How the West Was Won (Led Zeppelin album)

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How the West Was Won
Mixed-media stencil portrait of Led Zeppelin
Live album by
Released27 May 2003 (2003-05-27)
Recorded25 and 27 June 1972 and 22 January 1973
Venue
Genre
Length150:27
LabelAtlantic
ProducerJimmy Page
CompilerJimmy Page
Led Zeppelin chronology
Led Zeppelin DVD
(2003)
How the West Was Won
(2003)
Mothership
(2007)

How the West Was Won is a live triple album by the English rock group Led Zeppelin, released by Atlantic Records on compact disc on 27 May 2003, DVD-Audio on 7 October 2003 and Blu-Ray Audio in 2018. The recordings are taken from two 1972 performances in California during their tour of North America: L.A. Forum (25 June 1972) and Long Beach Arena (27 June 1972).

Background[edit]

Guitarist Jimmy Page considers Led Zeppelin at this point to have been at their artistic peak, as is mentioned in the album's liner notes and in an interview he gave to The Times newspaper in 2010.[1]

For many years, recordings of these two shows circulated only in the form of bootlegs, such as Burn Like a Candle. Though soundboard recordings of Led Zeppelin concerts were circulated among fans after being stolen from Page's personal archive in the mid-1980s, no such versions of the 1972 Long Beach or LA Forum shows were taken, meaning How the West Was Won was the first chance fans had of hearing the soundboard versions of these concerts.[2] The songs from the two shows underwent extensive editing and audio engineering by Page at Sarm West Studios in London before being released on the album.

"It wasn't in our thoughts to try and outdo The Song Remains the Same…" remarked engineer Kevin Shirley. "The reason those performances still stand up now is because Jimmy really was a genius. He could create tempests, summon storms. He really was the master of light and shade. And the musicians around him allowed him to flesh out that vision. Especially John Bonham, without whom Jimmy and Zeppelin would never have been able to do what he did."[3]

The album was remastered and reissued on 23 March 2018 in many formats, including 3CD, 4LP, Blu-Ray Audio and a Super Deluxe Edition box set.[4]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic97/100[5]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[6]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[7]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[8]
Pitchfork8.8/10[9]
Rolling Stone[10]
Stylus MagazineA−[11]
Uncut[12]

The album debuted on the Billboard 200 chart for the week ending 14 June 2003 at number 1, with sales of 154,000 copies. It remained on the chart for 16 weeks.[13] It was certified gold and platinum by the RIAA on 30 June 2003.[14][15] How the West Was Won received an overall score of 97 by review site Metacritic.[5]

Accolades for How the West Was Won
Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Classic Rock UK "The 50 Greatest Live Albums Ever"[16] 2003 4
Les Inrockuptibles France "2003 Best Reissues"[17] 2003 4
Record Collector UK "New Albums: Readers Top 10" (2003)[18] 2004 4
The Village Voice US "Albums of the Year"[19] 2004 37
Q UK "10 Live Albums You Must Own"[20] 2005 *
Q UK "The 20 Greatest Live Albums"[21] 2006 11
Rock Hard Germany "The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time[22] 2005 342
Rolling Stone USA "The 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time[23] 2015 23
Guitar World USA "The 10 Best Live Albums You Must Hear[24] 2019 7
Planet Rock magazine UK "The 100 Greatest Live Albums Ever" 2020 *

(*) designates unordered lists.

Track listing[edit]

Disc one
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording date and venueLength
1."LA Drone"John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page27 June, Long Beach Arena0:14
2."Immigrant Song"Page, Robert PlantMixed from both nights3:42
3."Heartbreaker"John Bonham, Jones, Page, PlantMixed from both nights7:25
4."Black Dog"Jones, Page, PlantMixed from both nights5:41
5."Over the Hills and Far Away"Page, PlantMixed from both nights5:08
6."Since I've Been Loving You"Jones, Page, Plant27 June8:02
7."Stairway to Heaven"Page, PlantMixed from both nights; Mellotron from Southampton University, Southampton, England, 22 January 19739:38
8."Going to California"Page, Plant27 June5:37
9."That's the Way"Page, Plant25 June, LA Forum5:54
10."Bron-Y-Aur Stomp"Jones, Page, Plant27 June4:55
Disc two
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording date and venueLength
1."Dazed and Confused"
"Walter's Walk"
"The Crunge"
Page (inspired by Jake Holmes)
Page, Plant
Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant
25 June25:25
2."What Is and What Should Never Be"Page, Plant27 June4:41
3."Dancing Days"Page, PlantMixed from both nights3:42
4."Moby Dick"Bonham, Jones, Page25 June19:20
Disc three
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording date and venueLength
1."Whole Lotta Love"
"Boogie Chillun"
"Let's Have a Party"
"Hello Mary Lou" (omitted from 2018 reissue)
"Going Down Slow"
Bonham, Willie Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant
Bernie Besman, John Lee Hooker
Jessie Mae Robinson
Cayet Mangiaracina, Gene Pitney
James B. Oden
25 June23:07
2."Rock and Roll"Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant27 June3:56
3."The Ocean"Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant25 June4:21
4."Bring It On Home"
"Bring It On Back"
Dixon
Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant
25 June9:30
Total length:150:27

