‘More Songs From The Vaults of Lux & Ivy’ – album review

“File under Sacred Music” – Lux Interior

Various Artists ‘Smell Of The Cramps – More Songs From The Vault Of Lux And Ivy’ (Cherry Red)
Released 19th March 2012

An entire re-release industry has evolved around The Cramps; it’s a phenomenon no other band has inspired. From the artists The Cramps drew inspiration from, the records that Lux and Ivy cherished and the tracks that they enthused about on various radio shows, during interviews, and within The Incredibly Strange Music Book (RE/Search Publications).

Both Lux and Ivy were avid lifelong collectors of rock n’ roll, garage and just downright weird records, in addition they were always gracious in their acknowledgement of the bands who inspired them, and the artists who tracks they harvested from; both Lux and Ivy were equally keen that their fans were exposed to some of these lost treasures, prior to every show obscure records were played to the expectant audience; as such during the 80’s and mirroring The Cramps own rise a selection of records were made available.
An enterprising bootlegger, thought to be Australian, lovingly put together the ‘Born Bad’ series of vinyl albums (Vol 1-6) which gathered together the tracks – the building blocks of The Cramps sound; with extensive sleeve notes these classic albums were an education into a whole lost world of misfits, lunatics and the odd chart star.
Other such series including the CD only ‘Songs The Cramps Taught Us’, the 13 volumes of ‘Lux & Ivy’s Favorites’ (internet only) have followed not to mention a vinyl only and a differing ‘Songs The Cramps Taught Us’ series, we even had the infamous ‘Purple Knif Show’ a semi legal CD release of a 1984 US radio show hosted by Lux himself.

Since Lux’s untimely death in April 2009 there has been an attempt to tidy up these various albums, or to at least release them officially – strong>’Smell Of The Cramps – More Songs From The Vault Of Lux And Ivy’ – This enthralling release is the third in the series made available by Righteous/Cherry Red Records and once more draws together a collection surf wipe outs, crazed primitive rockabilly, and obscure lounge wig outs…

‘Smell Of The Cramps – More Songs From The Vault Of Lux And Ivy’ has been compiled by Dave Henderson (MOJO) and pulls together everything from The Wailers ‘irty Robber’ a real bluesy stomper first released in 1959 and later covered by The Sonics, who in turn were covered by The Cramps, the dumbed down and outrageously rare ”ËœShort Shorts’ by The Four Winds & Their Teenage Friends which smacks of barely legal sexploitation, to John & Jackies’ ”ËœLittle Girl’ which was banned as far back as 1958 ”“ hardly surprising listening to ”ËœJackie’ simulate orgasm for a chorus. The bizarre ”ËœMasai Rumble’ by Harry Coons & Richard Campbell who seemed to have tried to recreate the tribal sound of the African plains, however even that pales when you hear Gary ”ËœSpider’ Webbs ”ËœThe Cave’ ”“ a real oddity with characters Jimmy and Julie calling to each other from within side a darkened cave complete with primitive echo effects and horrified screams.. George Dunnings’ ”ËœZodiac Blues’ steers us in a jazz tinged lounge vibe, evoking an exotic smoke filled LA Strip joint atmosphere which leads us to ”ËœBlue Oasis’ a slowed down Link Wray style rumble. Bo Didleys’ classic ”ËœPills’ (later covered by The Lurkers amongst others) neatly introduces the gutteral gibberish of Jack Judge with ”ËœYea-De-A-Hay’ from 1960, the frantic instrumental ”ËœBeep Beep’ by The Playmates ”“ every track is bona fide classic.

It matters not whether you were a fan of the Cramps or not, this collection is a must buy for anyone with a desire to discover the true roots of rock music in all its various forms, or for anyone with a taste for the crazed and the unusual.

Track Listing:

1. Dirty Robber – The Wailers
2. Strollin On The Beach – Hollywood Flames
3. Bongo Beatin’ Beatnik – Joe Hall & The Corvettes
4. Short Shorts – The Four Winds And Their Teenage Friends
5. Little Girl – John And Jackie
6. The Cave (Part I) – Gary ‘Spider’ Webb
7. Proof Of Your Love – Jackie Cannon
8. She’s My Witch – Kip Tyler
9. Masai Rumble – Harry Coons & Richard Campbell
10. Swamp Girl – Kay Martin
11. Zodiac Blues – Bell Book And Candle
12. Blue Oasis Chuck (Big Guitar) – Ernest With The Satellite Band
13. At Our Fireplace – Derek Watson & The Brown Dots
14. Butcher Pete Part 2 – Roy Brown
15. Round House Boogie – Bep’s Brown And His Orchestra
16. Crazy Crazy Baby – Chuck Howard
17. Pills – Bo Diddley
18. Yea-De-A-Hay – Jack Judge
19. Boo Be Ah Be – Kimball Coburn
20. The Creep – Bob Luman
21. Crackerjacker – Billy Mure
22. Mexicali Baby – The Rio Rockers
23. Witch Doctor – David Seville
24. Beep Beep – Playmates
25. Drive, Daddy, Drive – Little Sylvia
26. Shook Shake – Ken Davis
27. Wild Love – Jay Nelson And The Jumpers
28. Speak To Me Baby – Werly Fairburn
29. Ape Call – Nervous Norvus

Also available from Righteous/Cherry Red;

”ËœBad Music For Bad People ”“ Songs The Cramps Taught Us’
”ËœSpirit Of The Cramps’

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


  1. Hmmm…shame that with that title/artwork they are blatantly trying to sell it as a Cramps out-takes album, when in fact it’s a bunch of obscure tracks that have little relationship to the band…’Smell Of The Exploitation’, methinks

  2. Nik, I think its a bit harsh to use the word exploitation. As hopefully made clear in the review, these tracks on the whole only became known to the wider world due to the Lux & Ivy’s public comments; so I believe there is a clear link with The Cramps.
    I think Cherry Red are to be praised for bringing quality recordings of these tracks to the public, lets not forget theya re a record company and do need to see some return on their investment, so allow them a little sway to market the album. Also as its on Cherry Red any due royalties/licence will be paid, as oppossed to the numerous bootlegs which merely made money for the compiler.
    Either way we should all be thankful that the tracks are avaiable…

  3. […] Red Records via the Righteous imprint have just released the third CD (LTW review) in their series featuring tracks culled from the record collection of Lux Interior and Poison […]

  4. That’s rich, “compiled” by Dave Henderson. What a load of hogwash. 90 percent of these songs were taken from a free download series. He did little to no research other than downloading someone else’s work. Way to go Dave!

  5. I agree with Mer Adams.

    Moreover most of the songs on “Lux And Ivy’s Faves”, to name the original serie, are taken from the original vinyls, not crappy MP3’s. It’s a beautiful real fan’s work.

    It’s hard to believe that this “Smell of the Cramps” CD isn’t a rip off of LAIF serie, as a lot of the songs are taken from recent LAIF vol 16. What a coincidence!

  6. it’s a shame to rip off “Lux And Ivy\’s Faves” and it’s a shame to release this under the Cramps banner without involving Ivy! And liner notes like on the Born Bad comps are missing!


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