The Cramps

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Essential Albums

  • Off the Bone
  • Psychedelic Jungle
  • Songs the Lord Taught Us

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About The Cramps

As the creators of the punk/rockabilly fusion that came to be known as psychobilly, The Cramps became legends of the American indie underground. Led by the husband-and-wife team of singer Lux Interior and guitarist Poison Ivy, they got their start in 1976 on the New York punk scene; the original lineup included guitarist Bryan Gregory and Gregory’s sister Pam Balam on drums, but the personnel would shift many times, with Lux and Ivy the only constants. The Cramps combined B-movie kitsch with a deep knowledge of ’50s rock and a twisted, postmodern sensibility for a primal, spooky sound on creeped-out covers and originals laden with late-night horror-movie imagery. Their 1979 EP, Gravest Hits, and 1980 debut album, Songs the Lord Taught Us, helped set the stage for generations of dramatic alt-rockers like Nick Cave, Jon Spencer, and Jack White. Over the years, their reputation grew, and later albums like A Date With Elvis (which went to No. 1 on the UK indie charts) and Stay Sick! positioned them as elder statesmen to the rising alt-rock revolution.Their story came to a sad end with Lux’s death from a heart problem in 2009 at the age of 62.

Sacramento, CA, United States

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