ARTIST: The Coasters
TITLE: The Definitive Coasters (A Sides and B Sides)
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 10: Down in Mexico (#8 R&B), Young Blood (#8 US, #1 R&B), Searchin’ (#3 US, #1 R&B, #30 UK), Yakety Yak (#1 US, #1 R&B, #12 UK), Charlie Brown (#2 US, #2 R&B, #6 UK), Along Came Jones (#9 US, #14 R&B), Poison Ivy (#7 US, #1 R&B, #15 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Riot in Cell Block #9, Smokey Joe’s Café, Little Egypt, That Is Rock and Roll, Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart
LINEUP: Carl Gardner, Billy Guy, Will Jones, Cornell Gunter. At times Bobby Nunn, Leon Hughes and others when they were The Robins.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Influential vocal group that took humorous Lieber / Stoller tunes and made both the songs and the group iconic.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Most every Coasters songs bring a chuckle, a laugh or a smile, and that at times obscure the actual vocal work by the group. It was a standard doo-wop but it gave a lot of room for the baritone and bass vocalists to shine to great effect.
This compilation has all of the A and B sides from when they really mattered (until 1961 or so). The issue is that there are 61 tracks here, but most all of them are worth keeping. There are worse problems.
The Coasters and Lieber and Stoller are huge influences on so many acts that followed, and any collection should have a great Coasters collection.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Their version of “Smokey Joe’s Café” was what got them signed to Atlantic, and then they changed their name to the Coasters. Only Gardner and Guy made the transition.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A: “Searchin’, “Young Blood”, “Charlie Brown”, “Poison Ivy”, etc. etc.