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Slim Jim Phantom - Page 2

‘I Fought the Law’

(Sonny Curtis)

Original by The Crickets

Sonny Curtis was the guitar player for the Crickets. After “Rock Around With Ollie Vee” for Buddy Holly (also covered by the Stray Cats) he wrote this rebel anthem in 1960. In 1966, Bobby Fuller made a hit with this song and the Clash covered it on their debut album. It’s probably this version more than any others that inspired the Stray Cats.
They recorded it first in 1988 during the Blast Off sessions. It didn’t make it on the album but appeared as a b-side for Bring It Back Again.
In early 1993, they then recorded a second, and slicker, version at Virgin Convent Studios in Los Angeles for the band’s final album “Original Cool”.
The 1988 version though lesser known  is far superior.
The song was first played on stage on September 12, 1988 in Santa Clara, California and was regularly played on stage.
(see Bring It Back Again for releases).

‘Bring it Back Again’

(Brian Setzer – Lee Rocker – Slim Jim Phantom – Jonnie Barnett)

This song was co-written with Jonnie Barnett (real name Jonathan Barnett Kaye – 1946-2002) and was recorded for “Blast Off ” (first song of side B) and relesased as a single backed with a live version of Runaway Boys for the 7″. The 12″ and cd also feature I Fought the Law.
It peaked at #35 in the US Rock charts and #64 in UK.
More infos about the different releases here.
Jonnie Barnett was a singer and songwriter who started his career as a solo guitarist opening for Cheech and Chong, Frank Zappa, Eric Burdon of The Animals, Ronnie Milsap, Dion, Tom Rush, Hank Williams Jr. and others. For the last 18 years of his life, he became a well known songwriter on the Nashville music scene. He wrote songs for Etta James, Johnny Adams, Dobie Gray, Clay Walker, Hank Williams Jr., Eric Burdon, Irma Thomas, Dan Penn and many more.
“Bring It Back Again” was performed live during the 1989 tour, the 2004 reunion tour, some dates in 2007 and during the 2008 farewell tour (and this time Lee sang it lead).
Lee Rocker also performs this one during his live shows.

Stray Cats - Bring it Back Again 7"bring-it-back-again-B

Stray Cats – Bring it Back Again 7″

‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’

Original penned by Freddy Mercury and performed by Queen

Queen recorded this song in 1979 and it’s the closest thing to Rockabilly they ever did. It peaked at number two in UK and number one in US in 1980.
The Stray Cats briefly played it on stage during the 1992 tour, generally as an encore. They also did an acoustic version in England for the BBC 1 radio program “Into The Night”.
In 2000, Brian Setzer recorded a new version with the Brian Setzer Orchestra and included it as a bonus for the Japanese edition of Vavoom.
The Nitros, a British neo-rockabilly band also covered it on their second album Stompin’ beat in the early 90’s.