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Led Zeppelin - Coda CD (album) cover

CODA

Led Zeppelin

 

Prog Related

2.39 | 195 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars The end...

Coda for sure, these guys clearly wanted to end with something that didn't beg for more. Released after Bonzo's death this compilation is a collection of previously unreleased material often toting the ''studio album'' tag. This collection is a rather unfortunate one, being as there's nothing remotely classic on the disc. While every Zeppelin studio album would have its moments in the sun this one really does not. None of the songs on the album are redeeming, and even the bonus tracks on the remastered cd don't do that much. This really feels like a cash grab, especially considering that they'd release it on cd, a move which was quite unnecessary.

It's quite clear that the band had Bonzo in mind when releasing this album. For the most part he's the best part of the disc. It's annoying to note, however, that a lot of the time his drums are mixed well above most of the other parts, and it makes for a large distraction, especially considering that Zeppelin's main force was Page's guitar. Songs like the opening We're Going To Grove feature nice drum parts but rather uninspired guitars and vocals. For the most part the album is like this. Walter's Walk features a mean drum part which washes out the guitars completely. For the sections where the guitar is noticeable it feels overly distorted to the point where it sounds just messy, the solo on I Can't Quit You Baby is like this, the melody and power of Page's normal work is completely absent in this recording.

For the most part is feels like only one member at a time is allowed to perform well. Poor Tom features more good (albeit repetitive) work from Bonzo, but the vocals are put in the background and Page still sounds like he's just going through the motions. The harmonica section at the end of the song isn't bad, though. Darlene features (FINALLY!) some good guitar work from Page, but Plant's vocals are incredibly annoying (something very unusual about the band, as Plant is usually top notch) in the repeated chorus section and the point in the song where he seems to be going for an Elvis impression. Ozone Baby shows John Paul Jones in top form with a decent riff pattern by Page, but Plant is once again annoying, the chorus and constant ooohing racking ont he nerves of the listener.

A few of the songs are even surprisingly ineffective considering their context. In an album where Bonzo is put to the front it's surprising that his solo, Bonzo's Montreux is rather dull, and the electronic sounds used on the track nearing the end of the song are strangely out of place. Wearing and Tearing is a nicely heavy song with a muddled, but effective, guitar section, but with Plant's vocals once again making for an irritating listen.

The bonus tracks on the album are not bad, but they're not terribly redeeming either. Baby Come On Home shows the band experimenting in R&B territory while Traveling Riverside Blues shows the band is full blues motion. White Summer/Black Mountain Side is highly enjoyable with Page's delicate guitar at the forefront with barely anything else going on in the song. A touch long, it feels like, but enjoyable none the less. Hey Hey What Can I Do feels more or less like the rest of the album, a bluesy rock piece. Plant's vocals are more enjoyable on this track than a lot of the rest of the album. An enjoyable classic rock/blues tune.

If you're here looking for the progressive side of Zep you're not going to find it. This compilation was really only meant for the hardcore Zep heads in the world who had to have every single recording that the band ever released, so there's really nothing of huge value here. Avoid it if you can, since it's useless to a progressive music collection. Hard rock and blues collection? Maybe, but progressive - no. Not at all. 1 star for this album - not ''poor'', but for completionists only for sure.

Queen By-Tor | 1/5 |

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