Joey Ramone

Ramones Ramones (Sire) 1976

1.   Blitzkrieg Bop (2:13)
2.   Beat On The Brat   (2:33)
3.   Judy Is A Punk (1:33)
4.   I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (2:25)
5.   Chain Saw (1:57)
6.   Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue (1:36)
7.   I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement (2:40)
8.   Loudmouth (2:15)
9.   Havana Affair (1:57)
10. Listen To My Heart (1:59)
11. 53rd & 3rd (2:21)
12. Let's Dance (1:52)
13. I Donnt' Wanna Walk Around With You (1:43)
14. Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World (2:17)
15. I Wanna Be Your Boyfied [demo] (3:02)
16. Judy Is A Punk [demo] (1:37)
17. I Don't Care [demo] (1:55)
18. I Can't Be [demo] (1:57)
19. Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue [demo] (1:42)
20. I Don't Wanna Be Learned / I Don't Wanna Be Tamed [demo] (1:05)
22. You Should Never Have Opened That Door [demo] (1:54)
23. Blitzkrieg Bop (Single Version) (2:12)

Ramones is the eponymously titled debut album from American punk rockers the Ramones. The album was released in 1976 and though it wasn't a big commercial success, many consider it to be one of the most important albums released in rock and roll history. It helped fuel the punk rock revolution at the end of the 1970's and pre-dates the Sex Pistols "Never Mind the Bullocks" by a year. Regardless of how important the record is, the Ramones debut is a powerful rock and roll onslaught. Every song possesses the signature sound associated with the Ramones; the roaring three-chord guitars, bouncy songs, memorable hooks and a snotty punk-rock delivery.

The album opens with one of their signature tracks,  "Blitzkrieg Bop" built around speed and grab-you-by-the-jugular hooks. Really, this is what the Ramones are all about, speed, simplicity, hooks, and the snotty tongue-in-cheek lyrics. It's 50's rock 'n' roll mixed with surf rock and a leather-clad punk delivery. The lyrics are often satirical or just plain (purposely) stupid. Songs like "Beat on the Brat" are delivered with a cheery playfulness. "Chain Saw" is an obvious tribute to one of the band's favorite movies, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and reveals the band's sense of humor. Of course other songs like "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" are just plain stupid!  The band simply owns the cover of Chris Montez's "Let's Dance", making it their very own. They don't really change the song all that much, but they add speed, volume and attitude. Joey Ramone shouts the extremely catchy lyrics with what sounds like a faux British accent. None of the songs clock in at any longer than two and half minutes, and most are even shorter. There are no brilliant guitar solos or jaw-dropping musicianship. It's not really about that. t's just bouncy, simple, aggressive, speedy rock 'n' roll. This is the Ramones at their very infancy. These are some of the most recognizable songs that punk rock has ever delivered.

The remastered edition of the CD on Sire/Rhino comes with a slew of bonus demo tracks and a 20-page booklet with plenty of photos and reading material.

Rocket to Russia Rocket to Russia Ramones - Rocket To Russia/Greatest Hits Live (Agat) 1977/1996

"Rocket to Russia"
1.   Cretin Hop (1:56)
2.   Rock Beach (2:09)
3.   Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (2:50)
4.   Locket Love (2:14)
5.   I Don't Care (1:41)
6.   Sheena Is APunk Rocker (2:48)
7.   We're A Happy Family (2:41)
8.   Teenage Lobotomy (2:01)
9.   Do You Wanna Dance? (1:57)
10. I Wanna Be Well (2:28)
11. I Can't Give You Anything (2:00)
12. Ramona (2:39)
13. Surfin' Bird (2:36)
14. Why Is It Always This Way?   (2:08)
15. Needles & Pins (2:22)
16. Slug [demo] (2:24)
17. It's A Long Way Back To Germany [demo] (2:22)
18. I Don't Care [demo] (1:40)
19. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker [demo] (2:50)
"Greatest Hits Live"
20. Durnago 95 (1:26)
21. Blitzkreig Bop (1:38)
22. Do You Remember Rock And Roll Radio? (2:56)
22. I Wanna Be Sedated (2:06)
23. Spider Man (1:48)
24. I Don't Want To Grow Up (2:23)
25. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker (1:45)
26. Rockaway Beach (1:33)
27. Strength To Endure (2:32)
28. Cretin Family (2:05)
29. Do You Wanna Dance? (1:26)
30. We're A Happy Family (1:28)
31. The Crusher  (2:09)
32. 53rd & 3rd (1:47)
33. Beat On The Brat (2:20)
34. Pet Cemetary (3:01)
25. R.A.M.O.N.E.S. (1:26)
36. Any Way You Want It (2:19)

