This British compilation includes the entirety of the Cramps' first release, the Gravest Hits EP, along with selections from Songs the Lord Taught Us, Psychedelic Jungle, Smell of Female, and a live version of "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 compilation 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. None of the songs sound as if they could possibly have been written anytime after the '60s. Alex Chilton produced the first ten tracks, the Cramps the remaining seven. [The cover art for ...Off the Bone has varied over the years; the 1987 Illegal edition is rendered -- appropriately enough -- in 3-D.]
Cramps, The - Off the Bone - New LP
Reissue of the 1983 UK compilation Off the Bone.
AllMusic Review by Kathleen C. Fennessy
While the Cramps offered a sound in sharp contrast to most music of the early 80s, they didn’t just build us a bridge to a better future, they also gave us a time tunnel to the past, to the pre-Beatles world of American music. On this album alone, they offered versions of a 10 songs from the late 50s and early 60s...fueled with the past, they blasted off to the future...this was the Cramps revved up and ready to roll. "Love Me" was written by M. Lott and originally a 1960 single for the Phantom. "I Can't Hardly Stand It" is a 1956 Charlie Feathers single. "She Said" is a 1964 single by Hasil Adkins. "Goo Goo Muck" is a 1965 single by Ronnie Cook And The Gaylads "Save it" is a 1959 single by Mel Robbins (aka Hargus Melvin "Pig" Robbins), "The Crusher" was a 1964 single by The Novas, "Fever" was originally offered by Little Willie John in 1956, "Lonesome Town" (Baker Knight) was a hit for Ricky Nelson in 1958, "Domino" (Sam Phillips) was a hit for Roy Orbison in 1962, and "Surfin' Bird" was the Trashmen's 1963 version of the Rivingtons' "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" and "The Bird's the Word."
- winch (green noise)
Bryan Gregory was from Detroit.
Lux and Nick Knox were from Ohio.
Poison Ivy and Congo Powers were from California.