Best Books of the Month Shop Costumes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Joe Bonamassa All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Grocery Introducing Handmade New Kitchen Scale from AmazonBasics Amazon Gift Card Offer hog hog hog  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage  McCartney Shop Now STEM Toys & Games
Customer Discussions > Music forum

"Elvis and the Beatles stole from black music."

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 51-75 of 562 posts in this discussion
Posted on Aug 19, 2011 5:20:42 PM PDT
Working Man says:
There had to be at least one led zeppelin/jimmy page comment in this thread. Boo hoo.

So, the white settlers stole this whole country from the Native Americans (not my ancestors, they were still in Europe then).

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 9:18:13 PM PDT
Hinch says:
I should have said it more directly, but I wondered who would know who I was talking about.
Led Zep's first 3 albums have songs that were blatant rip offs, on which the band members took writing credit.

The Allman Bros band, in contrast, covered the blues, but gave credit where credit was due.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 9:22:45 PM PDT
Hinch says:
Thank you!!
Don't know if you saw my post about stealing from blues artists, but
I was hoping someone would know who I was talking about.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 9:25:52 PM PDT
Hinch says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 9:29:12 PM PDT
Hinch says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 9:43:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 21, 2011 9:50:03 PM PDT
...and they stole from OTHER (non-blues) artists too: Ask Jake Holmes and Spirit (the intro to "Topanga Windows" and "Stairway To Heaven" are strikingly similar), not to mention the Small Faces (LZ ripped "Whole Lotta Love" from them, just changed the lyrics & quickened the tempo)!

Ironically, some rapper sampled some Zep song & Page had the ****s to SUE! What a...oh, never mind.

Posted on Aug 21, 2011 10:07:01 PM PDT
MH says:
F. Hinchilson:
"Clapton and The Allman Bros were influenced by blues artists".

Which means they paid due credit and released their versions of old blues songs close to the originals?

"Led Zeppelin stole from blues artists".

Which means they failed to pay due credits and they completely rewrote or reworked the songs?

Whatever you mean, Led Zeppelin were the band with the deepest understanding ever of blues music. While most bands were "influenced" by the blues and gave their versions of well-known blues songs, Zep went several steps further and gave blues rock a whole new dimension. Just take a listen to Memphis Minnie's "When the Levee Breaks" and the put on Zeps version. If I should choose between Clapton and other artists "influenced" by blues music and then Zep, I would choose Zep any day.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 10:13:05 PM PDT
Hinch says:
Different strokes for different folks.


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 10:14:36 PM PDT
D. Morrison says:
Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac were the band "with the deepest understanding ever of blues music".

Posted on Aug 21, 2011 11:08:11 PM PDT
MH says:
And who today would have known "Dazed and Confused" if Yardbirds and later Zep hadn't rewritten it? The same goes for Spirit and (I think you mean) "Taurus". Zep did indeed use the chord progression and the bass line from "Taurus" for the opening sequence of "Stairway", but the melody line and the lyrics were their own, and so were the middle part and the ending as well. "Taurus" is a nice little theme that basically goes nowhere and it would have faded into oblivion had it not been for the connection with "Stairway".

I for one am happy Zep did record "Dazed" and "Stairway" as they are both monumental songs. I'm equally happy Eagles recorded "Hotel California" even though it is a bigger rip off (of Tulls "We Used to Know") than any song mentioned in connection with Zep in this thread.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 11:23:42 PM PDT
Hinch says:

Never heard of "We Used to Know" until just now.

I listened to it, and you are right!

If anyone doesn't believe, listen.


Posted on Aug 21, 2011 11:28:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 21, 2011 11:29:37 PM PDT
Hey, tell all that to Jake Holmes - he sent a letter to Page asking not for money but for acknowledgement (so he says) & Page never responded. Mr. Hollerup: "Hey Jake, don't feel too bad -- if Page hadn't 'appropriated' parts of your song, nobody would give a **** about you these days!"
"Gosh, Mr. Hollerup!," says Jake, " I never looked at it that way before! Now I'm GLAD they ripped....I mean, BORROWED from me and made millions!"

That's like a thief saying, "Well, you weren't going to USE that [fill in blank] you had in your living room, it was just gonna sit there, so you should be glad I took it so someone could get some actual USE out of it!"

