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Rockabilly - Released May 24, 2019 | Surfdog Records

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Rockabilly - Released May 24, 2019 | Surfdog Records

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Rockabilly - Released January 1, 2014 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Rockabilly - Released November 9, 2004 | Surfdog Records

This rather short double-disc package documents the British dates of the re-formed 2004 Stray Cats, specifically one show in Brixton. The 22-song set includes all of their big hits, a handful of logical if intriguing covers ("Ubangi Stomp," "My Baby Left Me," "That's All Right," "Good Rockin' Tonight," and "Twenty Flight Rock"), and even a new studio track, the trio's first original composition in a decade. Although the band hadn't played together in a while, all of the members have stayed busy and their chops are as sharp -- if not sharper -- than in the old days. Additionally, England is where they first made a popular splash, so they are obviously thrilled to be back on their old stomping grounds, adding to the edgy sense of excitement in the performance. Most of these concert renditions are hotter and hence arguably better than the previously recorded counterparts, and the Cats' manic enthusiasm bursts out of the speakers, even without the accompanying DVD visuals. As the only member who went on to a formidable solo career, guitarist/singer/frontman Brian Setzer sounds particularly inspired as he tears into these nuggets, most of which, like the trusty vamp "Stray Cat Strut," are over two decades old. Setzer even occasionally relinquishes the vocal spotlight to bassist Lee Rocker, who is a more than adequate and underappreciated singer. The intense energy level never lets up as the bandmembers charge through the set with a sweaty fire it's doubtful they could have mustered even in their prime. The new studio song tacked on as the last cut, "Mystery Train Kept A Rollin'," is a rockabilly tribute to Elvis and his Sun Records contemporaries that won't set new standards for the Cats, but is an indication that there is still plenty of gas in the group's tank. Editing out a track or two would have allowed the entire gig to fit on a single disc instead of expanding it to two short ones, but otherwise the Stray Cats' first official live album is worth the extended wait. ~ Hal Horowitz
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Rockabilly - Released August 5, 1989 | Capitol Records, LLC

Featuring a set of pleasant, but unexciting, songs, Blast Off indicated that the Stray Cats' revved-up rockabilly ran out of gas quickly. ~ David Jehnzen
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Rockabilly - Released January 1, 2014 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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In 1982, the unexpected success of the Stray Cats' American debut, Built for Speed, made America aware that rockabilly, previously believed to be extinct, was actually alive and well somewhere in New Jersey (though the evidence had to be taken to England before anyone would notice). Pulling together six songs from the Stray Cats' self-titled debut, five tunes from the follow-up Gonna Ball, and one previously unreleased number (the title song), Built for Speed is song-for-song the group's strongest album, despite the cut-and-paste manner in which it was created. Originality was never this band's strongest suit, and as songwriters the Stray Cats rarely wandered far from the traditional themes of cars, girls, rockin', and their own level of coolness, but Brian Setzer's fleet-fingered guitar work revealed that he'd absorbed the lessons of Cliff Gallup, James Burton, and Scotty Moore and constructed an impressive and colorful style of his own from the parts, while Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom were an admirably potent and appropriately uncluttered rhythm section (the clean, streamlined production, by Dave Edmunds on most cuts, also helped quite a bit). If the group's songs haven't all worn the test of time especially well, the melodies are strong and the playing is tight and enthusiastic throughout. While you're better off with a good collection from Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, or Charlie Feathers, there are a lot worse ways you could learn about rockabilly than to pick up Built for Speed -- which is a good thing, since if you were born after 1965, chances are it was where you learned about rockabilly. ~ Mark Deming
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Rockabilly - Released August 5, 1983 | Capitol Records, LLC

Rant n' Rave, the Stray Cats' follow up to Built For Speed, sounded identical to Built for Speed, and -- thanks to the hits "(She's) Sexy + 17" and the ballad "I Won't Stand in Your Way" -- it was equally as strong. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rockabilly - Released January 25, 2005 | Surfdog Records

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Rockabilly - Released January 1, 2000 | Parlophone Catalogue

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Rockabilly - Released January 1, 1982 | EMI - EMI Records (USA)

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Rockabilly - Released January 25, 2005 | Surfdog Records

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Rockabilly - Released January 25, 2005 | Surfdog Records

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Rockabilly - Released July 31, 1983 | Cult Legends

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Rockabilly - Released January 1, 1997 | EMI - EMI Records (USA)

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Rockabilly - Released January 25, 2005 | Surfdog Records

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Rockabilly - Released March 4, 2019 | Surfdog Records

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Rockabilly - Released January 25, 2005 | Surfdog Records

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Rockabilly - Released January 25, 2005 | Surfdog Records

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Rockabilly - Released January 25, 2005 | Surfdog Records

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Rockabilly - Released April 26, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC