LED ZEPPELIN

(UNITED KINGDOM)

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

(2003)
LABEL:

ATLANTIC RECORDS

GENRE:

HARD ROCK

TAGS:
Bluesy, High-pitched vocals, Live, Old School
"A triple album featuring bootlegs from a dazzling performance in Los Angeles, "How The West Was Won" is the finest testament Led Zeppelin could offer their fans."
ZOSO (22.09.2008)  
5/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
On 25 and 27 June 1972, Led Zeppelin gave a dazzling performance in Los Angeles, witnessed only by the bootleg of 25 June called "Burn Like a Candle". In 1980, after swallowing a pool of vodka, drummer John Bonham died and the Hard Rock world went into mourning. His death marked the end of one of the world's greatest live bands, leaving only the controversial 'The Song Remains The Same' to thrill nostalgic fans and rattle purists.

So when Jimmy Page pulled the bootleg tapes out of his hat in 2003 to make a triple live album, you have to wonder: why only now? It's tempting to think of it as a little attempt to get the old goose to lay the golden eggs again in order to reap the rewards. But this charming rural scenario falls apart when you listen to this triple album...

The old wizard hasn't been kidding us, and what he's managed to do with the old tapes is indeed magical. The sound is crisp and clear, allowing each of the instruments and Plant's voice to express themselves fully. The energy of the performance is much better rendered than on 'The Song Remains The Same', which takes a beating in the process. The post-concert work is therefore enormous and the only obstacle on the stairway to musical heaven would be a bad interpretation on the part of the giant, which is unlikely given the date, 1972.

The not-very-helpful introduction 'LA Drone' doesn't even give us time to get comfortable in our seats before 'Immigrant Song' kicks us out. The choice of this song to kick things off is extremely judicious, and Page's monstrous solo bodes well for the future, supported as usual by all his band-mates, who are perfectly in place. The tracks that followed showed more and more a Led Zeppelin in total freedom, playing their compositions to the hilt in order to deliver the best of themselves.

And the best is achieved. Since I've Been Loving You' is transcended by Plant's magical vocals, as are all the tracks on III, perfectly placed to temper the storms of 'Black Dog', 'Heartbreaker' and 'The Ocean'. All these tracks reveal their incredible energy to an extent rarely seen in the music world. Stairway To Heaven' is played in cathedral-like silence and rises to a metaphysical level of beauty. And what can be said of the joyous improvisations of 'Moby Dick', 'Whole Lotta Love' and 'Dazed and Confused' (1h10 between them), on which each member seems to play for the music, without worrying about scores, sales or squabbles.

Page's guitar and Plant's vocals give the astonished listener almost erotic sensations rarely experienced in music. The members of Led Zeppelin complement each other like never before, each letting himself go without restraint, and naturally giving the other the space he needs. Plant and Page are the two turrets of the same tank, with Bonham and John Paul Jones as the relentless caterpillars. "How The West Was Won" is the live album that every hard rock fan must hear.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
101. La Drone - 00 :14
102. Immigrant Song - 03 :41
103. Heartbreaker - 07 :24
104. Black Dog - 05 :40
105. Over The Hills And Far Away - 05:07
106. Since I’ve Been Loving You - 08:01
107. Stairway To Heaven - 09:37
108. Going To California - 05:36
109. That’s The Way - 05:53
110. Bron-y-aur Stomp - 04:52
201. Dazed And Confused - 25:25
202. What Is And What Should Never Be - 04:39
203. Dancing Days - 03:41
204. Moby Dick - 19:23
301. Whole Lotta Love - 23:07
302. Rock N’ Roll - 03:55
303. The Ocean - 04:19
304. Bring It On Home - 09:29

LINEUP:
Jimmy Page: Guitares
John Bonham: Batterie
John Paul Jones: Basse / Claviers
Robert Plant: Chant / Harmonica
   
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