THE CRAMPS: A Date With Elvis

15 09 2017

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Prior to this record being released, The Cramps put out numerous compilations and live records. Maybe I’ll go back and write about them, but for now I am sticking with studio albums. Now we’re on record number three. Three is the magic number, and although I said I could never pick a favourite record by The Cramps- I’m pretty sure that this one is my favourite. So here we go.

This record is just phenomenal. It’s got all the classics. I’ve got a copy on vinyl that my girlfriend got me this Christmas just passed. It was probably one of the best things I’ve ever been given (she’s also got me a record by The Mummies which massively blew my mind! I think she got me it because I told her there was no way she would ever find a copy.) A Date With Elvis came out in 1986. A really good year for records. And you know, some of us were born in that year! A Date With Elvis only has Ivy, Lux and Nick on- again, three is the magic number. Of course the likes of Bryan and Kid Congo Powers are missed here, but the content of this record is nothing short of genius. There is something about Lux’s voice on this record that sounds super strong. The strongest it has ever been, and the way the three of them had put this record together is just amazing. It’s a record I am constantly playing. I don’t care if it annoys my housemates and neighbours- everyone has THAT one record they just need to put on after a tiresome day. This is my one.

The brilliantly named Kizmiaz (say it slowly) is my favourite on the record. I love how it is slightly slower than a typical song by The Cramps and Lux’s voice isn’t as deep here. There’s a different tone on this song, and I just adore it. I could play it over and over, and fall back in love with it all over again. The whole record has some greatly named songs on such as The Hot Pearl Snatch, What’s Inside A Girl? and Can Your Pussy Do The Dog? Read into the songs however you want, but the humour is subtle but the genius is obvious all over.

People Ain’t No Good may sound pessimistic, but it’s a great song. Lux, Ivy and Nick just make it fun. Their second record had that Horror film to it, but A Date With Elvis has this really laid-back atmosphere to it. The songs won’t make you jump out of your skin, instead you’ll just want to throw a party and play this record on repeat. Although a party consisting only songs by The Cramps would probably guarantee my attendance, and I’m not a fan of parties!

We all have records by bands we love that justify why we love them so much. Sometimes it may just be a song, but for me this record totally explains and shows why I love them so much. It’s one of those records you cannot help but go back to. If I was telling someone who hadn’t listened to The Cramps before where to start, I’d say this one. Then I’d shock them with Psychedelic Jungle. Just to see if they can handle it.

Writing this has just made me want to go home and blast this record out. I’m pretty sure that’s how I’ll spend my evening. Then I will delve deeply into record number four and see what kind of world that takes me to.

Like all records by The Cramps, this one needs to be played loud. And often,





THE CRAMPS: A Date With Elvis.

19 11 2016

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“I know a place that’s far from here
Where the squares they won’t come near.”

Last Saturday I turned 30. Nothing feels different, and I still look about 15. Maybe I made a pact with the devil at an early age, and I don’t recall it. Anyway, as someone who isn’t really a fan of birthdays I have someone who wanted me to have a damn good day. She did just that, and more. She got me a record that I had no idea I was getting. A month earlier I ruined a surprise by attempting to buy one she had already got me. I don’t pick up on signals, I need to be told. Even if it involves me potentially ruining a surprise! This one record she got me has blown my mind and I find myself playing it every day. I either play it whilst I get ready for work or when I get home. Sometimes both. My love for The Cramps started in 1996. I was 10 years old and I was going through a cupboard in the house. I was looking for something, not sure what but I found a mixtape. I picked it up and asked my stepdad if I could listen to it- being the cool person he is, he said yes. He told me all about the band before I went upstairs to my room and fell in love with Lux’s voice.

I wish I could remember what song was on the tape, but I’m pretty sure it might have been Human Fly. There was a Sisters Of Mercy live tape that I took also. Along with The Cure. I was being exposed at a young age to the bands that would form something inside of me that is still there. It’s never going to go. Its one thing about me I won’t ever fight off.

The record I was given on my birthday last Saturday was A Date With Elvis. She had gone through their records, listened to them all and found the one she thought I’d love the most. I think this proves just how well she knows me and how bloody great she is. A Date With Elvis is such a great record, and for me to shows everything about The Cramps that I love, and fell in love with 20 years ago. I love the raw and creepy sound that is consistent on all their records but there’s something about A Date With Elvis that heightens all of this.

The record opens with one of the greatest songs by them, How Far Can Too Far Go? Alright so some may say it isn’t their greatest but it’s pretty much my favourite. I love the words and I absolutely adore Lux’s voice on this song. The record came out the year I entered the world and it was produced by the beautiful Poison Ivy. Three is the magic number, kids and The Cramps proved that so easily with this record. Everything about the wonderfully sexualised lyrics and dirty guitar makes it for pleasurable listening. It is the record you should take home with you, to meet the parents. It’s the record you play as loud as you want. It’s the one you play to take you down a road of self-discovery. For some, the lyrics may be too much- but hey, don’t surround yourself with prudes. Let it all out. Let The Cramps drag it out of you.

A Date With Elvis is the kind of record that brings you to your knees because you can’t get over how great it is.  For me it just embodies everything I love about music and everything I look for in music. It’s the right level of creepy, it’s loud and it’s in your face but not in an intrusive manner. It’s so beautifully produced and created. That brilliant Psychobilly mixed with a bit of Punk sound that they were known for comes alive on this record, maybe it is more apparent on this one. Maybe I’m just being biased because I wholeheartedly love this record, with all I have. I don’t have the best record player in the world but it is currently making Aloha From Hell sound like the masterpiece that it truly is.

There are many reasons why I am fascinated with certain bands, but I’ve never really set myself a reason for doing so with The Cramps. It just comes down to a whole bunch of reasons. Mainly that it’s completely fine to live outside of certain “norms” and to just be whoever and whatever the hell you want to be.