Taurus (instrumental)

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Song by Spirit from the album Spirit
Released January 22, 1968
Recorded November 1967
Genre Psychedelic rock, progressive rock
Length 2:37
Label Epic Records
Writer Randy California
Producer Lou Adler
Spirit track listing
"Mechanical World"
"Girl in Your Eye"
Audio sample
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"Taurus" is a rock instrumental by American rock band Spirit, originally released on their self-titled debut album in 1968. The track, composed by guitarist/singer Randy California, was recorded in November 1967.[1] It has been noticed that Jimmy Page borrowed the descending guitar figure from "Taurus" for Led Zeppelin's signature tune "Stairway to Heaven".[2] Led Zeppelin opened for Spirit in an early American tour, leaving little doubt that Led Zeppelin had heard the Spirit song before "Stairway to Heaven" was written. In the liner notes to the 1996 reissue of Spirit's debut album, songwriter Randy California writes:

People always ask me why "Stairway to Heaven" sounds exactly like "Taurus", which was released two years earlier. I know Led Zeppelin also played "Fresh Garbage" in their live set. They opened up for us on their first American tour.[3][4][5]

In May 2014 an attorney hired by Randy California's estate announced plans to file a copyright infringement suit that will seek a co-writing credit for California on "Stairway to Heaven."[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ William Ruhlmann. Spirit: Biography. Allmusic. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  2. ^ Guitar World Magazine, April 1997: "(Randy) California's most enduring legacy may well be the fingerpicked acoustic theme of the song "Taurus," which Jimmy Page lifted virtually note for note for the introduction to "Stairway to Heaven."
  3. ^ Sleeve notes, booklet included with CD EPC 485175
  4. ^ The London Independent, 17 January 1997
  5. ^ 1968 Setlist
  6. ^ Los Angeles Times, May 21, 2014
  7. ^ "Stairway to Heaven: The Song Remains Pretty Similar". BloombergBusinessweek. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.