Happy 35th: Led Zeppelin, CODA
35 years ago this week, Led Zeppelin released their ninth and final studio album, doing so two years after the band had officially disbanded.
It’s well-documented why Led Zeppelin came to a conclusion: with the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, the band issued a statement in which they declared, “We wish it to be known that the loss of our dear friend, and the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were.” But while the band may have called it quits, they still had a fair amount of as-yet-unreleased material in their cabinets, and a decision was made by the band to try and cut any possible bootleggers off at the knees by releasing it officially.
Yes, it fulfilled a contractual commitment to Atlantic Records. Yes, it also covered some of the band’s tax demands. That said, CODA is still a strong album, one which features eight tracks that span the band’s history, including several live tracks and outtakes from LED ZEPPELIN III, HOUSES OF THE HOLY, and IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR.
John Paul Jones said of the album in the liner notes of the Led Zeppelin box set, “They were good tracks,” but if you’d like a slightly less partial opinion, then trust the word of AllMusic.com, who described CODA as “a good snapshot of much of what made Led Zeppelin a great band: when they were cooking, they really did groove.”
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