Ramones - Hey Ho Let's Go

1 - 2 - 3 - 4! Hey Ho Let's Go! Second Verse, Same as the First! There are so many ways to begin a tributearticle to the greatest rockband ever - THE RAMONES. The RAMONES reinvented rock n roll in the mid-seventies. They were the first punkband. Sure there were other frontrunners such as The STOOGES and MC5 but THE RAMONES were the first band that labeled themselves and their fans as punks and they are still, after twentyfive years, one of the most influential rockbands. Without the four punks from Queens NY, there wouldn't be any SCREECHING WEASEL, THE QUEERS or GREEN DAY. Maybe some of Glitzine's readers don't give a shit about those bands but how about HEART THROB MOB, QUEENY BLAST POP (whose bandname I believe, though it's not confirmed, is taken from a RAMONES' booklet) and HOLLYWOOD TEASZE? Every bubblegum/comic punkband is influenced by RAMONES or by a band influenced by them in the first place. That is not an opinion, that's a fact.

Joey Ramone sadly died of cancer a couple of days ago (R.I.P.). Though C.J and March are rockin in their own bands, THE GUSANOS and MARKY RAMONE AND THE INTRUDERS, and Dee Dee is touring with own and Ramones material, the band is dead and buried. As a tribute to the greatest rockbands ever, here come a short introduction to and reviews of Ramones' albums. The

Ramones
One of the most important in rock n roll, clocking in at under 30 minutes. Furious guitars and unbelievable lyrics about sniffing glue(Dee Dee and Johnny sniffed both glue and Carbona.), being trapped in the basement (Dee Dee's father used to lock him up in the cellar), boy hustling street corners (53rd and 3rd), rebellion, beating up brats and chainsaw massacres (inspired by the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Lead by "Hey Ho Let's Go!" of the athemtic "Blitzkrieg Bop", this is one essential album. Re-recorded by Screeching Weasel. RamonesRating: 10

Leave Home
This is my favorite ramonealbum. Not as raw as their debut but more melodic, catchy and bubblicious. "Sheena is a Punkrockers"became the band's first big hit. It also contains classics such as "Gimme Gimme Shock treatment", "Pinhead" (from which the famous chant "Gabba Gabba Hey" was taken), and "Commando". But the rest of the songs are even more brilliant. "Suzy is a headbanger", "I Remember You", "Swallow my pride", Babysitter" and "Oh oh I love her so" (my favorite Ramones' song) make this album Ramones' best. A must-have to all punk/pop fans. Re-Recorded by The Vindictives. RamonesRating: 11

Rocket to Russia
The Second best Ramonealbum, following in the same surf/bubblegum punk style as "Leave Home". This one is once again featuring "Sheena is a punkrockers" as well as "Rockaway Beach" (NY's answer to California's beaches), "Locket Love", "We're a Happy Family", "Teenage Lobotomy" and great covers such as "Surfin' Bird" and "Do You wanna Dance" (the latter gets my vote for best cover ever made). Re-Recorded by The Queers. RamonesRating: 10

Road to Ruin
The Last of four phenomenal albums which also was the peak of ramones career. This one's featuring their second big hit "I wanna be sedated" as well as the excellent "She's the one" and the antagonistic "I'm against it". Ramones slow it down for the first of very few times in the beautiful ballad "Questingly". Not as strong as the previous three but still better than anything else in the history of rock. Re-Recorded by Mr T Experience. RamonesRating: 9

End of the Century
This is a pretty odd album since it's produced by Phil Spector, a move to reach the masses, who represent the opposite of Ramones' minmalistic punkrock. The producer and the band didn't get along that well and Dee Dee Ramone still doesn't know who plays on the record. Though it doesn't sound like Ramones, it's great record featuring the rock n roll nostalgica of "Do you remember rock n roll radio", "Chinese Rocks" (also recorded by Johnny Thunders and the heartbreakers), "The Return of Jackie and Judy", "Baby I Love You" (originally written by Spector for the Ronettes back in the early sixties) and the ultimate teen anthem "Rock n Roll Highschool" (featuring in the movie with the same name. The movie was actually mean to be a discomovie but the producer saw Ramones and got so excited that he changed the concept around. God move!). Re-Recorded by Boris The Sprinkler. RamonesRating: 8

Pleasant Dreams
In another atempt to make it big (ger), Ramones used Graham Gouldman of 10CC as producer. The Album is polished but also a step back to early sound. This is one of my favourite Ramonealbums (I keep repeating that phrase don't I?). As usual Joey writes the bubblegum songs while Dee Dee is inspired by comics and life on the streets. Joey's songwriting has never been better than on "Pleasant Dreams". "She's a Sensation" was destined to be a huge hit and "7-11" were inspired by the sad lovesongs from the 60-62 era (For example: "Leader of the Pack" and "Tell Laura I love Her"). "We Want the Airwaves" and "The KKK took my baby away" became classics. Re-Recorded by Beatnik Termites. RamonesRating: 9

