Musical inspiration can come from anyone, anywhere – even if you’re not a musician.
Consider the notion of talking with friends about evolving musical tastes. The conversation shifts to music enjoyed during early adolescence – when suddenly, you discover a revelation: a friend secretly spent their early middle school years enamored of the swingin’ sounds of The Brian Setzer Orchestra.
You laugh and joke about it – because what pre-teen in the past decade could possibly jazzed by Setzer’s swing revival? – but then you start thinking. And researching. You remember Setzer was excellent in his previous band, the rockabilly revivalists The Stray Cats. An hour later, you’re scratching your head, because for all their popularity in America, the band’s discography is incredibly spotty on compact disc.
You see, Setzer, Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom wisely predicted their throwback style – down to the leather jackets and greaser haircuts – would play much stronger in England. With producer Dave Edmunds, they cut a pair of relatively successful albums, Stray Cats and Gonna Ball, both released in 1981. Just as the novelty started to wear off, EMI America released Built for Speed, an album cobbled from those two records, in 1982. It was a smash hit, as was the follow-up, 1983’s Rant N’ Rave with The Stray Cats.
For such considerable hit records – “Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut” and “(She’s) Sexy + 17,” it was a surprise to find out that not only are Built for Speed and Rant N’ Rave next to nonexistent on CD, but no label has ever treated those original U.K. LPs to a Stateside release. That may not seem as odd to you, but at The Second Disc we like to celebrate any musical movement, no matter how small.
So, shoring up the resolve to research (and inspire), The Second Disc’s continuing Reissue Theory series proudly presents you with a look at three hypothetical reissues of The Stray Cats’ early rockabilly recordings. Rock ’til you pop and/or drop after the jump.
Stray Cats – Stray Cats (Arista STRAY 1 (U.K.), 1981)
- Runaway Boys
- Fishnet Stockings
- Ubangi Stomp
- Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie
- Storm the Embassy
- Rock This Town
- Rumble in Brighton
- Stray Cat Strut
- Crawl Up and Die
- Double Talkin’ Baby
- My One Desire
- Wild Saxaphone
- You Can’t Hurry Love (B-side to “Rock This Town” – Arista SCAT 2, 1981)
- Built for Speed (12” B-side to “Stray Cat Strut” – Arista SCAT 123, 1981 – later released on Built for Speed U.S. LP EMI America ST-17070, 1982)
- Sweet Love on My Mind (12” B-side to “Stray Cat Strut” – Arista SCAT 123, 1981)
- Drink That Bottle Down (Live) (B-side to “Stray Cat Strut” – Arista SCAT 3, 1981)
Stray Cats – Gonna Ball (Arista STRAY 2 (U.K.), 1981)
- Baby Blue Eyes
- Little Miss Prissy
- Wasn’t That Good
- Cryin’ Shame
- (She’ll Stay Just) One More Day
- You Don’t Believe Me
- Gonna Ball
- Wicked Whisky
- Rev It Up & Go
- Lonely Summer Nights
- Crazy Mixed-Up Kid
- Cross That Bridge (B-side to “You Don’t Believe Me” – Arista SCAT 4, 1981)
- Sweet Love on My Mind (Live) (B-side to “Little Miss Prissy” – Arista SCAT 5, 1981)
- Something Else (Live) (B-side to “Little Miss Prissy” – Arista SCAT 5, 1981)
Stray Cats – Rant N’ Rave with The Stray Cats (Arista STRAY 3 (U.K.)/EMI America SO-17102 (U.S.), 1983)
- Rebels Rule
- Too Hip, Gotta Go
- Look at That Cadillac
- Something’s Wrong with My Radio
- 18 Miles to Memphis
- (She’s) Sexy + 17
- Dig Dirty Doggie
- I Won’t Stand in Your Way
- Hotrod Gang
- How Long You Wanna Live, Anyway?
- Lookin’ Better Every Beer (B-side to “(She’s) Sexy + 17” – Arista SCAT 6, 1983)
- Cruisin’ (12” B-side to “(She’s) Sexy + 17” – Arista SCAT 126, 1983)
- Lucky Charm (Ooh Wee Suzy) (12” B-side to “(She’s) Sexy + 17” – Arista SCAT 126, 1983)
- Lookin’ Out My Back Door (B-side to “Rebels Rule” – Arista SCAT 7, 1983)
- Sixteen Candles (from Sixteen Candles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – MCA 36012, 1983)
- I Won’t Stand in Your Way (A Cappella) (U.S. B-side to “I Won’t Stand in Your Way” – EMI America B-8185, 1983)