I took delivery of a new turntable yesterday afternoon and have been very happily wallowing in going through some of my old records. Sounds lovely and it’s good to get that tangible feel with a medium I love and rekindle it all a bit.
Not sure why but the first record I played on it was a Motels album (Careful), then I went for Sue Saad and the Next (self titled), then went off on getting into some early 80’s New Wave spell, Toni Basil (Word of Mouth), Devo (Are We Not Men…), Lords of the New Church (self titled)…
…then, THEN I went for The Cramps, and oh my, do them records sound good. Not just the sound but the sleeves and feel my old Cramps records. Just rock n’ roll magic, edgy but direct, raw but real.
Gravest Hits is one of the best debuts, so short yet just flawless. 5 songs, 4 of which are covers of Garage gems… but the only song they wrote on it (Human Fly) is arguably the best thing on it. Incredibles. It’s over in quarter of an hour but there is marvel and mayhem in every minute.
Songs The Lord Taught Us, as a full debut album is superb, and that bleed from I Was A Teenage Werewolf into Sunglasses After Dark is top drawer. Psychedlic Jungle feels more straight forward but has more madness hidden within than anything they’d released to date, Don’t Eat Stuff Of The Sidewalk people.
Smell Of Female, which I heard before I ever saw a live band, oozes of the recorded show it represents, it feels like you are there, and you know you have missed out.
Along with the compilations Bad Music For Bad People and Off The Bone, that’s it really. I mean, there is more but they do dip onwards. Like the Ramones or other bands I can’t think of right now, when you set your stall out so perfectly initially you can’t really taint it going forwards.
Pure rock n’ roll mayhem. A genuine article steeped in music tradition. Typically when they tail off is when I got to see them live, 1986 I think for what would have been the Date With Elvis tour. At the time this was the worse gig I had seen up to this point. They played for about 30 minutes, Lux was out of his mind. No encore - which resulted in the Birmingham Odeon chanting Wankers. Thinking about this now, this is actually one of the best gigs I have ever seen, the audacity to do that and not care makes it probably the most Punk gig I’ve ever seen. I recall Jesus & the Mary Chain getting backhanded credit for doing something similar at the exact same time.
Off to flip over Gravest Hits… and it’s just becuzzzz…