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There's a Riot Goin' On: The Coasters on Atco

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The Coasters 8/26/2008

Review

Rhino Handmade' s There's a Riot Goin' On: The Coasters on Atco, a four-disc box set that contains all the key recordings from the group's peak (including sides by the Robins) and noteworthy tracks from the '60s, plus a disc's worth of rarities. If that title carries a threat of violence seemingly atypical for the guys who sang "Yakety Yak" and "Charlie Brown," it's not wrong, either, as the Coasters were a rock & roll band with all the excitement and danger that implies. Sure, they were a vocal harmony group and they could conceivably be labeled as doo wop, but like all true greats, the Coasters don't quite sound like anybody else. They had close relations: their roots reached back to the Clovers, as the group's earliest incarnation as the Robins had a similarly loose interplay; they had cousins in fellow Atlantic R&B act the Drifters in how they livened up those very traditions into rock & roll; and their humor flowed like the Cadillacs (whose lead singer, Earl "Speedo" Carroll, later joined the Coasters), but the Coasters were far from a group harmonizing on a street corner. They were rough and tumble, they rocked and rolled, they sounded a bit like the adults they were, even when they sang to teachers. Like all greats -- and the Coasters are surely one of the great American bands, as this set proves -- the Coasters defied all easy labels and transcended categories, standing as something utterly unique, and this originality is what keeps their music fresh even as it uncannily captures the feeling of early rock & roll. The Coasters did sing to teenagers, but just like with Chuck Berry, there is no sense of pandering to their songs, but more importantly, their other songs show how the group rose from black culture. Set aside these teenage tunes and there are songs about gambling, cell-block riots, booze -- they even had a song called "Hey Sexy" long before such phrases were spoken in polite company. They were gaudy and goofy but grounded in some semblance of reality that gave them a wider appeal at the time, and make their records stand the test of time. Sure they're dated, but they're not antiquated: like the greatest recorded music, it's still electric, thrilling, and vital. Some might think that four discs of the Coasters might be too much -- but then again, nobody is going to start listening to the Coasters on a set this. But the Coasters deserve a set this size, a set that's double the length of 50 Coastin' Classics and somehow twice as impressive, because it paints a fuller story, as the three main discs give the narrative of their career, slowing only when the second disc dips into standards. Bbut the third disc chronicling such latter-day classics as "Shoppin' for Clothes," "Bad Blood," "Bad Detective," and "Saturday Night Fish Fry" is surprisingly strong, holding up to that first disc, which is wild, wooly fun. After those three discs are absorbed, the fourth disc filled with alternate takes is a treat to show that it took considerable work and skill to make records that sound so easy and fine. Their genius wasn't accidental; it was carefully planned, and on this great set, the Coasters shine in all their glory, standing as one of the indisputable greats of early rock & roll, standing alongside Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, Little Richard, Fats Domino, and Elvis Presley himself as the core architects of rock & roll. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 The Hatchet Man The Coasters 2:29
  3. 2 I Love Paris The Coasters 2:28
  4. 3 Whadaya Want? The Coasters 2:26
  5. 4 If Teardrops Were Kisses The Coasters 2:47
  6. 5 Wrap It Up The Coasters 2:44
  7. 6 Riot in Cell Block #9 The Coasters 2:58
  8. 7 Loop de Loop Mambo The Coasters 2:12
  9. 8 One Kiss The Coasters 2:46
  10. 9 I Must Be Dreamin' The Coasters 2:15
  11. 10 Framed The Coasters 2:43
  12. 11 Smokey Joe's Cafe The Coasters 2:44
  13. 12 Just Like a Fool The Coasters 2:50
  14. 13 Brazil [Cover] The Coasters 2:19
  15. 14 Down in Mexico The Coasters 3:13
  16. 15 One Kiss Led to Another The Coasters 2:50
  17. 16 Turtle Dovin' The Coasters 3:4
  18. 17 Lola The Coasters 2:42
  19. 18 Sweet Georgia Brown The Coasters 2:43
  20. 19 Young Blood The Coasters 2:18
  21. 20 Searchin' The Coasters 2:41
  22. 21 (When She Wants Good Lovin') My Baby Comes to Me The Coasters 2:56
  23. 22 Idol with the Golden Head The Coasters 2:21
  24. 23 What Is the Secret of Your Success? The Coasters 2:26
  25. 24 Wait a Minute The Coasters 2:37
  26. 25 Dance! The Coasters 2:23
