Today an American rockabilly band formed in 1979 by guitarist and vocalist Brian Setzer, double bassist Lee Rocker, and drummer Slim Jim Phantom in the Long Island town of Massapequa, New York. The group, whose style was based upon the sounds of Sun Records artists and other artists from the 1950s, were heavily influenced by Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent and Bill Haley & His Comets.The group had numerous hit singles in the UK, Australia, Canada and the U.S. .....N'Joy
xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
The key group of the early-'80s rockabilly revival, the Stray Cats scored several big hits on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to a striking visual style tailor-made for the early days of MTV, as well as genuine musical chops that evoked the best players of rockabilly's original heyday. the Stray Cats were formed by guitarist/vocalist Brian Setzer in the Long Island town of Massapequa, NY, in 1979. At first, Setzer played rockabilly covers in a band called the Tom Cats with his brother, drummer Gary, and bassist Bob Beecher; however, Setzer soon abandoned that group to join up with newly rechristened school friends Lee Rocker (born Leon Drucker) and Slim Jim Phantom (born James McDonnell). However, their retro '50s look and sound didn't go over well around Long Island, and in the summer of 1980, the group headed to England, where a rockabilly revival movement was just beginning to emerge.
After one of their gigs in London, the Stray Cats met producer Dave Edmunds, well known as a roots rock enthusiast for his work with Rockpile, and as a solo artist. Edmunds offered to work with the group, and they entered the studio to record their self-titled debut album, released in England in 1981 on Arista. They were popular right out of the box, scoring three straight hits that year with "Runaway Boys," "Rock This Town," and "Stray Cat Strut." The follow-up, Gonna Ball, wasn't as well received and, stung by the negative reviews, the Stray Cats decided to return to the States and make a go of it. They signed with EMI America and in 1982 released their U.S. debut, Built for Speed, which compiled the highlights from their two British LPs. Helped by extensive airplay on MTV at the height of the anything-goes new wave era, "Rock This Town" and "Stray Cat Strut" both hit the American Top Ten, over a year after their British chart peaks. As a result, Built for Speed was a left-field smash, and the Stray Cats were seen as avatars of retro style. Their second American album, Rant n' Rave with the Stray Cats, appeared in 1983 and produced another Top Ten hit in "(She's) Sexy + 17," as well as a minor Top 40 entry in the doo wop-styled ballad "I Won't Stand in Your Way."
Personality conflicts began to emerge in the ways the individual members handled their newfound success: Phantom married actress (and former Rod Stewart paramour) Britt Ekland, while Setzer made guest appearances with stars like Bob Dylan and Stevie Nicks and became the concert guitarist for Robert Plant's Honeydrippers side project. In late 1984, Setzer broke up the band amid much bad blood. Rocker and Phantom immediately teamed up with guitarist Earl Slick and recorded an album as Phantom, Rocker & Slick, while Setzer waited a couple of years before releasing his roots rock solo debut, The Knife Feels Like Justice. By 1986, fences had apparently been mended enough for the Stray Cats to reconvene in Los Angeles and record the covers-heavy Rock Therapy, which didn't sell that well. The trio returned to their respective post-Stray Cats projects, which both released albums that performed disappointingly. In 1989, they reunited once again for the album Blast Off, which was accompanied by a tour with Stevie Ray Vaughan. No longer with EMI, the Cats entered the studio with Nile Rodgers for the lackluster Let's Go Faster, issued by Liberation in 1990. 1992's Dave Edmunds-produced Choo Choo Hot Fish also attracted little attention, and after another covers album, Original Cool, the group called it quits again. They have since reunited periodically for live performances. Setzer, of course, went on to spearhead the '90s swing revival with his Brian Setzer Orchestra, which performed classic big-band swing and jump blues tunes, as well as Setzer originals.
xxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
Stray Cats debut album came hot on the heels of the two hit singles "Runaway Boys" and "Rock This Town," both energy filled rockabilly songs that hearkened back to the 1950s era of pure rock & roll with an updated, clean '80s sound highlighted by the prominent double bass playing of Lee Rocker and drumming of Slim Jim Phantom. The Stray Cats had more depth than pure rockabilly, as shown on the out and out rock & roll tracks "Fishnet Stockings," "Double Talkin Baby," and "Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie" (a facsimile of "Summertime Blues"), and the sleazy third single "Stray Cat Strut," perfectly evocative of a night out on the tiles. "Storm the Embassy," a song about the Iranian hostage situation than ran throughout 1980, would not have sounded out of place performed by the Clash, and "Ubangi Stomp" bore more than a passing resemblance to another musical craze of the early '80s: ska as performed by Madness or any of the 2 Tone stable of acts. This album was by far their most successful, hitting number six in the charts and their only entry into the Top 40. It was never released in the U.S., but five tracks, the three singles, plus "Rumble in Brighton" and "Jeanie Jeanie Jeanie" were amalgamated with tracks from the follow-up, Gonna Ball and appeared on the U.S. compilation Built for Speed.
