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  • Songs the Lord Taught Us
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Songs the Lord Taught Us


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Audio CD, September 25, 1990
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Songs the Lord Taught Us + Gravest Hits & Psychedelic Jungle + Bad Music for Bad People
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fontana a&M
  • ASIN: B000001I09
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,217 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. TV Set
2. Rock On The Moon
3. Garbageman
4. I Was A Teenage Werewolf
5. Sunglasses After Dark
6. The Mad Daddy
7. Mystery Plane
8. Zombie Dance
9. What's Behind The Mask
10. Strychnine
11. I'm Cramped
12. Tear It Up
13. Fever
14. I Was A Teenage Werewolf (With False Start)
15. Mystery Plane
16. Twist And Shout
17. I'm Cramped
18. The Mad Daddy

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

The Cramps got away with their Z-movie, zombie-rock schtick because they were so intense in their conviction that it had more value than middlebrow humanist pop. Descending on Memphis to cut their debut album with Big Star legend Alex Chilton, the band served up a thirteen-song punkabilly testament to drive-in anti-culture, replete with garage-band guitars and booming voodoo drums. Versions of "Fever" "Strychnine," and the Johnny Burnette Trio's "Tear It Up" competed with Lux Interior-Poison Ivy originals like "T.V. Set" and "I Was a Teenage Werewolf." Songs the Lord Taught Us was also the first and last Cramps album to feature scary-looking guitarist Bryan Gregory. --Barney Hoskyns

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
`Songs the Lord Taught Us' is the best of the Cramps LP's.
Mark A. Carter
One of the single greatest testaments of punk, rockabilly, horror rock, and rock 'n' roll ever recorded.
TimothyFarrell22
This band is seminal to a certain sensibility that seems sadly lacking in much of today's music.
Matt Duane Griffin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By KCJW on November 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
...and I heard the song "Sunglasses After Dark" being played from behind the door. Before that I had never heard The Cramps, yet I ran in and bought the CD right out of the stereo for $4. This rocks from start to finish, and is the best straight-through listen album I own.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By TimothyFarrell22 on January 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
We are all indebted to this band still. One of the single greatest testaments of punk, rockabilly, horror rock, and rock 'n' roll ever recorded. Greasy, primal, sleazy, primative, raw - just a few adjectives well suited at describing this album. And unlike many albums, the cover songs are just as good as the originals. I can honestly not see how anybody could hate this album, unless of course if you are an art snob who thinks "The Wall" is the greatest album ever. Hard rocking and catchy as hell.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By DAC Crowell on April 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
...I'm gonna tell ya 'bout _cool_/in one easy lesson! GO!" Yep...had to quote that, the beginning of this album's "Sunglasses After Dark", as that song really sums up the mad, crazed, dark-as-a-Memphis-alley-at-midnite badness of this amazing slab of rockabilly psychosis. There is nothing like the sound that is the Cramps, and for me, this album distills that cross of swampwater, moonshine, and nitro down to a dangerous and unstable musical substance, captured live like a crazed animal in these tracks cut at the legendary Sun Studio. Echo machines go mad, drums thud like someone pounding the furniture into matchsticks, and guitars slice through the speakers like some meat-saw-wielding mad butcher as Lux Interior howls, wails, spits like fury, and...yeah, tells you 'bout _cool_. Truly the sound of the South going horrifically wrong with total J.D. madness, rockabilly is supposed to be 'bad music'...but this is the baddest of the badness! It'll make you put a voodoo 8-ball gearshifter in your _life_! BUY!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Barry Goub!er on February 16, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I suppose it's old news about Lux Interior dying 50-years-and-a-day after Buddy Holly, but I'd be mistaken to not put in a word about what the guy's influence meant to me.
The Cramps are, without a doubt, one of the big influences on my life, a fact that becomes clearer as I get older. I'm not just talking about music, though about 90 percent of my records are due to their bad guidance. Their ability to take the best elements of early Rock 'n' Roll and make it completely their own freed me and a lot of others from what C.S. Lewis once called "chronological snobbery": the mindset that "new" is better, and that contemporary culture trumps all other considerations. That point really began to be made when I started hearing the originals of the songs The Cramps covered: that bloodcurdling scream The Phantom lets out at the beginning of "Love Me"? Sorry, college boy, but REM ain't gonna cut it after that.
It was Lux and Ivy that showed that the truly great stuff stands outside human constructs like "eras" and "decades", that you don't have to have your tastes dictated by whatever year you were born or graduated high school. That's why their influence spreads far beyond just music, and it also explains why rock critics, whose rock-music-as-art-form partyline The Cramps made so much confetti of, never understood them.
Well, I got it. So did plenty of others with no use for the ossified iconography of garbage like The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. We all are in his debt, even if we live another 100 years.
Here's to you, Lux. When you're ready to get that stake out of your heart and go on another rampage, gimmie a buzz.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Usvaldo de Leon, Jr. on November 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Cramps are very polarizing. Most people hate the very concept of them and loathe their existence. But if the idea of rockin' monsters, a big rockabilly beat, and the rantings of a wildman sound like something you'd be interested in, then this record is the place to start. Songs the Lord Taught Us was the debut album by the Cramps, following their EP Gravest Hits released the previous year in 1979. In this first full length, the Cramps unleashed a sickness that the country wasn't ready for - and, frankly, still isn't. The album sounded fantastic, despite the weird lyrics (full of werewolves, psycho killers, and other assorted unsavory members of society) and the extreme guitar work. Imagine Sonic Youth, perhaps, in a rockabilly context; that begins to scrape the top layer of the solos of Bryan Gregory. Alterniatively, it has been described as a five car pileup i on the Jersey Turnpike. That vision gives a sense of the evident dementia at work in this lovely record.

Recommended for anyone who loves the idea that Elvis Presley might have been replaced by Frankenstien's monster, and what that might have been like.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By MR B DUTHIE on March 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my favourite albums. It's an absolute classic and totally unique. The Cramps are basically fantastic.
If you've got a taste for the unusual, the dark, you like horror films and consider yourself an "outsider" then you have found your band.
The Cramps do sort of defy catagorization but if I was to try I'd say Swaggering Psychobilly Punks from Hell, but cooler

This is their long play debut. Just buy it, if you don't like it at first - learn
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bachelier on January 21, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Still my favorite Cramps album, for it contains my favorite Cramps cover of The Sonics' "Strychnine." This is rock-a-billy, punk, garage, lo-fi production, and vocals straight out of the gothic school of Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

But it is better than all that and transcends that from which it was born.

Probably difficult to overstate how influential this album is, and the lame "you had to be there" is inadequate. For both The Cramps and DEVO were products of Ohio, low rent art scenes, and desperation to smash back at the sludge coming from the payola radio of 1970s America. What is ironic is the Cramps were accused of embracing a cartoonish version of Satanic theatrics as part of their image, while meanwhile head-banger music as ludicrous as a spandex pentagram was chronicled with precision and admiration by CREAM.

For anyone starting a band and considering your placement in the pantheon of rock genre, this is a must listen.
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