|First posted 11/16/2020.|
How the West Was Won
Released: May 27, 2003
Recorded: live June 25 and 27, 1972
Peak: 11 US, 5 UK, 11 CN, -- AU
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 2.0 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: classic rock
Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks for original studio releases) Click for codes to singles charts. The raised numbers after the song indicate the original studio album from which the album is taken.
1 Led Zeppelin I (1969)
Total Running Time: 150:27
4.221 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)
Quotable: “For anybody who really loves hard rock & roll, it doesn’t get much better than this.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
About the Album:
This recording was made from two live shows in California in 1972 – one at the L.A. Forum on June 25 and the other from the Long Beach Arena two days later. The two shows were bootlegged for years, but this was the first chance fans had to heard official soundboard recordings of the concerts. WK
“The end result is worth the wait.” AMG Jimmy Page, the band’s guitarist and the album’s producer, “has assembled a killer live album that captures the full, majestic sweep of Zeppelin.” AMG Page says in the liner notes that he considered the band to be at their artistic peak at this time. “For anybody who really loves hard rock & roll, it doesn’t get much better than this.” AMG This is an “absolutely essential” AMG “priceless souvenir.” AMG
Throughout the album, “songs that have grown familiar through years of play seem fresh and new because of these vigorous, muscular performances.” AMG The long numbers – Dazed and Confused, Whole Lotta Love, and Moby Dick – “are alternatingly fascinating and indulgent, yet even when they meander there is a real sense of grandeur, achieving a cinematic scale attempted by few of their peers.” AMG
However, “the real power of the band comes through on the shorter songs, where etheir sound is distilled to its essence.” AMG “Witness how Black Dog goes straight for the gut here, while the studio version escalates into a veritable guitar army – it’s the same song, but the song has not remained the same.” AMG
How the West Was Won debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart, demonstrating the lasting power of Led Zeppelin that a three-decades old recordings could still reach the pinnacle.
It also showed how much Led Zep fans wanted a good, official live album from the band. The Song Remains the Same was a live soundtrack released while the band was still active, but “it was a choppy, uneven performance, lacking the majesty of the group at its peak.” AMG In 1997, a double-disc album of BBC sessions from 1969 was released, but it wasn’t recorded in front of a live audience.
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