised that more folks aren’t angry with you!!
    as great performers and interpreters and artists that they were……taking credit (where it CLEARLY is not due……..) will have to be answered to at a “later” time……(when all those dudes will get together and probably beat the hell out of Pagey & Plant……….can you imagine Howlin’ Wolf pissed off at you?????
    Thanks again Willard…

    • Willard
      June 5, 2014 - 01:01 | Permalink

      “i am (however) surprised that more folks aren’t angry with you!!”

      Give ’em time.

      • June 16, 2014 - 17:59 | Permalink

        Many bands borrow but then give credit. I like some Zep songs, but after learning the extent to which they STOLE both lyrics and music, it is hard for me to respect their actions, although I still enjoy listening, albeit maybe not as much.

  • bslakie
    June 4, 2014 - 22:05 | Permalink

    I love how this has come to the Wormhole’s attention, as the family of Randy California is contesting the Stairway rights. You are a sly fox Willard….love ya for it!

  • pjr
    June 5, 2014 - 01:13 | Permalink

    They only stole from the best and The reinterpretations are definitely worthy,pity about the credits.The 2014 remasterings actually sound great,Im throwing out my previous copies as they have always sounded terrible.

  • aildoux
    June 5, 2014 - 09:03 | Permalink

    Thanks for this and a special thanks for the Robert Crumb cards. Love his artwork style.

  • sluggo
    June 5, 2014 - 10:04 | Permalink

    love it !!!

  • Anonymous
    June 5, 2014 - 14:46 | Permalink

    A truly fantastic post! Thank you.

  • Timmy
    June 5, 2014 - 18:24 | Permalink

    A much needed compilationing of politically correctness.

  • rap
    June 5, 2014 - 20:12 | Permalink

    Love it. Thanks, W.

  • FrankZappelin
    June 5, 2014 - 20:30 | Permalink

    As you can tell by the portmanteau name, I AM a fan of Zep’s. I make no excuses or apologies for the above mention “misappropriations”. (Not my fault). I LOVE this collection, some of which was on a CD from UNCUT magazine a few years back titled “Roots of Led Zeppelin”. The trading cards are genius. Can anyone confirm, I believe I had read that Black Dog from LZ IV borrowed from a Muddy Waters tune off of the Electric Mud LP?

    Also, I’d like to mention, if it hadn’t been for Zep, Clapton, Stones etc. I personally wouldn’t have discovered Muddy, Wolf, Willie Dixon etc. how/when I did. The greatest thread to come from Zep leading to the discovery of real blues was seeing Willie Dixon at a record store promoting his book, I AM THE BLUES. (I think this was in 1989). He walked out, too sharp in an all white suit/hat/tie, to an enraptured crowd who gave him a standing ovation. When a teenage metal head, with all the markings (fringe leather jacket, long hair, crappy band logo on black t-shirt) didn’t know who he was, he turned to a petite suburban mom-type to ask who that was. She replied, exasperated: “Go home and look at the credits in your Zeppelin albums.” She paused, considered, then added: “Wait. How old are you? Look at a Megadeth album”, then walked away quickly, leaving said metalhead agape and stunned. Priceless!

    • Willard
      June 5, 2014 - 20:39 | Permalink

      Funny story, thanks. Not sure about the Electric Mud connection, but we’ve got that album in the archives if you want to check (HERE). There are about a half dozen “Roots of” Zeppelin albums that have had a variation of some of these tracks, and others. We’ve got a couple of MOJOs in the archives that have the same theme (see HERE).

  • The Chairman
    June 6, 2014 - 03:26 | Permalink

    An elucidation! My pulitzer nomination of this year: thanks, Cap’n!

  • AussieJohn
    June 6, 2014 - 03:56 | Permalink

    In some sort of defense of Page and Plant, I’m a (very) amateur song writer.
    I’m currently working with a cool chord progression and putting words to it.
    I won’t be at all surprised if someone in the band says “oy – that’s whatsit by thingo”.
    I will however die from shock if the words (in sequence) have been used by someone before.
    It’s hard folks with a limited number of chords and notes….

