Includes liner notes by Steve Roeser.
Liner Note Author: Steve Roeser.
Brian Setzer was a driving force in two major revivals in popular music. With the Stray Cats, he made rockabilly cool again in the '80s, and with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, was one of the leaders of the big band/swing resurgence in the '90s. COLLECTION 1981-1988 focuses most heavily on his solo material, in which his songwriting incorporated influences that reach far beyond his seemingly retro roots.
Songs such as "The Knife Feels Like Justice" and "Every Tear That Falls" show a modern-rock sound that harkens to Roy Orbison as much as it does to the Replacements and Tom Petty. The previously unreleased "Echo Park" shows even more dimension to Setzer, with its country-styled guitar picking and syncopated rhythms. "Thing About You" achieves its mood and texture with mandolin and Hammond organ. The influence of Elvis Costello is unmistakable in "Waiting for Desiree." "The Rain Washed Everything Away" uses lush strings and horns, possibly hinting at the future big arrangements that Setzer would use in the Brian Setzer Orchestra. This collection effectively shows that Brian Setzer is a diverse songwriter whose musical heart draws equally from the roots of the '40s and '50s and modern popular music.