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Stray Cats

Band
1979 / Present
United States United States

Rating: 4.76

Band Stray Cats

Overview

History

Stray Cats is a rockabilly band which formed in 1980 in Massapequa, New York, United States. The band consists of Brian Setzer (vocals, guitar), Lee Rocker (bass) and Slim Jim Phantom (drums). The band released two successful albums in the United Kingdom in 1981 before releasing their American debut album "Built for Speed" the following year. The band's singles "Stray Cat Strut" and "Rock This Town" were successful in multiple countries.
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 Stray Cats quickly developed a large following in the New York music scene playing at CBGB and Max's Kansas City as well as venues on Long Island. When the Cats heard a rumor that there was a revival of the 1950s Teddy Boy youth subculture in England, the band moved to the UK. They then spearheaded the nascent rockabilly revival, by blending the 1950s Sun Studio sound with modern punk musical elements. In terms of visual style the Stray Cats also blended elements of 1950 rockabilly clothes such as wearing drape jackets, brothel creepers and western shirts with punk clothes such as tight black zipper trousers and modern versions of 1950s hair styles.
In the summer of 1980 the Cats found themselves being courted by the elite of the music world including Virgin Records, Stiff Records and Arista Records. Word quickly spread and soon members of The Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin were at their shows. After a gig in London, 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, Stray Cats, released in England in 1981 on Arista Records. They had three hits that year with "Runaway Boys", "Rock This Town", and "Stray Cat Strut". The UK follow-up to Stray Cats, Gonna Ball, was not as well-received, providing no hits. Yet the combined sales of their first two albums was enough to convince EMI America to compile the best tracks from the two UK albums and issue an album (Built for Speed) in the U.S. in 1982. The record went on to sell double platinum in the US and Canada and was the #2 record on the Billboard album charts for 26 weeks

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Members

Brian Setzer
Present
Lee Rocker
Present

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Discography

Studio Album

1980
Album has 4 releases
1980
Album has 6 releases
1981
Album has 6 releases
1982
Album has 3 releases
1988
Album has 1 releases
1992
Album has 3 releases
1992
Album has 4 releases
1999
Album has 1 releases

Single

1982
Album has 1 releases

EP

1982
Album has 2 releases