The Incredibly Strange Record Club Volume 1 (Righteous Records)

This is the third compilation I’ve reviewed of late-’50s and early-60s records The Cramps loved. If you’re a Cramps fan like me, these collections of whacked out rockabilly, novelty flops, and other flavors of pre-Beatles weirdness are pretty easy to like. Here the focus, as the title informs us, is on strange records; which translates to twenty-six oddball numbers including several with gibberish lyrics (“Mope-itty Moope”, “Okeefenokee” or “Mumbles”) and some jokey novelties (“Fungus Among Us”, “Lost (Cricket In My Ear)”, and “You’ve Been Torturing Me”). Like similar collections, each song has something pleasing about it, but one towers over the rest, and it’s Tommy Blake’s “F-Olding Money”, which leads off the album. It’s pretty much “Summertime Blues” with a crazy effect on the vocals, but the performance is raw and brilliant. No wonder The Fall covered it 40 years later.