  • Rhod
    June 6, 2014 - 18:11 | Permalink

    Greats share. Nice to compare the original to the adapted version.



  • buzzbabyjesus
    June 7, 2014 - 10:31 | Permalink

    Here is another “card” contender. “You Need Loving” by the Small Faces, where you’ll find the DNA to “Whole Lotta Love”.


    It’s a Willie Dixon song written for Muddy Waters.

    • Willard
      June 7, 2014 - 11:13 | Permalink

      Thanks Buzz, but it’s already included on Card #5, Willie Dixon.

      • buzzbabyjesus
        June 9, 2014 - 16:24 | Permalink

        My bad. So much detail boggles the mind in a good way.

  • budokan
    June 7, 2014 - 18:17 | Permalink

    string theory still has me laughing …

  • June 10, 2014 - 08:02 | Permalink

    Mojo had a “Roots of Zeppelin” CD a while back; this is even better. The trading cards are particularly hilarious — I had no idea about the Moby Grape lift. And I still consider myself a huge Zeppelin fan.

    June 10, 2014 - 17:04 | Permalink

    After readin this, I don’t feel so bad about my latest southern metal composition, ‘Stairway to Freebird’.


  • June 10, 2014 - 23:44 | Permalink

    Oh, and one more you can add to Volume 2 — Plant’s wordless howl on “Immigrant Song” was first heard as the theme to Get Smart. Here’s a sloppy mashup for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zo3ZBFLN_M

  • Pet
    June 12, 2014 - 14:03 | Permalink

    Sorry if this was covered (!) already…


    • Willard
      June 12, 2014 - 14:08 | Permalink

      I’m gathering that people aren’t that interested in reading the cards.

  • Pet
    June 12, 2014 - 14:08 | Permalink

    …and sorry I can’t remove my comment, I see the Waters original is even on the album… I was being too hasty with this :) Thanks for the album, can’t wait to digest it all…

    • Willard
      June 12, 2014 - 14:30 | Permalink

      No prob… it just reminded me that it’s all about presentation. I’ve now added the more recognizable song titles for everybody. Thanks.

  • Grant
    June 13, 2014 - 13:57 | Permalink

    I keep coming back to this post…. love, love the way you set it up to compare each track one by one. Awesome!@!

  • FallenAngel
    June 22, 2014 - 04:28 | Permalink

    Thanks for this – It’s interesting to note how Mr Plant now makes a point of crediting his sources very clearly during his live shows with his current band. A lesson learned the hard way, perhaps?

    Fwiw, I have a similar compilation called ‘The Blues Roots Of Led Zeppelin’ (Catfish Records, 2000) – it has these 17 tracks:

    01 Memphis Minnie – When The Levee Breaks
    02 Sonny Boy Williamson – Sugar Mama
    03 Josh White – Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed
    04 Blind Willie Johnson – Nobody’s Fault But Mine
    05 Robert Johnson – Traveling Riverside Blues
    06 Sleepy John Estes – The Girl I Love She Got Long Curly Hair
    07 Bukka White – Shake ‘Em On Down
    08 Blind Boy Fuller – I Want Some Of Your Pie
    09 Leadbelly – Gallis Pole
    10 Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup – My Mama Don’t Allow Me
    11 Sonny Boy Williamson – My Baby I’ve Been Your Slave
    12 Bukka White – Fixin’ To Die
    13 John Lee Hooker – Boogie Chillen
    14 Oscar Woods – Lone Wolf Blues
    15 Sonny Boy Williamson – Got The Bottle Up And Gone
    16 Big Bill Broonzy – Truckin’ Little Woman
    17 St. Louis Jimmy Oden – Going Down Slow 3:11

    There’s some overlap between it and ZTMBA but even so, I think there are a few gaps filled. I can’t find it anywhere on this site (although maybe I’m looking in the wrong places!) – so I’ve put up a zipped mp3~320 link at ZS, if anyone wants it (not my rip, though, so thanks must go to the original uploader – I think I may have found it at Pl*x*d but can’t be 100% sure):


  • Fonzie
    June 23, 2014 - 12:13 | Permalink

    Great Job!
    I can’t resist chiming in that for many years Jimmy Page claimed to have played the revolutionary lead guitar part on “You Really Got Me” –which was, of course, played by Dave Davies.
    (See http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jun/10/how-we-made-you-really-got-me)

  • June 23, 2014 - 13:43 | Permalink

    This is killer and really well documented. Willard!!
    Have you thought of adding these to h1tchr and building up a map of related songs?

