Blues Influences on Rock Music: Inspiration or Plagiarism?

Posted: November 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

There can be no doubt that many of the British rock bands of the 1960s took inspiration from the early black American blues singers such as Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters. British bands such as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones started their careers doing cover versions of early American blues artists, and British guitarist such as Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton were inspired by American blues. In recent years many have claimed that these inspirations amounted to “plagiarism” because the similarities were so close. Others have argued that it was simply artistic inspiration. The clip above shows the debt Led Zeppelin owed to American blues legends such as Willie Dixon. For another video pointing to similarities between Lez Zeppelin and other artists, see this video.

Below is a Rolling Stones clip of “I Just want to Make Love to You“, a 1954 song by Willie Dixon also recorded by Muddy Waters. For the Muddy Waters version, see here.

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