Sit N Spin!'s list of Led Zeppelin rip offs!

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There may not be another band with as divisive a legacy as Led Zeppelin: While many fans see them as the quintessential male rock band, there is an equally large contingent of people that sees them as derivative, even thieving. Doubts have long circulated about the originality of some of Led Zeppelin’s most famous songs -- most notably that the lead riff from “Stairway to Heaven” may have been lifted from Spirit’s “Taurus.” Of course, it might just be a coincidence that Led Zeppelin opened for Spirit on their 1968 tour.


Led Zeppelin may or may not have used some dubious tactics to achieve their prestige, but in an ironic twist, dozens of Led Zeppelin rip-off bands followed a little too closely in the footsteps of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham to gain success of their own. It could be manic cymbal crashes, crunchy sweat-drenched guitar riffs or a high-pitched scream, but the following 10 Led Zeppelin rip-off bands each borrowed heavily from the formula that made Zepp one of the most important and controversial bands of the last 50 years.


Here are the top 10 Led Zeppelin rip-off bands according to


No.10 Soundgarden

Soundgarden was always lumped in with Seattle’s grunge movement thanks to coincidences of timing and geography, but they actually had much more in common with their ‘70s ancestors in Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. The deep, grainy guitars and Chris Cornell’s trademark wail are uncanny when compared to some of Led Zeppelin’s heavier stuff.


Biggest Led Zeppelin rip-off song: “Pretty Noose” from Down on the Upside.


Borrowing the atmosphere of “Kashmir” and the off-kilter rhythm of “Whole Lotta Love,” this song is like the collaboration between Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne that never happened.



No.9 Styx

Yes, Styx. Before breaking through with some of the most classic cheese-ball anthems of all time, Styx was a flourishing prog-rock band, first existing under the names The Tradewinds and then TW4. Styx’ first four albums were chock-full of artsy, whimsical tales, including the dreaded 1973 concept album The Serpent Is Rising.


Biggest Led Zeppelin rip-off song:  “Lady” from Styx II.


The thin-as-paper drumming doesn’t compare to John Bonham, but every other aspect is straight from the Led Zeppelin playlist -- like making a love song sound like an epic battle between good and evil.



No.8 Priestess

Lead singer Mikey Heppner might not be able to match Robert Plant’s howl, but Priestess’ rhythm section sure learned a thing or two from the rest of Zeppelin. John Bonham and Jimmy Page had some clear formative effects on Priestess, helping the heavy metal band gain some serious recognition when they debuted in 2006.


Biggest Led Zeppelin rip-off song: “Lay Down” from Hello Master.


Borrowing one of Led Zeppelin’s most memorable riffs from “Immigrant Song” and rocking it to high heaven, this is one of the more enjoyable songs on the list.



No.7 Whitesnake

Like Styx, Whitesnake aren’t associated with Led Zeppelin these days thanks to pop-rock hits like “Here I Go Again.” In their earlier days, however, Whitesnake were a blues-rock band heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple -- in fact, founding member David Coverdale used to be in Deep Purple. Whitesnake scored hits with their 1978 album Trouble and their 1980 single “Fool for Your Loving,” which was re-released to greater success nine years later after the band had sidled up to Motley Crue and Ratt.


Biggest Led Zeppelin rip-off song: “Trouble” from Trouble.


Coverdale made no bones about wanting to be Robert Plant, and aspired to both look and sound like him for Whitesnake’s first hit.



No.6 Tenacious D

If mimicry is the highest form of flattery, then the comedy duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass have given Led Zeppelin just about all the flattery they can handle. Their debut album featured the song “Wonderboy,” an epic adventure story that features dragon fights and broadswords, a sure tip of the cap to Plant’s fables. And then there’s “Tribute,” a song about a song proclaiming “Stairway to Heaven” “the greatest and best song in the world.”


Biggest Led Zeppelin rip-off song: “Wonderboy” from Tenacious D.


A send-up of Zeppelin’s affinity for mythic tales, “Wonderboy” describes the struggle between the titular character and his nemesis, Young Nasty Man.