How fitting that my CD version of "Rocket To Russia" is a Russian import, and probably a bootleg. I'm not really sure if these Russian two-on-one CDs are legit or not. Regardless I also have a vinyl version of "Rocket to Russia".

"Rocket to Russia" was The Ramones' third record and was released in 1977 on Sire Records. It was their second release of that year. Despite being the band's third, "Rocket to Russia" could very well be a greatest hits package all by itself. Although the album didn't really make The Ramones a mainstream success at the time, it is now known as one of the band's best albums. Songs like "Cretin Hop," "Rockaway Beach", "Sheena is a Punk Rocker", "We're A Happy Family" and "Teenage Lobotomy" are all classic Ramones tracks. (Anthrax recorded a kickin' cover of "We're A Happy Family") I'm actually partial to the anthem, "I Don't Care". "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" was released as the first single for the album. There were also the trademark ballads "Ramona" and "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" and two cover songs, "Do You Wanna Dance" and the Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird", the former being a big hit for the Beach Boys and the other becoming a staple in the Ramones live set.

"Greatest Hits Live" was recorded at The Academy in New York City, NY on February 29, 1996. The generically titled album was the Ramones third live album. The final two tracks, "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." and "Any Way You Want It" are studio tracks and also cover songs. "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." was originally written and recorded by Motörhead for their album "1916". The song was written as a tribute to the Ramones.  "Anyway You Want It" was originally recorded by The Dave Clark Five. Kiss also recorded a cover of this song.

Road to Ruin The Ramones - Road to Ruin (Rhino/Wea) 1978

1. I Just Want To Have Something To Do" (2:41)
2. I Wanted Everything" (3:18)
3. Don't Come Close" (2:45)
4. I Don't Want You" (2:26)
5. Needles & Pins" (2:21)
6. I'm Against It" (2:07)
7. I Wanna Be Sedated" (2:29)
8. Go Mental" (2:42)
9. Questioningly" (3:21)
10. She's The One" (2:13)
11. Bad Brain" (2:25)
12. It's A Long Way Back" (2:22)
13. I Want You Around" [Ed Stasium version] (3:02)
14. Rock 'N' Roll High School" [Ed Stasium version] (2:20)
15. Blitzkrieg Bop/Teenage Lobotomy/California Sun/Pinhead/She's The One [live] (11:00)
16. Come Back, She Cried A.K.A. I Walk Out [demo] (2:21)
17. Yea, Yea [demo] (2:08)

Growing up in the 70's and 80's in New Jersey and New York, there was no escaping this band. I had never been a big fan of the whole punk movement, although there was no denying some band's influence in rock and metal. The Sex Pistols, New York Dolls, Iggy & the Stooges and The Ramones were some of the best. I saw the Ramones several times over the years. "Road to Ruin" was the first record I ever purchased from the Ramones. "I Wanna Be Sedated" became an anthem to youth in the late 70's. However, there really isn't a song on here that is bad. My least favorite would probably be the cover of "Needles and Pins", a song I was never fond of to begin with. The remainder of the songs are catchy, simple, bubblegum, punk mixed with the standard nihilistic punk lyrics and attitude. Basically, "Road to Ruin" is as classic a Ramones album as you can get. The cover is also classic. It features nifty cartoon caricatures of the band, although the art looses a little something when shrunk down to CD size from the original record cover. The 2001 reissue restores the original metallic gold ink to the cover, which is cool. The remastered CD also includes some excellent bonus material. It's also worth mentioning that it was at this point that Tommy Ramone was replaced by Marky Ramone on the drums. Tommy stuck around as the group's producer.

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