With the songwriting and production team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller behind them, the Coasters were easily one of the most interesting vocal groups of the late '50s and early '60s, and their singles always featured inventive arrangements and great sound, managing to deliver gritty R&B while simultaneously wooing a mainstream audience and climbing the pop charts. Coast Along with the Coasters collects the group's Atco singles from 1959, 1960, and 1961, and was originally released on LP in 1962. Most of the songs are Leiber & Stoller compositions, naturally, but the group also covers material written by Bobby Darin ("Wait a Minute"), Doc Pomus ("The Snake & the Bookworm"), and Willie Dixon ("My Babe") in this set, and the continually fresh-sounding vocal and instrumental arrangements give the album a more cohesive, thought-out feel than most LPs released at the time. Among the highlights are the shuffle rock of the opener, "(Ain't That) Just Like Me," the social statement of "What About Us" (which contrasts the haves with the have-nots), and the truly bizarre "Run Red Run," which tells the story of a beer-drinking, card-playing monkey who tries to shoot his keeper for cheating at poker. Gotta love these guys.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett