Rolling Stone - 12/25/03, p.112
Included in Rolling Stone's "Top 10 Reissues of 2003"
Rolling Stone - 6/12/03, p.964 stars out of 5
- "...Captures Zep in prime swagger, fresh off their masterpiece, LED ZEPPELIN IV, with HOUSES OF THE HOLY just around the corner..."
Entertainment Weekly - 6/20/03, pp.70-1
"...The band storms out, playing music that is both of its time and timeless, as accessible and unapproachable as when it was made..." - Rating: A+
Q - 01/01/04, p.77
Included in Q's "Best Re-releases of 2003" - "[Y]ou couldn't expect any band to play any more, any better....[A] thrilling document of a continent being sonically trampled underfoot."
Led Zeppelin: Robert Plant (vocals); Jimmy Page (guitar); John Paul Jones (keyboards, bass); John Bonham (drums).
Recorded at Los Angeles Forum, Los Angeles, California and Long Beach Area, Long Beach, California on June 25 & 27, 1972.
Personnel: Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica); Jimmy Page (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); John Paul Jones (mandolin, keyboards, bass guitar); John Bonham (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Kevin Shirley.
Recording information: LA Forum (06/25/1972/06/27/1972); Long Beach Arena (06/25/1972/06/27/1972); Sarm West Studios, London, England (06/25/1972/06/27/1972).
Photographers: Jeffrey Mayer; James Fortune; Michael Putland; Jim Cummins.
In the course of putting together the live Led Zeppelin DVD for 2003 release, Jimmy Page came across some great concert recordings from the band's 1972 stint in California. HOW THE WEST WAS WON is three discs' worth of vintage Zep, far superior to the band's only other live album THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME. Here is the fearsome foursome in all their glory and fury, coming off like crazed rock & roll Vikings on the opening "Immigrant Song," reinventing the blues form on "Heartbreaker," and just plain rocking the doors off the joint on "Rock and Roll" and "Black Dog."
This being 1972, the band had made its journey into the folk-rock realm as well, and come out with the touching "Going to California" and "That's the Way," the earthy "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp," and the minstrel-in-the-hills fancy of "Over the Hills and Far Away," all of which are given strong voice here. A 25-minute "Dazed and Confused" and epic-length drum solo on the John Bonham feature "Moby Dick" show that Zep was unafraid to venture into anything they damn well pleased, but the bluesy grit and primal hard-rock crunch of their feel throughout this collection reveals the pure visceral magic of which these '70s icons were capable.