Stray Cats - Stray Cats (flac 249mb)
01 Runaway Boys 2:59
02 Fishnet Stockings 2:24
03 Ubangi Stomp 3:10
04 Jeanie,Jeanie,Jeanie 2:17
05 Storm The Embassy 4:06
06 Rock This Town 3:24
07 Rumble In Brighton 3:11
08 Stray Cat Strut 3:14
09 Crawl Up And Die 3:11
10 Double Talkin Baby 3:02
11 My One Desire 2:55
12 Wild Saxaphone 3:00
Stray Cats - Stray Cats (ogg 85mb)
xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
The Stray Cats' second album, Gonna Ball, was considered something of a disappointment when it was released in 1981; back then, it had the disadvantage of competing with the expectations raised by its immediate predecessor, a miraculous debut produced under the guidance of Dave Edmunds. When they pulled up stakes in England and returned to the U.S.A., they signed with EMI-America and built their American debut around what the band considered the best songs off of their first two records -- as a result, neither U.K. album was widely heard intact on American shores. Heard on its own terms 23 years later, Gonna Ball seems like a minor masterpiece, capturing the group going deep into early rock & roll and even pre-rock & roll roots music and far beyond the boundaries of rockabilly, supported by various players, including Rolling Stones alumnus Ian Stewart. Their rendition of Johnny Burnette's "Baby Blue Eyes" was a bracing opener (later moved to the closing spot on their third album). Brian Setzer's "Cryin' Shame" included a killer extended jam and harmonica showcase, and the Lee Rocker/Slim Jim Phantom-authored "(She'll Stay Just) One More Day" was a sophisticated piece of jump blues with a beautiful sax solo at its center and powerful central riff; Setzer's "What's Goin' Down (Cross That Bridge)," in turn, was as fine a Bo Diddley tribute as had been done by any white artist since the 1960s -- and none of those three made it on to their American debut LP. Setzer's "You Don't Believe Me" oozed the spirit of Elmore James out of every guitar note, while "Gonna Ball" and "Wicked Whisky" were exercises in rockabilly primitivism. "Rev It Up and Go" -- which made it to the third album -- was an impassioned Chuck Berry homage that also obliquely acknowledged the Beach Boys' service in making his riffs work in a uniquely white suburban context. "Lonely Summer Nights" -- also on the third album -- proved that this band could handle the ballad side of '50s music with the best of them when they wanted to. And "Crazy Mixed Up Kids" (which didn't make the cut to album number three) was a psychobilly instrumental workout par excellence.
Stray Cats - Gonna Ball (flac 250mb)
01 Baby Blue Eyes 2:49
02 Little Miss Prissy 3:01
03 Wasn't That Good 2:45
04 Cryin' Shame 3:30
05 (She'll Stay Just) One More Day 3:42
06 You Don't Believe Me 2:58
07 Gonna Ball 3:15
08 Wicked Whisky 2:17
09 Rev It Up & Go 2:28
10 Lonely Summer Nights 3:21
11 Crazy Mixed-Up Kid 2:40
Stray Cats - Gonna Ball (ogg 89mb )
xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
The third album from the New York Rockabilly trio was one of the most anticipated albums of 1983. The Cats stood out in the midst of the New Romantic wave of Spandau Ballet, Visage, Duran Duran, Kajagoogoo and others at the time as one band who had toured incessantly and recorded as fast as they could. The band reunited with Welshman Dave Edmunds to record "Rant & rave" in London. They opted to return to what made their success and went back to their rockabilly roots (with an exception or two) after the blues inspired "Gonna Ball".
"Rebels Rule" is a good choice to start the selection. A strong Diddley Beat with Slim Jim playing like a madman on his toms and Setzer yelling "Rock'n'Roll is never too loud!" the pace is quickly set. The Stray Cats are back ! The next one, "Too Hip Gotta Go" is a good rockabilly and shows Setzer ability on the strings. A fun one to play (see the time Setzer takes to explain it on his instructional video) it'll remain in their live set list for very long. "Look At That Cadillac" is a fine jump blues with juicy saxes and piano.
"Hot Rod Gang" was undoubtedly written with Gene Vincent in mind feature a fine Cliff Gallup influenced solo. The album ends with "How Long You Wanna Live Anyway?" the closest thing to Psychobilly the Stray Cats ever played with heavy guitar and pounding drums. With 10 songs and not a weak track, the Stray Cats star was rising high. Sadly one year after the release of Rant & Rave the band disbanded and though they made different come-back with some solid songs and albums this is the end of the golden age of the Stray Cats.
Stray Cats - Rant N' Rave With The Stray Cats (flac 262mb)
01 Rebels Rule 3:24
02 Too Hip, Gotta Go 2:33
03 Look At That Cadillac 4:00
04 Something's Wrong With My Radio 2:34
05 18 Miles To Memphis 2:56
06 (She's) Sexy And 17 3:28
07 Dig Dirty Doggy 1:59
08 I Won't Stand In Your Way 3:55
09 Hotrod Gang 2:45
10 How Long You Wanna Live, Anyway? 2:39
Stray Cats - Rant N' Rave With The Stray Cats (ogg 93mb)
xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx