Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Ramones - Road to Ruin

The Ramones – Road To Ruin
Sire, 1978
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2007
Price: $6

It just wouldn't be a proper record collection without some Ramones. I always have my eyes peeled, and this was the first one I saw for a reasonable price. My interest was particularly piqued because I never really spent that much time with this one in my initial punk rock days. It's their fourth album and the only thing that has really changed is that the production is better and there's more of a variance in tempo. Opener “I Just Wanna Have Something to Do” is fucking EPIC, and I never thought I'd ever say that the Ramones were epic. It's like what pop music should sound like, you know? It's huge, but this hugeness is warranted because the melody is excellent. The question is this: Why the FUCK don't I own the first three Ramones records/What is my fucking problem? Not only would I listen to them, but they're something I want my kids to find someday.
“What's this daddy?”
“Oh, sit right back young lassie and I'll tell you a tale,” I'll say, a la the Love Garden promo on KJHK. It will be a glorious day. I mean, I won't be one of those asshole parents who dresses their kid up like a punk rocker, giving the little fellow a mohawk before he can even sing along to even the most rudimentary Ramones jams. But still, I secretly want them to be ingrained with great taste from an early age. I have this fantasy about my kids being music snobs, or at least one of them, and ME not understanding modern music and Animal Collective sounding “Safe” and Radiohead being like Phil Collins. Yet the Ramones will always be timeless, that's their schtick. Road To Ruin will always sound good, even if you're listening to it 100 years from now. One of the coolest things about this record is that it came out only two years after their self-titled debut and it's so different. Well, in the way that a Ramones record can be considered different from another since their other schtick is that they always sound like the Ramones. I mean, how punk rock is it to have Joey Ramone croon a Sonny Bono song over a girl group beat? It's fucking punk rock as hell! In a time where everything is kind of fucked, “I Wanna Be Sedated” resonates with me like it never has before. It feels way more apt for this than any of the TV shows or teen movies it gets dumped into. It's really weird how the Ramones are the touchstone for like, being “Edgy.” I mean that in the sense of television and fashion and movies. You know, like, some movie star wearing a Ramones shirt. Suddenly they're all edgy, and I think it's really stupid. Like, some Ramones shirt they ripped the sleeves off of to be even MORE edgy and I bet they couldn't even know a single song outside of “Blitzkrieg Bop” or “I Wanna be Sedated.” Somehow, these ugly dudes became fashion icons. Go figure.

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