Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Riotous Rock 'n' Roll Reissue, December 29, 2010
This review is from: The Coasters on Atco - There's A Riot Goin' On (Audio CD)
This is it, folks. Very likely the most complete and best-sounding Coasters anthology that will ever be produced. If you like them (and who doesn't), buy one of the 4,000 copies in this limited edition set by Rhino Handmade.

I judge a Mexican restaurant by the taste of the tamale, and a Coasters compilation by the sound of "Riot in Cell Block #9" - that is, the degree to which the distortions of that 1954 recording are minimized vs. other reissues. This version is the cleanest I've heard and predicts - accurately - excellent sound quality for the entire set (or at least as good as the original masters permit).

Room for improvement: in the liner notes, I would like to have seen comments about every single and every album. In particular the author tells us nothing of the story behind their 1960 album of standards on disc 2. One could speculate that The Coasters simply wanted to do the album, and that their contributions to the bottom line at Atlantic gave them the clout to make it happen in spite of the obviously poor sales prospects of such an album.

Very nice packaging, with the 33-page booklet nestled in the four-fold digipak, and all inserted in a heavy cardboard case. All of the hits are here, of course, along with some interesting novelties that you undoubtedly haven't heard before. Quite a few tracks are in stereo. Alternates and rarities are included on disc 4.

The biggest surprise is on disc 2, where we hear the Coasters singing Great American Songbook tunes from their 1960 album "One by One." Who'd a thunk it? The concept of a traditional pop album by Coasters, strange as it may be, is fairly well executed within the limitations of their R&B chops. And let's acknowledge that a traditional pop album by the Coasters is as much a novelty as the Leiber and Stoller songs they recorded. I enjoyed and appreciated it, but then I am a GAS addict. The foregoing acronym for Great American Songbook also aptly describes my reaction to the entire set: it's a gas!
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