Please do not listen to Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” in a major key—it is bad

In the canon of YouTube videos guaranteed to make you click, videos of people changing a traditionally minor key song to a major key (or vice versa) are somewhere near the top. This irresistible and fairly simple musical alteration has the potential to transport listeners to an alternate universe where “Mad World”…

One man performs every instrument on Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” simultaneously

Multitasking has become a commodity in our current culture, what with a “make more with less” mentality pervading both the arts and workforce. Musician Dominic Fragman understands this better than most, it seems, as here we see him playing the entirety of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” on his lonesome. Yep, that means…

Meet the new boss: 18 albums in which classic rockers embraced synthesizers

The recent PBS docuseries Soundbreaking is a must-see for any music buff, primarily because of the way it challenges conventional notions of “authenticity” when it comes to pop, rock, folk, and R&B. The whole process of recording and distributing songs is inherently artificial, requiring machines and electronics to…

A guitarist on whether “Stairway To Heaven” really rips off “Taurus”

Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are reuniting in a Los Angeles courtroom this week to defend themselves in a lawsuit brought by the estate of one Randy California (real name: Randy Craig Wolfe). The suit alleges that Led Zep’s immortal 1971 oldie “Stairway To Heaven,” whose composition is credited to Page…

Led Zeppelin could settle “Stairway To Heaven” lawsuit for $1—and songwriting credit

Last month, we reported that Led Zeppelin was facing a lawsuit from Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the estate of Spirit member Randy Wolfe, a.k.a. Randy California. Skidmore had accused the members of Zeppelin of knowingly ripping off the Spirit song “Taurus” for the intro to “Stairway To Heaven” fortysomething years…

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