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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Led Zeppelin

Coda

Review by Gary Hill

Released after the band had broken up (due to John Bonham’s death), Coda is a collection of previously unreleased tracks. As such one might expect a weak and uneven release. I’d probably give you uneven, but this is anything but weak. I like the disc a lot and, in fact, I’d say that it’s an equal (if not as cohesive) album to In Through The Out Door. It’s a real tribute to the talent of this group of musicians that their outtakes were this strong.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
We're Gonna Groove
Just a little over two and a half minutes in length, this stomper is a killer tune. It's very much in an old school Zep soundscape. The trip-out section mid song feels like something from the first couple albums. In fact, this piece resembles that in a lot of ways overall. Of course, it was recorded in 1970, so that makes sense.
Poor Tom
Recorded a year later than the opener, this feels like an outtake from the third album and probably is. It’s acoustic guitar dominated and the percussion is quite prominent. Again, had it not been for the forty minute limits of the LP record this would have probably made the cut as it’s quite strong. It includes some harmonica work.
I Can't Quit You Baby
This is a live take from 1970 of the Willie Dixon cover from the first album. It’s not actually a concert recording, though, as this was from a sound check. It’s a smoking version, but the recording quality leaves a bit of room for improvement. That’s not to say it sounds bad, but you can tell it wasn’t recorded to be released.
Walter's Walk
This is based on a cool riff and is a high energy song, but it feels more like a Robert Plant solo song than a Zeppelin one. That said, it’s still pretty cool and Page does through some tasty guitar soloing into the mix. It was recorded in 1972.
Ozone Baby
John Paul Jones’ bass really drives this energetic rocker. This feels a lot like it could have fit well onto In Through The Out Door to me. That said, it would have had more of a keyboard texture had it been on that release. Still, this was probably recorded for use on that release as it’s from 1978.
Darlene
A bouncy rocker, this is from the same recording sessions as the previous number. It’s got a bluesy texture, but is a bit lacking in a lot of ways. Page has a few moments and Plant’s bluesy snarly is nice, but this is the most obvious out-take of the set.
Bonzo's Montreux
As the title suggests, this is a John Bonham solo. It’s not all drums, though as there’s quite a bit of tuned percussion here. I’m not a big fan of drum solos, but I like this one a lot. It was recorded in 1976.
Wearing And Tearing
This is another track that’s from the 1978 sessions. Honestly, I like it a lot. I would have been happy if they’d put this one out In Through the Out Door instead of “Hot Dog”.
 
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