The Cramps - Bad Music For Bad People
For sale here on December 22 2021 at 10am PST

Included in this release:

In development for over a year, this project was created, cultivated, curated and assembled by a collaboration of more than 25 fans, artists and volunteers. The packaging itself is "de-Lux" - featuring a custom slipcover, 16-page booklet of liner notes, rare photos and exclusive art prints. Due to the extensive manual labor required to recondition existing 8-track cartridges, only 250 hand numbered 8-tracks are being released.


Emerging in the late '70s in New York City on the stages of CBGB and Max’s Kansas City - Poison Ivy Rorschach, Lux Interior, Bryan Gregory and Miriam Linna were THE CRAMPS. When drummer Nick Knox was recruited in the Fall of 1977 - the band line-up was locked and loaded - ready, determined and able to blow minds, deconstruct conventions and reinvent that "God Damn Rock ‘n Roll" for a new generation of true believers. 

In 1977, The Cramps recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis with Alex Chilton producing. These early sessions yielded the recordings for their first two 45s - “Human Fly” (a Rorschach / Interior original) and a cover of The Trashmen's “Surfin' Bird” - released on the band's own Vengeance Records label. These two 45s and their B-sides plus their heartbreakingly stark rendition of Ricky Nelson's “Lonesome Town” were compiled for the band's first 12-inch release, Gravest Hits EP (I.R.S.. / Illegal Records 1979).

The Cramps returned to Memphis the following year to record their first album - Songs The Lord Taught Us (I.R.S. / Illegal Records 1980) at Sam Phillips' legendary Sun Studios - the self-proclaimed and widely acknowledged birthplace of Rock 'n Roll - with Alex Chilton at the helm once again. A bulletproof and galvanizing cocktail of Rorschach / Interior originals and obscure 50's and 60's covers, Songs The Lord Taught Us was both a departure in the evolution of popular music and an homage to the "stone age" of Rock 'n Roll.

Following the untimely departure of guitarist Bryan Gregory from the band in May of 1980 shortly after the album's release - (no, he did not steal the band's gear when he left) and the abrupt and subsequent departure of Gregory's talented successor - pioneering Punk guitarist Julien H (formerly of The Mad) later that same year - the burgeoning talents of Kid Congo Powers (Gun Club) were secured on guitar for live dates and - in due course - the recording of the band's 2nd album - the self-produced, Psychedelic Jungle (I.R.S. / Illegal Records 1981).  Recorded in Los Angeles at A&M Studios, The Cramps delivered another irreproachable and mesmerizing platter of Rorschach / Interior originals and obscure covers, Psychedelic Jungle invited listeners to "Sit Down And Make Yourself Uncomfortable," an invitation that was accepted by a legion of dedicated fans that would be forever "cramped."

Tracks from these three influential and acclaimed releases would eventually be compiled to create the album - Bad Music For Bad People (I.R.S. / Illegal Records 1984).

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With the original working title of "Wanted: Dead Or 'Alive" - Bad Music For Bad People has become one of the most iconic (and in some circles, controversial) compilations of the era. Despite the dubious and somewhat cynical reception by fans and critics alike upon its release in 1984 - resulting as a culmination of the band's turbulent departure from I.R.S. / Illegal Records - this compilation has nevertheless (and rightly so) become widely regarded as a collection of some of The Cramps most defining work. 

Why reissue this iconic album on an obsolete music format? "The men don't know but the little ghouls understand......."

"Let me tell you what is........" Originators of a mutant and primal, stripped-down sound with its roots in the primordial soup of Rock 'n Roll - The Cramps crafted their art by delving into the past - dredging into the deepest, darkest crevices of pop culture for derelict and abandoned treasures to add to their ever-expanding arsenal of songs and sounds - with rockabilly, the most primal of all rhythmic impulses - at the spearhead of their influences and sound.

Injecting the term “psychobilly” onto their 1976 gig posters and into the public consciousness - The Cramps spawned a new musical genre (and a new sub-culture) that was steeped in rockabilly, instrumental rock, soul, surf, psychedelia, and sixties punk with lyrical inspiration drawn from a myriad of deviant, underground and "trash culture" influences including late night television, sci-fi re-runs, "car culture" and sexploitation, slasher and horror films. 

Musical and cultural provocateurs with a singular vision of what rock n roll was and should be, The Cramps were and still ARE one of the most influential bands of the punk and post-punk era.  Often imitated but never equaled, their impact has spanned almost 50 years.  Their enduring allure has been made conspicuously obvious by a new generation of fans sporting t-shirts featuring Stephen Blickenstaff's iconic Bad Music album cover art (arguably the "Mona Lisa" of Punk Rock).

In summary - The Cramps re-defined "cool" by making "everything old new again". To quote guitarist/founding member Poison Ivy Rorschach, "The Cramps make tomorrow look like yesterday."  An 8-track release in 2021 also makes "tomorrow look like yesterday" thus a new release on this "obsolete" format feels like a natural fit for the music of "the band that time forgot".  (Miss Kizmiaz, Los Angeles 2021 Stay Sick!)

Special note:

Due to the extensive manual labor required to recondition existing 8-track cartridges, only 250 hand numbered 8-tracks are being released. These 8-tracks were each manufactured by hand with love by Dead Media Tapes and include 50 spray painted units on yellow cartridges and 200 units on black cartridges, each hand numbered. No expense was spared making this project, this is truly a passion project. We realize that 250 8-tracks is likely not nearly enough and unfortunately many fans won't be able to get their hands on one. As fans and collectors ourselves, we truly apologize in advance for this. The reason we are only making 250 carts is all the extensive manual labor required to make this release, including the need to recondition & record onto these 40 year old 8-track cartridges. As many of you know, 5Seven is a small DIY non profit operation and given we got a bit carried away with this project, we are actually losing money on every 8-track we sell.

Thank you to the band, thanks to everybody involved making this release, thanks to Universal Music Group, & all the Cramps fans out there. This release goes up for sale on December 22th 2021 at 10 AM PST on our website.

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