Stray Cat Strut

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"Stray Cat Strut"
Stray Cat StrutUK45.jpg
Single by Stray Cats
from the album Stray Cats/Built for Speed
  • "Drink That Bottle Down" (UK)
  • "You Don't Believe Me" (US)
  • "What's Goin' Down (Cross That Bridge)" (Japan)
ReleasedApril 17, 1981 (UK)
June 11, 1982 (US)
Format7", 12"
LabelArista (UK)
EMI America (US)
Songwriter(s)Brian Setzer
Producer(s)Dave Edmunds
Stray Cats singles chronology
"Rock This Town"
"Stray Cat Strut"
"You Don't Believe Me"
Alternative cover
US 7" single cover
US 7" single cover

"Stray Cat Strut" is the third single by American rockabilly band Stray Cats, released April 17, 1981 by Arista Records in the UK, where it peaked at No. 11 on the Singles Chart.[1] It was taken from the band's 1981 debut album, Stray Cats. That same year, as an import, it peaked at No. 78 on the US Disco Top 80 chart.[2] In the US, the song was released as a single by EMI America on June 11, 1982 and included on the Built for Speed album released that same month. It became a hit in the US, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, prevented from further chart movement by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band's "Shame on the Moon" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean".[3] The music video for the song received extensive airplay on MTV during the channel's early days.[4] The video consisted of band members (and extras) performing in an alley while an irate resident throws things at them. It also featured scenes from the 1949 MGM cartoon Bad Luck Blackie.

In the October 1998 issue of Guitar World magazine, Brian Setzer's solo from "Stray Cat Strut" ranked No. 92 on the "Top 100 Guitar Solos of All Time" list.[5]

Cover versions[edit]

Setzer later played this song with his subsequent band, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, and released live recordings on Jumpin' East of Java (2001), The Ultimate Collection (2004), Don't Mess with a Big Band (Live!) (2010) and Christmas Comes Alive! (2010).

In 1989, Spanish rockabilly band Los Renegados covered the song in Spanish as "Gato de callejón", which in turn was later covered in 2006 by Jack y Los Daniels.

In 2006, the ska punk band Reel Big Fish covered the song for a compilation titled Go Cat Go! A Tribute to Stray Cats.

It was also featured as a playable track in the 2008 music video game Guitar Hero: On Tour, and was released as downloadable content for Rock Band (though credited to Setzer as a solo artist).

In popular culture[edit]

On the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars, Rocco DiSpirito and Karina Smirnoff danced a foxtrot to this song. William Levy and Cheryl Burke also danced a foxtrot to this song on the 14th season of the show.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 247.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 609.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Guitar Lists

External links[edit]