Notes:

  • The DVD-Audio version of the album has tracks 1–11 on disc one with tracks 12–18 on disc two. It features the whole album in 24bit/48 kHz for both 5.1 and Stereo.
  • The Blu-Ray Audio version of the albums has all tracks on one disc. It features the whole album in 24-bit/96kHz DTS-Master Audio 5.1, as well as two stereo tracks (PCM and DTS-MA)
  • The 4 LP version of the album has tracks 1–4 on Side A, tracks 5, 12 & 13 on Side B, track 6 & 7 on Side C, track 8–10 on Side D, tracks 11, 14 & 15 on Sides E, F & G respectively, and tracks 16–18 on Side H
  • The medley omitting "Hello Mary Lou" has a runtime of 20:59 in the 2018 reissue

Personnel[edit]

Led Zeppelin

Additional personnel

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Sales certifications for How the West Was Won
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[51] Gold 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[52] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[53] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[14] Platinum 1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Release formats for How the West Was Won
Region Date Label Format Catalog #
United States 27 May 2003 Atlantic Records Compact Disc (×3) 83587-2
7 October 2003 DVD-Audio (×2) 83587-9
Japan 27 May 2003 WEA Japan Compact Disc (×3) 11585-7
Worldwide 23 March 2018 Warner Blu-ray (×1)
Worldwide 23 March 2018 Warner Vinyl (×4)

References[edit]

  1. ^ James Jackson, "Jimmy Page on Led Zeppelin IV, the band's peak and their reunion, The Times, 8 January 2010 .
  2. ^ Lewis, Dave (2003). Led Zeppelin: The 'Tight but Loose' Files: Celebration II (1st ed.). London: Omnibus Press. p. 156. ISBN 1-84449-056-4.
  3. ^ "Live albums". Classic Rock supplement: The Live Albums That Changed The World. December 2011. p. 14.
  4. ^ Sinclair, Paul. "Led Zeppelin / How The West Was Won reissued on vinyl, blu-ray and box set". Super Deluxe Edition. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b How the West Was Won at Metacritic Edit this at Wikidata
  6. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. How the West Was Won at AllMusic
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  8. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony (20 June 2003). "Entertainment Weekly Review". Ew.com. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  9. ^ Leone, Dominique (11 June 2003). "Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Pitchfork.
  10. ^ Kot, Greg (21 May 2003). "Led Zeppelin – How the West was Won". Rolling Stone.
  11. ^ Smietanik, John. "Led Zeppelin – How the West was Won". stylusmagazine.com. Archived from the original on 27 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  12. ^ Uncut. "Led Zeppelin – How The West Was Won". Uncut.co.uk. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008.
  13. ^ "The Billboard 200: How the West was Won". Billboard. Retrieved 18 January 2009.
  14. ^ a b "American album certifications – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Recording Industry Association of America.
  15. ^ "Zeppelin Smashes Records as CD/DVDs Debut at No. 1 – 4 June 2003". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  16. ^ "Classic Rock – The 50 Greatest Live Albums Ever (2003)". Classic Rock. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  17. ^ "2003 Best Reissues". Les Inrockuptibles. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  18. ^ "New Albums: Readers Top 10". Record Collector. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  19. ^ "Albums of the Year (2004)". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on 7 July 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  20. ^ "10 Live Albums You Must Own – April 2005". Q. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  21. ^ "The 20 Greatest Live Albums – June 2006". Q. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  22. ^ Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. 2005. p. 72. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.
  23. ^ "50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time". Rollingstone.com. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  24. ^ "10 of the best live albums every rock fan needs to hear | Guitar World". Guitarworld.com. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
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  26. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
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  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  29. ^ "Led Zeppelin Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  30. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  31. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  32. ^ "Led Zeppelin: How the West Was Won" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  33. ^ "Lescharts.com – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  34. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  35. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Led Zeppelin". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  36. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  37. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 11 June 2003". Oricon. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  38. ^ "Charts.nz – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  39. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  40. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  41. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  42. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  43. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  44. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  45. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  46. ^ "Led Zeppelin Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  47. ^ "Album Top 40 slágerlista – 2018. 13. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  48. ^ "Rapports Annuels 2003". Ultratop. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  49. ^ "The Official UK Albums Chart 2003" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  50. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2003". Billboard. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  51. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won" (in Portuguese). Pro-Música Brasil.
  52. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Music Canada.
  53. ^ "British album certifications – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". British Phonographic Industry.

External links[edit]