Rob Jones
Without nostalgia there would not be a now-and, we would be suspended in a state of nowhere. Fuzzy logic? No way! As much as young bands are championed because of their energetic exuberance it is disgraceful to disrespect influential performers because of their advancing years or their sad demise. The look back buzz is fine and anyone or anything from a bygone era can still be a vital cog in the modern musical world.  Is Iggy Pop a spent force? No! His recent Post Pop Depression album stands tall and it is not him resting on his laurels and repeating an old winning formula! Yes, good on you Iggy for what you did in the 60’s-but, also good on you for what you are doing in your 60’s! So let’s not right off certain senior stars still operating in the public domain. There are credits and debits amongst this crew but please do not make a date of birth a reason to slate an aural act. Please do not use a year to denounce the magnitude of a tune-and, the past has many known treasures-but, there is an abundance of hidden and rare gems that deserve wider acclaim.

In that search for vintage velvet a necessity is the 2 CD various artists set 61 Classics from The Cramps’ Collection. (Righteous via Cherry Red Records). This trip in to the world of incredibly strange music is one ride that the majority of folk will not have taken. However, it is thanks to the spine of The Cramps i.e. the late, great Lux Interior and his sidekick Poison Ivy for delving deep in to the annuls scouring record shops far and wide to collect the cult classics that form a otherworldly compilation (that can only be compared to its older sibling 60 Songs from The Cramps Crazy Collection).
If you read the Dick Porter book A date with The Cramps it becomes apparent that Lux and Ivy had an intense desire to play their own brand of rock n roll with a tendency to revive the widely ignored and totally underground. However, as aural aficionados their love of the weird, wonky and wayward is cause for admiration-and, we can feast upon their fixations via a truly ‘crazy’ union of numbers which prove that each rich sonic seam has not been properly mined.  

We are taken back to the roots of rock n roll and from the 1920’s we head on a ghost train excursion traversing the decades through the vaults of the kooky and spooky, the incensed and insensitive, the demonic and deranged. For the esoteric-minded and the exotica-consumed added attractions include: Jungle noises, death-defying car chases, teen torment and a cast of the dazed and demented. An out of control rollercoaster charges through the 50’s in particular picking up an array of waifs and strays.

We meander through doo wop, the blues, country ‘n’ western, rockabilly and a host of other styles, sub-genres and never catalogued approaches. There are a handful of recognisable rhythms but on the whole mad men and wacky women tell totally random tales e.g. Eager Beaver Baby, Did you mean Jellybean, Pass the biscuits Please, Ya Ya Wobble, Bad Motorcycle et al! Many of these narratives put a smile on one’s face-and, usher in our yesteryears. No reliance on technology with probably for the lucky only a radio at hand but what a blast! Quentin Tarantino should make a movie solely based around this five dozen plus one congregation of degradation!
In our automated days it is good to return to another dimension where so much misc was new to the world. Therefore, the emphasis was on trying to be different, fresh and quirky! Admittedly, a great tune title does not make for a positive end product-but, this material which was played by Lux in his DJ guise certainly equates to a magic carpet journey to visit a series of tribes that Bruce Parry has never located! Dig it out! Play it loud! Cramp it up!