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BAD MUSIC FOR BAD PEOPLE - SONGS THE CRAMPS TAUGHT US

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Righteous (PSALM2320)

Keith Courvale, Dale Hawkins, Mel Robbins, Tune Rockers, Jimmie Haskell And His Orchestra, Willie Joe And His Unitar, Vern Pullens, Bill Allen And The Backbeats, Hayden Thompson, Mac Rebenack, The Phantom, Slim Harpo, Charlie Feathers, Andy Starr, Lightnin' Slim, Macy ‘Skip' Skipper, Donald Woods And The Belairs, The Peridots, Jett Powers, The Bangers, Elroy Dietzel And The Rhythm Bandits, Curly Griffin, Dave Diddle Day, Carl Perkins, Sonny Burgess, Walter Brown And His Band.

Lux Interior and Poison Ivy Rorshach of The Cramps were rampant collectors specialising in ultra rare and obscure rock'n'roll, rockabilly, blues and country boogie records. In their incarnation as radio DJs they played stuff from their own collections and the 26 tracks on this CD were play-list favourites.

Some of these tantalising items were covered by The Cramps and the rest are wildly extrovert and at times, slightly unsettling. As you'd expect there's a sexual sleaziness pervading some of the songs - like on the barely suppressed hiccupping horniness of Charlie Feather's Can't Hardly Stand It, the cold creepy tone of Carl Perkins vocals on Her Love Rubbed Off On Me - speaking of which, just what's getting rubbed in Lightnin' Slim's It's Mighty Crazy? For the most part though, the tunes rock either in the true rockabilly fashion of Vern Pullen's manic Bop Crazy Baby, Mel Robbin's squealing Save It and Hayden Thompson's slop-bucket beat-up Blues Blues Blues or, the slightly off-the-rails approach of The Phantom's ninety seconds of mayhem Love Me, the all-out testosterone drive of Jett Powers Go Girl Go and the chugging, churning intensity of Rockin' Bones by Elroy Dietzel And The Rhythm Bandits.

Cramps fans will delight in discovering the material that Lux and Ivy appropriated like Skip Skipper's Bop Pills from their Stay Sick album, Mac Rebenack's rampantly reverberating guitar sound on the instrumental Storm Warning which inspired The Cramps' Corn-Fed Dames and surely Dave Diddle Day's Blue Moon Baby must've been on Lux's record player when they were recording A Date With Elvis.

This CD is heaving with great tracks. If you forced me to pick favourites, I'd have to go for Baby Let Me Bang Your Box by The Bangers with its intro of heavy lidded dialogue and mock gospel which slides into a jumping bit of garage rock and Bill Allen & The Backbeats thundering rocker Please Give Me Something which sounds like the Beatles confusing Little Child for Twist And Shout-you'll see what I mean when you hear it.

Bad Music For Bad People is yet another five star CD from the chaps at Righteous who have great ideas when it comes to compiling anthologies. This is one of the best - everything I hoped it would be and more. Can't wait for volume two!

 

Review Date: January 2010

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