How The West Was Won

A Garden Tapes feature
by Eddie Edwards

The Garden Tapes » How The West Was Won » Immigrant Song


Immigrant Song

This is essentially from Long Beach, but Pagey has worked his magic on the vocals. The bootlegs reveal that Robert couldn't quite reach the western shore that night, but on the official release he gets there with no problems at all!

What Jimmy has done is to take some sections of the vocal track from the LA recording and transplant them into the Long Beach mix. For example, Robert hits the high E on "western shore" on the first LA chorus, but not on the second LA chorus or either of the Long Beach choruses. So, those words from the first LA chorus have been used in both choruses on the official release.

Although there are other substitutions, it seems that they have been kept to the minimum necessary. In the second chorus, for instance, the slightly unusual straight rhythm of the words "Our only goal will be the..." reveals that these are from the genuine Long Beach recording, whereas "...western shore" immediately afterwards has been substituted.

Some, if not all, of the battle cry screams are fixed up in a similar way, either by using screams from LA or by duplicating the more successful Long Beach screams. I'm not going to pretend that I can identify the precise source of every sound Robert made in these passages with absolute certainty, but you get the idea.

I should make it clear at this point that I am not in any way complaining or expressing concerns about any of this. The end result is devastatingly brilliant and any arguments that this is not a "proper live album" are pointless and irrelevant. From the recordings available to him, Jimmy has worked to produce an album that sounds as good as it possibly can, and I can only say that his skill and judgement have not diminished with the passing of the years.

next - Heartbreaker