When Iron Maiden Admitted Ripping Off The Beckett
As most of us have noticed before, copyright lawsuits are common in the music industry. It is often hard to distinguish whether the artists copied that particular work or were just inspired by them. Originality is a widely discussed topic not just in the music industry but in the whole art world.
As the famous French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard put before, ‘It’s not where you take things from. It’s where you take them to.’ Originality is very hard to achieve as inspiration is inevitable. Artists tend to feed their imagination with different artworks to create something new. However, the issue of inspiration, copying or stealing, whatever you may call it, sometimes causes big trouble to the musicians, something Iron Maiden has experienced.
The Beckett Sued Iron Maiden Over The Song ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’
The song ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ has been an Iron Maiden fan-favorite, and it is also considered one of the band’s signature songs. It was a part of Iron Maiden’s 1982 album ‘The Number of the Beast.’ The song is also highly praised for its lyrics which Steve Harris wrote, and it is also among the most covered songs of the band.
In 2017, it was announced that Iron Maiden was being sued for allegedly using the Beckett song ‘Life’s Shadow.’ The song was initially written in the early 1970s by the Beckett members Robert Barton and Brian Ingham. Formed in 1970, Beckett released a self-titled album in 1974, but they disbanded after a while.
Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood was the agent for Beckett at the time, and it is known that Steve Harris was a fan of Beckett, and he would go to watch them live. When Robert Barton sued the band over copyrights of the song, they settled with him, but later on, the other songwriter Brian Ingham also sued Iron Maiden. In 2018, they came to an agreement, and Iron Maiden paid about £ 100,000 to the Beckett members.
Steve Harris admitted that six lines from ‘Life’s Shadow’ were referenced in ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name.’ They thought that the issue was over when they came to terms with Barton but faced another lawsuit later. After the lawsuit incident, they removed the song from the Iron Maiden setlist but now, as the process has ended, they can play it again in their shows.
Below, you can listen to both songs and decide.