V/A – Please Give Me Something – The Roots Of The Stray Cats

Genre: Rockabilly, Rock’n’roll

ElToro EpleasegimmeTCD1031 [2010]
Icky Poo : The Nomands ~ Tear It Up : Rock ‘N’ Roll Trio ~ Lonely Travelin’ : Lonesome Lee ~ Sweet Love On My Mind : Jimmy & Johnny ~ Somethin’ Else : Eddie Cochran ~ Bop Bop Ba Doo Bop : Lew Williams ~ Ubangi Stomp : Warren Smith ~ Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie : Eddie Cochran ~ Please Give Me Something : Bill Allen ~ Double Talkin’ Baby : Gene Vincent ~ My One Desire : Ricky Nelson ~ That Mellow Saxophone : Roy Montrell ~ Your Baby Blue Eyes : Rock ‘N’ Roll Trio ~ Wasn’t That Good? : Wynonie Harris ~ Let’s Have A Ball : The Wheels ~ Rock Therapy : Rock ‘N’ Roll Trio ~ Race With The Devil : Gene Vincent ~ I’m Looking For Someone To Love : The Crickets ~ Beautiful Delilah : Chuck Berry ~ One Hand Loose : Charlie Feathers ~ Everybody’s Movin’ : Glen Glenn ~ Slip, Slip, Slippin’ In : Eddie Bond ~ Your True Love : Carl Perkins ~ Stood Up : Ricky Nelson ~ Let It Rock : Chuck Berry ~ Mystery Train : Elvis Presley ~ Sleep Walk : Santo & Johnny ~ Hidden Charms : Chet Atkins

This one will please a lot of rockabilly fans. It could also be named “Songs The Stray Cats Taught Us” in reference to the serie of albums that traced the roots of the Cramps.
It contains songs that were covered or used as a starting point to write originals by Setzer, Phantom and Rocker. Some of the material here is very familiar to the rockabilly devoted. The Stray Cats were not known to cover obscure stuff but they put in the ears of a generation that grew with punk rock and new wave the sound of Johnny Burnette Trio, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran, and for they deserve a lot of respect.
So next to the usual Baby Blue Eyes, Something Else or Race With the Devil that must be familiar (I hope) to most of our readers you’ll find some rare ditties like Icky Poo by the Nomads and Lonely Travelin’ by Lonesome Lee that can be traced as inspiration behind Stray Cat Strut (though I believe that Setzer and co were not aware of that obscure stuff and were probably more inspired by Richard Hell’s Blank Generation, same riff, same b-vox and a similar guitar solo). The Wheels’ Let’s Have A Ball is also included and will later find its way under the name Gonna Ball. Those who doesn’t own the Imperial Rockabilly compilation will be happy to have Lew Williams’ Bob Bob Ba Doo Bop (Fishnet Stockings) and Bill Allen’s Please Gimme Something (Crawl Up & Die).

One can only regret that Eltoro, but maybe it’s a question of copyright or else, didn’t include The Bloodless Pharaohs – Setzer “new wave-arty” band – “Boys Having Babies” that was rewritten for the Stray Cats under the name “Storm The Embassy” and Hank Mizzel’s Jungle Rock that inspired the Stray Cats hto write “Blast Off”.

Despite this minor regret this comp is a must have for any Stray Cats fans (informative liner notes too) and more generally for anybody who’d want an album with rockabilly, rock’n’roll and rhythm’n’blues showing that Setzer and his two partners had an impecable taste.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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