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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Coasters

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Review by Gary Hill

I’ve never really been a big fan of this kind of old time vocal music. That fact should tell you just how good this is when I say that I really like this album a lot. It’s not my kind of sound, but it’s so good that it drags me kicking and screaming into liking it. I will say not everything here blows me away, but most of it does. This is the first new recording by the Coasters in a very long time. They cover a lot of classic music and make it all their own. This should please long time fans. As I can attest, it’s likely to earn them some new ones, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
All I Have To Do Is Dream

This old cut gets a tasty treatment here. The vocal arrangement is great.

Cool Jerk
A fun cut, the groove on this is great.
Don’t Be Cruel

While this song only works reasonably well for me, I like it better than the Elvis version. I do like the vocal arrangement. This style of music just really isn’t my thing.

If I Had a Hammer

Now, this is great. I love this killer tune. They bring a real retro soulful vibe to this old folk number. The vocal arrangement is great, but there’s nothing here that doesn’t work well.

Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)

Although this isn’t really my kind of thing, I think it’s a lot of fun. It’s hard not to sing along.

Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
The old Jim Croce tune gets turned into a rocking little soulful jam. There is some jazz in the mix here, and this is a lot of fun. This is another that will probably get you singing, too.
Lyin’ Eyes

I love the arrangement of this Eagles classic. In fact, I might even like this better than the original. They retain some of that 70s rock sound, but bring some jazz and soul into the mix.


I’m not a big fan of doo wop, so when they bring some of that to this piece, it doesn’t work that well for me. Still, this is energetic and has some great moments.

(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay

Starting with the sounds of that dockside, this is a cool rendition. It’s tough (impossible?) to beat the classic version of the song we all know so well. Still, this is a strong take on it.

Turn Back the Hands of Time

This soul number gets a pretty traditional arrangement. It’s not bad, but not a standout either.

You Send Me
Another that only works so well for me, this is still pretty catchy.
Twistin’ the Night Away

Old time rock and roll meets jazz and soul on this great rocker. This is another highlight really. I dig the guitar solo.

Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe

I like the chorus on this, but the rest of the song just feels a little off to me. Still, it’s entertaining enough.

Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)

I love how this song and the opener serve as thematic bookends. I’m not overly enamored with the song itself, but it’s pretty effective.

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