Coda (Led Zeppelin album)
|Compilation album by|
|Released||19 November 1982|
|Recorded||9 January 1970 – 21 November 1978, overdubs 1981|
|Studio||Sol Studios, Cookham, Berkshire, England|
|Led Zeppelin chronology|
Coda is a compilation album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. The album is a collection of unused tracks from various sessions during Led Zeppelin's twelve-year career. It was released on 19 November 1982, almost two years after the group had officially disbanded following the death of drummer John Bonham. The word coda, meaning a passage that ends a musical piece following the main body, was therefore chosen as the title.
The fifth Swan Song Records album for the band, Coda was released to honour contractual commitments to Atlantic Records and also to cover tax demands on previous monies earned. It cleared away nearly all of the leftover tracks from the various studio sessions of the 1960s and 1970s. The album was a collection of eight tracks spanning the length of Zeppelin's twelve-year history. Atlantic counted the release as a studio album, as Swan Song had owed the label a final studio album from the band. According to Martin Popoff, "there's conjecture that Jimmy [Page] called 'We're Gonna Groove' a studio track and 'I Can't Quit You Baby' a rehearsal track because Swan Song owed Atlantic one more studio album specifically."
Guitarist Jimmy Page explained that part of the reasoning for the album's release related to the popularity of unofficial Led Zeppelin recordings which continued to be circulated by fans: "Coda was released, basically, because there was so much bootleg stuff out. We thought, "Well, if there's that much interest, then we may as well put the rest of our studio stuff out". As John Paul Jones recalled: "They were good tracks. A lot of it was recorded around the time punk was really happening... basically there wasn't a lot of Zeppelin tracks that didn't go out. We used everything."
"We're Gonna Groove" opens the album and, according to the album notes, was recorded at Morgan Studios in June 1969. It was later acknowledged to have come from a January 1970 concert at the Royal Albert Hall, with the guitar parts overdubbed and the original guitar part removed—this can be heard in the original Royal Albert Hall show on 9 January 1970. This song was used to open a number of concerts on their early 1970 tours and was originally intended to be recorded for inclusion in Led Zeppelin II. "I Can't Quit You Baby" is taken from the same concert as "We're Gonna Groove" but was listed as a rehearsal in the original liner notes. The recording was edited to remove the overall "live" feel: the crowd noise as well as the beginning and ending of the song were deleted. Crowd tracks were muted on the multitrack mixdown on this recording as with "We're Gonna Groove".
Side two consists of three outtakes from the band's previous album, In Through the Out Door. The opening track, the uptempo "Ozone Baby" was recorded at that album's sessions at Polar Studios, Stockholm in November 1978, as was the rock'n'roll styled "Darlene".
The third track, "Bonzo's Montreux" was recorded at Mountain Studios, Montreaux, Switzerland in September 1976. It was designed as a Bonham drum showcase, which Page treated with various electronic effects, including a harmonizer.
The final track, "Wearing and Tearing" was recorded at Polar in November 1978. It was written as a reaction to punk and to show that Led Zeppelin could compete with the new bands. It was planned to be released as a promotional single to the audience at the 1979 Knebworth Festival, headlined by Led Zeppelin, but this was cancelled at the last minute. It was first performed live at the 1990 Silver Clef Awards Festival at Knebworth in 1990 by Plant's band with Page guesting.
The 1993 compact disc edition has four additional tracks from the box sets, Led Zeppelin Boxed Set (1990) and Led Zeppelin Boxed Set 2 (1993), the previously unreleased "Travelling Riverside Blues", "White Summer/Black Mountain Side" and the "Immigrant Song" b-side "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" from the former and the previously unreleased "Baby Come On Home" from the latter.
The album cover was designed by Hipgnosis, the fifth album cover the design group designed for Led Zeppelin. It was also the last album cover Hipgnosis designed before disbanding in 1983. The main four letters CODA are from an alphabet typeface design called "Neon" designed by Bernard Allum in 1978.
|Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal||8/10|
|The Daily Telegraph|||
|The Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Village Voice||B+|
Reviewing for Rolling Stone in 1983, Kurt Loder hailed Coda as "a resounding farewell" and a "marvel of compression, deftly tracing the Zeppelin decade with eight powerful, previously unreleased tracks, and no unnecessary elaboration". Robert Christgau wrote in his "Consumer Guide" column for The Village Voice:
They really were pretty great, and these eight outtakes—three from their elephantine blues phase, three from their unintentional swan song—aren't where to start discovering why. But despite the calculated clumsiness of the beginnings and the incomplete orchestrations of the end, everything here but the John Bonham Drum Orchestra would convince a disinterested party—a Martian, say. Jimmy Page provides a protean solo on "I Can't Quit You Baby" and jumbo riffs throughout.
According to Julian Marszalek of The Quietus, however, "Coda has always been regarded as the band's weakest release. Made up of eight tracks that spanned Led Zeppelin's lifetime, it refused to flow as an album. Devoid of a coherent narrative, it felt tossed together to make up for contractual obligations." In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine said while it did not include all of the band's notable non-album recordings, it offered "a good snapshot of much of what made Led Zeppelin a great band" and featured mostly "hard-charging rock & roll", including "Ozone Baby", "Darlene", and "Wearing and Tearing": "rockers that alternately cut loose, groove, and menace".
