The Most Difficult Led Zeppelin Album According To Jimmy Page

While each album process requires high effort, hours of work, and sleepless nights, some records are still more challenging for the bands to complete. As the making process involves many elements like songwriting, production, mixing, and mastering, it is a complicated job that doesn’t end with just going into the studio.

The band members try to be as meticulous as possible to give their best and to produce high-quality work for their fans. Each of them shares the overall work and contributes to the album-making process at some point since it is a collective effort at the end of the day.

In the case of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page was always the leading actor during the creation process. Besides his instrumental and songwriting talents, the guitarist was quite knowledgeable about various recording techniques thanks to his long years as a session player. So, his experiences helped the band come up with new sounds. Yet, the production process of a particular album was still tricky for Page.

Although Zeppelin’s eighth and final studio record was 1979’s ‘In Through the Out Door,’ the legendary band also released a compilation album titled ‘Coda’ in 1982 after the breakup. The record involved nearly all the unreleased tracks from the band’s previous recording sessions. The 2015 reissue of the compilation album featured bonus material like alternative takes and several previously unreleased songs.

‘Coda’ was actually a contractual record because Led Zeppelin had to deliver one more album to Atlantic Records due to their commitments. The band also owed taxes on its old recordings. During a 2015 interview with the Guardian, Jimmy Page discussed the band’s legacy while also reflecting on the arduous making process of ‘Coda.’

“Well, it wasn’t for the taxman, but it was a contractual album,” Page said when asked if it was an album for the taxman. Following that, the guitarist admitted that it was the most challenging album the band had made, saying, “It was a difficult album. People say: ‘What was the most difficult album?’ and that was it. It was a posthumous album – you’re going to be using studio outtakes because we didn’t have anything else in the can.”

The musician continued, “It wasn’t like we had an album in the can to go, of course, we didn’t, far from it. It was what it was, but it wouldn’t have gone out if I hadn’t thought it had a place. But it was a difficult one to do and put together. [For the reissue] I wanted to make ‘Coda’ the mother of all ‘Coda’ – I wanted to make it such a celebration of the group in all its quirkiness and all its directness. Well, that’s what this ‘Coda’ is. It’s just got so much fun on it.”

Thus, Jimmy Page admitted that ‘Coda’ was the most difficult record to complete because they only had studio outtakes. So, it was challenging for the guitarist to put them together and prepare them for their listeners. Still, he thinks that those songs somehow needed to be released as they occupy an essential place in the band’s twelve-year efforts.