the cramps greatest hits

BMG special products

imagine a band that combines the sounds of rockabilly, surf, and garage, the sex drive of a porn star, the creepiness of a b-movie, and the sense of humor of the people who are INTO b-movies.

meet the cramps. the 2 founding members, poison ivy (guitar) and lux interior (vocals), are the meat of this demented outfit. lux looks like jim carrey's zombie and sounds like jerry lee lewis on crack. ivy looks like some 70's porn star and plays guitar better than most men.

just the titles alone are enough to sell this collection:

"can your pussy do the dog?", "bikini girls with machine guns", "what's inside a girl" (undisputed favorite), "journey to the center of a girl", "mama oo pow pow"... most of the songs take influence from bands like the ventures, obscure rockabilly bands that i wont even pretend to remember the names of, and the zaniness of screamin jay hawkins.

"shortin bread"... isn't this a children's song or negro spiritual or something? great rendition though. i BLAST this one while i'm drivin.

the cramps are so trashy it's no wonder that theyre one of my favorite bands.

i remember when i first heard these guys. we were on our way to the butler county fair i think with my friend ross, who introduced me to alot of bands (the dolls, the stooges, the velvets, the pogues), and he was blastin this album the whole way. i remember sayin, "i always thought they were a punk band, this sounds like rockabilly".

ross says casually without even taking his eyes off the road, "rockabilly, punk, i dont even know the difference really."

that sold me on alot of music for years to come.

reviewed by sam sinister.