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Ramones - End of the Century (1980)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by Canadian Air Force, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Canadian Air Force

    Canadian Air Force Senior Member

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    Apr 12, 2010
    This will be my first ever album review done in this section of the forum, go easy on me. :D

    Released: May 4, 1980
    Label: Sire Records
    Producer: Phil Spector

    Joey Ramone - Lead vocal
    Johnny Ramone - Guitar
    Dee Dee Ramone - Bass guitar, backing vocals
    Marky Ramone - Drums

    Steve Douglas - Sax
    Barry Goldberg - Piano, Organ
    Jim Keltner - Drums

    Iron Maiden was my #1 favorite band for awhile but late last year, the Ramones claimed the top spot. Watching the documentary End of the Century gave me a new found respect for the band. Joey Ramone is a hero in my eyes, he wasn't the best looking front-man and he had a shy personality, but that didn't stop the man from becoming one of the main faces of punk rock in the late 70's and onward. That's rock and roll in a nutshell right there.

    The Ramones released 4 classic albums from 1976-78. S/t, Leave Home, Rocket to Russia and Road to Ruin, a hell of a run if you ask me. 1980 would be a major turning point for the band. They attracted the talents of producer Phil Spector, a man who pioneered the "wall of sound" technique in the 60's. The story behind the making of the album was crazy. Spector's style of production frustrated most of the band. Spector would make Johnny play certain notes over and over again and according to Dee Dee, Spector held the band at gunpoint during production. Most of these claims were made by Dee Dee Ramone. But enough back story.

    The Tunes
    1. Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio? – 3:50
    2. I'm Affected – 2:51
    3. Danny Says – 3:06
    4. Chinese Rock (Dee Dee Ramone, Richard Hell) – 2:28
    5. The Return of Jackie and Judy – 3:12
    6. Let's Go – 2:31
    7. Baby, I Love You (Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich) – 3:47
    8. I Can't Make It on Time – 2:32
    9. This Ain't Havana – 2:18
    10. Rock 'n' Roll High School – 2:38
    11. All the Way – 2:29
    12. High Risk Insurance – 2:08

    -Bolded tracks are my favorites from the album, red means the song was a "dud"

    -Chinese Rock appeared on the The Heartbreakers album L.A.M.F. as "Chinese Rocks" in 1977, the Ramones version of the song is quite similar, but a bit faster

    Commercially, the album was one of their most successful at the time reaching 44 on Billboard 200, but some fans dismissed the album for its more poppy sound and production. The songs are longer and the production was a lot more slick then their previous albums, but it wasn't like pop was a new venture for the punk group, their previous albums were full of upbeat pop songs, that was their charm. There's still plenty of classic Ramones tunes on this album like the opening track Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio? and Rock 'n' Roll High School, and Danny Says, a nice ballad written by Joey. There's one song I despise on this album and that was Baby, I Love You, Joey's vocals are good but the backing music is too polished and cheesy, it sticks out like a sore thumb on this album imo.

    Overall, not as strong as their big four albums from the 70's, but it was a good outing from the bruthas. The band would also try their hand again with pop sounding albums like the Graham Gouldman (10cc) produced Pleasant Dreams (1981), and Jean Beauvoir produced Animal Boy (1986).

    End of the Century scores 3.5 stars. An album that had a lot of potential to be something great, but came up short. Still pretty good though. My favorite Ramones albums came from the 70's, but some of my favorite tracks came out of the 80's albums.

  2. rtbuck

    rtbuck Senior Member

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    Oct 5, 2009
    I live in Buffalo, NY
    Great Review & a Great album!! I definitely agree w/ your bold selections (I don't really mind their version of "Baby, I Love You"). That was agreat time for the Ramones as they were still riding high from the 'Rock & Roll High School' movie. I prefer Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers version of "Chinese Rocks" but still love the Ramones version.I guess we'll never know who really wrote that one as songwriting credits vary on different albums whether it was Dee Dee, Richard Hell, or Johnny Thunders or all three.

    I remember seeing the Ramones in 1991 shortly after the death of Johnny Thunders. I didn't really Pogo(slam Dance) much mainly because I was 6'4" 250lbs but I said to my friends "When they play "Chinese Rocks" we're going in as our tribute to Thunders!". Sure enough they played it & in we went & we had a riot until the lighting rig from the top of the stage fell!

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

    Likes Received:
    Nov 28, 2009
    :eek: The lighting rig fell????


    I also don't mind Baby, I Love You....I find the whole record to be rockin' and charming at the same time. The stories are wild ones at that as far as the band and Spector is concerned. :heheh:

    Rock And Roll High School (The Movie) always comes into mind when I think of this record too. Or one inspires the other, whatever one I decide to watch or listen to.

    Good write up!!! :grinthumb

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