  27. 26 Gee, Golly The Coasters 1:57
  28. 27 Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart The Coasters 2:49
  29. 28 Three Cool Cats The Coasters 2:8
  30. 1 Yakety Yak The Coasters 1:52
  31. 2 Stewball The Coasters 2:19
  32. 3 Sorry But I'm Gonna Have to Pass The Coasters 2:8
  33. 4 The Shadow Knows The Coasters 2:11
  34. 5 I'm a Hog for You The Coasters 1:56
  35. 6 Crocodile The Coasters 2:2
  36. 7 Charlie Brown The Coasters 2:18
  37. 8 Hey Sexy The Coasters 2:55
  38. 9 Along Came Jones The Coasters 2:55
  39. 10 That Is Rock & Roll The Coasters 2:22
  40. 11 What About Us The Coasters 2:41
  41. 12 Poison Ivy The Coasters 2:40
  42. 13 Run Red Run The Coasters 2:57
  43. 14 Keep on Rolling The Coasters 2:18
  44. 15 Besame Mucho, Pt. 1 The Coasters 2:13
  45. 16 Besame Mucho, Pt. 2 The Coasters 2:12
  46. 17 The Snake and the Book Worm The Coasters 2:13
  47. 18 Wake Me, Shake Me The Coasters 2:25
  48. 19 Lady Like The Coasters 2:4
  49. 20 Easy Living The Coasters 3:48
  50. 21 Don't Get Around Much Anymore The Coasters 2:45
  51. 22 Moonlight in Vermont The Coasters 3:14
  52. 23 Moonglow The Coasters 2:3
  53. 24 You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To The Coasters 2:13
  54. 25 Autumn Leaves The Coasters 3:52
  55. 26 Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You The Coasters 2:13
  56. 27 Satin Doll The Coasters 2:25
  57. 28 The Way You Look Tonight The Coasters 2:37
  58. 29 Willow Weep for Me The Coasters 2:42
  59. 30 But Beautiful The Coasters 2:45
  60. 31 On the Sunny Side of the Street The Coasters 2:23
  61. 1 Thumbin' a Ride The Coasters 2:19
  62. 2 Shoppin' for Clothes The Coasters 2:55
  63. 3 Ridin' Hood The Coasters 3:9
  64. 4 Girls Girls Girls, Pt. 1 The Coasters 2:7
  65. 5 Girls Girls Girls, Pt. 2 The Coasters 1:52
  66. 6 Little Egypt (Ying Yang) The Coasters 2:49
  67. 7 Hongry The Coasters 2:30
  68. 8 Teach Me How to Shimmy The Coasters 2:8
  69. 9 My Babe The Coasters 2:3
  70. 10 Bad Blood The Coasters 2:15
  71. 11 (Ain't That) Just Like Me The Coasters 1:49
  72. 12 The Climb The Coasters 2:41
  73. 13 Bull Tick Waltz The Coasters 2:23
  74. 14 The P.T.A. The Coasters 2:26
  75. 15 T'Ain't Nothin' to Me The Coasters 4:38
  76. 16 Speedo's Back in Town The Coasters 3:10
  77. 17 Bad Detective The Coasters 2:36
  78. 18 Lovey Dovey The Coasters 2:45
  79. 19 Wild One The Coasters 2:5
  80. 20 I Must Be Dreaming The Coasters 2:33
  81. 21 Money Honey The Coasters 2:35
  82. 22 Let's Go Get Stoned The Coasters 2:53
  83. 23 Crazy Baby The Coasters 2:2
  84. 24 Bell Bottom Slacks and a Chinese Kimono The Coasters 2:21
  85. 25 She's a Yum Yum The Coasters 2:17
  86. 26 Saturday Night Fish Fry The Coasters 2:30
  87. 1 Yakety Yak [Take 5][Previously Unreleased] The Coasters 2:38
  88. 2 Three Cool Cats [Previously Unreleased][Alternate Arrangement][Take 1] The Coasters 2:9
  89. 3 (When She Wants Good Lovin') My Baby Comes to Me [Alternate Take][Previously Unreleased] The Coasters 2:32
  90. 4 Ridin' Hood [Take 28][Alternate Take][Previously Unreleased] The Coasters 3:4
  91. 5 The Shadow Knows [Take 2][Previously Unreleased] The Coasters 2:53
  92. 6 I'm a Hog for You [Previously Unreleased][Slow Version] The Coasters 1:53
  93. 7 Charlie Brown [Previously Unreleased][Alternate Version] The Coasters 2:40
  94. 8 Poison Ivy [Alternate Version][Previously Unreleased] The Coasters 2:39
  95. 9 That Is Rock & Roll [Alternate Version] The Coasters 2:24
  96. 10 The Slime The Coasters 2:42
  97. 11 Run Red Run [Alternate Version] The Coasters 3:0
  98. 12 Hey Sexy [Alternate Arrangement][Previously Unreleased] The Coasters 2:58
  99. 13 The Snake and the Book Worm [Alternate Version] The Coasters 2:21
  100. 14 Bad Blood [Alternate Version] The Coasters 2:17
  101. 15 Keep on Rolling [Alternate Version] The Coasters 2:18
  102. 16 Along Came Jones [Alternate Version] The Coasters 2:51
  103. 17 Little Egypt (Ying Yang) [Alternate Version] The Coasters 2:50
  104. 18 Girls Girls Girl [Alternate Version] The Coasters 2:7
  105. 19 What About Us [Alternate Version] The Coasters 2:49
  106. 20 I'm a Hog for You ["Yea Yea" Version] The Coasters 3:18
  107. 21 Crocodile [Take 1][Previously Unreleased] The Coasters 2:6
  108. 22 Yakety Yak [Previously Unreleased][Take 3] The Coasters 1:50
  109. 23 Wake Me, Shake Me [Stereo Version] The Coasters 2:29
  110. 24 Poison Ivy [Alternate Take[ The Coasters 2:42
  111. 25 I'm a Hog for You [Undubbed Stereo Master] The Coasters 2:18
  112. 26 Three Cool Cats [Extended Stereo Master] The Coasters 2:41
  113. 27 Dance! [Extended Version] The Coasters 2:26
  114. 28 Yakety Yak [Alternate Version] The Coasters 1:47

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