A remastered version of Coda, along with Presence and In Through the Out Door, was reissued on 31 July 2015. The reissue comes in six formats: a standard CD edition, a deluxe three-CD edition, a standard LP version, a deluxe three-LP version, a super deluxe three-CD plus three-LP version with a hardback book, and as high resolution 24-bit/96k digital downloads. The deluxe and super deluxe editions feature bonus material containing alternative takes and previously unreleased songs, "If It Keeps On Raining", "Sugar Mama", "Four Hands", "St. Tristan's Sword", and "Desire". The reissue was released with an altered colour version of the original album's artwork as its bonus disc's cover.
The reissue was met with generally positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 78, based on 8 reviews. In Rolling Stone, David Fricke said it is "the unlikely closing triumph in Page's series of deluxe Zeppelin reissues: a dynamic pocket history in rarities, across three discs with 15 bonus tracks, of his band's epic-blues achievement". Pitchfork journalist Mark Richardson was less impressed by the bonus disc, believing "there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the 'Bombay Orchestra' tracks".
All tracks produced by Jimmy Page, except for "Travelling Riverside Blues", produced by John Walters, and "White Summer/Black Mountain Side" produced by Jeff Griffin.
|1.||"We're Gonna Groove" (Live on 9 January 1970 at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England) (Edit; remix with guitar overdubs and live audience eliminated)||2:37|
|2.||"Poor Tom" (Led Zeppelin III outtake, 1970)||3:02|
|3.||"I Can't Quit You Baby" (Live on 9 January 1970 at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England: sound rehearsal, edited version)||Willie Dixon||4:18|
|4.||"Walter's Walk" (Houses of the Holy outtake, possibly with later overdubs, 1972)||4:31|
|1.||"Ozone Baby" (In Through the Out Door outtake, 1978)||3:36|
|2.||"Darlene" (In Through the Out Door outtake, 1978)||5:06|
|3.||"Bonzo's Montreux" (Recorded in 1976)||Bonham||4:22|
|4.||"Wearing and Tearing" (In Through the Out Door outtake, 1978)||5:27|
- Sides one and two were combined as tracks 1–8 on CD reissues.
|9.||"Baby Come On Home" (Led Zeppelin outtake, 1968; also appeared on Boxed Set 2, 1993)||4:30|
|10.||"Travelling Riverside Blues" (Recorded live on 24 June 1969 in London, England, also appeared on Led Zeppelin Boxed Set, 1990)||5:08|
|11.||"White Summer/Black Mountain Side" (Recorded live on 27 June 1969 in London, England, also appeared on Led Zeppelin Boxed Set)||Page||8:01|
|12.||"Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" (B-side of the "Immigrant Song" single, 1970; also appeared on Led Zeppelin Boxed Set, 1990)||3:52|
- The CD edition with bonus tracks was also included in the career-spanning boxed set Complete Studio Recordings (disc ten), and the subsequent Led Zeppelin Definitive Collection (disc twelve).
Deluxe edition bonus discs
|1.||"We're Gonna Groove" (Alternate mix)||2:40|
|2.||"If It Keeps On Raining" ("When the Levee Breaks") (Rough mix)||4:11|
|3.||"Bonzo's Montreux" (Mix construction in progress)||Bonham||4:57|
|4.||"Baby Come On Home"||4:30|
|5.||"Sugar Mama" (mix) (Led Zeppelin outtake)||2:50|
|6.||"Poor Tom" (Instrumental mix)||2:16|
|7.||"Travelling Riverside Blues" (BBC Session)||5:08|
|8.||"Hey, Hey, What Can I Do"||3:52|
|1.||"Four Hands" ("Four Sticks") (Bombay Orchestra)||4:43|
|2.||"Friends" (Bombay Orchestra)||4:25|
|3.||"St. Tristan's Sword" (Rough mix) (Led Zeppelin III outtake)||Page||5:40|
|4.||"Desire" ("The Wanton Song") (Rough mix)||4:08|
|5.||"Bring It On Home" (Rough mix)||Dixon||2:32|
|6.||"Walter's Walk" (Rough mix)||3:18|
|7.||"Everybody Makes It Through" ("In the Light") (Rough mix)||8:31|
The CD edition of the album incorrectly lists the running time of "Bring It On Home" (Rough Mix) as 4:19, which is actually the exact time of the finished version listed on Led Zeppelin II.
- John Bonham – drums, percussion
- John Paul Jones – bass guitar, piano, keyboards
- Jimmy Page – acoustic and electric guitars, electronic treatments, production
- Robert Plant – lead vocals, harmonica
- Assorted Images – design
- Barry Diament – mastering (original 1988 Compact Disc release)
- Stuart Epps – engineering
- Peter Grant – executive production
- Jeff Griffin – producer on "White Summer/Black Mountain Side"
- Hipgnosis – design
- Andy Johns – engineering
- Eddie Kramer – engineering
- Vic Maile – engineering
- George Marino – remastering (1994 edition)
- Leif Mases – engineering
- John Timperley – engineering
- John Walters – producer on "Travelling Riverside Blues"
|Chart (1982–83)||Peak position|
|Canadian Album Charts (RPM)||3|
|French Albums Chart||18|
|Japanese Albums Chart||16|
|New Zealand Top 50 Albums Chart||7|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||18|
|UK Albums Chart||4|
|US Billboard 200||6|
|West German Albums Chart||43|
|Chart (2015)||Peak position|
|Hungarian Albums Chart||5|
|Swiss Albums Chart||12|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
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