The Red Devils compiled

The Red Devils’ music has appeared on various compilations for a variety of promotional purposes.

Thanks to, we have a fairly thorough accounting of these various artist releases. Unfortunately, there are a few errors, as well as a lack of details available for many of them.

Let’s try to fix that right now.

There are two distinct categories of compilations: Def American/American Recordings promo samplers, and everything else (giveaways, etc.).

Def American

Def American Recordings Preview 1992

Def American Recordings Preview 1992

Format/release: Cassette promo sampler, 1992
Song: “Louisiana Blues”

We have written extensively about this compilation in the past. It’s notable for its rarity and for the quality of The Red Devils’ contribution: “Louisiana Blues,” a semi-acoustic blues number from the studio. It hearkens back to The Blue Shadows version of the Devils, pre-“King King.” In fact, it’s the reverse of what ultimately became “King King.”

The Devils close out Side A on this preview cassette of upcoming Def American releases. They stand alongside other Def American artists such as Sir Mix-A-Lot, The Jayhawks, Slayer and Pretty Tone Capone.

LISTEN: ‘Louisiana Blues’ on

The Wanna-Be-Indie-But-We-Got-Too-Much-$ Sampler

The Wanna-Be-Indie-But-We-Got-Too-Much-$ Sampler

Format/release: CD promo sampler, 1992
Songs: “Tail Dragger,” “Devil Woman”

This compilation looks to have a clearer focus on which acts Def American was strongly promoting as 1992 wore on. Each act got two tracks on the comp. The Red Devils held down the third slot (“Tail Dragger”) and the ninth (“Devil Woman”). The other five Def American acts on the sampler were Medicine, Supreme Love Gods, The Jayhawks, Danzig and Flipper.

Til Def Us Do Part II

Til Def Us Do Part II

Format/release: Sampler (CD and cassette), 1993
Song: “Automatic”

This international sampler — subtitled “Def American — Love It Or Leave It” — featured the usual rogues gallery of Def American artists: Sir Mix-A-Lot, The Black Crowes, Slayer, Danzig, Dan Baird and others. The Devils would be on the brink of collapse in 1993, but Def American chose “King King” leadoff track “Automatic” for this comp.

American Product

American Product

Format/release: CD compilation sampler, 1998
Song: “Goin’ To The Church”

There was no reason for the re-christened American Recordings to feature The Red Devils on a 1998 sampler, six years after “King King” was released.

Maybe it says something about how the record was viewed within the company that the band had one of 18 songs on this review spanning 10 years, 1986 to 1996.

This comp again boasts the heaviest of heavy-hitters, including Johnny Cash, Slayer, Black Crowes, Andrew “Dice” Clay, Raging Slab … and The Red Devils’ “Goin’ To The Church.”

MORE RECORDINGS: Look through the full Red Devils/Lester Butler discography

Everything else

Spin This

Spin This

Format/release: Spin Magazine CD/cassette sampler, 1992
Song: “Tail Dragger”

Sit down, kids. Let No Fightin’ tell you a story.

See, there was a time that one of the best ways to learn about new music was from a free CD you might have received from a magazine! (A “magazine” is a collection of stories about a topic, just like a website. But on paper.)

This compilation from Spin Magazine features some of the big alt bands at the time (The Jesus and Mary Chain, Lemonheads, Tori Amos) as well as some lesser-known acts. Honestly, The Red Devils’ “Tail Dragger” would still hold up against most of this lot.

RCD Classic Rock Collection Vol. 9 — Electric Blues

RCD Classic Rock Collection Vol. 9 — Electric Blues

Format/release: RCD Magazine CD compilation, 1993 (UK)
Song: “Devil Woman”

This RCD (Rock Compact Disc) compilation is a great snapshot of the early- to mid-’90s blues scene. The Red Devils’ “Devil Woman” (erroneously credited to Chester Burnett aka Howlin’ Wolf) is the most out-there track. The rest of this sturdy sampler includes B.B. King, John Mayall, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Lonnie Brooks and Safire — The Uppity Blues Women. Also of note: The little tracklist blurbs in the magazine (below, courtesy of Paul Brown).

READ MORE: Lester Butler interview in RCD magazine

25 Jaar Pinkpop

25 Jaar Pinkpop

Format/release: 2-CD compilation, 1994
Song: “Automatic”

This expansive (40-track set) celebrates a quarter century of the Pinkpop Festival, and includes songs from artists who had previously performed at the fest, spanning 1970 (Golden Earring) to 1993 (The Red Devils, Living Colour, Rage Against the Machine and The Jayhawks).

In between, there are acts as diverse as the pre-Buckingham/Nicks Fleetwood Mac, Argent, Status Quo, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Elvis Costello, The Police, The Jam, the J. Geils Band, Sinead O’Connor, Fishbone, R.E.M., Pearl Jam and so many more.

The minor quibble would be that these are mostly studio tracks, rather than performances from live at Pinkpop. But no matter, this is still an impressive roster and collection.

The rest

There are a few other compilations that are worth a mention here.

The Red Devils, obviously, factor into 2007’s “The Very Best of Mick Jagger,” with their 1992 collab, “Checkin’ Up On My Baby,” finally seeing sunlight. Similarly, unreleased Devils tracks recorded with Johnny Cash saw released on the 2003 “Unearthed” collection. (Of the two Devils tracks, the band is stripped off of one, and the other is likely of interest to only the most hardcore collectors.)

However, The Red Devils’ saga on various artist compilations actually starts years before any of these.

The original Red Devils — the rockabilly incarnation — are the stars of the sought-after 1983 compilation album “(Art Fein Presents) The Best Of L.A. Rockabilly” (Rhino Records).

This groundbreaking record is the perfect snapshot of a musical scene, caught before it evaporated or turned into something else.

The Red Devils (Emy Lee, Dave Lee Bartel, Jonny Ray Bartel and Scott Campbell) are represented by two songs: the original “Tearin’ My Hair Out” (produced by Billy Zoom of X) and backing then-Blaster Dave Alvin on a reworked version of Joseph Falcon’s Cajun standard, “Lafayette.”

“Tearin’ My Hair Out” is a desperate minute-and-a-half showcase for Emy Lee’s vocals. The cut is still widely prized by rockabilly fans.

Other artists of note include James Intveld & The Rockin’ Shadows, Billy Zoom, The Paladins, Los Lobos and Keith Joe Dick & The Goners.

Keep clicking …

The Red Devils/13 discography

Gig posters and fliers, 1988-98

The Red Devils throw dirt on ‘Def’ in 1993

Shop No Fightin’ on Threadless

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Published by J.J.

Drums and barbecue ribs. Blues music.

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