Stray Cats Talk New Live ‘Rocked This Town’ Album

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The Stray Cats (Photo: Suzie Kaplan; used with permission)

The Stray Cats have released Rocked This Town: From LA to London, an audio souvenir of their recent 40th anniversary reunion tour. The live album, featuring 23 tracks recorded on the 2019 tour, arrived Sept. 11 via Surfdog Records and distributed by BMG. The trio talked about their chemistry. See their comments and listen to several tracks below.

Rocked This Town was produced by the band’s guitarist/vocalist Brian Setzer, upright bass player Lee Rocker and drummer Slim Jim Phantom–original founding members of the iconic American rock and roll trio–and mixed by Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton, Arctic Monkeys). The career-spanning track listing (below) features their greatest hits as well as several brand-new scorchers from 2019’s 40, the band’s first new studio album in 26 years.

Watch the Rocked This Town: From LA to London album trailer

In 2019, The Stray Cats performed overseas shows in June and July and then toured America from August 2 – September 1. Setzer was asked how their live shows had changed over the years.

“The first thing I noticed last summer was that we had spread out on stage,” he said. “I guess over the years, as the crowds got bigger, we spread out more. I discovered we needed to be close together like we were still playing in our garages. That really brought the band back together. As long as we’re within an ear-shot and eye-shot of each, the magic just happens.”

Listen to “Rock This Town”

Rocker talked about the trio’s bond. “The Stray Cats are all about the chemistry between us. Every night it’s different, every time we hit the stage and play ‘Rock This Town’ or ‘Stray Cat Strut.’ It’s different and unique.”

Phantom added: “We’ve done so many shows and know each other so well as musicians that everyone is on the same wavelength with knowing when to let it loose and when to hold it back just a little–that’s what makes any band good.”

The Stray Cats (Photo: Russ Harrington; used with permission)

The Stray Cats put Rockabilly music back on the record charts in the early ’80s, with several big hits on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to a striking visual 1950’s style brought “up to date” with exaggerated pompadours and colorful tattoos and as well as genuine musical chops that evoked the best players of the genre’s original heyday. They were formed in 1979 by Setzer, Rocker and Phantom in the Long Island town of Massapequa, NY. In 1980, after seeing a pompadoured kid on the cover of U.K. magazine NME, they hopped a plane to London where a rockabilly revival movement was just beginning to emerge. Their massive hits and videos include “Runaway Boys,” “Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut” “(She’s) Sexy + 17,” and “I Won’t Stand in Your Way.”

Listen to “Rock it Off” from the live release

Related: When the Stray Cats reunited after 10 years

Rocked This Town: From LA to London Tracklisting
1. CAT FIGHT (OVER A DOG LIKE ME)
2. RUNAWAY BOYS
3. TOO HIP, GOTTA GO
4. DOUBLE TALKIN’ BABY
5. THREE TIME’S A CHARM
6. STRAY CAT STRUT
7. MEAN PICKIN’ MAMA
8. GENE & EDDIE
9. CRY BABY
10. I WON’T STAND IN YOUR WAY
11. CANNONBALL RAG
12. MISIRLOU
13. WHEN NOTHING’S GOING RIGHT
14. (SHE’S) SEXY + 17
15. BRING IT BACK AGAIN
16. MY ONE DESIRE **
17. BLAST OFF
18. LUST ‘N’ LOVE
19. FISHNET STOCKINGS
20. ROCK THIS TOWN
21. ROCK IT OFF
22. BUILT FOR SPEED
23. RUMBLE IN BRIGHTON

**On LP and digital only

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