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How The West Was Won Remastered Reviews/Thoughts

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18 hours ago, The Rover said:

Right. Listening to the powerful BIOH from the HTWWW BD took me back to hearing it live, for the first time, to that magical performance on Aug. 22, 1970. By then, the second hand smoke in the TCCC arena had had it's effect on that 14 year old teenager.

Wow! I have serious Zeppelin envy over the shows you've seen of this band. Maybe one day we'll be able to upload memories to youtube cause I want yours :)

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On 3/28/2018 at 10:52 AM, blindwillie127 said:

Wow! I have serious Zeppelin envy over the shows you've seen of this band. Maybe one day we'll be able to upload memories to youtube cause I want yours :)

Let's Load Jimmy's memories instead. :D

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Posted (edited)

I finally got and have listened to the BluRay audio surround sound of HTWWW.

There are certain albums that make you happy that you invested a little money in a surround sound system - this is definitely one of them. One of the best things about a well-made BluRay Audio 5.1 mix is that it isn't a punch-you-in-the-face affair like DVD-Audio discs from about 10-15 years ago were. Now, if you want to take the paint off the walls with it, you can - you just crank up the volume - but, the default volume is just well-balanced and pleasant to listen to.

One of the things I like the most is a surface detail - I can listen to the whole thing in one sitting without changing discs! (In fact, this detail is one of the reasons I like CDs compared to vinyl, i.e., no flipping over half-way through.) Well, I'll point out a few sonic highlights:

Every song sounds better - it's that simple. The ones that will really blow your mind in surround are (of course) the longer songs. If the mere concept of hearing "Dazed and Confused" in 5.1 sounds intriguing, I promise that the reality is even more so. Bowed guitar and theramin sounds floating all around you menacingly as if you were in the crowd yourself is a great treat! Accompanied by JPJ's throbbing bass, Bonzo's relentless rhythms, and Robert's languid moans, you remember why LZ was so beloved live. It was a full sensory experience.

"Moby Dick"...Jesus H. Christ! So that's what an elephant stampede sounds like! You even get the added bonus of Bonzo giving you a tour of your speakers on this song. Jimmy does the same thing in the middle of "What Is And What Should Never Be" with the guitar.

"Whole Lotta Love" - see "Dazed and Confused" above for a description of the middle section. As many others have said, the cut of "Hello Mary Lou" isn't noticeable - if you didn't know it was there originally, you wouldn't know anything had been cut.

Have you ever had the experience of rediscovering a song that you once really liked, but you had heard it too often to properly appreciate it for its own merits anymore? If you haven't, listen to this version of "Rock And Roll" - I got the same buzz hearing this version as I got when I first heard it ever. I didn't expect that!

You can hear the crowd respond to some of Robert's ad-libs he inserted into some of the lyrics - a nice little bonus. Things like this exemplify one of the the best things about a well-mixed live recording - you feel like you're actually at the show, but with the ambient crowd noise down to a comfortable level and with extra clarity in the instruments.

Throughout the show, I kept saying to myself, "This music was created by only three instrumentalists and one singer? That's not possible!" LZ always sounded like a rock orchestra live, as if they had 6 or 7 people on-stage playing instead of just the 4. Both the recording and the mix just make you appreciate the collective alchemy they had on stage.

I seem to remember a spoken introduction to "Dancing Days" that isn't on this - I'll have to check that and make sure I'm not confusing this with a different show. We've talked about the cuts of "Plantations" on official live recordings here - does anyone think that Robert might be the one vetoing their inclusion, and not just Jimmy? I've often wondered about this...

Well, if anyone is on the fence, get off of it and buy some version of this remix/remaster. It is definitely worth it - and this is coming from someone who was disappointed in the original announcement of this release. I wasn't sure I was going to get any version of it, and now I very happily have two...

 

 

Edited by ForEvermore

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Great review!

The Blu-Ray stereo track does have a spoken intro to Dancing Days, although it's tracked at the end of What Is and What Should Never be, rather than at the beginning of Dancing Days.

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5 hours ago, tmtomh said:

Great review!

The Blu-Ray stereo track does have a spoken intro to Dancing Days, although it's tracked at the end of What Is and What Should Never be, rather than at the beginning of Dancing Days.

