The Cramps~File Under Sacred Music: Early Singles 1978-1981 10 X 7" Box Set

There are those (AND COUNT ME AS ONE) who say that the early Cramps material on Illegal/I.R.S. records was their best stuff. Then there is ME who goes one step further and says that the bestest best material is when Bryan Gregory & Nick Knox were in the band. Not to take anything from Kid Congo Powers and his contribution on the 2nd album (Psychedelic Jungle), but Bryan blew my mind. While everyone was checkin’ out Poison Ivy’s legs, Bryan was playing the trashiest guitar sounds ever heard. When I say TRASH, I mean trash. Check out The Cramps song “Garbageman” from the absolute classic 1st LP titled “Songs The Lord Taught Us.” (and their fourth single?) Ivy’s traditional throwback rock-a-billy sound is on the right channel…but Bryan’s trash guitar is on the left. This mutha’s sound is like a real Garbage Truck going through it’s compacting cycle…absolutely brilliant. You couldn’t dress this guy up…every single thing about him gave everyone the absolute creeps. The look, the sound, the style, the equipment he played (a polka-dotted Gibson Flying V) and all the acrobatic moves.

The above paragraph should explain why this thing has SOLD OUT everywhere so fast. The last I checked, you could get one from Austria for $230.00 on Amazon 3rd party. I just don’t know how I was able to score it for $60.00, but it won’t be here til tomorrow.

OK, this is another 7″ box set from the Italian record company called Munster Records. Considering all these labels going bankrupt, they are still kickin’ out the garage trash goodies. They have also done 7″ box sets for The Detriot Cobras, A Psychobilly “Big Beat” singles box, a Swell Maps box, a couple of Spanish Garage boxes, and I think maybe a “Small Wonder” punk singles box?

This Cramps Box has 10 singles, all on remastered 7 inch vinyl and in the original reproduced super thick picture sleeves. There are a total of 22 tracks. Some of these A-side titles which appear on their 2 albums are totally different recordings because they are the original single versions and were re-recorded when the album came out. Hence, that’s what makes this so collectible…and there are a few single only songs and rare B-sides which The Cramps were always good for. Unfortunately, all 10 singles are black vinyl. The Cramps loved to do colored vinyl, but not on this box. This box also includes mind blowing photo postcards and otherastonishing memorabilia, including a business card created probably the day the band formed? I can’t describe how powerful this little business card is. Neat!

OK, here are the tracks:
1 Surfin’ Bird
2 The Way I Walk
3 Human Fly
4 Domino
5 Lonesome Town
6 Mystery Plane (original single recording)
7 Fever
8 Garbageman
9 TV Set
10 The Mad Daddy (original single recording)
11 Drug Train
12 Love Me
13 I Can’t Hardly Stand It
14 Twist And Shout
15 Uranium Rock
16 Goo Goo Muck
17 She Said
18 The Crusher
19 Save It
20 New Kind Of Kick
21 Rockin’ Bones
22 Voodoo Idol

The best way to understand the tracklist is this:
5 tracks cover the Mini-Album “Gravest Hits.”
(Ed. Note: Actually, Gravest Hits is the first three singles on a 12″ vinyl record)
5 tracks cover the “Songs The Lord Taught Us” LP
5 Tracks cover the “Psychedelic Jungle” LP with Kid Congo Powers on other guitar
The other 7 tracks were either singles only or B-sides.

Indeed these early singles are the essence of what The Cramps are all about and this was thee best stuff and a great place for beginners if you missed The Cramps. As far as the later material on Roger Armstrong’s “Big Beat Records” out of the UK; 1983′ s Smell Of Female: Live At The Peppermint Lounge, NYC” and 1985 or 6’s “A Date With Elvis” are very good records and you can’t ever go wrong with their 2 vinyl compilation albums, “…Off The Bone” (UK) and a year later “Bad Music For Bad People” (USA.) These 2 LP’s do have mostly the same songs, but they differ a little. “…Off The Bone” is probably better because it has 4 more tracks than the USA one (where have we heard that before? Perhaps The Beatles?) Anything after “A Date With Elvis” just doesn’t always have the strongest material and I’m sure it’s because they weren’t selling a ton of records, so like The Ramones…they toured their butts off? There was a slight comeback when they signed with punk label Epitaph around 1994 and released 2 LP’s on that label. “Flame Job” & “Big Beat From Badsville” with “Flame Job” being the better one, although Badsville had a few absolute killers on it.
(Ed. Note: “Songs The Lord Taught Us” is the absolute BEST album by The Cramps…but even better is this box set)

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE ON FINDING THIS FOR A DECENT PRICE?
It’s supposed to list for around 85 American dollars?

UPDATE~3/3/2012:
I received my box and you won’t believe the improved clear sound on the remaster!!!

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