The Coasters - There's A Riot Goin' On: The Coasters On Atco
There's A Riot Goin' On: The Coasters On Atco
- Release Date: 9/14/2007
From 1956 to 1961, the Coasters released a string of classic singles that reflected the life of the American teenager with keen wit and hot, rocking harmonies. ...The Coasters parlayed their R&B roots into rock and roll hits by delivering Leiber and Stoller's serio-comic tunes in an uptempo doo-wop style.Clocking in just a hair under three hours of music, this 14 track ultimate celebration of The Coasters features in-depth notes by writer-actor James Ritz, who also co-produced the compilation.
- from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame web page on The Coasters' 1987 induction
The Coasters were, in fact, the first group ever to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - all those so recognized in 1986, the inaugural year, were individual artists. It's a singular honor that's a fitting testament to their unique sound, stellar vocalizations and riotously great material. Rhino Handmade was more than willing to dig a little deeper into their body of work for THERE'A A RIOT GOING' ON: THE COASTERS ON ATCO, a 4-CD boxed set including an entire disc of rarities and previously unreleased tracks. You won't be able to stop yourself from shoutin'!
Boasting tracks spanning 1955-1966, THERE'A A RIOT GOING' ON: THE COASTERS ON ATCO is available exclusively from Rhino Handmade in an individually numbered, limited edition of only 4000 copies for $79.98 a piece. Clocking in just a hair under three hours of music, this ultimate celebration of The Coasters features in-depth notes by writer-actor James Ritz, who also co-produced the compilation.
In his booklet essay Comedy Is A Serious Business, Ritz writes, During the golden days of the doo-wop era, The Coasters established themselves as the most original act in a wide field that predominately covered the narrow boundaries of teen angst and pubescent longings. What seemed like effortless excursions into the realm of comedic diversions were actually highly crafted musical short stories that sometimes took 25-30 takes to sharpen to perfection. The fact that they were delivered by four past-their-teenage-years African-American adults made their accomplishments even more incongruous, and the group became one of the first black acts to crack pop music's rapidly decaying racial barriers during the mid-to-late '50s, going on to become rock 'n' roll superstars.
It all started in Los Angeles in the late 1940s with the vocal group The Robins, who were originally affiliated with Savoy Records and producer Johnny Otis. In 1953, they signed with Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller's Spark Records, where they had hits with Riot In Cell Block #9, I Must Be Dreamin' and Smokey Joe's Caf, a #10 R&B single.
The breakout success of the latter song - which in 1995 became the title of a theatrical celebration of Leiber & Stoller's tunes that went on to be the longest running musical revue in Broadway history - led to a production deal for the songwriting duo at Atco in New York City. The Robins were included in the deal, but the move east split the group. Carl Gardner and Bobby Nunn went to NYC with Leiber & Stoller, renamed their outfit The Coasters as a nod to their cross-continental relocation, and rounded out the original core lineup with Billy Guy and Leon Hughes.
The group rocketed fourteen songs up the Billboard R&B charts - eight of them crossed over to the pop Top 40 and two, Yakety Yak and Poison Ivy, hit # 1 on both charts. Other classics include Young Blood (#2 R&B/#8 pop), Searchin'(#1 R&B/#3 pop), Charlie Brown (#2 R&B/#2 pop) and Along Came Jones (#14 R&B/#9 pop).
It's not all about the numbers, though - these and other hits are just the tip of the iceberg on this landmark collection from Rhino Handmade. Disc One of THERE'A A RIOT GOING' ON: THE COASTERS ON ATCO opens with a dozen sides from The Robins, including all their signature songs. Fourteen tracks from the original lineup follow, and the CD closes with two cuts from the second lineup, Carl Gardner, Billy Guy, Will Dub Jones, Cornell Gunter. Many mono single masters are featured. Disc Two coasts through thirty-one classics tracks, with an emphasis on stereo masters and, as with Disc One, Leiber & Stoller-composed and produced tracks, although other songwriters are represented.