Zeppelin - How the West Was Won
6/25/72 & Long Beach
The release of How the West
Was Won was released the same day as their video, Led Zeppelin
adding to small amount of live Led Zeppelin that was previously
How the West Was Won is a
tremendous collection of Led Zeppelin music on tour for their 1972
tour that includes several songs from their yet to be released
album, Houses of
the Holy. This three disc set is a composite of
their performances on July 25, and 27, 1972, in Southern
California. The flow replicates a complete concert and is a
must have for any Led Zeppelin fan.
The musical brilliance
begins on disc one and does not let up throughout the album. The show begins with shorter blues
oriented material with strong versions of some of their best songs
including "Heartbreaker" and "Since I've Been Loving
You." They slip in a tremendous version of the
"Over the Hills and Far Away." Unlike the studio version,
this takes a more electric tone, where as the original has an acoustic folk feel.
Later in the set, the band plays three acoustic songs which are
fabulous, featuring some great mandolin playing by John Paul
on disc two and continuing throughout the collection, the band
performs their more lengthy improvisational numbers. Both
"Dazed and Confused" and "Whole Lotta Love"
comfortably clock in at over 20 minutes each. The rendition of
"Dazed and Confused" includes Jimmy Pages violin bow
expedition, but just as impressive is they way incorporate the
rhythmically based track "The Crunge" from their House
of the Holy album within the song, nice segue. Not surprising,
"Whole Lotta Love" incorporates a medley of various songs.
When they finally get back to the theme of "Whole Lotta
Love," John Bonham plays some furious patterns. Apparently a
warm up for the two songs that follow "Rock and Roll" and
"The Ocean" that both emphasize the tightness of Led
Zeppelin's rhythm section, as well as Jimmy Page quickness on the fret board.
They close the disc strongly with a track from
the blues legend Willie Dixon "Bring it on Home."
Led Zeppelin's three disc
set How the West
Was Won is an incredible album. For fans that already have the
other three live Led Zeppelin releases there is quite a bit of
duplication. However, do not let that stop you from getting
this. Barry Small ©