    • Willard
      June 23, 2014 - 17:38 | Permalink

      Thanks, but decided to do it here instead.

  • Mister D
    June 24, 2014 - 10:26 | Permalink

  • Hank Cash
    June 24, 2014 - 15:01 | Permalink

    So why on God’s green earth didn’t the original authors sue immediately? In the case of Jake Holmes, how stupid is he?

    • Willard
      July 7, 2014 - 23:03 | Permalink

      Stupid? Sure… he could have sued them when the LP peaked at #10 on Billboard’s charts. He instead sued them after the album sold over 10 million copies.

  • 88keys
    June 24, 2014 - 17:28 | Permalink

    enjoyed the article. NO IDEA IS ORIGINAL.

  • w4rbler
    June 25, 2014 - 09:36 | Permalink

    The irony drips when you write about theft and use R. Crumb’s artwork – unless, of course, he was paid. Was he?

    • Willard
      June 25, 2014 - 09:41 | Permalink

      Yeah… the irony’s really drippin’. Y’know this entire music sharing blog is about theft, don’t you? To be more pointed, however, the Zep post is more about proper accreditation than theft, and our important sources, including R. Crumb, are noted in our ‘thanks’ paragraph. How ‘ironic’ you failed to notice.

  • Ken Mayer
    June 25, 2014 - 09:42 | Permalink

    I really think you need to explicitly credit Robert Crumb on each image that is derived from his work. Your “Many apologies to Robert Crumb” on the main page is not really a credit. You seem to be acting very much in the spirit of Led Zeppelin, except for the part of making a kick-ass artwork out of the original.

    • Willard
      June 25, 2014 - 09:59 | Permalink

      So why only concern for R. Crumb? What about the other photographers and artists involved in this post? What about all the original songwriters (even Led Zep themselves) that have all been “borrowed” from and re-posted here for your entertainment. There are a lot of credits that don’t get spread around on a music sharing blog like this one. And, there are even less royalties. You having concern only for R. Crumb seems a bit disingenuous, don’t you think? Our actions are different from the “spirit of Led Zeppelin’s” in as much as we are a criminal enterprise that haven’t taken credit for anything. Even the idea.

  • Tom Lewis
    June 25, 2014 - 12:03 | Permalink

    Your point falls on deaf ears with me when you so blatantly rip off R. Crumb. You’re just another Led Zeppelin to me. Shameless. How could you not realize the obvious irony in this?

    • Willard
      June 25, 2014 - 13:48 | Permalink

      Since you’re calling me “another Led Zeppelin,” then my point didn’t fall on deaf ears. You got the point that Zep have ripped people off and you’re already using it in a sentence. Congrats. As for your question, “How could you not realize the obvious irony in this?” There isn’t any irony (you might look the word up for a definition). This is a music sharing blog, Einstein.

  • kevin
    June 25, 2014 - 13:04 | Permalink

    This is not news to me. I always used to read the liner notes of album. I would see the names of all these great blue artists. This is how I discovered all these greats ad bought their music. zeplin is one of many bands to cover these guys. I love the blues now thanks to band like zeplin and the allman brother band.

  • June 25, 2014 - 16:47 | Permalink

    FYI: The opening riff to Led Zep’s “Communication Breakdown” is derived from Humble Pie’s opening to “I’ll Go Alone”. Steve Marriott was Page’s first choice as the lead singer for Zeppelin (or, The New Yardbirds as they were first being called), until Stevie’s manager got wind of Jimmy’s notion and called Page, asking him how he’d like to play guitar with ten broken fingers. When Jimmy and Robert stole “Whole Lotta Love” they thought they were stealing it from the Small Faces’ “You Need Loving”. They weren’t yet aware of the Muddy Waters version.

