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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than just tongue-in-cheek garage psychobilly...., 3 Mar 2009
Mr. P. S. Rapaport (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Date With Elvis (Audio CD)
Nobody ever played this kind of stuff as well as the legendary Cramps. The sad recent death of vocalist Lux Interior prompted me to drag this wonderful LP out of my files. I'd forgotten how great it is. I reckon this is the band's peak - a concept album with inspired tight instrumentation, superb production and engaging lyrics centred on those staple Cramps themes of sex, perversion and 'alternative lifestyle'. The trademark sense of humour is never far away, for example 'Kizmiaz' about a mythical utopian paradise (as in "kiss my ass").

At first sight/sound the Cramps appeared to be just another garage psychobilly combo but when you get into their music there's so much more to it. What sets this particular LP apart is that each track is loosely based on an Elvis number, but not as direct covers - that would be too obvious. The fun is to identify the Elvis song each track alludes to, with clues aplenty in the riffs, arrangements and harmonies. [Here's one to start you off: listen to 'Aloha From Hell' and then listen to 'Baby Let's Play House' by Elvis].

A brilliant album by a unique and hugely underrated band.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would You Have it Any Other Way?, 3 Sep 2009
This review is from: A Date With Elvis (Audio CD)
After well over four years of personnel changes and battles with the old record label, The Cramps were finally in the right place to make that long awaited comeback album. It's a good job I was only 2 years old at the time they made it back into the studio, I don't think I could have coped with the anticipation of it all. The personnel on this album is really the story, no longer a four piece Poison Ivy plays both lead and bass on this album following the departure of Kid Congo Powers back in 1983. But with the ever-present Nick Knox on drums and of course the marvellous Lux Interior on vocals, this album is far from a papering over the cracks exercise.

A Date With Elvis, released on Big Beat in 1986 after being recorded in 1985, was undoubtedly more of the same but after four years, it is no doubt a welcome edition to The Cramps catalogue and is entirely penned by Interior and Ivy, making this the first Cramps album to contain all original material, it should also be said, as well as laying down bass and some filthy fuzz filled guitar, Poison Ivy also Produced this record. The album begins with a noise more akin to the opener of I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night by The Electric Prunes from 1967; it soon beds in mind and returns to more Cramp like surroundings, How Far Can Too Far Go is what you'd expect.

The final bar of the opener merges nicely into the second track, the beautifully titled The Hot Pearl Snatch; again this is classic Cramps, thumping, filled with innuendo and musically filthy, the same can be said for the song What's Inside a Girl and of course Can Your Pussy Do The Dog, for some reason when I hear Lux Interior sing these songs it sounds almost sweet and innocent. Track three; People Aint No Good starts with a school chorus of all things, a chorus that you can just about hear under the guitar and pounding drums if you listen close enough, all enhancing the normally retro sound of the band, marvellous!

Speaking of which, a first of first happens on track six, Kizmiaz, features the vocals of Poison Ivy, out of tune this may be, it reminds me of 1960's all girl group The Shaggs, they were pretty dreadful, but this song aint too bad after a couple of listens, almost lovely after three listens, this song in particular is a departure for The Cramps.

Normal service is resumed for the final few tracks of this album, my favourite song Cornfed Dames, which sounds like a bastardised version of Not Fade Away, the beating yet sinister (Hot Pool of) Womanneed is glorious, and the album finishes well too, with the slow ballad of Its Just That Song, sang by Lux Interior like a slightly inebriated Elvis Presley, I ask you dear reader.....would you have it any other way? Its good to have you back!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give me a Woman, 21 Feb 2010
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Date With Elvis (Audio CD)
LUX and Ivy joined their soul essentials to a time when the USA threw off the shackles of puritan bible bashing. They whooped and hollered to the priapus of paganism. As Haley's Comets whipped across the sky, to the first coming of the Beatles, the USA banged and beat themselves into a stupor. This is their tribute album to that spirit in the sky,

Harmony erased the spririt of grit with polish. Rock and roll became pot bellied, bald with long straggly hair, gazing, then picking out its belly fluff, trying to find meaning. This retraces the steps the eternal return back to the original spit and spirit; a date with elvis, his eight album, the Cramps' 3rd. The Cramps ask the fun da mental question; "Can your pussy do the dog?" There ain't hotter question in the whole civilised world. Then it descends into the devilish lounge leer of Kimiaz, the choir of angels performing People Ain't no Good to the distorted swoon of Hot Pearl Snatch.

Post Beatles, rock divorced roll. All the fun characters were stacked away in the orphanage. Lux liberated Link Wray, Hasil Adkins, Glen Glen, The Blond Bomber, the Sonics and countless others. Vast stretches of USA depopulation entailed Elvis swivelling to That's alright Mamma on TV beamed into young peoples consciousness and they wwoke from a stupor, cavorting with him. Girls recognised sexual chemistry of the " groin thrusting moves" and a collective unconsious unfolded, in the era of pre sex education.

Guys instead of snearing, emulated him. The concection was the frenzy. "It's just that song" tugs at kitsch hotel. Elvis erupts as the ghost of Lux to ask "What's inside a girl?"

Post Elvis guys crammed into booths to cut the killer disc and the cultural revolution was born. Then bang!!!! The Vietnam war, the rise of the Beatles, the take over of rock and roll by corporate tie wearing sterility, all entailed rock emerged, serious bearded and boring; People ain't no good!

The teenage renaissance of the 50's was frenzied. The Cramps found the secret door to another world, the elxir of youth. Lux croons the recipe in "Give me a woman"; any kinda woman will do."

The New York Dolls were the first to resurrect the 60's, derived from studying the Stones. The originals excavated, dusted, primed and charged roared with eternal fire. The Cramps went further into the downtrodden gems recorded in grimy jukeworlds. They founded a rich cultural seam.

Lux Ivy and Nick turned themselves into living art forms and waved bye bye to the late 20thC/21st C as they nestled neatly in a cozy world of everything 50's-80's.

Let's hear it from those who never surrendered. "Get off the Road"; Their revolution was lived to the hilt of their midrift.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Legendary oldskool psycho garage, 17 Aug 2014
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This review is from: A Date With Elvis (Audio CD)
Another great record from the Oldskool psycho-garage-punk legends.
Must have for psycho fans
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