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Led Zeppelin - How The West Was Won CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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4.38 | 213 ratings

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3 stars "How the West Was Won" is an amazing depiction of Led Zeppelin in top form. It was compiled from two performances, one in the Long Beach Arena and the other in the LA Forum in 1972, at the peak of their powers. As usual it was met with great success charting at number 1 on the American Pop charts being the first album by them to do so since "In Through the Out Door" in 1979.

The Performance itself is full of powerful energy and the band plays as hard as ever. Some of the magic of the original tracks is lost amidst the crowd and not overly great recording quality. It may just be me complaining but I don't think the sound quality is all that flash hot. As is done in live performances most if not all the songs are adapted to be performed live. This may involve less parts, longer or shorter length and just general adjustments to the music.

In addition to all the good old classic Zeppelin tracks there is also the incorporation of other rock songs by people like Jerry Leiber and John Lee Hooker in some of the 20+ minute pieces. These pieces along with the 19 minute version of "Moby Dick" take up most of discs 2 and 3, while the first disc contains many of the legendary classics of the band.

Jimmy Page really seems to dominate this set of performances with his powerful and sometimes hectic guitar playing. John Bonham's drum solo on "Moby Dick" is what one could call repetitive but it shows skill. John Paul Jones' Mandolin of "That's the Way" sounds beautiful when combined with the acoustic guitar and his bass work is good throughout the album. Lastly, Robert Plant's vocals are over the top a little here and lack some of the original magic which can be found in the studio versions of the Led Zeppelin tracks.

I'm not sure what others think of this album but I for one quite like it as a whole and although it runs for a very long time it is well worth listening to now and then. Not too often though. All that said some of the variations and live gimmicks of the band detracts from the overall wonder of the album, therefore I give "How the West Was Won" a high three stars. Every hard-core Led Zeppelin fan would enjoy this, also check out the DVD version also! The dynamic packaging looks really cool. Good, but non-essential

Australian | 3/5 |


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