  • Rod
    June 25, 2014 - 19:19 | Permalink

    And your point is what? You a little pissed at Led Zeppelin? 300,000,000 records later…. Pete Townsend must be the real author of this ridiculously STUPID article and even shittier web site or blog or whatever you want to call this piece of crap…. wont ever come back here…. SUCK OFF whoever you are.

    • Willard
      June 25, 2014 - 22:06 | Permalink

      Who’s pissed at Led Zeppelin?

  • Fred Zeppelin
    June 25, 2014 - 22:53 | Permalink

    I should hunt you down like a fox and rip your throat out..you Fucking spreader of false myths. If you know ANYTHING about the blues or music for that matter, you’ll know that everybody lifts something from somebody somewhere. The blues has been borrowed and reused one hundred times over and over again with no credit to an artist because of the uncertainty of a true originator. You should be ashamed of yourself for writing such Bullshit about a great innovative band wi did more to pay homage to their influences then almost anyone else while at the same time progressing and everchanging the formula for which doings were written and produced.

    • Willard
      June 26, 2014 - 02:27 | Permalink

      So is Led Zeppelin’s “borrowing” a false myth, or not? You say it is…. but then state that everybody does it. Pick a side. And what about the times when there IS a certainty “of a true originator”? Are you suggesting their credits should be ignored? Pick a side. As for your last sentence, you certainly hit the nail on the head. They DID try to change the formula alright… they’ve just rarely gotten away with it – as the lawsuits, judgements and settlements have clearly illustrated.

  • Ronnie Schwartz
    June 26, 2014 - 08:41 | Permalink

    If you’re gonna steal, steal from the best!

  • June 26, 2014 - 09:57 | Permalink

    Gotta love the clear-thinking Zepheads. Haha ok internet tough guys, don’t pull a hammy hoisting yourself out of your ’68 Camaro replica bean bag to spew such brilliance as, “I should hunt you down like a fox and rip your throat out.” [fat dude caresses homemade John Bonham doll]

    Great stuff, Willard. White boys gonna white boy.

  • Richard Nelson
    June 26, 2014 - 13:52 | Permalink

    are their actual trading cards that I could purchase ???

  • June 27, 2014 - 03:01 | Permalink

    Zeppelin is just a really good cover band. Here’s a breakdown of Zep 1 I did a sort ways back, and over 50% of it was stolen. http://www.cuttingedgedjs.com/blog/2012/12/10/the-truth-about-led-zeppelin/

  • June 27, 2014 - 03:02 | Permalink

    Awesome article by the way. Love the blog, and will be back often.

  • Bob Mac
    June 27, 2014 - 04:00 | Permalink

    As far as I can see blues music is full of artists taking other people words & lyrics and making a few changes then claim it as their own. Listen to the Roots of Robert Johnson, he wasn’t that original after all, virtually all his music came from other sources. As someone already pointed out the Carter Family were the same. Muddy Waters claimed credit for writing Kind Hearted Woman back before Robert Johnson became well known. Every time I listen to T-Bone walker & BB KIng & Jimmy Rogers and all the others I keep hearing the same songs cropping up with minor variations to the lyrics….I was Georgia Bound…I was Chicago Bound…I was Cincinnati Bound…and so and on it goes.

  • June 27, 2014 - 18:00 | Permalink

    Here’s one of the problems, a damn good reason to not take such thievery so lightly: Skip James was rapidly approaching death because he could not afford the proper medical care. “Fresh Cream” came out with Cream’s cover of “I’m So Glad” — properly credited to Skip James (whom Cream thought was dead, by the way). The royalties that suddenly poured Skip’s way saved and extended his life for a few more years. Thank god Cream were honest and didn’t pull a Zeppelin.

