Led Zeppelin - How The West Was Won
Classic Hard Rock
Disc 1: 10 songs (56:05) Disc 2: 4 songs (53:06) Disc 3: 4 songs (40:51)
Release year: 2003
Atlantic Records
Reviewed by Jeff
Major event

So far 2003 has seen some promising live releases that have been long over due yet worth the wait: Annihilator's "Double Live Annihilation", Blind Guardian's "Live" and the soon to be reviewed "Live Kreation" by Kreator.

When I found out about how Kiss "ALIVE" was really made, I became a bit disillusioned with live albums. I guess one can only know what is truly live if they are at a concert as opposed to what might be mixed in or over dubbed afterwards.

So how do songs that are over thirty plus years old sound as fresh and inspiring today as they did back then? Thanks to the quality recording of some outstanding performances held in the Led Zeppelin vaults all this time. They have been restored, remixed and remastered by none other than Eddie Krammer (Kiss "ALIVE"). The end result is something that was well worth the wait and brings a different perspective on how we've all become so used to hearing these songs.

"How The West Was Won" is a three disc set that combines the best performances from two of Led Zeppelin's shows at the LA Forum and Long Beach back in 1972, just prior to the release of the "Houses Of The Holy" album. This is what pure hard rock is all about: a bass, guitar, drums and a lead vocalist. This is the formula, basis and foundation on what rock and metal was built upon. The musicianship and performances blow away "The Song Remains The Same". The set list covers material from the first five Led Zeppelin albums. To hear these songs performed stripped down and raw is interesting yet it works and gives the listener a different interpretation from something done in a studio. Especially the guitar parts. Since Jimmy Page is only one person he could only re create certain parts live that he did overdubs for in the studio but it sounds varied none the less, as he switches between playing the same guitar melodies at different octaves. Plant's vocals are spine chilling. The bottom end of Bonham and Jones really keep the songs moving.

One thing I never liked about live albums are long, drawn out guitar or drum solos. I feel that a band could compensate for the fans by including a few extra songs for the amount of time these tangents take up. But for some reason it works with Led Zeppelin. To take songs like "Dazed and Confused" and "Whole Lotta Love", (which average about 6 minutes studio versions), and drag it out to almost 25 minutes is simply hypnotic; a big jam session. Within these songs there are medleys in which you can hear some experimentation of musical ideas that showed up on albums to follow "Houses Of The Holy". The length of these songs are a concert in themselves.

Led Zeppelin's music has stood the test of time and these performances capture Led Zeppelin in their prime and at their best. It is a true testament to what a rock band is all about.

The DVD contains over five hours worth of music, with songs that span up to "Physical Graffiti"

Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham.......that's "How The West Was Won"!


Killing Songs :
ALL! but the highlights for me are Immigrant Song, Over The Hills And Far Away,Stairway To Heaven, Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California, That's The Way, The Ocean, Rock And Roll, What Is And What Should Never Be
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Other albums by Led Zeppelin that we have reviewed:
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
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