Coda is the ninth and final studio album by English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in 1982. This collection of outtakes from various sessions during Led Zeppelin's twelve-year career was released 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 a title.
Led Zeppelin guitarist and producer 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:
Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones recalled:
According to the Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods, the band also owed Atlantic Records one more album from the five album deal that created Swan Song Records in 1974. As such, Coda can be seen as a contractual fulfillment. (In the mid-80's, at the height of the PMRC music label controversy, MAD magazine ran an article: "Warning labels we'd like to see on records." The label for Led Zeppelin's CODA said: "WARNING: CONTAINS STUDIO OUTTAKES & LEFTOVERS SCRAPED TOGETHER TO MEET CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS.")
"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.
"Poor Tom" is from sessions for Led Zeppelin III, having been recorded at Olympic Studios in June 1970.
"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 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".
Sales chart performance
No commercial or promotional singles were issued, although three tracks received independent radio airplay. These songs were Led Zeppelin's debut on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, as the chart did not exist prior to 21 March 1981.
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