40 (Remastered) Stray Cats
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- 1Cat Fight (Over A Dog Like Me)02:14
- 2Rock It Off02:59
- 3I've Got Love If You Want It03:04
- 4Cry Danger03:09
- 5I Attract Trouble03:42
- 6Three Time's A Charm02:07
- 7That's Messed Up03:56
- 8When Nothing's Going Right03:01
- 10Mean Pickin' Mama02:39
- 11I'll Be Looking Out For You02:35
- 12Devil Train03:16
Info for 40 (Remastered)
The Stray Cats are back, celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2019 with a new album and tour! The Stray Cats have titled the album '40.' Marking their first new album in 26 years, it will be released May 24 via Surfdog Records and distributed by BMG. The song titles alone--including “Cat Fight (Over A Dog Like Me),” “Rock It Off,” “Mean Pickin’ Mama” and “Devil Train”—instantly let listeners know they’re in for a non-stop rocking time.
The Stray Cats recorded '40' at Blackbird Studios in Nashville in late 2018 following their first North American shows in 10 years, with four concerts including sold-out headlining shows in Las Vegas and the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, CA before wildly enthusiastic audiences. Still buzzing from the thrill of playing together again and the crowd response, they went into the studio with producer Peter Collins (Rush, Bon Jovi, The Brian Setzer Orchestra) and engineer Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton, Arctic Monkeys). There are a dozen original songs that comprise the album.
Here’s what the guys have to say:
Brian Setzer: “You have to understand how unique the Stray Cats are. It’s me playing an old hollow body guitar, Slim Jim playing two or three drums, and Lee Rocker slapping a stand-up acoustic bass. I get to write new songs and then play them with my buddies. Somehow we created a new and exciting sound with this simple idea. And you know what? A lot of people agree!”
Lee Rocker: “This new album really feels like the first record we did, it’s really natural and comfortable. For the recording, we went live–like doing a gig, we recorded in a real, organic way. We were all in one room standing next to each other recording live, with the amps turned up to 10, it captured the undefinable things that happen when a band is great, it captured the magic that takes place and an undefined spark.”
Slim Jim Phantom: “We’re very, very focused when we get into the studio, it didn’t feel like a long time had passed since we had done this, it felt very natural and familiar. We were all in a row with everyone watching each other, so it felt like a gig in the set-up. We really embraced that a little bit for the album, it’s like an old way of making records. The modern is meeting the vintage, which has always been our inspiration.”
Brian Setzer, guitar, vocals
Lee Rocker, bass, vocals
Slim Jim Phantom, drums, vocals
With high-blown quiffs and 50s ‘cat’ clothes, Brian Setzer (10 April 1959, Massapequa, New York, USA; guitar/vocals), Lee Rocker (b. Leon Drucker, 3 August 1961, Long Island, New York, USA; double bass) and Slim Jim Phantom (b. Jim McDonnell, 20 March 1961; drums) emerged from New York’s Long Island as the most commercially viable strand of the rockabilly resurgence in the early 80s - though they had to migrate to England initially to find chart success. Their exhilarating repertoire was dominated by the works of artists such as Carl Perkins and Eddie Cochran in addition to some stylized group originals, but their taste was sufficiently catholic to also acknowledge the influence of later rock ‘n’ roll practitioners such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and Joe Ely. Probably their most iconoclastic re-working, however, was their arrangement of the Supremes’ ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ that appeared on the b-side of their second single, 1981’s ‘Rock This Town’. This shared the same UK chart position as their earlier, debut hit, ‘Runaway Boys’, reaching number 9. ‘Stray Cat Strut’, produced by Dave Edmunds, was another hit as was the trio’s debut album, but 1981 closed with the comparative failure of both Gonna Ball and ‘You Don’t Believe Me’.
The band was buoyed by the US success of Built For Speed, however, which combined the best of the two UK albums and rocketed to number 2 on the album charts, and the belated Top 10 success of ‘Rock This Town’, ‘Stray Cat Strut’, and ‘(She’s) Sexy + 17’. Following the release of Rant N’ Rave With The Stray Cats the band fell apart. Rocker and Phantom amalgamated - as Phantom, Rocker And Slick - with guitarist Earl Slick with whom they appeared on a star-studded televised tribute to Carl Perkins, organized by Edmunds in 1985, and released two lacklustre albums. Setzer released a solo album before reuniting briefly with Phantom and Rocker in order to record 1986’s Rock Therapy. A more solid reunion took place in 1988, and the trio returned to the lower reaches of the UK charts in 1989 with ‘Bring It Back Again’. The attendant Blast Off! was a disappointment, however, and after three more albums the unit disbanded. Setzer went on to greater success in the late 90s when his 16-piece orchestra spearheaded America’s swing revival. Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker resurfaced as the Swing Cats, but reunited with Setzer in 2004 for a series of live dates. (Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music)
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