No.5 Black Mountain

This Vancouver-based band was promising enough to begin with. Their self-titled debut album was a mess of noise, experimentation and melody, but their second album, In the Future, turns the amps up to 11 and the smarts down to zero. Droning guitars, songs that are too long for their own good and an overly somber tone -- and all of the worst elements of Led Zeppelin -- are present and accounted for.


Biggest Led Zeppelin rip-off song: “Stormy High” from In the Future.


You could close your eyes and pick any track off of In the Future, but “Stormy High” employs a uniquely Zeppelin-like structure that the band couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.



No.4 The White Stripes

This is all about the voice. Jack White’s trademark wail is at times so like Robert Plant’s that it’s hard to believe they aren’t the same person. It’s especially obvious on “My Doorbell,” “Fell in Love With A Girl” and “Hypnotize,” where White channels Plant with such vigor that it feels like you’re listening in on an early Zepp session. Oh, and the horse galloping and bagpipes on “Prickly Thorn, but Sweetly Worn” are a nice touch too.


Biggest Led Zeppelin rip-off song: “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” from White Blood Cells.


Built around a basic blues structure, this track grows from the very same roots that Led Zeppelin constructed most of their catalogue



No.3 Jet

In all fairness to Jet, they don’t just rip off Led Zeppelin -- they also borrow handily from The Beatles’ playbook. However, when they want to rock, it’s to Zeppelin they look, and they’ve done so time and time again. Their biggest hit, “Are You Going to Be My Girl,” is still ubiquitous on commercials and in video games -- probably because it’s cheaper than licensing “Black Dog.”


Biggest Led Zeppelin rip-off song: “Cold Hard Bitch” from Get Born.


After false-starting for about 50 seconds, Jet finally get around to biting off a good chunk of “Communication Breakdown” and turning it into a song that is confusingly about both wanting and not wanting the same girl.



No.2 Wolfmother

A lot of bands on this list owe pieces of their sound to Led Zeppelin, but Wolfmother might well have ended up pumping gas if it weren’t for Houses of the Holy. The Aussies’ big hit, “Woman,” is constantly mistaken for Zeppelin, and singer Andrew Stockdale has so perfected Robert Plant’s vocal style that you know it’s not by accident. Comparisons have been so rampant that the band has been forced to address them in the press, where they claim they aren’t trying to emulate Led Zeppelin at all.


Biggest Led Zeppelin rip-off song: “Woman” from Wolfmother.


There is nothing about this song that doesn’t sound like Led Zeppelin.



No.1 Kingdom Come

The most egregious crime on the list earns Kingdom Come the No. 1 spot. This one-hit wonder hit the big time with “Get It On,” from their debut album in 1988. The song was so like Led Zeppelin that fans mistook it as a reunion of the band’s surviving members after John Bonham’s death. Amazingly, the album went platinum on the strength of that single. By the time the band were ready to release their second album, In Your Face, public sentiment had grown so negative that it crippled their sales, and they were soon being referred to as Kingdom Clone. Amazingly, the bandis still around 20 years later.


Biggest Led Zeppelin rip-off song: “Get It On” from Kingdom Come.


Not much explanation needed here -- fans actually thought this was Led Zeppelin.

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People : Andrew StockdaleChris CornellDavid CoverdaleJack BlackJack WhiteJimmy PageJohn BonhamKyle GassMikey HeppnerRobert PlantWhitesnake

11/08/2011 5:37PM
Sit N Spin!'s list of Led Zeppelin rip offs!
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11/08/2011 8:00PM
Soundgarden approves.
Chris Cornell ain't afraid to sing Plant's songs in concert, haha. Hell, Soundgarden did covers of Zepp, the Doors, and the Beatles throughout their tours.
11/01/2015 10:59AM
Need to rephrase the question...
Led Zep are hacks ripping off everyone else... so much so they are probably the most famous cover band in history... it is not their own music they are playing... so the true question should be who also ripped of who Zepplin ripped off!
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