Monday, February 09, 2009

Songs The Cramps Taught Us: Green Fuz

The Cramps second album, the great Psychedelic Jungle, contained a remarkable seven covers. This was "remarkable" in the sense that it's an extraordinarily large amount of covers, and in the sense that the songs themselves were, well, remarkable. Everyone of the songs they covered was incredibly obscure at the time the album was released in 1981, so much so that only the most dedicated record hounds and devotes of musical esoterica would have recognized all of them as covers. Additionally, each of the songs seemed so much of a piece with The Cramps' musical vision, that it was hard to imagine they could have emanated from anywhere other than Lux Interior's twisted imagination.

So this week, in honor of the late Lux Interior, I will present the original versions of each of the seven covers presented on Psychedelic Jungle, alongside The Cramps' cover versions for your listening pleasure. My friends Guy and Peter have also promised to do "Songs The Cramps Taught Us" posts in Lux's honor.

"Green Fuz" (or "Greenfuz") was originally recorded by garage rockers Randy Alvey & the Green Fuz from Bridgeport Texas at a deserted roadside cafe in 1969. "Green Fuz" had already appeared on the second Pebbles compilation by the time it appeared on The Cramps' second album, but no doubt the way a lot of people first heard it (present company included) was as the classic lead off track to Psychedelic Jungle.

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