Coda Advanced Tapes (Boogie Mama)
(68:30): Sugar Mama, Poor Tom, Walter’s Walk (instrumental), Ozone Baby, Walter’s Walk, Ozone Baby, Night Flight, Darlene, Bonzo’s Montreux, Wearing And Tearing. John Bonham isolated drum tracks: unreleased, Carouselambra, Ozone Baby (2x), All My Love, Wearing And Tearing, drum segments, Fool In The Rain
Coda Advanced Tapes is the new release on Boogie Mama featuring outtakes associated with the final Led Zeppelin album Coda, released in 1982. Released as a contractual obligation after John Bonham’s death, the songs ranged over their entire eleven year history together.
Boogie Mama essentially combine halfs of two old Empress Valley releases. The first half of the disc has “tape 1” from The Lost Sessions Vol. 8 (EVSD 362) from “Sugar Mama” up to “Wearing And Tearing.” The second half of the disc has the John Bonham isolated drum tracks which surfaced in 2004 and were released on disc one of The Lost Sessions Vol. 4 (EVSD 308-309).
The first track is an outtake considered for inclusion in the collection, but was ultimately rejected. “Sugar Mama” dates from the busy summer of 1969 and exists in very good sound quality. It is an embarrassing slice of late sixties pop music. It’s perfectly understandable why the band refused to include it on the album, even though it would have made more sense to include it instead of “I Can’t Quit You,” which was already previously release. “Sugar Mama” is an interesting curiosity and nothing more than that.
“Poor Tom” comes from the 1970 sessions for Led Zeppelin III and is one of the strongest tracks on the record. This take is purely instrumental and has a very long drum introduction, stretching several measures longer than the final edited version.
The two versions of “Walter’s Walk” are really the same one but with different edits. It was recorded in the spring of 1972 during the Houses Of The Holy sessions and it’s doubtful it ever was meant for release. The first take is the raw recording featuring Page, Jones and Bonham bashing out the rhythm and faint hints of melody, exactly how it was employed that summer on the US tour when it was included in the long “Dazed And Confused” improvisations.
The second “Walter’s Walk” contains the 1982 Robert Plant vocals and Page guitar overdubs. It sounds almost identical to the Coda version.
“Night Flight” was recorded in 1971 during the sessions for the fourth album and was released several years afterwards on Physical Graffiti. This track is identical to the final version except it has faint backing vocals.
“Bonzo’s Montreux,” recorded in September 1976 sounds very much the same as does “Darlene,” recorded in Stockholm in 1978. The final track is “Wearing And Tearing,” another Coda song from the In Through The Outdoorsessions. It is the same as used on the LP except it has a John Bonham count-in.
The rest of the disc contains Bonahm drumming along to the tunes from In Through The Outdoor and Coda. There was some comment at the time about the tape’s veracity, but that’s largely irrelevant. The drummer both drums and sounds like John Bonham (he’s audible at some points, grunting and shouts “fookin’ ‘ell” before “Fool In The Rain”). If it where a forgery, it’s a damn fine one!
It’s a brilliant insight into a brilliant drummer and makes me wish they had released the official album with this good quality. The songs sound fresh and exciting.
Coda Advanced Tapes is an excellent release on Boogie Mama. The label utilize a cardboard digipack with a photo of Bonham on the front cover playing the drums with a joyful look on his face. These tapes are essential for the collection, and this is an affordable way to pick these up.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)