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Led Zeppelin - Coda CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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2.46 | 291 ratings

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Since Led Zep disbanded after Bonham's death, the record company was keen to capitalize on Led Zep's fame and HUGE sales potential (but only one million copy of CODA were sold). So they release an "album" with old and more recent stuff.

I really wonder how some reviewers can tell that people who do not like this album are against change. I guess that they have not read the liner notes of this "album".

If they had done this, they would have learned that three tracks date from ... 1970 (what a change !) :

"We're Gonna Grove" and "I Can't Quit You Baby" were recorded on January 9, during rehearsals of their legendary concert at the Royal Albert Hall. There will be guitar overdubbing for the first one for this recording. The video of this concert are available on their DVD "Led Zeppelin" (released in 2003). The audio concert is one of their most sought boot and very well known amongst Led Zep fans (which I incidentally am). "Poor Tom" was recorded on May, 6 at the Olympic Studios in London. It was just before the sessions of Led Zep III (which started on May 30th at Headley Grange Studios). The anecdotal point about this song is that it has been inspired by "She Likes It" from Owen Hand who was a friend of Bert Jansch. The same Jansch claiming (rightly) that Page had stolen his arrangement for the song ""Black Mountain Side" featured on Led Zeppelin's debut album (if you want the full picture, I have outlined this story in my review of Led Zep I). The loop has been looped...

"Walter's Walk" was recorded on 15th May 1972 and therefore engineered by Eddie Kramer during the original recording. Page remastered this number in 1982, and Plant apparently over-dubbed some of the vocals at this time.

Three tracks from 1978 :

"Ozone Baby" is one of the good track. Catchy and almost poppy melody, half acoustic- half electric : it is somewhat interesting. It was recorded on November 14, 1978.

"Darlene" (November 16th, in Stockholm). "Wearing And Tearing" (November 21st). This song reminds me at times, "Achilles Last Stand". The beat is rather crazy. It's led Zep response to punk. Plant's vocals are very good. It's one of the best number here.

These three songs come out the same recording sessions for "In Through The Out Door". They were not considered for the album release.

The remastered version of CODA features four bonus tracks.

"Baby come On Home" : recorded on October 10th, 1968. It was a left over of Led Zep one. It's a bluesy one (not really a surprise). The mood is mellowish and keyboard oriented. Plant's work is rather convincing (but he was a renowned blues singer before joining LedZep).

"Traveling Riverside Blues" was recorded and broadcast on June 23rd, 1969 for the "John Peel's Top Gear" radio show. As the title indicate, this is another 100% blues track. Not really great, I should say. Page uses the sliding to perform his part (similar to what he did for Hat's Off To Roy Harper" on Led Zep III). Part of this song will often be used in the medley for "How Many More Times". The famous section with "You Can Squeeze my lemon" from "The Lemon Song" is also featured here. "White Summer/Black Mountain Side" : it is a medley from Davey Graham's "She Moved Through The Fair" and Bert Jansch's "Black Water Side". Page also often inserted "Casbah", another Bert Jansch composition (this guy must have been really P.O. by Page...). Actually, this track is a guitar solo (nice performance, but not really interesting as such). One can see a rendition of this medley on their latest DVD (released in 2003) during their concert from the Royal Albert Hall in January 1970.

"Hey Hey, What Can I Do" was recorded in 1970 (Led Zep III sessions). It was released as B-side of "Immigrant Song" (one of their few singles). It is an acoustic ballad (don't forget that this track comes out the sessions of their third album). Not bad, nor good. Therefore the B-side... Those bonus tracks add relative value to the "original" recording. I fully understand most of my colleagues reviewers rating this album very low. I will not be so critical (for once...). Although it is really meant for Led Zep maniacs only (and therefore accordingly deserves two stars) I believe that five out of ten would have accurate (IMO) but I will, sentimentally, upgrade it to three stars. RIP John.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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