Led Zeppelin vs. Chicago vs. Green Day vs. The White Stripes


Thanks to Craig for this set of gems!

Led Zeppelin keeps popping up here. They’re either sounding like someone else or others are sounding like them. Check out some of the history of “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You“.

Led Zeppelin - "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" (1969)

And now check these out!

Chicago - "25 or 6 to 4" (1970)
Green Day - "Brain Stew/Jaded" (1995)
White Stripes - "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" (2001)
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29 Replies to “Led Zeppelin vs. Chicago vs. Green Day vs. The White Stripes”

  1. Heather

    Hey, cool blog. Just thought I’d let you know, though–the White Stripes track is actually “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.”

  2. Spoghead

    Sorry to say this, well noticed, but the chord structure of all four of those songs is based around one of the most popular guitar scales know nto man!! lol

    Thus, the likelihood of them being similar is incredibly high. Smoke on the Water by Deep purple uses most of the same notes but in a different order.

    Credit for noticing the alarming similarity though…..

    1. Mark Adams

      That’s interesting, because according to Wikipedia, While My Guitar Gently Weeps features a guitar solo from Eric Clapton.

  3. Creepshow99

    Anne Bredon wrote “Babe, I’m gonna Leave You” in the 50’s anyway, and it was covered by Joan Baez before Led Zeppelin ever did.

    1. E J

      Hmmmm I had the Led Zepp album and I think the writing credit was “Traditional arr. by Jimmy Page”.
      I think it was a traditional English folk song that had probably become Public Domain.
      However I am not sure.

  4. Nick

    I’m surprised it hasn’t been said yet, but I’ve always considered Brain Stew to sound more like Kashmir by Led Zeppelin than anything else.

  5. Homie

    Actually, when I was a kid my cousin Marco pointed out how all those songs originated from “Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles. Which I’m sure goes back even further if you care to keep digging.

    Stereo Kitsch!

    1. Reverend Flash

      I don’t hear the Ray Charles similarity. Some people seem to be getting stuck on the idea that the songs in question only have a descending bass line in common. This is wrong. They have a descending chord progression that definitely doesn’t drop in the typically scaled fashion of ‘Hit The Road Jack’ at all.

    2. Mark Adams

      The pattern in Hit the Road Jack is The Andalusian Cadence or Diatonic Phrygian Tetrachord. The first of these refers to the southernmost peninsula of Spain, as this sequence is an important part of flamenco, while the second term states that it is the first four notes of the fourth mode of the major scale, descending, or, in other words, in the key (more correctly tonality) of C, it is descending from F, using only white notes.

      A found a website that states that Ancient Greek lyre were tuned to these notes and likely were the accompaniment for the poetry of Homer. The earliest instance on the audio file may well be Lamento della ninfa: ‘Amor dov’e la fe’ by Monteverdi and about 50 others are included, out of an apparent hundreds and thousands. The comments include a review of the suggestions. No one has posted about the Theme song for the animated series of Eloise (as in Eloise at the Plaza) or the Space Invaders music (1987), but the list could just go on and on (for example, my mother told me when she was younger, she used to play a game called Blue Meanies from Outer Space, which was much the same, music and all). So Keith, if you’re reading this, I would suggest to only post the earliest one and the most famous or the ones by the biggest names.

      Here is the link to the webpage. http://www.wnyc.org/story/worlds-most-used-musical-sequence/

        1. Mark Adams

          Yes, sorry about the incorrect description of Phrygian though. I meant it is the third mode of the major (or Ionian) scale and as it is descending, in the key (or tonality) of C, it is descending to E, not from. It is descending from A.

      1. Mark Adams

        I’ve found the games aren’t all that similar to each other. I guess my mother had the games mixed up. I really should have checked it out first.

  6. Homie

    I don’t know why, but I always thought “Last Resort” from Papa Roach always sounded similar to these riffs as well. Particularly “Brain Stew” from Green Day.

  7. Esteban805

    The outro riff from Cafe Tacvba’s “Esta Vez” actually uses the EXACT same riff as ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leav You’ just in a different key. Its still a wicked song by a wicked band, but the influence is obvious.

  8. Jon

    The verses of Styx’s “Suite Madam Blue” are the same progression in a different key (B minor, if memory serves). The vocal melody bears a striking resemblance to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

  9. Matt

    The chord progression is very common. You can find it in:
    Led Zeppelin – Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
    The Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
    Chicago – 25 or 6 to 4
    Styx – Suite Madam Blue
    Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack
    Aerosmith – Dream On
    Billy Joel – Piano Man (Piano Solo)
    Cream – White Room

    It’s a common chord progression and it’s probably been used for centuries. It’s not a stolen chord progression, it’s more cliché.

  10. Steve

    I thought “Brain Stew” sounded like “Ten Years Gone”, not making the connection between it and “Babe. I’m Gonna Leave You” It is not just the chord progression, it is the rythym vocals and general sound of the song.

  11. Nimi

    What about “Ugly kid joe’s – Slower Than Nowhere”
    and yes… it is kind of a common chord progression

  12. DasEagle

    Also something that mixes well or would make a good addition to these in a mash-up is that “guitar gently weeps” beatles track, has a similar downward chord progression.


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