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 11:42:03 PM PDT
All this proves is that you like Led Zep better than the people that influenced them...which is all well and good, but it doesn't "prove" anything re: who did what first and better. Memphis Minnie did what she did and Zep did what they did and both did it well, only Zep couldn't have done it WITHOUT Memphis Minnie, Willie Dixon, etc. doing it FIRST.

A coincidence: It's like when some people (I don't mean anyone in this discussion) admit to liking the UK TV "comedy" The Young Ones but these same people will say they DON'T LIKE The 3 Stooges...hey, like what EVER you want to like, but is a smack in the head somehow "FUNNIER" if the guy that gets hit says "Blimey!" afterward?

Posted on Aug 21, 2011 11:53:10 PM PDT
Thomas Born says:
If they hadn't "stolen" black music, you would complain about black music not being acknowledged by white people. Make love, not war! Music is universal.

When Beethoven was accused of "stealing" from Mozart, he simply said: "So is there anyone else worth stealing from?"

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2011 12:11:14 AM PDT
Tonè says:
It is not an "allegation"....

Nor is there anything "controversial" enough to start a thread about....


Beatles Press Conference: Detroit 9/6/1964

Following their performance at the International Amphitheatre in
Chicago, the Beatles and their entourage were flown to Detroit
Michigan on September 6th 1964, as the 14th stop of their 1964
North American Tour.

The Motor City was the place of origin for the music the Beatles
had professed to love in almost every interview and press conference
-- The Detroit Sound, and the recording artists of the Tamla-Motown

Q: "Which artist or musical group do you think has most influenced your music?"

JOHN: (jokingly) "Nicki Cuff."

PAUL: "Nicki Cuff, I'd say. No, uhh... American colored groups, mainly. And early Elvis Presley."

GEORGE: "In fact, The Detroit Sound."

JOHN: "In fact, yes."

GEORGE: "In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miricles."

JOHN: "We like Marvin Gaye."

GEORGE: "The Impressions, Marvin Gaye."

PAUL & GEORGE: "Mary Wells."

GEORGE: "The Exciters."

JOHN: "To name but eighty."

RINGO: "Chuck Jackson."

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2011 12:45:42 AM PDT
Tonè says:
Mistress Moon: I wonder who the Irish "stole" their music from?
Racial animosity is more common among the public than among musicians. It is cultivated by the music industry as a means of attaching a sense of identity and ownership to certain music styles, so that each person can buy "my people's" music.

Musicians of all races, creeds, music styles, continents, respect and appreciate one another. They proudly copy styles from others, rock reggae soul country ska calypso musicians are all friends. They do not consider it "stealing" -- they call it "blending styles." Western musicians will incorporate from even traditional Indian music:

All this is done in a spirit of goodwill and 'brotherly/sisterly love' -- why would anyone show up 40 years later and say, "you stole"?

Black musicians "stole" from the Beatles:

Isaac Hayes - 'Something'
Billy Ocean - Long & Winding Road
Clarence Carter - Let It Be
Lakeside - I Want to Hold Your Hand
Wilson Pickett - Hey Jude
Diana Ross - Imagine
Randy Crawford - Imagine

Many musicians would like to sing in various styles but the record label execs wouldn't let them.

I listen to all kinds of music. I'm happy when musicians fuse different styles.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2011 1:03:31 AM PDT
Tonè says:
Thomas Born: If they hadn't "stolen" black music, you would complain about black music not being acknowledged by white people.

Traditional music from Africa is often not metered and segmented in the same way, it's a continuous rhythm that goes on and on till the sun comes up or the last dancer falls. African Americans borrowed/"stole" the structure of European music: eg verse-chorus-verse-chorus-interlude-verse-end, a structure that follows structural elements such as start, crescendo, climax, decrescendo, end, all these were incorporate by African Americans into order to develop what is known today as soul/R&B/rock.

Cultural influences go in all directions.

Posted on Aug 22, 2011 1:05:34 AM PDT
re: why would anyone show up 40 years later and say, "you stole"?

