How The West Was Won

A Garden Tapes feature
by Eddie Edwards

The Garden Tapes » How The West Was Won » Over The Hills and Far Away


Over The Hills and Far Away

Most of Robert's chatter to the audience has been left off the official release but we get to hear him introduce this song. This introduction is from LA but the beginning of the song is from Long Beach. As the rhythm section kicks in at 1:24, we're instantaneously transported 48 hours back in time and a few miles northwest.

On the LA bootlegs, it's not clear whether Robert hits the first "Many...", but on the official version at 1:26 he nails it with full force. This may just be a case of the vocal part being boosted in the official mix, or it could be that the word has been strengthened by using a snip from later in the song.

Straight after "...pocketful of gold", in one of those magical moments of uncanny telepathy for which Zep were justly famous, Page and Jones fluff the chord changes in perfect unison. It doesn't sound too bad but it does lessen the intended impact as the song moves into its next phase, so it's no surprise to find that it's been nicely fixed. The bass runs we hear from Jonesy around the G and D chords from 2:13 to 2:15 are duplicates of what he actually played moments later from 2:18 to 2:20. Jonesy's playing is always so full of imagination and variety that it actually sounds weird to hear him "repeat" a phrase like this! I'm not so sure what's been done with the guitar chords at this point. Nothing on the bootlegs from either show sounds quite like the official release for these couple of seconds, but that could just be because the sound quality is so drastically different.

At 4:30 as the heavy section ends and the melodious guitar theme returns, we hop back into the Tardis for the instantaneous return journey in time and space to Long Beach to catch the last 30 seconds of the song.

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