Greta Van Fleet - the world's most talented plagiarisers.

adammania9

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Greta Van Fleet took the rock and roll world by storm in 2017 by reintroducing listeners to old-fashioned classic hard rock and roll – the sound, the image and certainly the passion. They've have had links drawn to heavy metal Gods Led Zeppelin – hardly an insult but just how similar are GVF to the British rockers?

Some might laugh at the prospect of Led Zeppelin’s work being plagiarised, their first two albums are plagued with claims and cases of plagiarism of folk and R&B artists before them, but everyone with half an ear can identify that Greta Van Fleet’s debut album ”From The Fires” released in November 2017 is simply a Led Zeppelin greatest hits album with re-written lyrics.

The Michigan rockers all between the ages of 19 and 22 are all obviously incredibly talented – you have to be to sound like Led freakin’ Zeppelin! Vocalist Josh Kiczka, one of three brothers in the group, commented on the group’s comparisons to Led Zeppelin, “we’ll take it” he said; bulls**t you’ll take it – it’s exactly what you were going for.

I must reiterate – Greta Van Fleet are insanely talented – the screechy voice of Josh Kiczka sounds as raw and energetic as Robert Plant, Danny Wagner’s heavy kick petals and rapid fills sound remarkably like John Bonham and Jake Kiczka’s bluesy guitar shredding is similar to that of The Who’s Pete Townshend. However, youthful talent is never an excuse for blatant stealing of other’s contributions.

GVF are an exact replica of Led Zeppelin - what’s shameful is that Greta haven’t even attempted to hide the fact that they have re-written Zeppelin’s catalogue – take a look at some of the names of songs on their first record; Safari Song (Immigrant Song) and A Change Is Gonna Come (Your Time Is Gonna Come) are named very similarly to already produced Zeppelin compositions. If a distinctly similar sound isn’t enough proof of clear theft – those certainly are.

Now listen to the two. GVF are remarkably talented and they have the potential to be as good as a band like Zeppelin, however this is not the way of achieving it and frankly, it's a damn shame that they have so far been able to get away with this as easy as they have.

Sample 1:
Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin) vs. Safari Song (Greta Van Fleet)

“Immigrant Song” is one of Zeppelin’s most famous compositions, remembered mostly for that melting Robert Plant scream at the beginning. “Immigrant Song” opened Zeppelin’s third studio album, III, and GVF clearly agreed that this song is incredible to open an album, so he would just do the same with “Safari Song” – give me a break! Immigrant Song vs. Safari Song – clearly, the name is still intact, and the group have also decided upon placing Safari Song as the first song on the album like its namesake that worst of all, Josh unashamedly ripped off Plant’s scream and placed it right at the start too. Just listen to the opening twenty seconds of these two songs – Josh Kiczka’s recreation is incredible, don’t get me wrong, but it has been ripped off. I would also argue the chorus also sounds very similar to "Good Times Bad Times" by Zeppelin (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFj0rxyNCtc).

Sample 2:
Your Time Is Gonna Come (Led Zeppelin) vs. A Change Is Gonna Come & Flower Power (Greta Van Fleet)


After connecting the similarities between Immigrant Song and Safari Song, I decided to compare the other example of similar titles - Your Time and A Change, both succeeded by Is Gonna Come. GVF's composition sounds nothing like Zeppelin's, so I thought "Ok, maybe they just named it that for a bit of hook", nah. I listened to Flower Power later and guess what starts at 3:35 that concludes the song and blends straight into the next track A Time Is Gonna Come? The organs that John Paul Jones played so well on the original 1967 namesake. This is no coincidence - this was made in 2017, the organ is dead. Long gone. The only reason a band like GVF would employ such an obscure instrument into their work is to provide listeners with a remarkably similar sound to that of Led Zeppelin's first album back in 1967. The slow mellow tone of A Change Is Gonna Come is also very similar to that of Your Time Is Gonna Come.


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What do you guys make of these kids? Have I looked into this too far? Or are they thieves who don't deserve to be celebrated like they are?
 

