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Led Zeppelin - Coda CD (album) cover

CODA

Led Zeppelin

 

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2.45 | 280 ratings

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TCat
3 stars Even though the record label wanted to consider "Coda" a regular studio album (for contractual obligation purposes) it is actually a collection of rare outtakes and recordings that were scraped together in order to squeeze out another album after John Bonham's untimely death. The band had actually considered on continuing on and also considered many drummers to take Bonham's place, but then ultimately decided to disband. So, this album was born.

It's really not a bad album, it just doesn't have the flow and cohesiveness of past LZ albums. Some of the tracks are great, while others just sound unfinished and imperfect. It is still worth it to the general public to purchase this album if they like the band, but just know that it is not a typical album.

"We're Gonna Groove" is one of the rougher tracks and it opens the album. The album notes claim this was recorded in studio at Morgan Studios in 1969, but in reality, it came from a concert at Royal Albert Hall in January of 1970. Guitar parts were overdubbed while the original guitar part was taken out. It was originally going to be included on "Led Zeppelin II". Next is the much better song "Poor Tom" which is an outtake from the "Led Zeppelin III" sessions. This is followed by the strong bluesy track "I Can't Quit You Baby" which was recorded live at the same concert as "We're Gonna Groove". This recording on the album is said to be from the sound rehearsal. However, it was edited from the original live performance so that the crowd noises were taken out. "Walter's Walk" ends the first side, and is a decent track. It is a "Houses of the Holy" outtake with overdubs added later.

Side two starts with the upbeat "Ozone Baby" and was recorded during the "In Through the Out Door" sessions. "Darlene", a more rock n roll style song was also recorded at the same sessions and has a heavier sound than a lot of the tracks on that album. "Bonzo's Montreaux" is an amazing and catchy (mostly) drum solo by Bonham with effects added in by Page. It was originally recorded in 1976 in Switzerland. This is one of my favorite drum solos ever. "Wearing and Tearing" ends the original vinyl version of the album with another song from the "In Through the Out Door" sessions and was recorded to prove that LZ could compete with new punk bands.

The CD edition from 1993 added 4 more tracks that help round things off but these tracks were already released on the Led Zeppelin Box Sets 1 and 2, so at the point of the release of the CD edition, these tracks weren't necessarily rare. The tracks are "Travelling Riverside Blues", "White Summer/Black Mountain Side", "Hey Hey What Can I Do" (from the non album b-side to "Immigrant Song") and "Baby Come On Home" (which was previously unreleased before the box set became available).

The album still has some gems on it even if it is a bit inconsistent in sound quality and not very cohesive. Yes many people groan that it was too bad that the band had to end things with this album, but keep in mind it is a collection of rare tracks and as such, it has the drawbacks of being such. If it hadn't been released, all of these tracks would have suffered from less exposure and of course we would have a lot of terrible bootleg sounding versions of them. So we should just feel lucky that we have this collection. 3 stars.

TCat | 3/5 |

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