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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Rip-Off feat. Led Zeppelin and Chicago

It's been a couple of weeks since the last installment of this, so I had to make sure I picked a good one.

Being a rabidly faithful Zeppelin fan for as long as I can remember, I tend to notice the occasional riff from other artists that sound like Zep tracks. From Tori Amos to Pearl Jam and even obscure "college music" bands like Dig and The Bogmen, Zeppelin's presence is still around.

So let's get into it.

The track has been covered by everyone from Great White and even Pink as well as remixed by electronic-music mastermind John Graham. Prominently featured on Zep's 1968 debut LP, "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" is a classic among classics.

Chicago's 1970 LP of the same name contained the classic 25 or 6 to 4, a track with a rather peculiar history about it. Musical historians have speculated about an alleged numerological mysticism and some fans claim it has to do with cocaine, but all seem to be missing striking similarities to the Zeppelin track above.


Anonymous said...

I liked Led Zeppelin and was never interested in Chicago, but a repeated descending bass line, the biggest similarity between the two songs here, has been used countless times since before the Baroque era. A much more striking "rip-off", though, was blatant in "Whole Lotta Love" on Led Zeppelin II when Robert Plant copies Steve Marriott note for note in his vocal cadenza toward the end of the song. L. Z. "borrowed" lots from others during their career, as well. I don't think that's a bad thing, although it would be nice if credit were given where due. Still, as one composer said, "There are only twelve notes in an octave."

aironlater said...

No doubt that Zeppelin borrowed from several muscial reference points throughout their career. Willie Dixon was chief among those on the debut LP. The title "rip-off" is meant more in the tongue-in-cheek way than in the literal. Thanks for reading.

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