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 Led Zeppelin
Released 27 May 2003 (2003-05-27)
Recorded 25 June 1972, L.A. Forum,
27 June 1972, Long Beach Arena
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal, blues rock, folk rock
Length 150:27
Label Atlantic
Producer Jimmy Page
Compiler Jimmy Page
Led Zeppelin chronology
Led Zeppelin DVD
(2003)
How the West Was Won
(2003)
Mothership
(2007)

How the West Was Won is a triple live album by the English rock group Led Zeppelin, released by Atlantic Records on compact disc on 27 May 2003, and DVD-Audio on 7 October 2003. These original performances are from the band's 1972 concert tour of the United States, recorded at the L.A. Forum on 25 June 1972 and Long Beach Arena on 27 June 1972.

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. In an interview he gave to The Times newspaper in 2010, when asked which performances from Led Zeppelin's career stand out to him now, he made reference to these gigs:

I think what we did on ... How the West was Won – that 1972 gig – is pretty much a testament of how good it was. It would have been nice to have had a little more visual recordings, but there you go. That’s the conundrum of Led Zeppelin![1]

For many years, live recordings of these two shows only circulated in the form of bootlegs, and even then only certain audience recordings were available to fans and collectors (for example, Burn Like a Candle). Though several soundboard recordings of Led Zeppelin concerts were circulated amongst fans after having been stolen from Page's personal archive some time in the mid–1980s, no soundboards of the 1972 Long Beach or LA Forum shows were taken, meaning the release of 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 some extensive editing and audio engineering by Page at Sarm West Studios in London before being released on the album. Some songs which were played at the concerts, such as "Communication Breakdown", "Tangerine", "Thank You" and a rare version of "Louie Louie" from the 25 June show, were left off How the West Was Won.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 97[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly A−[5]
Pitchfork Media 8.8/10[6]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[7]
Stylus A−[8]
Uncut 4/5 stars[9]

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.[10] It was certified gold and platinum by the RIAA on 30 June 2003.[11] The album became the first Led Zeppelin album since 1979's In Through the Out Door to reach the No. 1 position.[12][13] How the West Was Won received an overall score of 97 by review site Metacritic.[3]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Classic Rock United Kingdom "The 50 Greatest Live Albums Ever"[14] 2003 4
Les Inrockuptibles France "2003 Best Reissues"[15] 2003 4
Record Collector United Kingdom "New Albums: Readers Top 10" (2003)[16] 2004 4
The Village Voice United States "Albums of the Year"[17] 2004 37
Q United Kingdom "10 Live Albums You Must Own"[18] 2005 *
Q United Kingdom "The 20 Greatest Live Albums"[19] 2006 11
Rock Hard Germany "The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time[20] 2005 342

(*) designates unordered lists.

Track listing[edit]

Disc one
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date and venue Length
1. "LA Drone"   Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones 27 June, Long Beach Arena 0:15
2. "Immigrant Song"   Page, Robert Plant Mixed from both nights 3:41
3. "Heartbreaker"   Page, Plant, Jones, John Bonham Mixed from both nights 7:23
4. "Black Dog"   Jones, Page, Plant Mixed from both nights 5:40
5. "Over the Hills and Far Away"   Page, Plant Mixed from both nights 5:07
6. "Since I've Been Loving You"   Page, Plant, Jones 27 June, Long Beach Arena 8:01
7. "Stairway to Heaven"   Page, Plant Mixed from both nights; Mellotron from Southampton University, Southampton, England, 22 January 1973 9:36
8. "Going to California"   Page, Plant 27 June, Long Beach Arena 5:36
9. "That's the Way"   Page, Plant 25 June, LA Forum 5:53
10. "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp"   Page, Plant, Jones 27 June, Long Beach Arena 4:52
Disc two
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date and venue Length
11. "Dazed and Confused"
"Walter's Walk"
"The Crunge"  
Page
Page, Plant
Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant
25 June, LA Forum 25:25
12. "What Is and What Should Never Be"   Page, Plant 27 June, Long Beach Arena 4:41
13. "Dancing Days"   Page, Plant Mixed from both nights 3:42
14. "Moby Dick"   Bonham, Jones, Page 25 June, LA Forum 19:20
Disc three
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date and venue Length
15. "Whole Lotta Love"
"Boogie Chillun"
"Let's Have a Party"
"Hello Marylou"
"Going Down Slow"  
Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham, Willie Dixon
Bernie Besman, John Lee Hooker
Jessie Mae Robinson
Gene Pitney, Cayet Mangiaracina
James B. Oden
25 June, LA Forum 23:08
16. "Rock and Roll"   Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham 27 June, Long Beach Arena 3:56
17. "The Ocean"   Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham 25 June, LA Forum 4:21
18. "Bring It On Home"
"Bring It On Back""  
Dixon
Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham
25 June, LA Forum 9:30

The DVD-Audio version has 1-11 on disc one with 12-18 on disc 2. It features the whole album in 48Khz/24bit for both 5.1 and Stereo.

