Various artists: The Cramps' Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

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The Flamingoes: I Only Have Eyes For You (1959)
Various artists: The Cramps' Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

The Cramps' passion for old rock'n'roll is well known: they are archivists for music styles, bands and old singles which might have otherwise been forgotten or lost.

This double disc (with a useful backgrounder booklet) pulls together 30 obscure songs on one disc and on the other Lux Interior and Poison Ivy speak about their passions through a collection of interviews recorded from 1990.

Most interesting of these is a lengthy '04 interview on a Jersey City station when they were supposed to be promoting their compilation How to Make a Monster but ended up talking about all kinds of crazy music from rock'n'roll and doo-wop to novelty records like Purple People Eater and the more obscure Martian Hop.

"There's a great danger that if children don't have novelty records they can grow up and get a job . . . and never become crazy," says Lux.

They extol the virtues of Mad magazine records and there is a tick-list of songs and artists you will never have heard of. Ever.

With the equally knowledgable DJ, this is like eavesdropping on a dinner table conversation between people who are slightly obsessive but always interesting, fun and passionate.

The disc of music of course is where the meat lies: chunky backbeat Fifites rock'n'roll, weird doo-wop, yakety sax and temolo guitars, and some songs by those bands they mention on the interview disc. (The sample track here, The Flamingoes' I Only Have Eyes For You, is "like a door to another dimension," Ivy has said. You be the judge.)

As with all these Chrome Dreams CDs and DVDs the small note says this isn't authorised by the artists, but you might guess they'd approve.

Their passion is infection, like a really bad itch.

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