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Magnificent
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  • A second collection of weirdo rockabilly, R&B, blues, and rock & roll purportedly from the Cramps' personal collection, Magnificent: 62 Classics from the Cramps' Insane Collection is a gas by any measure. The key to the success of Magnificent is that it never pushes its gonzo nature too hard. Sure, there are novelties here -- many arriving in the beginning, including the Five Blobs' "The Blob" and Sheb Wooley's "The Purple People Eater," two records that couldn't be called obscure -- but it settles into a comfortable groove where silliness and strangeness synthesize, sometimes seeming somewhat scary. It's all about context, of course: the songs play off of each other, seeming odder when echoing off their predecessors, and that's the joy of the whole shebang. It plays like an alternate history of the postwar 20th century, assembled entirely from detritus and nothing substantive -- and, of course, that's why it lasts. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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