The Cramps "Off The Bone" 1983

This British collection includes the entirety of The Cramps' first release, the Gravest Hits EP, along with selections from Songs the Lord Taught Us, Psychedelic Jungle, and a live version of Smell of Female's "You Got Good Taste" (shortened here to "Good Taste"). It covers the years 1979-1983, a formative period in the band's long career. Ten of the tracks can also be found on the domestic comp, Bad Music for Bad People, which was released the following year. Although the bulk of the material consists of covers, you can hardly tell (barring an intimacy with any of the originals). Once The Cramps get hold of a song, they always make it their own--even the more recognizable numbers like "Surfin' Bird, "Lonesome Town," and "Fever." All benefit from Lux Interior's vocal prowess. He's a proto-punk screamer like Screamin' Jay Hawkins or The Sonics' Gerry Roslie on the rockin' numbers, but can caress a ballad like mid-period Elvis when the need arises. Not one of the songs sounds as if it could have been written anytime after the '60s. Alex Chilton produced the first 10 tracks, The Cramps the remaining seven. - Reviewer: K. C. Fennessy "freelance writer" (Seattle, WA USA)

1. Human Fly
2. The Way I Walk
3. Domino
4. Surfin` Bird
5. Lonesome Town
6. Garbageman
7. Fever
8. Drug Train
9. Love Me
10. I Can`t Hardly Stand It
11. Goo Goo Muck
12. She Said
13. The Crusher
14. Save It
15. New Kind Of Kick
16. Uranium Rock
17. Good Taste (Live)