Led Zeppelin - Coda
Following John Bonham exiting the world, Jimmy Page compiled this collection of random out-takes and released it into the marketplace disguised as a regular Led Zeppelin album, although of course, it isn't any such thing. Still, the opening brace of songs are both pretty darn GOOD in my book. Time has passed. 'Coda' may have been seen as bad taste, or merely milking the mighty Led Zep cash-cow back in 1982, but enough years have passed now to surely judge this just as a bunch of songs? Let's pretend for a second that this WAS the actual, 'real' follow-up to 'presence' and 'in through the out-door'. Wouldn't the storming, rolling and undulating groove of the opening 'We're Gonna Groove' have blasted your socks off?? Well, let's stop speaking past tense, because it DOES blow my socks off, right now. Mr Bonham gets a distinctive drum pattern going to open up 'Poor Tom' and we're reminded of how great Led Zeppelin sounded as a four-piece, as a bunch of fellows playing together. Folky guitar comes in over the drums, Robert Plant moans and mumbles and wonders cosmically. Well, perhaps he does.... and then follows 'I Can't Quite You Baby'. Super loud drums, dirty bass - Robert Plant moaning and doing his blues thing as if it was 1969 again. It was actually 1970, by the way. All three of the opening cuts here date from 1970, live recordings in a mobile studio as preparation for a particular concert date they were due to play at the royal albert hall. 'Walters Walk' dates from 1972 and shares the storming riff nature of the shorter songs from the 'Led Zeppelin IV' era. The vocals are mixed way back in the background and echoed and sort of disconnected from the rest of the song. The guitar riff is great, and although this song doesn't really gel - it's entertaining as hell.
Three of the closing four songs date from 1978, which would make them 'In Through The Out Door' out-takes?? Well, 'Walters Walk' has a great sound, good rhythm section interplay. It beats the hell out of practically anything on 'In Through The Out Door', if you must know. For 'Ozone Baby' we get an out-take that probably should have remained an out-take, although the sheer physical presence of the Led Zep rhythm section still gives this something for the listener to get into. Speaking of 'Presence', from the 'Presence' sessions we have a four minute long John Bonham drum solo masquerading as a song. It seems a little unimaginative, but no doubt was included as a tip of the hat to their great departed drummer. The closing song is all riffs in search of a whole that's never found. Ultimately, 'Coda' doesn't hang together well. Well, of course it doesn't. But that's ignoring the fact there is some good material here.
We're Gonna Groove
I Can't Quit You Baby
Wearing And Tearing