  • Alen Wilson
    June 29, 2014 - 20:23 | Permalink

    William Stout, at least do research before you throw fuel on the fire. Led Zeppelin recorded communication breakdown a year before “I’ll Go Alone” was released. Ignorance on your part, you are forgiven.

    To the rest of this, it is all pretty plausible, yet Led Zeppelin were obviously doing something different. It’s not like “When the Levee Breaks” was riding on the success of Memphis Minnie’s version. They DID bring something new to it. So what he used Memphis Minnie’s words, that’s not what makes that song. Who even said they were her words? A lot of that old blues stuff is controversial. It wasn’t until white folk started recording them amd copyrighting their material for them. If it was a blatant enough rip off people would’ve noticed back then.

    The reason people like to post this kind of stuff is because they just usually don’t care for the band and want to tear their success down. What about Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4” sounds just like the “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” riff. There’s other examples of it. How about the fact that you’re getting clicks off of Led Zeppelin’s work and the other artists work? I’m sure you’re giving them some royalties for use of their music? “Oh no, it’s the internet, it’s different”

    I’m sure it is. You got my click though, so kings to you chief..

    • Willard
      June 29, 2014 - 20:50 | Permalink

      “The reason people like to post this kind of stuff is because they just usually don’t care for the band and want to tear their success down.”

      Wrong. Like most of what you’ve stated.

  • Alen Wilson
    June 29, 2014 - 20:52 | Permalink

    Not like other things I stated. Show some facts here chief.

  • Alen Wilson
    June 30, 2014 - 13:15 | Permalink

    What else was wrong with what I stated Willie? The fact that Humble Pie’s song came out a year after Communication Breakdown was recorded? Does Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4” bare no resemblence to “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”? Is that wrong? Was Led Zeppelin cashing in on the fame of the songs they were getting influenced from? Which ones specifically? Are you picking apart hip hop songs that use Clyde Stubblefield and James Brown samples with no credit? Or is it just Led Zeppelin because they’re a broader target? To take it a step further, how come Bootsy Collins wasn’t credited on Sex Machine, since he wrote the initial piece of music? I understand you’re just getting clicks for your site(while using media that is not licensed to you), but don’t just say I’m wrong. Present an argument, facts debating what I’ve said. I’m not lobbing insults your way like these other people defending Led Zeppelin, I’m trying to present an actual debate. Does it take you two or three days to come up with something other than “you’re wrong!”

    • Willard
      June 30, 2014 - 14:08 | Permalink

      “So what he used Memphis Minnie’s words, that’s not what makes that song.”
      “So what,” you ask? It’s kinda what the post is about. More importantly, that single statement shows you don’t even grasp the basics of copyrights and how they apply in these instances. If you think “what makes the song” has ANY bearing in copyright law… or that discretions by OTHER artists is even on-topic, then…you’re wrong.

      “If it was a blatant enough rip off people would’ve noticed back then”. Wrong again. They DID notice, and it was written about early on. Just because YOU didn’t know any blues songs from the 20’s, 30s and 40s, doesn’t mean musicologists, the writers themselves, the families and the music publishing companies weren’t well aware of what was going on. So, along with the reason this post was written, that makes three detailed wrongs (which never make a right). Detailed enough?

  • June 30, 2014 - 14:10 | Permalink

    Hi Alen,
    I’ll always man-up and admit when I’m wrong. Although they were both released the same year (1969), Led Zep’s “Communication Breakdown” was indeed recorded months prior to Humble Pie’s “I’ll Go Alone”.

    My mistaken assumption came from the fact that Led Zep had stolen from Steve Marriott before (“Whole Lotta Love”/”You Need Loving”). Hearing that opening riff on “I’ll Go Alone”, I assumed they’d gone back to drink from the same well.

    My apologies.

    Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4” riff (recorded August 1969; similar to the riff in “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” which was recorded September-October 1968), by the way, first appeared in October 1966 as the opening riff to the Spencer Davis Group’s hit single “Gimme Some Lovin'” (written by Steve Winwood) — but without the descending pattern of the later versions.

