Music Throwback Saturday: I Got A Line On You

Some of the music community had worried that a guilty verdict could open up a flood of suits of this kind – justified or otherwise.

hqdefaultOne of my favorite songs in college was I Got A Line On You, the first song on the second Spirit album The Family That Plays Together. I could have sworn I’d linked to it before, but can’t easily find it. It went to #25 on the Billboard charts in 1969.

I’ve had the band in mind since the heirs of the late Randy California, a/k/a Randy Craig Wolfe sued led Zeppelin in 2014 over the similarity between the Spirit song Taurus and LZ’s classic Stairway to Heaven.

The problem with Zeppelin was that the band was notorious for swiping other people’s songs, as I have complained myself. The difficulty for the plaintiff was that both songs were similar to earlier tunes, from the Baroque era to Mary Poppins’ Chim Chim Cher-ee.

The ruling this week in a Los Angeles: The song royalties will remain the same, “after several nail-biting dramatic moments in the courtroom where it seemed the decision could go either way.”

As Salon noted: “The decision isn’t entirely shocking, but some of the music community had worried that… a guilty verdict… could open up a flood of suits of this kind – justified or otherwise. The $40 million the plaintiffs were asking for, and the song’s status as perhaps the most famous in the classic-rock canon, meant it was likely to have a serious impact. The decision against Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines,’ which was based on a far-less famous Marvin Gaye song and settled for a much smaller amount, has already provoked similar cases (including, indirectly, this one.) A win for Spirit’s camp could have led to a huge number of ambulance chasers.”

I am happy about this decision and frankly thought the Blurred Lines claim was dubious as well.

I Got A Line On You – Spirit (1969) HERE or HERE

I Got A Line On You – Spirit (1984 version) HERE. It appeared on their comeback album “The Thirteenth Dream” (issued as “Spirit of ’84” in the US).

Taurus – Spirit HERE or HERE

Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin HERE

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

One thought on “Music Throwback Saturday: I Got A Line On You”

  1. One of my favorite “Did they or didn’t they?” juxtapositions involves the Marvelettes’ “Please Mr. Postman” and Dee Dee Sharp’s “Mashed Potato Time”; heck, Dee Dee actually sings a couple of lines of “Postman” along the way.

    And if you let that one slide, you still have to explain Bobby Pickett’s “Monster Mash.”

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