The Stray Cats brought propulsive '50s rock and roll back to the radio during the era of Synth Pop and REO Speedwagon. After striking out stateside, they took their American sound to England and hit pay dirt. Their "veddy British" video for "Stray Cat Strut" was put on heavy rotation during the birth of MTV, and they rode the wave of success all the way home. The Blasters, the Paladins or Robert Gordon may have had a purer revival sound, but Brian Setzer put a lot of modern guitar bite into the Cats's well-crafted tunes, but after they had a quick succession of hits, but their star dimmed long before the 1980s ended. The same guitar that served the Stray Cats so well helped jump-start the Retro/Swing Revival movement in the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Hopefully the nouveau big band scene will last, or Setzer may be forced to spearhead a Dixieland band. Regardless of what the future holds, Stray Cats songs like "Rumble in Brighton" will remain youthful snippets of greasy-haired fun.
Stray Cats Concert Films
Live at Montreux, 1981
Runtime: 1 hr 20 minWhen the Stray Cats rolled into Montreux in July of 1981 they were one of the hottest properties around. They had 3 hit singles and a UK top 10 album already under their belts along with a string of headlining concerts, all of which had come since their relocation from New York to London in 1980. The band's combination of original songs and rockabilly classics with a punk attitude and style had caught the moment to perfection. Added to this were their considerable musical accomplishments and knack for songwriting. All in all it was a heady concoction and the crowd in Montreux reacted with near hysterical excitement, something rarely seen in what is usually a polite and reserved audience. This is the Stray Cats at their peak.
Live At Rockpalast: Cologne 1981
Runtime: 1 hr 11 minWhen the Stray Cats entered the scene in the 80s, rockabilly was hot. Grease quiffs and tattoos were the outside badges; upright drums and bass the characteristic instruments. Includes two performances in Germany: one in 1981 in Cologne and one in 1983 at the Loreley that were recorded by WDR. These are genuine recordings that make the trio's sound still accessible today.
Live At Rockpalast: Loreley 1983
Runtime: 1 hr 14 minWhen the Stray Cats entered the scene in the 80s, rockabilly was hot. Grease quiffs and tattoos were the outside badges; upright drums and bass the characteristic instruments. Includes two performances in Germany: one in 1981 in Cologne and one in 1983 at the Loreley that were recorded by WDR. These are genuine recordings that make the trio's sound still accessible today.
Stray Cats Top Tracks
Classic Album: Elvis Presley
Runtime: 50 min"It was like the world went from black & white to Technicolor," says Keith Richards of the emergence of Elvis Presley in the mid-'50s, and this look at the King's first official album (the legendary Sun Sessions weren't issued in album form until well after the fact) backs up that claim. The one-hour program (plus 40 minutes of bonus interview material on the program) combines performance footage (the early TV shows are not to be missed), photos, and more to limn Presley's early days, when he combined country, blues, and R&B to forge a unique, galvanizing style. Sun producer Sam Phillips, author Peter Guralnick, Presley's musicians, and others are on hand to provide insight and background. But in the end, of course, it comes down to the music--and when you're talking about the likes of "Blue Suede Shoes," "Tutti Frutti," "Money Honey," and "Heartbreak Hotel" (a single that actually wasn't on the album), "classic" hardly begins to cover it.
Keep on Rockin'
Runtime: 28 minLittle Richard was one of the first great wildmen of rock, with his sky-high pompadour, manic scream and frantically rockin' tunes like "Tutti Frutti" and "Keep A' Knockin'." Keep On Rockin' captures the self-proclaimed "quasar of rock" in fine and unfettered form in this 1969 date at a Toronto festiva
Mystery Girl: Unraveled
Runtime: 1 hr 36 minIn the words of Ben Fong-Torres:
What was not to love about Roy Orbison? He was humble, he was friendly, and he had one of the greatest voices in popular music. With songs like “In Dreams” and “Running Scared,” he turned pop tunes into opera, and was called “the Pavarotti of rock and roll.”
The discography of Roy Orbison (1936-1988) - which yielded some of the most heartfelt, passionate classics of the rock ‘n’ roll era - shined even brighter with the release of Mystery Girl, the last album Orbison recorded, in 1989. The commercial success of Mystery Girl was nothing short of impressive: the album was a Top 5 hit, eventually earning Orbison his first platinum award for over 1 million sales, and featured the worldwide Top 10 smash “You Got It.” Mystery Girl: Unraveled features a new hour-long documentary on the making of the album, executive produced by Roy’s sons. The documentary includes new interviews with those behind the album including Steve Cropper, Tom Petty, Mick Campbell and Jeff Lynne. In addition there are eight wonderful music videos, including an unreleased alternate video for “She’s a Mystery to Me” and three new videos for “The Way Is Love,” “You Got It” and “California Blue.
Story of Rock and Roll
Jerry Lee Lewis
Runtime: 52 minJerry Lee Lewis - Story of Rock and Roll is a biography of pioneering rock-and-roller Jerry Lee Lewis, with clips from his past concerts, television and movie appearances.
Brian Setzer's Rockabillity Riot! Osaka Rocka Live in Japan 2016
Runtime: 1 hr 33 minThree-time Grammy-award-winner BRIAN SETZER's new concert experience ROCKABILLY RIOT: OSAKA ROCKA! - LIVE IN JAPAN was filmed on February 18 at Namba Hatch in Osaka, Japan. Live and loud, the concert encompasses songs from SETZER's acclaimed 2014 studio album Rockabilly Riot! All Original a sizzling rockabilly album from start to finish featuring SETZER's trademark twang and fretboard fire. Also included are classic hits from his Stray Cats days, Brian Setzer Orchestra tunes and tracks from his solo albums. In front of the wildly enthusiastic audience, Brian Setzer and his band Noah Levy (Drums), Kevin McKendree (Piano and Guitar) and Mark Winchester (Bass) are firing on all cylinders.