  • Bill Henderson
    June 30, 2014 - 17:10 | Permalink

    Let’s not forget Robert Plant’s “Big Log” which rips the opening from The Turtles’ “Happy Together.”

  • Peter Key
    July 1, 2014 - 14:02 | Permalink

    Led Zeppelin has “appropriated” lyrics and melodies from more than just blues artists.

    The melody to which Robert Plant sings, “Oh, oh-oh, oh, oh, oh,” in the song “D’yer Maker” from “Houses of the Holy” is basically the same melody to which Neil Sedaka sings “Comma comma down dooby doo down down,” in “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.” The latter song was co-written by Sedaka and Howard Greenfield and released by Sedaka twice, in 1962 and 1975. “Houses of the Holy” came out in 1973.

    Additionally, the guitar lick that first appears at the end of the organ introduction and then repeats throughout “Your Time is Gonna Come” is the signature guitar lick of Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” which was issued on Traffic’s “Mr. Fantasy” album in 1967, two years before Zeppelin was formed.

  • FrankZappelin
    July 4, 2014 - 09:51 | Permalink

    My, my, my, such spirited debate! None of this info presented herein is anything new, The Interwebs have been full of vids, stories, pics and more about copyright infringement/stealing/sampling of music for years! Willard, this comp and the trading cards are a fun and brilliant presentation. Too bad people can’t take it for what it is. Please ignore the haters and ignoramouses and keep doing what you do.

  • Dave
    August 31, 2014 - 03:37 | Permalink

    The one unforgivable sin is not making interesting, inspiring music with what was stolen.

  • DannyF
    October 1, 2014 - 12:14 | Permalink

    Willard, someone has gone one better than you. Last Sunday on BBC6 Music Cerys Matthews played, one after the other, ‘You Need Love’, ‘You Need Loving’, ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and ‘How We Be’, by Sinkane. Never heard of Sinkane, but the riff was really familiar. I wonder if they think that by dropping ‘Love’ or any variation from the title that nobody is going to notice they resemblance to certain earlier tunes.

  • Willard
    October 1, 2014 - 12:21 | Permalink

    Haven’t heard of Sinkane, either. The question however is… did Page ever hear oh him? Jimmy’s sources are pretty easy to trace, but there are surely plenty of riffs out there that are familiar in one way or another to something if someone wants to track them all down.

  • Anonymous
    November 12, 2014 - 08:22 | Permalink

    No mention of Link Ray’s, ‘Rattlesnake’?

  • December 2, 2014 - 10:37 | Permalink

    GREAT STUFF!THANK YOU WILLARD! ANYTHING and I Mean ANYTHING that makes people think is cool!

  • Anonymous
    December 23, 2014 - 10:56 | Permalink

    What is left out here is the way things were done at the time. Before Zeppelin, many of these blues musicians would steal from each other, build songs off of another that inspired and played “traditional” songs. In fact, some of Zeppelin’s songs have the credit of “traditional” on the album (In my Time of Dying). In that same era, the Grateful Dead did it too. This was at a transitional time in music when we were able to record and mass distribute music. Those who were white, young and marketable won by being backed by the producers who could pay for the recording technology. At the time, many of the blues musicians didn’t care. Many Blues documentaries have interviews with the original artists who say so. “In Search of Robert Johnson” is one such documentary where the musicians say, “that’s just the way it was…” Corporate greed is what gave rise to copyright infringement. Before technology, it was socially acceptable to share music and take credit for a derivative work. Zeppelin and others bands in the sixties were caught in the transition…

  • Willard
    December 27, 2014 - 16:51 | Permalink

    There are a lot of generalities in your statement. For instance, does “the way things were done at the time” also include the late 60s? Because the list of “infringements” includes material from Jake Holmes, Moby Grape and Randy California, not just old blues artists. Yeah… SOME of Zeppelin’s songs have the credit of “traditional,” but those aren’t in question here. You say that “many of the blues musicians didn’t care.” True… but many others did, and some of them sued. Again…. that’s what we’re focusing on here. And, finally, you say that “Corporate greed is what gave rise to copyright infringement. Before technology, it was socially acceptable to share music and take credit for a derivative work.” That’s not entirely true. “Socially acceptable” and “tough to enforce” are two different ideas. It may be easier to detect and seek retribution in the technological age, but copyrights – and copyright infringement – dates back to before records (78s) were the primary way to sell music. Before that, sheet music was a composer’s bread and butter, and both publishers and composers were just as “greedy” in protecting their sheet music interests as corporate lawyers are today. It’s just happens to be easier to hear, find, track down and sue people these days. It doesn’t mean infringement then was ignored or “acceptable.”

