Friday, February 06, 2009

the Cramps - Bad Music for Bad People

During a time when the Cramps were in the process of changing record companies, two different compilations came out of their tracks – this one and Off the Bone. I honestly don’t know which one now was “authorized” by the group but each had some songs that otherwise were only available on singles.

This begins with “Garbageman”, the fantastic cut from Songs the Lord Taught Us. Keeping up the quality, this is followed by the utterly incredible “New Kind of Kick”. This 2 chord wonder is highlighted by Lux’s wishes for “something I ain’t had before” and excellent playing all around, with a deranged solo from Kid Congo and Ivy’s great playing and ending with Interior reading off the things he has tried and demanding “some new kinda kick”!

Another early track is their cover of 50’s mania, “Love Me”, where Lux gets so out of control that he wanders away from the mic in the studio! This number was especially dramatic in a live setting, where most girls (and some guys) truly did want to love him! Almost dirge-like is the Charlie Feathers tune, “I Can’t Hardly Stand It”, which lets Interior practice his hiccupping vocals and the band work out their rockabilly riffs.

For true dementia, check out their take on Hasil Adkins’ “She Said”. Lux had to stuff his mouth with chewed up Styrofoam cups (so the story goes) to even come close to the mush mouthed madness of Hasil’s original. This is a crazed rockabilly masterpiece and another number that was beyond belief live!

“Goo Goo Muck”, from Psychedelic Jungle is up next and then “Save It”, more 50’s psychosis with mad laughter and sexual single entendres. I think that Bryan is on this one (though I’m not sure) and his solo is a wacked-out string-bending orgy before Ivy come in with some nice, reverbed guitar lines. After this is “Human Fly” from Gravest Hits (though apparently the 12” has Ivy saying “1,2,3,4” which was cut off on this release – something for the collectors!)

The updated and improved version of “Twist and Shout” is “Drug Train”. Musically it is pretty much the same with terrific new lyrics and a chugglin’ train rhythm and the fun sing-along “drug train, whoo-ooo!” Next up is “TV Set” from Songs the Lord Taught Us before ending with the rare “Uranium Rock”, which I still don’t know exactly where that originally came from though I think it might have been an early demo. It’s cool but not an exceptional treat.

Off the Bone has these tunes plus the Gravest Hits songs (and the LP had a 3D cover!), but this is certainly good for those who don’t have the singles.