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There's no band I know of that I have as many conflicting feelings about than Led Zeppelin.

I love their music so, so much.

At the same time, they blatantly stole a lot of music or did not credit the original author. They've been sued five times and they've either lost or settled most of the time.

Then I listen to their music again and am blown away, even after listening for well over 30 years...

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@emacsen Led Zeppelin is the messenger, and an eloquent one at that.

@emacsen from what I've read that was common for the time? At least the way I remember reading it was that at least rock bands at the time (or heavy metal as they were sometimes derisively called) weren't all that original, nor expected to be original.

Not that it makes it ok. At least they lost/settled those times... I also don't know if they kept doing this well into the time where they would be expected to make original songs...

@ryuslash

The cases against them were varied. Some of the lawsuits were (IMHO) baseless.

In other cases they were 100% ripoffs of the original. For example, Anne Bredon wrote Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, and Joan Baez popularized it.

Brendon only became aware of Led Zeppelin's use in the 1990s. I accept that it was harder to track things down in the 1960s than now, but this seems like the kind of thing the label should have handled, at the very least (if not the band itself).

@ryuslash

BTW, I am not saying that Zeppelin didn't add a great deal to their songs.

The original Babe I'm Gonna Leave You isn't nearly as good as the Baez version, and that in turn isn't nearly as good (IMHO) as the Zeppelin version.

Nonethless, I feel strongly about attribution.

@emacsen Oh yeah, I agree that attribution is very important. And listening to the three versions each does add a lot more. I don't think it was right that it was done, but I get the impression that it was done a lot. I don't know if it was because copyright law wasn't what it is today (broken though it is), or if it was just the labels trying to see what they could get away with. Or the bands.

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