In November 1982, "Coda" was released to an unsuspecting public, two
years after the death of John Bonham. While there are no standout pieces, this
collection of songs does succeed in chronicling Zeppelin's 12 year flight.
"We're Gonna Groove" opens the album and is taken from the recording sessions that yielded "Led Zeppelin II". This track was a one time show opener and it's easy to see why. Jimmy Page adds sub-octdivider effects on guitar while a young Robert Anthony Plant screams his head off. "Poor Tom" is an interesting piece left over from the "Led Zeppelin III" era. Bonham supplies a fine rhythm track under Page's stellar 12-string acoustic work and Plant's harp. "I Can't Quit You Baby" is taken from a soundcheck from the Royal Albert Hall in 1970. This take is far more explosive than the version found on "Led Zeppelin" (and better, too). "Walter's Walk" is from the 1972 "Houses Of The Holy" sessions and is easily one of the better songs on the album. Bonham's drum sound is massive, and Page stays in the pocket...until the final refrain when he goes postal. Plant's vocals *must* have been overdubed during the compiling of this collection because the quality of his voice is more consistant with the 1978 "In Through The Out Door" sessions, range-wise, whereas if you listen to a song from "Houses" ("Over The Hills And Far Away"), his voice is more powerful.
"Ozone Baby", "Darlene", and "Wearing and Tearing" are all outtakes from the "Out Door" sessions. "Ozone Baby" is a nice, uptempo rocker which obviously would not have belonged on "Out Door". "Darlene" is another highlight of the album. John Paul Jones' piano work is fantastic, while Jimmy Page slips into his Scotty Moore/Jimmy Burton persona to deliver some inspired lead work. Why this song was left off "In Through The Out Door" in favor of "Hot Dog" or "South Bound Saurez" is impossible to understand. "Wearing and Tearing" is a two million mile-an-hour punk/thrash piece with acappella vocals ala "Black Dog". Plant does sound hoarse, though, and while the energy level is remarkable, Plant's yelling/screeching brings this track down a peg or two. That leaves "Bonzo's Montreux", a 1976 John Bonham drum instrumental with electronic effects added by Page. It's a nice tribute, but not something you will listen to over and over. All songs were produced by Jimmy Page.
In Through the Out Door is a studio album by Led Zeppelin, released by Swan Song Records on August 15, 1979. The album was named by the group as such, because of their recent problems and the rise of punk music, trying to get back into the public mind is like "trying to get in through the 'Out' door, than through the 'In' door". In the same way that Presence is largely Jimmy Page's work, so In Through The Out Door belongs to John Paul Jones, with the bassist/keyboardist taking lead songwriting credits on 6 out of the 7 songs.
The original gramophone record of this album featured an unusual gimmick (though 1979 marked a high-point, or low-point if you prefer, in the gimmicky-ness of records). It had an outer sleeve which was made to look like a plain brown paper bag, and the sleeve proper featured black and white line artwork which, if washed with a wet brush, would ii (permanently) become fully coloured. Furthermore there were six different inner sleeves featuring a different pair of photos (one on each side), and the outer sleeve meant that it was impossible for record buyers to tell which sleeve they were getting. (Actually, there is a code on the spine of the album jacket, which indicated which sleeve it was. This could sometimes be seen while the record was still sealed.) The pictures all depicted a scene in a bar (in which a man burns a "Dear John" letter), and each photo was taken from the point of view of someone who appeared in the other photos.
It was Led Zeppelin's last album while together, drummer John Bonham died the next year on September 25, 1980.