After beating a copyright infringement lawsuit put forward by former Spirit guitarist Randy California's estate two years ago, Led Zeppelin are heading back to court over the contentious ownership of the famous 'Stairway To Heaven' intro riff.
The original lawsuit, which was filed back in 2014, argued that the introduction to the Led Zeppelin classic was unrightfully influenced by 'Taurus,' an instrumental track by Spirit released in 1968, three years prior to Led Zeppelin IV. Although the Los Angeles jury ruled in favour of Led Zep after a five day legal proceeding, which featured testimonials from both Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, a three-judge panel from the US Court of Appeals has recently ruled that the trial was unfair, subsequently ordering it back to trial.
According to The LA Times, the judge from the original trial in 2016 had "provided erroneous jury instructions" throughout the proceedings, noting that the jury were not permitted to listen to 'Taurus' as an example of the predisposed judicial disadvantage against Taurus. Although the US Court of Appeals are yet to set a date for the trial, it's anticipated that we'll hear more about this case soon, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, compare both tracks below - do you think Led Zep pinched the riff? Let us know in the comments.
Reacquaint yourself with the gear of John Paul Jones - the underrated and seemingly sole non-shady member of Led Zeppelin - here.