Built for Speed

Built for Speed
Studio album by Stray Cats
Released June, 1982
Recorded 1981-1982
Genre Rockabilly
Length 36:15
Label EMI America
Producer Dave Edmunds (tracks 1, 4, 7, 9, 11), Stray Cats and Hein Hoven (track 2), Stray Cats (tracks 3, 5-6, 8, 10, 12)
Stray Cats chronology
Gonna Ball
Built for Speed
Rant N' Rave with the Stray Cats

Built for Speed is a Platinum-certified album from the American rockabilly band Stray Cats and was the band's first American album.

It is essentially a compilation of 12 songs taken from the band's first two initially UK-released albums: six from Stray Cats and five from Gonna Ball, plus the title track, "Built for Speed", which had not previously been released in the UK.

It was the most successful record for the band, with the videos for songs such as "Rock This Town" and "Stray Cat Strut" reaching MTV regular rotation status. The title track can also be heard in the 1984 film Surf II.

Critical reception

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a "B-" and said that, despite Brian Setzer's exotic, modernistic guitar touches, "the mild vocals just ain't rockabilly. You know how it is when white boys strive for authenticity—'57 V-8 my ass."[1] In a retrospective review, Mark Deming of Allmusic gave it four-and-a-half out of five stars and wrote that the melodies and playing are strong enough to withstand datedness on what is "song-for-song the group's strongest album, despite the cut-and-paste manner in which it was created."[2]

Track listing

All tracks written by Brian Setzer except as indicated.

Side one

  1. "Rock This Town" – 3:24
  2. "Built for Speed" – 2:53
  3. "Rev It Up & Go" – 2:27
  4. "Stray Cat Strut" – 3:15
  5. "Little Miss Prissy" – 2:59
  6. "Rumble in Brighton" (Setzer, Slim Jim Phantom) – 3:11

Side two

  1. "Runaway Boys" (Setzer, Phantom)– 2:58
  2. "Lonely Summer Nights" – 3:16
  3. "Double Talkin' Baby" (Danny Wolfe) – 3:02
  4. "You Don't Believe Me" (Setzer, Phantom, Lee Rocker) – 2:54
  5. "Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie" (George Motola, Ricky Page) – 2:18
  6. "Baby Blue Eyes" (Paul Burlison, Johnny Burnette)– 2:47

Note: "Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie" is often miscredited as having been written by Mike Chapman, who recorded a song of the same name with his band Tangerine Peel. However, Chapman's "Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie" is a completely different song than the one the Stray Cats recorded; they just happen to share the same title. The Stray Cats' "Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie" was originally done by Eddie Cochran, and was written by George Motola and Ricky Page (regardless of what the original Built For Speed album or other various Stray Cats collections may claim).


Stray Cats
Additional personnel



Year Chart Position
1982 Billboard Top LPs & Tape 2
1983 Billboard Top LPs & Tape 2


Year Single Chart Position
1981 "Rock This Town"/"Runaway Boys" Billboard Disco Top 100 35
1981 "Stray Cat Strut" Billboard Disco Top 100 78
1982 "Rock This Town" Billboard Hot 100 9
1982 "Stray Cat Strut" Billboard Top Tracks 4
1982 "Stray Cat Strut" Billboard Bubbling Under the Hot 100 109[3]
1983 "Stray Cat Strut" Billboard Hot 100 3
1983 "Stray Cat Strut" Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1983 42


  1. Christgau, Robert (November 30, 1982). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  2. Deming, Mark. "Built for Speed - Stray Cats". Allmusic. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  3. "Bubbling Under the Hot 100." Billboard. Vol. 94, No. 32. 14 August 1982. p. 68. ISSN 0006-2510
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