Is It a Rip-Off? LED ZEPPELIN vs. COHEED AND CAMBRIA

This is surely the most famous controversy I’ve entertained thus far. People outside my circle have noticed and commented on this before. But I definitely think it’s worth exploring even more.

Take a listen to this sound bite and let me know which category you think this example falls into:

  1. This is a rip-off! Some bastard stole some other bastard’s jam!
  2. This is an homage. This is too similar. The artist is merely giving a wink and nod to a predecessor.
  3. This is a coincidence. Louis Daguerre and Henry Fox both invented photography independent of each other, after all. There are only so many ways to make music.
  4. This is an accident. Yeah, it’s probably inspired by the older piece, but they probably didn’t even realize it.
  5. You are smoking. Don’t even see it.

LED ZEPPELIN – “Kashmir” vs. COHEED AND CAMBRIA – “Welcome Home”

Tell me what you think, and then I’ll drop my two cents in the comments.

2 Comments

  1. 5. Different rhythm, different chords, different number of chords in the sequence. Way too basic a pattern to retire that rhythm.

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  2. I think this is somewhere between a 3 and 4 in terms of writing it. The single note triplet is one of the most emphatic musical motifs there are, in my opinion. It packs a punch and you know it’s going to be impactful when you write it. I don’t think they sat down and said “I want something that’s going to remind people of Kashmir.” However, I imagine that when the band first started to rehearse it somebody had to have pointed out the similarity and they made a conscious decision to use it anyway. There was probably a lengthy discussion about whether it was different enough for them to get away with it. In terms of deciding to record and release it I think you put this one somewhere between a 1 and 2 leaning toward 2.

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