IGNORED OBSCURED RESTORED
In 1982 the Stray Cats released their US neo-rockabilly debut, Built for Speed. The album may be too commercial for many of you – it had two big hits with “Rock This Town” and “Stray Cat Strut” – but I still think it holds up pretty well.
Back in the days of vinyl, some albums were one sided and others were two. You baby boomers know what I mean. Sometimes you would become so enamored with one side of an album that you might never get around to listening to the other side. Built for Speed had that potential with both hits and at least one other very good song (“Rumble in Brighton”) on Side 1.
But buried on Side 2 was the terrific ballad “Lonely Summer Nights”, today’s SotW.
The tenor sax intro sets the stage for a retro sounding, romantic number that you might have listened to with your summer camp boyfriend/girlfriend. (Think “See You In September” or “Sealed With A Kiss.”) It has everything it needs – sad, romantic lyrics, tasty guitar licks, a smooth, jazzy sax solo and a big ending.
So as the summer of 2014 is winding down, this song appeals to me as a fitting conclusion.
Enjoy… until next week.
For me the Stray Cats great sound, always a pleasure to hear, was undercut by the sense that they were less a band than an amazing simulation. A Disney version, if you will, of something a little wilder and a lot older.