The Coasters: The Coasters

Coasters_CoastersThe Coasters’ 1958 debut LP

The Coasters first full-length LP is more an anthology than a purpose-built album, collecting half its fourteen songs from the pre-Coasters lineup of the Robins, and adding seven more by the first lineup to record under the Coasters name. Though the group changed more than half its members between the Robins and Coasters, the songs and production of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller provide a through line that gives the album an impressive consistency. The song list includes the group’s first four hit singles, “Down in Mexico,” “One Kiss Led to Another,” “Young Blood,” and “Searchin’,” alongside favorites “Smokey Joe’s Café” and “Framed,” and terrific, lesser-known sides “Wrap it Up” and the energetic “I Must Be Dreamin’.” The Coasters deftly combined deep R&B roots with a comedic approach that made their songs fun without turning them into novelties. You’ll smile every time you hear the Coasters, but you’ll never think of them as anything less than a consummate vocal group. To get a broader look at their hits, try The Very Best of the Coasters; to go deep check out Rhino Handmade’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On: The Coasters on Atco. [©2013 Hyperbolium]

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