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Ramones: Road to Ruin

Album Reviews:

Q (8/01, pp.156-7) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Amongst their best work....A consistently satisfying record....the album's hooks are irresistible..."

NME (Magazine) (6/23/01, p.41) - 10 out of 10 - "...The most toweringly aggressive, misleadingly primitive, perfectly phrased musical statement ever made....The demos and alternate versions included demonstrate how finely honed every gangly gesture was from the very beginning..."

Album Notes

The Ramones: Joey Ramone (vocals); Johnny Ramone (guitar); Dee Dee Ramone (bass, background vocals); Marky Ramone (drums).

Producers: T. Erdelyi, Ed Stasium.

Reissue producers: Bill Inglot, Gary Stewart.

Engineers: T. Erdelyi, Ed Stasium.

Principally recorded at Media Sound, New York, New York. Includes liner notes by Legs McNeil and Arturo Vega.

Digitally remastered by Dan Hersch and Bill Inglot (Digiprep Studios).

The last installment of the Ramones' breathtaking run of four albums in two years, the underrated ROAD TO RUIN shows that the group's follow-up, the Phil Spector-produced END OF THE CENTURY, was not as huge a change of direction as it's often made out to be. Compared to the fairly primitive RAMONES and LEAVE HOME, ROCKET TO RUSSIA had sounded almost slick, and ROAD TO RUIN goes it one better. Tom Erdelyi remains as co-producer, but his new partner Ed Stasium reveals a gift for balancing hard-candy gloss, bubble-gum hooks and noisy punk passion; similarly, Erdelyi's replacement on the drums, former glam-rocker Marc Bell, adds both power and finesse.

The high points--particularly the uncharacteristically emotional love song "Questioningly" and the immortal rocker "I Wanna Be Sedated"--are excellent, and ROAD TO RUIN is a fitting conclusion to the Ramones' first and best era. The bonus tracks on the 2001 Rhino reissue include two early, Stasium-produced versions of "I Want You Around" and "Rock and Roll High School," along with the raucous 11-minute live medley that's the climax of the film of the same name, and a pair of previously unreleased demos.


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