It's amazing how little material Led Zeppelin has actually released. Until now the only live Zeppelin available was the poorly thought of soundtrack to the movie "The Song Remains the Same." It's nice that Jimmy Page and company finally did something to change that. "How the West Was Won" is brilliant, showcasing just how great of a live act Zeppelin really was.
Plant sounds great, but what's really amazing is the instrumental firepower he had behind him. That Jimmy Page is a great guitarist is often taken for granted, these three discs illustrate just how much we've taken him for granted. Some of the throwaway chords and riffs that come out of his guitar during the many solos he has on this album are superior to what many of today's musicians labor over. You could write a great rock record with the things that Jimmy thinks aren't worth building a song around.
Perhaps more eyeopening than Page is the work of John Bonham and John Paul Jones. The music revolves around the drums of Bonham, he controls almost everything from his perch behind the drums. The drum sound is incredible too, heavy, thundering, powering, it's like he's issuing you a challenge to ignore him. John Paul Jones also shines. In the studio Page layered guitars upon guitars, you can't do that live, and providing the full rich Zeppelin sound people got used to on the albums fell upon the shoulders of Jones, and he does not dissapoint. Where a lesser band might have had a slight "gap" in their live sound, Jones fills the void. It's amazing, his bass sounds like a lead guitar on "Bring it on Home."
In a world mostly full of disposable pop music it's a real treat to be able to listen to the worlds greatest rock band once more, and to realize just how great they truly were.