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Showing Their Live Appeal,
This review is from: Smell of Female (Audio CD)
After Psychedelic Jungle, The Cramps world began to get invaded by the bitterness of royalties and all that rights for music stuff, the dispute between the band and Record Label IRS were destined to end in court. Because of such circumstances, not a lot happened for Cramp fans in 1982. This pause in material thankfully didn't last too long though. In February 1983, The Cramps took their instruments to The Peppermint Lounge in New York City; they also took some recording equipment and invited a crowd.
Smell of Female was the bands first live album, originally six songs long it was the first outing for the band on Big Beat Records, and it successfully filled the void left from the troubling times of 1982. The album begins with a couple of screams from some excitable girls (or men, with tight trousers on), even in these first few seconds of listening you can feel the anticipation in the audience building. After a short introduction from the compare, who of course is ushered in with a gong, The Cramps burst into a new original song, Thee Most Exhalted Potentate of Love, its like the band have never been away!
The second song on the album is probably the best song on the record, it begins with a dedication from Lux Interior; "This one's dedicated to all you Gucci bag carriers out there..... Its called you've got gooooood taste!" yes Good Taste is a stunning live number, thumping and heavy in a very Cramps way, splendid drums from Knox, gorgeous fuzz from Powers and an addictive riff from Ivy. The song also has a risk element to it which Interior really does revel in.
Track four is however very un-Cramp like, a cover of Faster Pussycat, Lux Interior actually sings this song in sections which makes me feel slightly uneasy somewhat, after a couple of listens though, it begins to dawn on you the actual gloriousness of this song and the drama of it all, something which The Cramps translate beautifully.
Originally this live album was six tracks long back on it's initial release in '83. It goes without saying that the originally closer to Smell of Female was something rather special. Back in 1966, a band from San Jose released a song which would go down in collector circles as quite possibly the most invigorating garage song ever recorded; I am of course referring to Psychotic Reaction by Count Five. In 1983, it was covered live by The Cramps; to say they have captured the true essence of the original would be underplaying The Cramps' achievement here, its absolutely tremendous stuff.
Now reissued, Smell of Female by The Cramps, now stretches to nine songs, these include a live version of Beautiful Gardens as well as the brilliant and it must be said electric She Said. Hearing the true nature of The Cramps live for the first time is something to behold. From that stage in The Peppermint Lounge, you can really hear the appeal of the band and why they won so many plaudits for their live performances. Lets put it this way, if you've come this far with your Cramps collection, you wont be disappointed with Smell of Female.