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

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

Led Zeppelin

 

Prog Related

4.38 | 166 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Two live albums were released to highlight the band's performances on stage prior to this one. Not really very much for a band that was famously renowned for its live gigs.

These recordings dated from two 1972 Californian concerts. Like in "The Song.", Page will use the cut and paste technique but not with such fury, and that's better.

Most of the tracks featured on this triple CD already exist on previous live records. But most of them are performed in such a great way that IMO it is the best live record that Led Zep has put onto the market so far (maybe will Jimmy do some more research for their fortieth anniversary) ?

Plant was rather hesitant in "Immigrant Song" on the BBC recordings. At this time (1971) the song was not as polished as during this tour. Plant sounds great in this difficult song. It is the best live version I know of the band (all recordings considered). Of course, this result was achieved by pasting (from LA) or duplicating (from Long Beach) the "screams" several times There will be the traditional wink to the Tull during "Heartbreaker" : Jimmy Page will play some notes from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Lute Suite No 5" better known as "Bouree". But this will often take place. First part is from Long Beach, the remainder of the song is from LA.

"Black Dog" is also superior to both the BBC and "The Song Remains The Same" (the movie) one. It will feature a wild and great guitar solo. Great hard-rock.

"Over The Hills And Far Away" although being played during their 1973, will neither took place in the film nor in the movie. And even if they played it already as soon as in 1971, this song from HOTH is only featured once on a live album. The acoustic side of the song is almost skipped here. The song is really wild. As most of the Led Zep ones during a live performance. No compromise while on stage : the hardest rock is featured.

All the ingredients of "Since." are running properly. They play it now for more than two years and the complicity amongst the band member is really great in this number. Can you imagine the luck of the audience ? They will hear "Since." and then "Stairway." one after the other. Isn't it heaven ? This will also be the sequence during the original concerts. These are my two favorite songs in the Led Zep repertoire. So, no need for a stairway, just need to listen and you're going there.(I'm sure you see what I mean). This song (one of the very few) will be rendered as it was played without pasting work.

What's make a Led Zep concert rather different than his fellow hard-rockers colleagues is that they will integrate a truly acoustic set which will feature three or four songs. "Bron-Yr-Aur-Stomp" (correctly spelled on the sleeve of this record - not on III) is my fave of the genre : probably because of its rhythm.

It closes disc one superbly. IMO it is the best live CD ever produced by Led Zep. Let's see what is featured on the other two ones.

Two great and "normal" songs "What Is and What Should Never Be" and "Dancing Days". And two of the three highlights of any Led Zep show in the early seventies (till 1973) : crazy versions for "Dazed" and "Moby Dick". Both songs serving as pretext to Page and Bonham to show their skills to a devoted audience. Again, if you're not really in Led Zep, these will be painful moments for you. For maniacs like me, you'll say at the end of each song : oh, it's already over ! These are not the longest of the genre (by no means). Just average in length : only twenty-five minutes for "Dazed" and almost twenty for "Moby Dick". A lot of fun.

Disc three features one of the most interesting long version of "Whole Lotta Love" with a great boogie and rock'n'roll medley. A fantastic moment for this third legendary track (from 1975 onwards, this track will be more standardized again and will be played closer to its original version (which is also great).

"Rock'n'Roll" is again far superior to the version from "TSRTS". It sounds fresher, faster, less heavy. The rhythm is really wild. A great rendition. It is not featured in the proper sequence here. It was the last encore of the Long Beach Arena concert. "The Ocean" while one of the weak tracks of HOTH sounds good live and "Bring It On Home" closes this live album quite remarkably.

It is my Led Zeppelin favorite live album. Of course three songs almost reach seventy minutes (at times they clocked at ninety!) but that WAS Led Zep on stage. Shows will be extended to over three hours of music. No need for supporting act. Led Zep. And only Led Zep. Take it or leave it !

If this had been released in 1972, I guess it would have been considered as another monument of live rock albums like the few ones I have already named in some reviews ("Rock'n'Roll Animal" , "Slade Alive!", "Made In Japan", "Uriah Heep Live" and "Live At Leeds"). Five stars.

I'm sure you can not wait any longer to get the whole track list of these two concerts, right ? Here you go.

LA Forum, 25th June : Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Over The Hill, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California, That's The Way, Tangerine, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, Dazed, What Is And What Should Never Be, Dancing Days, Moby Dick, Whola Lotta Love, Rock And Roll, The Ocean, Louie Louie, Thank You, Communication Breakdown, Bring It On Home and Weekend (from Eddie Cochran).

In Long Beach, on the 27th, the order of songs will slightly differ (Black Dog being played before Over The Hill). Dazed won't be featured. The concert will stop with Rock And roll.

Five stars.

Ps : Information referring to the cut and paste work from Jimmy comes from Eddie Edwards (thanks to your great job). If you are interested in having the full picture, ffeel free to post me a message. I'll be glad to provide you with his full details).

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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