The music industry

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With the development of the music industry field, there have always been substantial changes in the music industry. But difficulties like musical copying have long been a source of anxiety for many artists. In this essay, Jake Holmes and Led Zeppelin's historical contributions to the creation and development of the song "Dazed and Confused" will be explored and analyzed (Smithfield 1). The effect of their actions will depend on how well the song is received and promoted in general.

Jake Holmes was a United States citizen born in San Francisco, California while Led Zeppelin is a popular British band musician. Their musical test was also different as Holmes got his inspiration mainly from the black music while Zeppelin test of music mainly comes from Delta blues, folk classics, and as well as traditional folk songs (Ross 1). The music work titled ‘’Daze and Confused’ which they are accredited for will be on the center of a debate based on the originality and content issue in line with the music plagiarism issue. However, both had their contribution in line with their role in the song. The song Dazed and Confused was first written by Jakes Holmes and included in his 1967 album ‘’The above Ground Sound’’. Later on, Led Zeppelin recorded the same song in 1969 a single. Zeppelin version of the song contained a few modifications that helped to distinguish it from the Holmes version. However to many the songs looked similar both in content and meaning.

Holmes lyrics of the song were primarily based on his personal life experience of love. The song was trying to portray a message of a volatile relationship in which he finds himself in. He is faced with a wide range of issue that caused him paranoia and fears. For him, it was about the woman he loves and the uncertainty that comes with being in love and the question of whether the woman will stay with him to the future (Man 1). This was indeed what he captures in the content of his version of the song. It was especially coming into play as a true psychedelic anthem of the 60s counterculture era which was taking shape. For Holmes, it was a personal experience in line with his love life that drove him to compose the song. Zeppelin, on the other hand, was inspired to compose the song from the performance of Jimmy Page. Zeppelin was inspired by the song and went ahead to record the song. The song content indeed looked similar, but the inspiration for their composer was different. To Zeppelin, he falls in love with the song in line with how it connected well with the audience in line with its content and style of performance.

The two songs are so similar that the only difference between the versions was on the based the lyrics and the inclusion of the Bonham’s superior drum arrangements in comparison to the initial song by Holmes (Man 1). This mainly could be due to the changing times and technology that was required to make the shows more lively to the audience. Zeppelin also did lay a solid foundation in line with the ushering the era of the rock album in the 70s prior to the release of Zeppelin version much was not known of the song as Holmes version never made it big as a recording artist. The Zeppelin version incorporated a chorus to the song making it more interesting and appealing to the audience while Holmes version did not incorporate a chorus, but just the content and hence could connect well to the audience.

Zeppelin version also was mainly commercialized as opposed to the Holmes original version which is mainly a composition for passing a message of love in relation to Holmes love life. Zeppelin was capitalizing on the need to pass the message to a greater audience as after watching the performance from Page and discovered that the song could be economically viable and could be a major hit. This is also mainly attributed to the history of the Zeppelin band in line with copying from the work of the following artist and capitalizing on their ideas (Ross 1). This is evidenced by the various court cases they faced in line with musical plagiarism. One such example is how the Zeppelin copied Holmes song and capitalized on it without even recognizing the contribution of Holmes work.


It is established that yes indeed the original ideas of the song composition emerges from Holmes but the Zeppelin play a critical role in the commercialization process of the song. It is this delicate balance that raises the issue of who should take the highest credit for the song. Is it the composer or the one who invest resource to ensure the song is promoted to earn a place in the music industry? The issue of who earns the credit will continue to be a debate for a year to come depending on an individual view and perspective. Another issue of concern as is in the case of the Holmes and Zeppelin case is to what extent a song could be considered plagiarized.

Works Cited

Man, Dead. Dazed and Confused by Jake Holmes. 28 January 2013. 6 December 2017 .

Ross, Alex. The Unoriginal Originality of Led Zeppelin. 14 April 2016. 6 December 2017 .

Smithfield, Brad. Aggravation over inspiration: Folk musician Jake Holmes sued Led Zeppelin for plagiarism of "Dazed and Confused." 8 August 2017. 8 December 2017 .

April 13, 2023

Music Life

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