In April of 1978, The Cramps released 6000 copies of "Surfin' Bird/ The Way I Walk", their Alex Chilton produced debut single on their own Vengence label.
The band had been frustrated by lack of major label interest.
"Putting that single out was like our big flying fuck you," said guitarist Poison Ivy. "The Way I Walk is representative of our sound but Surfin' Bird? The attitude is, but the music isn't."
The Ramones has covered Surfin'Bird on their 1977 Rocket to Russia album. More recently, Robert Gordon had covered The Way I Walk on an album released in March.
The singles were recorded in Memphis at Ardent Studios where Chilton had made his Big Star albums.
"He's done the most reckless suicidal things and gotten clean away," vocalist Lux Interior said. "He's probably fucked every chick in the state. Literally. And this chicks' boyfriends are out to get him".
With Chilton at the board, The Cramps also recorded TV Set, Domino and Lonesome Town, all available on the 1979 EP Gravest Hits.