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revo333

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Bands these days can't win...

It reminds me of the people that complained there wasn't enough music like Black Sabbath and along came Wolfmother and those same people criticised them for sounding to much like Black Sabbath.
 

Mootsy

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Yeh, I sort of agree and it was the downfall of rock music, when it reached a point where everything "has already been made", so it's sort of transitioned into the metal genre instead now, maybe punk rock.

It's a fun record, the Van Fleet one, but it certainly isn't shy in wearing its influences on its sleeve.

I think bands, in general, haven't really explored taking 'guitar pedals' to their potential just yet though. A lot of bands keep a very basic pedal setup.
 

adammania9

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Bands these days can't win...

It reminds me of the people that complained there wasn't enough music like Black Sabbath and along came Wolfmother and those same people criticised them for sounding to much like Black Sabbath.
Perhaps I’ve overreacted. Plant loves them and the examples I’ve given are the only ones I have identified.

As much as I think it’s a rip-off of Immigrant Song, Safari Song is a fantastic tune and I’ve been listening to it all week.
 

Deathray

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Strangely enough that Highway tune sounds like Dallas Crane with Robert Plant on vocals. As others have commented lyrics are rubbish and they will run out of any more rubbish song ideas pretty quickly before the singer fronts some reality tv show as the star vocalist looking for entrants to become his backing band.
 

Beerfish

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There's a difference between having a sound and just unashamedly ripping off.

And as if Plant is going to crack the s**ts. Led Zep lifted a lot of their stuff from the old blues masters.
 

smasha

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There was another band like the one adamania suggested which were also a rip off of Zep but I can’t remember them.

From the US.

Rival Sons is the name of that band.

I love old bands but let’s not plagarise them for music execs to make an easy buck.

Create your own sound.

Top 40 oh ,as Zappa would say God Help Me Please!

 
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Magus

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They sound OK but they aren't going to forge a career by sounding like Led Zep on every album. People will get over it pretty quickly.
We can all talk smack about LZ stealing songs etc. but its undeniable that they had their own unique sound. Stealing riffs or song structures is a far cry different from trying to sound identical to another band.
Good luck to GVF if they can attract a young audience however. More people using them as a gateway to discovering the classic rock sound of the 70s isnt a bad thing at all. They're obviously very talented, I'm just not sure how sustainable it is.
 

Beerfish

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We can all talk smack about LZ stealing songs etc. but its undeniable that they had their own unique sound. Stealing riffs or song structures is a far cry different from trying to sound identical to another band.
If that's aimed at me I think you missed my point (or I didn't make it well enough) which was really that Robert Plant is never going to crack the s**ts about it but nobody should be looking at that as some kind of approval. It's probably more muted acceptance. I'm not denying Led Zep had their own sound. I'm a big fan (despite Page being one of the sloppiest live players I think I've ever heard). Agree with your other points too but I can't help but find it cringeworthy. If I want to listen to Led Zep, I'll listen to Led Zep.
 

Magus

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If that's aimed at me I think you missed my point (or I didn't make it well enough) which was really that Robert Plant is never going to crack the s**ts about it but nobody should be looking at that as some kind of approval. It's probably more muted acceptance. I'm not denying Led Zep had their own sound. I'm a big fan (despite Page being one of the sloppiest live players I think I've ever heard). Agree with your other points too but I can't help but find it cringeworthy. If I want to listen to Led Zep, I'll listen to Led Zep.
Nah not your post just music fans in general. I agree that they borrowed a lot from the original blues artists but they didnt sound exactly like them, was my point.
 

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rumply

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I only heard of these guys a month ago & at first wanted to be a bit outraged but eventually thought 'fu** it, I don't really care' & kept listening anyway

As the OP points out, there is a fair chunk of talent amongst this group, their second album gets a pass & I'm genuinely interest to see where they go. & if times allows I might cough up the ~$150 to go see them in September.

Probably my favourite song of theirs so far is a cover though, dude has some voice.

 
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