Monday, February 05, 2018

63 Nuggets From the Cramps Record Vault

I picked this up primarily as I was looking for some red-hot rockabilly and while this has plenty of that (see the openers "Shame On You Miss Lindy", "My Hot Mama" and "Riding By"), there is a lot more here - wacky lounge, weird doo-wop and plenty more deranged madness - as you would assume would be in the Cramps' record collection!

There's lots of sax-fueled 50's instros and good, ol' fashioned rock'n'roll ("Hoy Hoy", "Teen Twist", "Little Bit", "Sexy Ways"), there's several selections that were obviously used by Lux'n'Ivy as a basis for some of their originals ("Cafe Bohemian", "DJ Blues"), 50's pop ("Little Angel", "Midnight Bus"), some over-the-top theatrics ("Deep River Blues"), some hip yackety-sax ("Devil Train", "Panic", "House Party"), novelty silliness (""Teenage Creature", "Wowsville", "Ala Carte", "Wiggling Fool"), bizarre doo-wop that borders on barbershop quartet ("Moonglow"), some ambiance ("Watusi APB"), serious doo-wop ("Behind the Door"), some sweet blues-based numbers ("Moasin'). some jumpin' jive ("Killin' Jive") and that's all just on the first CD of this 2-CD set!

There's even straight-out garage mania like "Rockin' Rochester", pure rockabilly (Rockin' Billy"!!, "Ballin' Keen", "One and Only", "Bop Boy", "Rattle Shakin' Mama"), teenage heartbreak "Lonely Saturday Night"), weird accordion lounge ("Cherokee", "Blue Tango"), fun surf ("Intoxica"), pure bizarreness (the slightly off key mix of Little Richard and lounge in "The Four Plaid Throats "The Message"), Kay Starr's old school vocal harmonies in the spooky "The Headless Horseman", just plain peculiar ("Song of the Nairobi Trio"), mysterious surf ("Dragonfly"), a neat instro/lounge version of "Why Don't You Do Right", Buck Owens' cooly sparse rockabilly of "Hot Dog" before closing with another piece of lounge oddness, "The Dancing Katydids".

Fun stuff and certainly representative of the wide variety of tastes the Cramps had. Just don't assume you are in for pure rockabilly and you'll have a fine time!