The Lost Sessions Vol. 8 (Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD 362)
LED ZEPPELIN IN THE ‘80s
CODA ADVANCE TAPES
Tape 1: Sugar Mama, Poor Tom, Walter’s Walk (Instrumental), Ozone Baby, Walter’s Walk, Ozone Baby, Night Flight, Darlene, Bonzo’s Montreux, Wearing & Tearing
Tape 2: We’re Gonna Groove, Poor Tom, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Walter’s Walk, Ozone Baby, Darlene, Bonzo’s Montreux, Wearing & Tearing
Tape one starts off with “Sugar Mama”, an outtake from 1969 and believed to have been considered for the Coda project. Previously released on Sugar Mama Alternative Coda, Different Mixed Coda and on disc one of the 11CD Antrabata’s Studio Sessions, the track proved to be either too expensive or too hard to find for the average collector. Luis Rey calls this track the “rarest among the rare” in his Led Zeppelin Live book and this song alone is what really sparked my interest in this title.
It is an up-tempo funky blues track with early Zeppelin attitude. Hopefully someday, this will see an official release from a cleaner master source. “Poor Tom” is lacking the vocals and the first version of “Walter’s Walk” is the unfinished basic track, missing vocals and the guitar overdubs.
The version of “Night Flight” included here is the mix that features the background vocals. The remainder of the songs from tape one are the same tracks used for their official release in what might be slightly different mixes. Tape one seems like it could have been Jimmy Page’s vision for Coda before the Royal Albert Hall material was considered for inclusion.
Tape two is kind of a disappointment. It sounds like a pre-mastered copy of Coda, one or two generations from the master. The only differences I detected are that Bonham’s count ins for “Bonzo’s Montreux” and “Wearing & Tearing” are intact (also included on the takes from tape one). “Ozone Baby” even cuts in, missing the first few seconds.
In my opinion, not much is gained with this release unless you’re looking for the hard to find “Sugar Mama” outtake.