The Brian Setzer Orchestra – The Dirty Boogie: #811 of best 1,000 albums ever!

The Brian Setzer Orchestra - The Dirty Boogie

Why is The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s The Dirty Boogie on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

Tremendous energy and jumping rockabilly bluesy swing vibes abound.

Some stats & info about The Brian Setzer – The Dirty Boogie

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Pop, Pop Music, Rock, Rock Music, Rockabilly, Rockabilly Revival, Retro Swing
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating4 out of 5 stars
  • When was The Dirty Boogie released? 1998
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #811 out of 1,000

The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s The Dirty Boogie on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.

What does The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s The Dirty Boogie mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

I like the way that All Music describes the music on The Dirty Boogie: “jump blues and swing.” It captures the tremendous energy and, well, jumping vibe of The Brian Setzer Orchestra at its very best.

It takes a special musician to take the best song from a band you used to be in, reinvent it in many ways, and then make it the best song (in its own right) for the new band you’re in. Such is the case for The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s cover (I guess?) of Stray Cats’ cool as coolio can be “Rock This Town” from 1982. The TBSO version is bigger, louder, and powered by an orchestra that would both be at home at a USO dance during World War II or a punk rockabilly show that takes place in an abandoned warehouse in Oakland.

There’s really nice variety on The Dirty Boogie, best shown off by “Sleepwalk,” a dreamy yet still big band orchestra-y instrumental and cover of the great Ritchie Valens original.

Here’s the Ritchie Valens version.

Most of the album though keeps up a frantic pace that makes you want to take 12 years of dance lessons so you could sort of be good enough to do the kind of dancing to do this kind of rockabilly swing music justice. Example: “This Cat’s On A Hot Tin Roof.”

Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s The Dirty Boogie

I can’t think of a better movie that if you stumble across it while flipping channels and you’re like, “What’s this old movie?” and then you get completely sucked into it and you’re like, “Wow, this 1958 movie called Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is incredible,” than the 1958 film, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, based on the Tennessee Williams play, and starring Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, and Burl Ives.

Personal stuff that’s somehow related to The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s The Dirty Boogie

I made a seemingly random aside above about a “punk rockabilly show that takes place in an abandoned warehouse in Oakland” because many years ago I indeed attended a punk rockabilly show that takes place in an abandoned warehouse in Oakland.

I was friendly with one of the guys in one of the bands because he was a brilliant young comedic performer on top of being a guitarist, and he was involved with a sketch comedy and improv troupe that I was a writer for at the time, called the Johnny Kats. He actually lived at this warehouse (along with many others) that was converted into a pretty wild squat-meets-artists workspace and performance venue.

There were several bands who played, all loud, punk, and rockabilly. It was one of the more unique outings that I can recall.