Sales chart performance[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak position
French Albums Chart[21] 11
Italian Albums Chart[22] 7
Irish Albums Chart[23] 9
Canadian Albums Chart[24] 1
Polish Albums Chart[25] 24
Norwegian Albums Charts[26] 10
Finnish Albums Chart[27] 23
UK Albums Chart[28] 5
Spanish Albums Chart[29] 39
Austrian Albums Chart[30] 17
Japanese Albums Chart[31] 3
Swedish Albums Chart[32] 16
US Billboard The 200 Albums Chart[33] 1
US Billboard Top Internet Albums[34] 1
Belgian Albums Chart (Walloon)[35] 2
Dutch Albums Chart[36] 15
Australian ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart[37] 10
German Albums Chart[38] 15
Swiss Albums Chart[39] 20
Belgian Albums Chart (Flemish)[40] 9
New Zealand RIANZ Top 50 Albums Chart[41] 13
Danish Albums Chart[42] 25

Sales certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Brazil (ABPD)[43] Gold 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[44] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[45] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog #
United States 27 May 2003 Atlantic Records Compact Disc 83587-2
7 October 2003 DVD-Audio 83587-9
Japan 27 May 2003 WEA Japan Compact Disc 11585-7

Personnel[edit]

Led Zeppelin

Additional personnel[edit]

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. ^ a b How the West Was Won at Metacritic Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. How the West Was Won at AllMusic
  5. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony (20 June 2003). "Entertainment Weekly Review". Ew.com. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Leone, Dominique (11 June 2003). "Led Zeppelin - How the West Was Won". Pitchfork. 
  7. ^ Kot, Greg (21 May 2003). "Led Zeppelin - How the West was Won". Rolling Stone. 
  8. ^ Smietanik, John. "Led Zeppelin - How the West was Won". stylusmagazine.com. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Uncut. "Led Zeppelin - How The West Was Won". Uncut.co.uk. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. 
  10. ^ "The Billboard 200: How the West was Won". Billboard. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  11. ^ "American album certifications – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  12. ^ "Zep Gives Retail Whole Lotta $$". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  13. ^ "Zeppelin Smashes Records as CD/DVDs Debut at No. 1 – 4 June 2003". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  14. ^ "Classic Rock – The 50 Greatest Live Albums Ever (2003)". Classic Rock. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  15. ^ "2003 Best Reissues". Les Inrockuptibles. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  16. ^ "New Albums: Readers Top 10". Record Collector. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  17. ^ "Albums of the Year (2004)". The Village Voice. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  18. ^ "10 Live Albums You Must Own – April 2005". Q. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  19. ^ "The 20 Greatest Live Albums – June 2006". Q. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  20. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 72. ISBN 3-89880-517-4. 
  21. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 25 May 2003". lescharts.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  22. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 29 May 2003". italiancharts.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  23. ^ "Top 75 Albums – 29 May 2003". acharts.us. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  24. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 1 June 2003". CRIA. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  25. ^ "Top 50 Albums – 1 June 2003". OLIS. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  26. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 5 June 2003". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  27. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 5 June 2003". finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  28. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 7 June 2003". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  29. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 7 June 2003". PROMUSICAE. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  30. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 8 June 2003". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  31. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 11 June 2003". Oricon. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  32. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 12 June 2003". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  33. ^ "Billboard.com How the West Was Won – 14 June 2003". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  34. ^ "Top Internet Albums – 14 June 2003". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  35. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 14 June 2003". ultratop.be. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  36. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 14 June 2003". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  37. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 15 June 2003". ARIA. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  38. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 15 June 2003". musicline.de. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  39. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 15 June 2003". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  40. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 21 June 2003". ultratop.be. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  41. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 29 June 2003". RIANZ. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  42. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 8 August 2003". danishcharts.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  43. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. 
  44. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". Music Canada. 
  45. ^ "British album certifications – Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter How the West Was Won in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go

External links[edit]

Preceded by
14 Shades of Grey by Staind
Billboard 200 number-one album
8–14 June 2003
Succeeded by
St. Anger by Metallica