Subterranean Jungle
This album was the first step downhill for Ramones. Eventhough it contains great popsongs such as "My My Kind of Girl", "Little bit o' Soul" (originally a #2 hit in 1967 for the Music Explosion), it is the no-compromise of "Psycho Therapy" that caracterize this album. "Outsider" became a classic and "Everytime I Eat Vegetables It Makes Me Think Of You" is probably the coolest songtitle ever. Marky Ramone was ill during this era and that is why he's sitting behind the window on the front cover. RamonesRating: 7

To Tough To Die
Many consider this a huge comeback and an awesome ramonesalbum. Sure, this album is meanier and harder than most of the other albums but those were not the qualities that made Ramones such a great band. On the contrary, "Too Tough to Die" is the first of three pretty weak albums. The Album has some songs that often is featured on different compilations such as "Wart Hog" and "Mama's Boy" (neither of them would make my Ramones top 50). It also features "Durango 95" which the band used as the opener of their shows. Ironically, this hard rocking album also contains what might be the Ramones' most commercial songs ever "Howling At The Moon (Sha-La-La)". Re-Recorded by Mcrackins. RamonesRating: 5

Animal Boy
This album was produced by Jean Beauvoir (ex. Plasmatics) who did a pretty good job and even co-wrote three songs. The Opener "Somebody put Something in my Drink", "LOve Kills" (about Sid and Nancy) and "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg)" (about Reagan visiting nazy graveyards) are great but the rest of the album is pretty weak. Ramonesrating: 5

Halfway to Sanity
The Lowpoint of Ramones' career. "I Wanna Live", "Bop 'til you drop" and "Weaselface" are the most fameous though none of them are that good compared to the standard set by Ramones. Even the popsongs, "Go Lil' Camaro Go" and "A Real cool time" are substandard. The Ballad "Bye Bye Baby" suffers from strange arrangments and production. Joey sings quite different on this album. He sounds pretty pissed off and considering the quality of the songs, I totally understand him. Only for Ramonesfans. RamonesRating: 3

Brain Drain
The Eighties wasn't showed Ramones little no mercy but in the nick of time (1989) the punkgods came back with a really good album. It benefited from the song "Pet Semetary" which was featured in the Stephen King movie with the same title. It became Ramones' biggest hit in a long time and put the punks back on the map. The Album also contains "I Believe in Miracles", "Zero Zero UFO" and the beautiful "Merry Christmas (I don't wanna fight tonight). "Brain Drain" was a step in the right direction and suddenly Ramones were cool again. This and the success of a new breed of punkbands (Nirvana etc) lead to a new era of the band, a new livealbum and re-releases of the original albums. RamonesRating: 6

Mondo Bizarro
Three years after "Brain Drain", Ramones returns with a more positive, upbeat and diverse album. C.J sings on a couple of songsand is a welcome addition especially live where Joey need some rest from the furious tempo. C.J is a good vocalist, but it's Joey's voice that IS Ramones. "Poison Heart" (written by Dee Dee who had to sell the song to the band to get out of jail) rotated on MTV and is one of the most beautiful songs the Ramones ever did. RamonesRating: 6

Acid Eaters
This is Ramones' tribute to the 60's. It contains a collection of covers songs from the 60's. Some picks are obvious such as Beach Boys' "Surfin' City" while others are quite surprising (Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love" and The Amboy Dukes' "Journey To The Center Of The Mind"). The Ramones were always great at giving other artists songs their own sound but "Acid Eaters" lacks the energy that made early ramonescovers, "Do you wanna Dance" and "let's Dance", magical. All in all it contains a couple of great songs while the rest is pretty disappointing. RamonesRating: 6

Adios Amigos
Ramones last studioalbum and they certainy left the building with style! "Adios Amigos" is their best album since the early eighties. Opener " I don't wanna Grow Up" (a Tom Waits cover) is excellent and sounds like it could've been on the first records in the seventies. The Album also contains the touching "Life's a Gas", an ode to wrestling "The Crusher", a song a bout an introvert little girl "She Talks to Rainbows", Johnny Thunders' "I Love You" and a cover of the theme to the cartoon "Spider-Man". RamonesRating: 7

Ramones are dead but the spirit lives on. If you're into Ramones, check out HUNTINGTONS, RETARDS, LILLINGTONS, CARBONA, QUEERS, SCREECHING WEASEL, RIVERDALES and BEATNIK TERMITES. 4, 3, 2, 1!