  • December 28, 2014 - 03:40 | Permalink

    Go find Davy Graham doing “Cry Me A River” and then tell me Spirit have a case!

  • RoBurque
    May 10, 2015 - 22:42 | Permalink

    Cap’n., you did a magnificent job researching and compiling this. No wonder that I will never get out of your boat;-)

  • lma27
    May 16, 2015 - 20:23 | Permalink

    No mention yet of KEITH RELF !!!!!!!

    Before there was “Tangerine”, there was the Yardbirds’ “Knowing That I’m Losing You”, one of the (at least) five songs they recorded at their last-ever Columbia Studios sessions in April 1968. The music was by Jimmy Page, the lyrics by Keith Relf who of course was the Yardbirds’ vocalist. The band broke up before any of these were released. Years later on Zep’s third album, Pagey revisited this unused track and reworked it into “Tangerine”. The chorus was given new lyrics and a new melody. The first verse was ditched. But the second verse (“measuring a summer’s day/you’ll only find it slips away to grey/the hours, they’ll bring you pain”), Keith’s lyric, became the opening verse of the revised version. A new lyric was written for the second verse. But despite contributing a full verse, Keith Relf wasn’t given a songwriting credit; “Tangerine” was credited solely to Jimmy Page. Relf’s sister is on record being quite irked at this, as Keith was just getting shortly before his death and could have used the royalty income from millions of LZIII sales.

    The other four songs recorded at the same sessions (“Avron Knows”, “My Baby”, “Spanish Blood”, and “Taking a Toll On Me”) finally saw release in 2000 on a late-period Yardbirds comp called Cumular Limit (which also features a nice live rendition of “Dazed and Confused”, with nearly all of the original Jake Holmes lyrics still intact and is much better than the version on Live Yardbirds featuring Jimmy Page – and on this album it was (finally) attributed entirely to Jake Holmes). “Knowing that I’m Losing You” was supposed to be included on that CD as well, but it was pulled at the last minute for unspecified legal reasons – assumedly because Pagey as co-writer threatened the small label that released it (though I have no hard evidence to back that up). Certainly, the other surviving Yardbirds were fine with its release. But during the preparation of the album, the song (which I’d been dying to hear for decades) slipped out as a bootl3g for apparently the first time.

    Ripping off old blues and folk artists is bad, but ripping off your old bandmate is the lowest of the low.

    Here it is:

    • Willard
      May 16, 2015 - 20:29 | Permalink

      “Tangerine,” and Keith Relf’s contribution to it, was referenced on the Bonus Card, “Honorable Mentions.”

  • lma27
    May 19, 2015 - 09:15 | Permalink

    oops, didn’t see the “bonus card” – but I think this one deserves more than an honourable mention!

    • Willard
      May 19, 2015 - 10:05 | Permalink

      At least Page was “in the vicinity” when that one was written.

  • Anonymous
    June 18, 2015 - 15:11 | Permalink

    Hi, Thank You.

  • Wolfsbane
    July 24, 2015 - 01:00 | Permalink

    This is why Led Zeppelin is one of those bands where the downloading their music don’t bother me in the slightest.

  • sd
    October 10, 2015 - 10:29 | Permalink

    anybody notice that zeppelin I is very similar to Free’s tons of sobs released earlier that year? They even do a version of the hunter, which is very similar to how many more times

    • Philly Boy
      October 10, 2015 - 18:08 | Permalink

      Zep’s version of How Many More Times contains a verse from The Hunter.

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