This will be my first ever album review done in this section of the forum, go easy on me. Released: May 4, 1980 Label: Sire Records Producer: Phil Spector Personnel: Joey Ramone - Lead vocal Johnny Ramone - Guitar Dee Dee Ramone - Bass guitar, backing vocals Marky Ramone - Drums Other 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.