Nov 19, 1982: Led Zeppelin Release ‘Coda’

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Coda Cover

The cover for Coda was designed for Led Zeppelin by the acclaimed studio, Hipgnosis

“Basically there wasn’t a lot of Zeppelin tracks that didn’t go out,” notes bassist John Paul Jones. But the untimely 1980 death of John Bonham and the band’s subsequent break-up had left a continuing demand for unheard material. Bootlegs were starting to crop up. So they decided to issue some of what it had in the vaults.

What was Zep’s ninth studio album drew from across their 12-year run, but mostly from their early and final years. Two covers, “We’re Gonna Groove” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” were drawn from January 1970 concert recordings and reworked in the studio. The latter outdoes the take of the Willie Dixon-penned blues classic on the band’s debut album.

On side two were three songs from the In Through The Out Door sessions, “recorded around the time punk was really happening,” Jones explains. “Ozone Baby” showed that Zep could keep pace with the modern rock new wave sound. Similarly, “Wearing and Tearing” verges towards pummeling punk. But the real delight from the band’s last sessions was “Darlene,” on which Page’s guitar snarls up against tasty piano figures by Jones while Plant wails at his finest and Bonham lays down a nifty groove.

The other real winner on the disc is the bubbling Led Zeppelin III outtake “Poor Tom.” The collection was rounded out by the slammer “Walter’s Walk” (a Houses of the Holy track), and “Bonzo’s Montreaux,” a Bonham concert drum check to which Page added some swaths of electronic music and an obvious tribute to the group’s departed drummer.

Despite the range of music on its eight tracks, Page was able as a producer to make it all cohere. Zep fans were grateful to get a final gift, and the album was a #6 chart hit that went on to sell a million copies. It lived up to its title as a fine posthumous treat from the greatest hard rock band ever. Its deluxe reissue transformed Coda into a wonderful retrospective.

Related: The sole time Led Zeppelin and The Who shared the bill

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    #1 SHE WHO DANCES 20 November, 2022, 00:08

    heard all their albums never liked this..presence..or in through the out door..all 3 albums were to me a letdown..remember an older relative telling me the same thing…that they never measure up to the first 3..

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