Thank you very much! :)

I'll have to listen to both again and make sure I'm just not imagining things - if they are different, I wonder why there would be differences between 5.1 and stereo versions of the same recording., esp. in a spoken introduction. Weird...

 

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Love the blu-ray too! no need to change discs anymore. Hope "How the East was Won" will get this treatment too in september:hurrah:

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14 hours ago, duckman said:

Love the blu-ray too! no need to change discs anymore. Hope "How the East was Won" will get this treatment too in september:hurrah:

I`d have no problem to turn & change the records of a How The East Was Won vinyl box. 5 Discs per box, both Tokyo and both Osaka gigs, and this time with NICE artwork, please.

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Finally got it.  FANTASTIC !!  Sounds much better than the original.  I can't believe I waited to order it.  At first I was frustrated - why does it need to be remastered?  Why didn't he do it right the first time in 2003?  Why should I pay for another version?  But then some friends told me how incredible this is.  And they were right!  This is the greatest live album ever by anyone.  We will see if Jimmy can top it later this year.  When you consider the range of material, the sound, the mix,  and the level of energy and execution there is no other live album that can "hold a candle" (if I may use that phrase in regard to these shows) to this one.  

So as I reflect - it cost me $18 to buy this.  That will get me a burger and a pint at my local brewpub. This remastered set is an absolute treasure I will cherish for years.  Not a bad deal if you ask me.  Especially when you consider that a single album cost me $6 in the early 70s.  $18 for this is an absolute steal.  Icing on the cake - the photos in the booklet are superb.

It takes me back to that day in 2003 when I bought the first version along with the DVD.    When I was checking out at the counter the young woman (maybe 20?) said "alot of people are buying these today.  Is this a big deal or something?"  Well that made me feel old at age 44.  I just said "alot of us have been waiting a long, long time for this."  She smiled and said she hoped I liked it.

I almost blasted the windows out of my car on the ride home.

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Is it because of my age (57) but I really enjoy the vinyl!!! So nice these big covers... Still like the warm sound of vinyl (and I didn't listen to the cd's yet)

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On ‎3‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 12:10 AM, The Rover said:

HTWWW 2018 Blu-Ray Headphone Review

As each song begins, a still picture is displayed for the entirety of the song, and looks to be matched to each song that's playing. (...) I never owned the 2003 edition, so any 2003/2018 comparisons will have to come from someone else.

Yes, I have the 2003 Blu-Ray, and it did the same thing with a still photo that changes once the next song begins.  I'll have to order a copy seeing everyone here is digging the new sound!

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I am reaching the conclusion that Over the Hills on this new HTWWW is one of the most exciting recordings of Zeppelin I have ever heard.  I can't imagine what it must have been like to see one of those 1972 shows where this incredible song was debuted.  That beautiful guitar only pastoral opening, Plant enters in a mellow but wonderful "singer" mode, Page picks up steam, and then what a blast off with Plant managing to go sky high over the all-out bulldozer assault.  So much power and energy.  It is still impressive to this day although we have all heard the song many many times.  It is still so captivating and well electrifying.  You know that blast off is approaching and it still packs a wallop.   For those of you lucky enough to have seen Over the Hills live in 1972 I would like to hear your thoughts.    

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17 hours ago, John M said:

I am reaching the conclusion that Over the Hills on this new HTWWW is one of the most exciting recordings of Zeppelin I have ever heard.  I can't imagine what it must have been like to see one of those 1972 shows where this incredible song was debuted.  That beautiful guitar only pastoral opening, Plant enters in a mellow but wonderful "singer" mode, Page picks up steam, and then what a blast off with Plant managing to go sky high over the all-out bulldozer assault.  So much power and energy.  It is still impressive to this day although we have all heard the song many many times.  It is still so captivating and well electrifying.  You know that blast off is approaching and it still packs a wallop.   For those of you lucky enough to have seen Over the Hills live in 1972 I would like to hear your thoughts.    

Too young to have seen them live, but I agree about this track - and I think we're fortunate to have it, as it's the only known professionally recorded live version where Plant's voice still allows him to sing the original melody and hit the original notes. And it's a great performance.

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