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Ramones Mania was the first compilation ablum released by 70s and 80s punk rock band 'The Ramones'. It was recorded in the eleven year period between 1976 and 1987, being released in 1988. It is a 'best of' or 'greatest hits' type album, one of which I'm very fond of.
The album itself contains a staggering 30 tracks, but this isn't surprising given that most songs by the Ramones are between 2 and 3 minutes long. Lasting just over 1 hour 15 minutes, it could be said it's value for money. My favourite tracks off the album are 'Bonzo Goes to Bitburg', 'Needles and Pins' and 'I Wanna Be Sedated', among with the more well known tracks 'Blitzkrieg Bop' and 'Sheena Is a Punk Rocker'.
I personally find the sound of the Ramones unique, finding their songs upbeat, energetic and fun to have on whenever, wherever. Some may argue their material all sounds the same, but then again doesn't most music by the same artist? Despite a majority of their songs being short, maybe missing certain elements sometimes e.g. solos, I find this a plus and minus point, given that sometimes songs do go on a bit, but I don't find any of these tracks too short, and would find it difficult to find a track to long!
To date I find this the best Ramones compilation available, beating the likes of 'Greatest Hits' and 'All the Stuff' (both Volumes) mainly because of it's variety and content.
It's one of the greatest compilations that I own, and it's a shame that the Ramones are no more, and most probably will never be again.
While it would be nice to talk about the history of The Ramones and how much of an impact they had on the music scene in the 1970s I, alas, was not alive to witness it and as such will skip straight on too the album itself and besides if you really need to more about The Ramones Im pretty sure youll get your fill on wikipedia or such.
From the start the one thing you notice about the album is the sheer intensity of it all. Dee Dee with thundering bass line after bass line, Johnnys energetic guitar play, the always uniquely infectious lyrics of Joey, only Tommy on drums seems to be in control with some nice steady drum beats. While they may never have been the greatest musicians that ever lived, they possessed something that few musician then or now have, a desire to make good music just for the sake of it.
The original release of the album feature the following songs;
Blitzkrieg Bop (2:14)
Starts off with a fast and powerful bass line that blow you away, then Joey cries out the immortal words, Hey Ho, Lets Go. The greatest intro I have ever heard. 2 years since I first heard it and I still cant resist tapping along to it when it comes on.
Beat on the Brat (2:32)
Beat on the Brat with a baseball bat! Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah, Oho now lets be honest they dont make lines like that anymore. Quite a funny song about snotty kids, another song I just have to dance to whenever I hear it.
Judy is a Punk (1:32)
A song of two of their fans, Jackie and Judy and one of the greatest songs of their career.
Fast paced, energetic and a good steady drum beat, everything The Ramones became famous for was evident even this early in their career.
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (2:24)
A bit of a flower power, 60s throwback. Slower and quieter than all other songs on the album but there is still an underlying Ramones feeling to it. A great tribute to Joeys 50s vocal group inspirations.
Chain Saw (1:56)
One of the few songs that you shouldnt look into the lyrics, it starts off with the sound of a chainsaw going before breaking into a nice 1:30 of god wholesome punk/pop.
Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue (1:36)
Now I wanna sniff some glue,
Now I want something to do,
All them Kids wanna sniff some glue,
all them kids want something to do!
It doesnt matter that theres only 4 lines of lyric, it doesnt matter that theres no chance in background music all that matter is that you want to be entertained and thats all The Ramones want to do. No where else is there passion for music as evident as it is here.
I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement (2:40)
Not really a big fan of this track. Its a tribute to cheap, tacky horror movies, much like chainsaw. The lyrics are pretty basic and the beat seems to be a slightly slowed down version of that evident on the previous song.
A bit of a pattern developing here as it is another song quite similar to Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue, it would appear that they really like this tune and wanna, sorry wanted to get their moneys worth out of it. Once again four lines of lyrics, however this time there seems to be a lack of passion behind it.
Havana Affair (1:57)
PT-boat on the way to Havana
I used to make a living, man
Pickin' the banana.
Now I'm a guide for the CIA
Hooray for the USA!
Great tune and some hilarious lyrics, not a very fast song and at the end you really do wish it lasted more that its 1:57 running time.
Listen to my Heart (1:58)
A mediocre song saved from obscurity by Joeys great vocal work on it.
53rd and 3rd (2:21)
A song about where people would turn a trick to get money for drugs. A decent chord and a steady drum beat, Ive never understood why this song is so highly waited, its by no means a bad song, its just that theres so much better elsewhere on the album.
Let's Dance (1:52)
Now this is what The Ramones were all about, A wonderful cover which they really make their own. Once again showing their 50s inspiration. They even manage to work an organ into it. One of the few covers I prefer to the original.
I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You (1:43)
A good chord and beat which is more rock than any other on the album, and also the song to feature backing vocals. Decent but quickly forgotten.
Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World (2:17)
Begins decently, before descending into 30 seconds of Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World chanting. Okay but nothing special.
Well thats the original tracklist from the 1976 release, however the Remastered disc also features the following.
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (Demo) (3:02)
Slower and nicer than the released version, I can only assume it was altered to make it sound more Ramone-like.
Judy is a Punk (Demo) (1:36)
Quieter than the original, but identical in all other respects.
I Dont Care (Demo) (1:55)
Slower than the released version, which appeared on Rocket To Russia.
I Cant Be (Demo) (1:56)
Cant find this only any of the other albums I own to compare it. However it has a good chord and drum beat, with simple but well sung lyrics, your standard Ramones affair.
Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue (Demo) (1:42)
Once again slower than the final version, however this has a really good interlude in the middle that was for some reason left out in the end.
I Don't Wanna Be Learned / I Don't Wanna Be Tamed (Demo) (1:05)
Another song I cant find anywhere else, coincidentally sounds quite similar in style to Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue, but I guess when you only have 4 lines of lyrics it must be quite limiting.
You Should Never Have Opened That Door (Demo) (1:54)
The released version appeared on Leave Home and it is a much superior version than this one. Starts off with a couple of pauses that really put it out of sort early on, probably why they never tried it again. Also played slower than the final version, and it just doesnt work for this song.
Blitzkrieg Bop (Single Version) (2:12)
Identical to the album version except that they have upped the bass output, definetly sounds more aggressive and edgy, and works out quite well for them.
A great debut that showed the potential that The Ramones would soon realize, if your going to get any Ramones album get this one while I might not have been their best technically, the raw passion and intensity of it is enough to get you dancing in no time. Especially with FOPP currently selling all the Ramones remastered CDs for £5.
The Ramones were to Punk what Birds is to instant custard. Quite a high Accolade eh? With the passing away of Joey Ramone a few months ago came the end of the 25 year Ramones story. But while there is tones I could write about the ramones and the influence of them it is of no consiquence to this Opinion - an opinion on the 2 CD Anthology that came out last year. THE GENERAL INFO The Anthology has 32 songs on CD1 and 25 on CD 2. If you like rock/pop /newwave /rock n roll or punk you will like this. It covers the full Recording history of the Ramones, all the top hits and memorable tracks. What is good is how the Sleave notes give us the album and session info for each track - for example :- 'Cretin Hop' from Rocket to Russia, Produced by Tony Bongiovi & T. Erdelyi with the Enginneer Ed Stasium. We also have a nice touch in the addition of miniatures of the Album covers within the CD Case too - so we can see what the cover to 'Pleasant Dreams' or 'Mondo Bizarro' looked like. There are some nice photos within the booklet for those who are interested in seeing the visual might of the scrawny denim dervishes (You weirdo's). THE MUSIC Of the two CD's Number one is the 100% Hit, whilst to me CD two is not as good by a long shot. If the Anthology was only CD 1 it would still be more than worth it. When you listen to this album you cant help but see echoes in the work by more recent bands. Here is an example - Listen to 'Pinhead' song 14. Now listen to er.. either 'We're not supposed' to or 'strange ones' (Long time no hear!) from Supergrass'es 'I Should Coco'. THe fade out from Pin head seems to be used as insperation. Its Sheer Bliss. Of the first CD I would say only 4 tracks are not Classics. On the second Cd however I find it easy to be picky - 'Ther KKK took my baby away', 'We want the airwa
ves' and 'somebody put something in my drink' are my prefered tracks I feel the rest is a bit, well 80's US rock really. But You may like them as well. TO CONCLUDE Buy it, you will like it. Or get it from your local Libarary... Blitzkreig Bop, I wanna be your Boyfriend, 53rd and 3rd, Now I wanna Sniff Some Glue, Gimmie Gimmie shock treatment, I remember you, California Sun, Swallow my Pride, Pinhead, Here today, gone tomorrow, Surfin Bird, I Dont care, I wanna be sedated, Needles and pins, I want you around and Baby I love you, are as small a top track selection I can make. How can you not like this if you have ears? Even if you dont have ears you want it for the song titles. THere is not a single mumbling psuedo-angst diatribe in the whole Anthology. ITS BLISS.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I Wanna Be Sedated
2 Teenage Lobotomy
3 Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio
4 Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
5 Beat On The Brat
6 Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
7 I Wanna Live
9 Blitzkrieg Bop
10 Cretin Hop
11 Rockaway Beach
13 I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
14 Mama's Boy
15 Bop 'til You Drop
16 We're A Happy Family
17 Bonzo Goes To Bitburg
20 Wart Hog
21 Animal Boy
22 Needles And Pins
23 Howling At The Moon (Sha La La)
24 Somebody Put Something In My Drink
25 We Want The Airwaves
26 Chinese Rock
27 I Just Want To Have Something To Do
28 KKK Took My Baby Away
29 Indian Giver
30 Rock 'n' Roll High School