Because there are some angry and bitter people out there, people that want to claim "This is OUR music & the evil white man took it away from us." And I can understand where the bitterness comes from -- many people were indeed cheated out of credit and/or money, but it shouldn't POISON the music or the enjoyment it brings. Chuck Berry once said the big band swing of Artie Shaw was an influence on his music; R&B shouter Roy Brown dug Bing Crosby; Wynonie Harris (black fellow) covered a song by Hank Penny (white fellow) and had a bigger hit with "Bloodshot Eyes" than Penny did (and Harris' version was better too). Music doesn't "belong" to any one group of people -- by that line of thinking, not only should only black people sing/play the blues, then only white Euro-types should play/sing classical music and opera.

When the Stones and FleetMac and Clapton gave interviews in the 60s, they readily gave credit where it was due, and THAT gave a shot in the arm to the livelihoods of LOTS of black American blues performers that were, for the most part, forsaken by black American audiences. (Think I'm wrong? BB King opened for Jackie Wilson in concert in the early 60s and was BOOED off the stage. Even now, if you go to a blues concert, you hardly ever see black folks under the age of 40, unless they are a musician.)

Flip the record over, have a brew, relax and try to enjoy the, uh, joy of the music, f'r crying out loud.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2011 1:25:07 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Oct 23, 2011 11:12:00 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2011 1:59:23 AM PDT
Mr. O'Neill: Whadaya tryin' ta say~?!?

Posted on Aug 22, 2011 3:46:44 AM PDT
Tonè says:
Bob Dylan (white) composes and performs "Knocking on Heaven's Door" in 1973.

Arthur Louis (black) rearranges the song and records a reggae version - 1975.

Eric Clapton (white) later releases his own version of Louis' interpretation of Dylan's song.


The Bee Gees compose Islands in the Stream for Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton. The Fugees rearrange the song into hip hop "Ghetto Superstar", and then Robin Gibb/Bee Gees uses this version to record the song themselves, even using the lyrics from the Fugees's version.

I'd say, if musicians listen to all kinds of music, if they don't hate each other, let's all follow their lead.

Posted on Aug 22, 2011 4:56:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 22, 2011 4:57:54 AM PDT
PhillyB says:
Ignorance is no excuse for inflammatory statements like this. Elvis and the Beatles were unique in there sound. Name an Artist with Elvis range, or the Beatles sound. Can you pick and influence out here and their sure like all artist, including black artist.

If you ever listen to music you have artist that you love, and when you're a kid you idolize or think are cool.

So is every artist ever influenced well of course, but the great ones make it their own my adding to it and putting their stamp on it.

Elvis was 100% influenced by Gospel music, it was his favorite, he also like the blues, Mario Lanza, Dean Martin etc.

The Beatles were in influenced by American Rock

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2011 7:10:31 AM PDT
Well, times have changed for the better and I can't think of too many musicians (white or black) nowadays who are more successful than the blonde haired blue eyed cracker Jay Z.

Posted on Aug 22, 2011 7:37:04 AM PDT
D. Mok says:
> Elvis and the Beatles were unique in there [sic] sound
> Elvis was 100% influenced by Gospel music
> The Beatles were [sic] in influenced by American Rock

Okay...anybody else see a problem with these three statements appearing in the same argument?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2011 7:46:40 AM PDT
Mistercd103 says:
Sonny James' version of "Young Love" was a cover of the original by Ric Cartey.
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in

Recent discussions in the Music forum

  Discussion Replies Latest Post
Song Game - Part II ... 10 songs where... 7839 2 minutes ago
The MUSIC of Our Lives _ version 4.0 6862 9 minutes ago
Benny Hill considered funnier than Monty Python and Hill's show has many great musical numbers 186 12 minutes ago
Musical Diary 595 29 minutes ago
Your choice for "Album of the Year 2015"....thus far 56 37 minutes ago
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame candidates for class of 2016 34 1 hour ago
What BLUES music have you been listening to lately? 262 2 hours ago
Your Favorite Album This Week? 172 3 hours ago
Audiophiles Unite! The best sounding CDs. It's not about the music. It's about the sound quality of the music 1111 3 hours ago
What Are You Listening To? (Volume Four) 1171 4 hours ago
Best/Worst bands in concert 7 4 hours ago
What's the first thing you think of when you hear "Mick Jagger"? 56 4 hours ago

This discussion

Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  162
Total posts:  562
Initial post:  Aug 17, 2011
Latest post:  Jan 4, 2015

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 13 customers

Search Customer Discussions