Every artist who puts care into their craft is always concerned about the legacy that their music is going to hold. No one can count on making records forever, and it would make sense for you to want to go out on your best note possible. Though most of these records were amazing from front to back, it’s a shame that the actual artist isn’t there to get the credit.
For as many classic songs are on these records, every one of these artists passed away before they hit store shelves, with the rest of the band or their management putting together the pieces after they had passed on. These are far from just table scraps for these musicians. From the sound of it, each one of these players worked until their dying day with the same attention to detail that they had before, molding every single song until it was just the right sound they were hoping for.
Even if some of these are a bit hard to listen to in context, it does make for an interesting listen when you do put them on, almost like listening to ghosts from the past returning to leave you with a few parting words. There’s no telling what these artists would have thought if they actually saw these records come out, but there’s a certain comfort in knowing that their art is still being enjoyed long after they’ve gone.
10. Coda - Led Zeppelin
The dissolution around Led Zeppelin's breakup was more about being realistic than anything else. The idea of replacing John Bonham behind the drum kit was never going to work no matter how talented the drummer was, and it was only natural for the band to call it a day when one of them ended up passing away. That didn't mean that we didn't at least have a few scraps left over from the past few years.
Released right at the start of the '80s, Coda almost feels like more of an odds and ends collection of what Led Zeppelin were up to in between recording their masterpieces, including alternate versions of classic songs like I Can't Quit You Baby. Aside from the actual demo material, some songs like Ozone Baby and Walter's Walk do a good job and showing us where their head was at at the time, trying to find a way to incorporate their bluesy sound into the next generation with different synthesizer sounds they were touching on on In Through the Out Door.
Since he's no longer with us though, this is just as much a love letter to Bonzo as it is a proper album, with one track being comprised of one of his many amazing drum solos, put together from different live cuts that he'd done from touring off and on. There was no way for Led Zeppelin to actually continue in any capacity, but Coda offers up the alternate reality of what the fathers of heavy rock might have looked like in the MTV generation.