Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Coasters - "Bad Detective"

Here I am, after a two week break. It's not that I was extra busy or anything. Time just sort of got away from me. Anyhoo, today I have a real goodie by The Coasters, those purveyors of such rock and roll classics as "Yakety Yak", "Charlie Brown" and "Poison Ivy". Our record is something much less known by them, "Bad Detective".

My introduction to today's song came via The New York Dolls' version on their outstanding, proto-punk, classic album, Too Much Too Soon. As good as the Dolls' originals were, they also had a special flair for remakes, including this one. Well, it was several years before running across a copy of The Coasters' version of the song. In fact, I don't recall being aware of The Coasters recording before finding this 45.

"Bad Detective" was one of The Coasters' later releases on Atco, from May 1964. It's a really rollicking rendition, one of their best. It has the patented Billy Guy lead vocal, with lots of backing from the other group members. There is some guitar running throughout the song, although it's mostly relegated to the background. The tune also gets a good sax break. All in all, it seems out of place for the post British Invasion, sounding like it could be from several years earlier. Nonetheless, it's a big favorite. You can hear Bad Detective right here.

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