Monday, December 17, 2012

Stray Cats - Live At Montreux 1981 DVD Review

Written by General Jabbo

The year was 1981. Disco was fading while punk was morphing into post punk and new wave. The 80s hair metal scene was just beginning to take root, but three guys from Long Island, NY, had different ideas for what their new music should sound like. Instead of looking forward, they looked to the past, specifically the rockabilly music of the 1950s. Formed in 1980, they called themselves the Stray Cats and none of its three members (Guitarist/vocalist Brian Setzer was the oldest at age 22) were even born when rockabilly was in its heyday, yet here they were with simple drums, an upright bass and a Gretsch guitar playing a revved up new music that was completely rooted in the past.

The problem was, America wasn’t ready for their sound quite just yet, so they took it across the pond to more appreciative audiences in England, releasing their debut album in 1981. That album, along with their second release, was cherry picked to select tracks for their American debut, Built For Speed, but that was still to come. On July 10, 1981, the band played the prestigious Montreux Jazz festival. Thankfully for fans, the cameras were rolling and their exciting performance is now available as Stray Cats – Live At Montreux 1981.

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