Liner Note Author: Thorsten Wilms.
Recording information: Open Air Loreley (07/16/1981); Satory-Säle, Cologne, Germany (07/16/1981); Open Air Loreley (08/20/1983); Satory-Säle, Cologne, Germany (08/20/1983).
Photographer: Manfred Becker.
This set presents two Stray Cats shows, recorded in Germany at the height of their powers. The first set is actually the latter of the two (1983), recorded just before the release of their third album. They're playing a big outdoor festival and have clearly arrived as stars. Although the artwork makes it appear that Mel Collins (!) plays sax with them throughout, he's actually only on two cuts. Oddly enough, that's the same number of tracks a completely uncredited Dave Edmunds also plays on!! It's a solid set of Stray Cats tunes, but the version of George Jones' "The Race Is On" with Edmunds is a definite set highlight. The other set is from 1981, and their second album (Gonna Ball) wasn't even out yet and they were almost completely unknown back in the States. The Stray Cats were a hungry young band and they tear into their set with a punk ferocity that's missing in the 1983 show. Setzer's intentional use of feedback at several points is a bit of a surprise, as he basically stopped doing that once the band made it big. Sets like this one helped establish the Stray Cats' reputation as a great live band. Both sets were captured with high-quality audio and a multi-camera shoot. This is a great look at early Stray Cats. ~ Sean Westergaard