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Classic & Current Contemporary Non-Schlock-Rock Metropolitan Music

Gravest Hits (Jul. 1979) - The Cramps

The Cramps - Gravest Hits album cover« The Cramps

When Gravest Hits arrived at WFDD, we ate it up at Deaconlight. This was at the height of the time when some of us Deaconlight DJs wanted to play the most different sounding stuff we could find.

At the time I was not familiar with the term "shockabilly." All I knew was that under the fuzz and reverb, there was some cool rock 'n' roll going on and there wasn't even a bass player. The description on the back cover explains The Cramps' music quite well (see below).

The Cramps went on to become one of my favorite bands. I finally got to see them around the late 1980s at the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill. I wish I there had been more opportunities for me to see The Cramps before singer Lux Interior died in February 1989.

Gravest Hits was recorded at Ardent Studio in Memphis, TN, in October 1977, where Big Star recorded their albums. Makes sense since Big Star's Alex Chilton produced this record, as well as The Cramps first full-length LP, Songs the Lord Taught Us.

-- March 17, 2011 (DDT)

The Cramps - Gravest Hits Original Album Tracks

  1. Download The Cramps - "Human Fly" on iTunesHuman Fly
  2. Download The Cramps - "The Way I Walk" on iTunesThe Way I Walk
  3. Download The Cramps - "Domino" on iTunesDomino
  4. Download The Cramps - "Surfin' Bird" on iTunesSurfin' Bird
  5. Download The Cramps - "Lonesome Town" on iTunesLonesome Town

The Cramps - Gravest Hits Cover Notes

Here's the text on the back cover of Gravest Hits:

IN THE SPRING OF 1976, THE CRAMPS BEGAN TO FESTER IN A NYC APARTMENT. WITHOUT FRESH AIR OR NATURAL LIGHT, THE GROUP DEVELOPED ITS UNIQUELY MUTANT STRAIN OF ROCK'N'ROLL AIDED ONLY BY THE SICKLY, BLUE RAYS OF LATE NIGHT TV.

WHILE THE JACKHAMMER RHYTHMS OF PUNK WERE PROLIFERATING IN NYC, THE CRAMPS DOVE INTO THE DEEPEST RECESSES OF THE ROCK'N'ROLL PSYCHE FOR THE MOST PRIMAL OF ALL RHYTHMIC IMPULSES - ROCKABILLY - THE SOUND OF SOUTHERN CULTURE FALLING APART IN A BLAZE OF SHUDDERS AND HICCUPS.

AS LATE NIGHT SCI-FI RERUNS COLOURED THE ROOM, THE CRAMPS ALSO PICKED AND CHOSE AMONGST THE PSYCHOTIC DEBRIS OF PREVIOUS ROCK ERAS - INSTRUMENTAL ROCK, SURF, PSYCHEDELIA, AND SIXTIES PUNK.

AND THEN THEY ADDED THE JUNKIEST ELEMENT OF ALL - THEMSELVES. NICK KNOX, STOIC DRUMMER WITH THE HISTORY OF THE BIG BEAT WRITTEN IN HIS LEFT HAND. IVY RORSCHACH, VOODOO GUITARIST WITH THE RHYTHM METHOD DOWN AS PAT AS HER BLONDE BEAUTY. BRYAN GREGORY, FLIPPING CIGS AND FRACTURED GUITAR RUNS AT THE INCREDULOUS MOB. AND LUX INTERIOR, THE BAND'S FRONTAL LOBE, WHEREIN ELVIS GETS CROSSED WITH VINCENT PRICE AND DECENT FOLKS ASK, "WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT?"

THE CRAMPS DON'T PUMMEL AND YOU WON'T POGO. THEY OOZE, YOU'LL THROB.

Dr.J.H.Sasfy, Professor of Rockology, American Rock'n'Roll Institute, Washington D.C.U.S.A.

Vintage Playlists With Songs From The Cramps - Gravest Hits

More Albums by The Cramps at Deaconlight.com

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