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The Very Best of the Coasters


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Audio CD, March 25, 2008
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 25, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino Records
  • ASIN: B0013D8J9C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,602 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Riot in Cell Block #9 - The Coasters / The Robins
2. Smokey Joe's Cafe - The Coasters / The Robins
3. Down in Mexico
4. Searchin'
5. Idol With The Golden Head
6. Young Blood
7. Yakety Yak
8. Charlie Brown
9. Along Came Jones
10. That Is Rock & Roll
11. I'm A Hog for You Baby
12. Poison Ivy
13. What About Us
14. Run Red Run
15. Little Egypt
16. Shoppin' For Clothes

Editorial Reviews

The first group ever to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Coasters evolved out of The Robins, a late 40s, L.A.-based vocal outfit that in 1953 signed to Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller's Spark Records; breakout success
came with Riot In Cell Block #9 and Smokey Joe's Café, both included here. They signed to Atlantic in 55, headed for New York, became The Coasters and soared to even greater heights with legendary songwriters Leiber & Stoller.
With musical savvy and upbeat humor, they bridged R&B, pop, early rock and doo-wop, scoring fourteen Billboard® s R&B chart, eight
of which also made the pop Top 40. This single disc survey features sixteen classic including Searchin, Young Blood, Charlie
Brown, Along Came Jones, and two that reached #1 in both pop and R&B, Yakety Yak and Poison Ivy.

Customer Reviews

It is fun to collect the old time music.
Carol Beaver
I still trust Rhino, and I will until I buy something with their label and realize that I have been ripped off.
A. Gaster
We recommend it to anyone who enjoys the music of that era.
Linda S. Witz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Anthony G Pizza VINE VOICE on June 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Great comedy, like great music, depends on timing. The Coasters, here with a brief but smile-inspiring set of their greatest hits, used near perfect musical and comedy timing to create hit R&B and pop spoofs which to many still define the 1950s goofy, innocent spirit.
The Coasters used Carl Gardner's tragicomic high and Will "Dub" Jones' low voices to create sly tales of teen rebellion and frustration ("Yakety Yak," "Charlie Brown," "What About Us") pop culture commentary ("Along Came Jones," "Searchin" with its lists of classic detectives) and even salacious humor ("Little Egypt," "Young Blood," "Poison Ivy.") Kids still gravitate to these songs ("Yakety Yak" was used in a recent anti-litter campaign) , which expressed their ennui and even cynicism in clever, humorous ways. In their song "That Is Rock and Roll" the Coasters even announce as much, saying, "You say the music's for the birds and you can't understand the words...but honey if you did, you'd really blow your lid..."
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote, produced, and played on most of these hits, which also featured stellar sax work by the legendary King Curtis. Leiber and Stoller borrowed the sound and feel of early radio dramas for these hits, mentioning lifting the "Gangbusters" opening for "Riot in Cell Block #9"). Small wonder years decades later they'd form the highlights of "Smokey Joe's Café," a Broadway show named for their hit with the pre-Coasters Robins.
Carl Gardner continued leading versions of the Coasters into the modern era, re-recording these songs on occasion live and in studio. Buy only Coasters CDs released on the Atlantic, Atco or, in this case, Rhino labels to be assured the original hits. Better still, seek these songs among the essential mid-80s, seven-volume "Atlantic Rhythm and Blues Collection" (now out of print) to enjoy them amid even more outstanding music of the era.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This is alot of fun to listen to and brings back great memories. If you only require a collection of their biggest hits,this is the one. Every song is an original classic. Enjoy!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic Revisited on October 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
As the man from Ottawa points out, there's no "Wait a Minute" on this compilation. It seems they ALWAYS leave that one out! Incidentally, "Smokey Joe's Cafe" was originally done by "the Robins" whose members (or some of them) re-formed as the Coasters (as in West Coast). Lieber and Stoller always favored black singers for their compositions (although Elvis Presley also recorded their tunes). These songs evoke memories of a certain era of music, namely the late 50s and early 60s, although lead singer Carl Gardner was seen as late as the 80s with the group as it stood then in at least one TV commercial. As for the guy from Tennessee with the negative review, I can't imagine how he wandered into The Coasters section. I grew up near Memphis with my "eclectic" tastes but I never knew anybody there or from there who even know who The Cure is/are. Like comparing opera to bluegrass. Anyway, this is the one, folks. Two of the tunes in fact were used in the movie "October Sky". Can you name them?
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "pspa" on October 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The formula here is simple: songs that are catchy, fun, light-hearted, and performed with enthusiasm as well as harmonic skill, and does it ever work. Poison Ivy has got to be one of the great unrecognized classics of the Fifties, and the rest of the songs from the immediately recognizable to those you are hearing for the first time are all just plain fun.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By AvidOldiesCollector TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have to think that the reviewer who gave this CD such a poor critique was no more than 30 to 35 years of age at the time, otherwise he wouldn't have attempted to rate music that permeated the air waves 45 years ago based on today's standards. It would be like taking someone back in time from 2007 to 1958 and have them play Grunge or Punk - he or she would be driven out of town on a rail.

The Coasters - like The Cadillacs - preferred the lighter side of things back then - and back then their songs played well. Today they would not be considered as "standards" in the same sense as, say, In The Still Of The Night by The Five Satins, but for those of us who like nostalgia, or who collect hits from that era, this is a nice little package from Rhino which digitally re-masters an original Atlantic (Atco) album, complete with four pages of liner notes written by the well-kmnown author Randy Poe (Skydog: The Duane Allman Story, Music Publishing: A Song Writer's Guid, and Squeeze My lemn: A Collection Of Classic Blues Lyrics are just a few of his books) offering snippets of information on each selection. The insert also contains a discography of the contents.

Among hard-to-find Coasters' hits in this compilation are I'm A Hog For You, the flipside of Poison Ivy in 1959 and a # 38 Billboard Pop Hot 100 on its own, and What About Us? - the flip of Run Red Run in 1960 and a # 17 R&B/#47 Hot 100 on its own. I only wish they had included one extra track and added Wait A Minute [# 37 Hot 100 in 1961] which remains elusive.

For those of you who know The Coasters and want just a few of their hit singles this is a good buy. If you don't go back that far and are merely curious as to the evolution of the lighter side of R&R, this is as good a place to start as any. "Fee fee fi fi, fo fo fum .. I smell smoke in the auditorium ... Charlie Brown ..." Enjoy.
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