RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

The Stray Cats - Live At Rockpalast   
Made In Germany Music

Rating: B

The Stray Cats combined a punk rock, do-it-yerself attitude, with rockabilly chops and forced their way onto the world scene.  Led by guitarist and vocalist Brian Setzer, the Cats were men on a mission.  They believed in their sound, their look and their need to resurrect a style of music that had been ignored too long.  Now, thirty some years down the road, it is a powerful testament to their abilities that when one thinks of that style of music, one thinks of The Stray Cats!  Along with Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker, Setzer made their dreams come true. 

Now, one can both listen to, and view, history being made with the latest release by The Stray Cats, titled Live at Rockpalast.  The impressive footage was culled from two German rock shows, the first from Cologne in 1981 and the second at the Loreley in 1983.  Both look and sound great, with the first impression being, “Damn these guys are young!”  It was their impressionable yet youthful exuberance that gave them the focus to act as if, and believe, that what they were doing had to be done... their way. 

The 1981 show demonstrates the band getting ready to take over the world while the 1983 show exhibits the band not being overwhelmed by their rock star status and remaining true to their mission.  There is a ton of energy from start to finish on this sucker.  There is also some down-right kick-ass guitar playing!  Brian proves he not only studied all things Chet Atkins and Eddie Cochran, he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath! 

The Stray Cats were not supposed to make it.  They looked retro, but were covered in ink.  They wore their hair like Fonzie and the bass player played an old fashioned instrument and the drummer stood up and basically played only one drum.  On top of all of that The Stray Cats played music our parents listened too.  With tunes like “Rumble in Brighton Tonight,” “Stray Cat Strut,” “Built for Speed” and “Rock This Town,” however, they reminded us that great music is timeless.  It may have been unexpected, but their success was both earned and deserved.

Loreley, August 20th 1983:
1. Baby Blue Eyes 03:41
2. Double Talkin' Baby 03:37
3. Rumble In Brighton 04:11
4. Drink That Bottle Down 05:26
5. Something Is Wrong With My Radio 02:39
6. Built For Speed 06:30
7. Look At That Cadillac 04:25
8. Runaway Boy 03:46
9. Lonely Summer Nights 04:22
10. Too Hip, Gotta Go 02:39
11. Stray Cats Strut 05:42
12. She's Sexy And 17 04:40
13. Banjo Time
(Foggy Mountain Breakdown) 02:16
14. The Race Is On 02:14
15. Tear It Up 04:03
16. Oh Boy 03:03
17. Rock This Town 06:50

Cologne, July.16th 1981
1. Sweet Love On My Mind 03:58
2. Double Talkin' Baby 03:37
3. Rumble In Brighton 03:34
4. My One Desire 04:38
5. Ubangi Stomp 04:16
6. Drink That Bottle Down 05:34
7. Storm The Embassy 05:05
8. Stray Cats Strut 04:09
9. Fishnet Stockings 02:48
10. Important Words 04:32
11. Rock This Town 08:28
12. Runaway Boy 04:40
13. Sometin' Else 04:45
14. Gonna Ball 04:14 

By Jeb Wright