Re: What song are you listening to right now?
Phantom, Rocker & Slick - S/T 1985 / 2011
Phew! 1985! Talk about your “Flashbacks”. Truth is, back then, the rock world was a different sort of beast; Bon Jovi were out for world domination, Motley Crue were the anti-christs, Aerosmith were waking from slumber and the rise of Guns ‘n’ Roses was hotly anticipated; who cared about a spin-off band from rockabillie rebels The Stray Cats?
Well, a few did, even though on paper, Slim Jim and Lee Rocker, teaming up with guitar-slinger for hire Earl Slick, fresh from another stint with Bowie, this time taking over from Stevie Ray Vaughn on the Serious Midinight tour, looked improbable on paper. Slicky now to take over the reins/strings from Brian Setzer? No, the short answer. Slim Jim & Lee Rocker never imagined this to be a “Stray Cats MkII”, but more a vehicle for songs they’d written more contemporary and away from their cool but retro ouvre, and Slicky was the available guitarslinger to add life and soul; 10 years on and off playing along side Bowie and others showed he had the versatility to handle almost anything and the energy coming from this collaboration is crackling. Three tracks instantly stand apart; What You Want; My Mistake (Keith Richards guesting) and Men Without Shame. Phantom & Rocker by this time are a forceful, telepathic rhythm section though if there’s a downside, Rocker is an adequate, not great singer.
The album was a moderate success and was toured in the US on a support slot to Heart, but the band wasn’t to be long-lived enough to build further. By 1986, Setzer wanted Stray Cats back together - the 3 being High School friends, it was a call hard not to answer. A second PR&S album was recorded, but was rushed and the original producer not available…
In 2011, Rock Candy cleaned up and re-issued the 1st PR&S and and after quarter of a century, the little bugger still kicks; one or two places it does remind me of the Duranies “Powerstation” with some of the chops and rhythm patterns (chickens and eggs Mr A Taylor?) but for all that, it’s an undiscovered treasure as it’s three guys doing what they want and bucking the trend by not having any trend,