Final collaboration post in this series! Sarca from Caught Me Gaming and Kevin from Buried On Mars take on Led Zeppelin! For the past eight weeks, we have been reviewing a Led Zeppelin album on our respective blogs! So don’t forget to check out Kevin’s blog too!
Read up on my thoughts on:
This week, we look at Led Zeppelin’s ninth album, Coda (1982).
In June 1993, I acquired my copy of Coda on CD. At this time I only had two other Led Zep CDs – Led Zeppelin III and IV. Most of the songs found on Coda can be found on the Led Zeppelin Complete box set, but I had so few songs on CD at that point, that buying Coda felt like a good safe investment.
Coda was released after John Bonham’s death, post Led Zeppelin break-up, and contains previously unreleased material. Now that I’ve listened to all 9 of Led Zeppelin’s main albums, I can say Coda seems heavier in sound than the other albums in that the bass and drums are front and centre. It is also their shortest album, running at 33 minutes long.
Coda starts with the hard kicker, We’re Gonna Groove, easing into the lighter acoustic, Poor Tom – a song cut from the Led Zeppelin III album. Then, we hear my favourite version of I Can’t Quit You Baby from their January 1970 concert at the Royal Albert Hall, which differs from the version found on the band’s debut album.
Next up, the fantastic song called Walter’s Walk – a tune not released anywhere, and who the hell knows why? I think it needs more airplay! I even enjoy the message of love and loss. While the tune is on an upbeat, the lyrics speak of heartbreak:
“I’m walkin the floor over you
I’m walkin’ the floor
Every tear that falls is a smile that’s lost
When you hear the call can you count the cost?”
Ozone Baby is the more familiar latter-day Led Zeppelin contemporary rocker, and such a joy to listen to; I never get tired of it.
Darlene is the other previously unreleased song – a rock ‘n roller – and, dare I say forgettable… except I guffaw every time at the misheard lyrics I hear Robert Plant sing: “Darlene” sung like “Double D.” (…and judging by the lyrics of Darlene, I wouldn’t be surprised if Plant was actually singing about Darlene’s you-know-whats…). “yeah yeah Double D…”
Bonzo’s Montreux, a tune consisting primarily of drums is Bonham’s baby. I’m more familiar with the Moby Dick / Bonzo’s Montreux mashup that appears on the Led Zeppelin Complete box set.
The album ends on the up-tempo rocker Wearing and Tearing, highlighting Page’s guitar prowess (which is pretty excellent), and has some lyrics that I’m pretty sure allude to drug withdrawal (which are somewhat lame):
“Yeah, the funny fool
I love the funny fool
Just like foolin’ after school”
The previously unreleased songs chosen to be included in Coda were wise choices in my opinion. They all kick ass in their own right, and fit well together as a song list; really, not a bad one in the bunch. I love how the tunes showcase each band member’s talents well. Overall, Coda is a short but sweet collection of the remnants of Led Zeppelin’s 11-year career, and ties things up suitably. No regrets buying this album when I did.
Coda – Led Zeppelin (1982)
Thank you for joining Kevin and I on this project! Now go check out his blog post!