Saturday, 6 May 2017

"Anthology: Hey Ho Let's Go!" by THE RAMONES (July 1999 Rhino USA 2CD Reissue (May 2001 in Europe) – Bill Inglot Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...


"…All Revved Up And Ready To Go…"

Few bands engender such rabid affection as The Ramones - comic books, badges, posters, tee-shirts, name-checked by every luminary band from the Eighties to the Present Day, inducted into the Rock `n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. And all of it achieved with a three-chord trick and a R'n'R attitude - party till you drop and then get back up and do it all over again in another city (over 2000 gigs). New York's finest punks sure cast a long shadow. And this double-CD peach is a fabulous celebration of those pudding-bowl hair dos, ripped jeans and two-minute wonders. Gabba Gabba Hey indeed. Here are the sedated details...

Originally released July 1999 by Rhino in the USA as "Anthology: Hey Ho Let's Go!" - "Anthology" by THE RAMONES was reissued in Europe in May 2001 on Warner Brothers 8122-73557-2 (Barcode 081227355722) and its 2CDs break down as follows:

Disc 1 (77:12 minutes):
1. Blitzkrieg Bop
2. Beat On The Brat
3. Judy Is A Punk
4. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
5. 53rd & 3rd
6. Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue (tracks 1 to 6 are from their debut album "Ramones" released June 1976 in the USA on Sire SR 7520 and July 1976 in the UK on Sire 9103 253)
7. Glad To See You Go
8. Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
9. I Remember You
10. California Sun
11. Commando
12. Swallow My Pride
13. Carbona Not Glue
14. Pinhead (tracks 7 to 14 are from their 2nd album "Leave Home" released February 1977 in the USA on Sire SA 7528 and March 1977 in the UK on Sire 9103 254)
15. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
16. Cretin Hop
17. Rockaway Beach
18. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
19. Teenage Lobotomy
20. Surfin' Bird
21. I Don't Care (tracks 15 to 21 are from their 3rd album "Rocket To Russia" released November 1977 in the USA on Sire SR 6042 and December 1977 in the UK on Sire 9103 255)
22. I Just Want To Have Something To Do
23. I Wanna Be Sedated
24. Don't Come Close
25. She's The One
26. Needles And Pins (tracks 22 to 26 are from their 4th album "Road To Ruin" released October 1978 in the USA and UK on Sire SRK 6063)
27. Rock 'n' Roll High School
28. I Want You Around (tracks 27 and 28 are from the Various Artists Soundtrack LP "Rock 'n' Roll High School" released April 1979 in the USA on Sire SRK 6070)
29. Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?
30. Chinese Rock
31. Danny Says
32. Baby I Love You (tracks 29 to 32 are from their 4th studio album "End Of The Century" released February 1980 in the USA and UK on Sire SRK 6077)

Disc 2 (77:20 minutes):
1. The KKK Took My Baby Away
2. She's A Sensation
3. It's Not My Place (In The 9 To 5 World)
4. We Want The Airwaves (tracks 1 to 4 are from their 5th studio album "Pleasant Dreams" released July 1981 in the USA and UK on Sire SRK 3571)
5. Psycho Therapy (is on their 6th album "Subterranean Jungle" released February 1983 in the USA on Sire 1-23800 and May 1983 in the UK/Europe on Sire 92 3800-1)
6. Howlin' At The Moon (Sha-La-La)
7. Mama's Boy
8. Daytime Dilemma (Dangers Of Love)
9. I'm Not Afraid Of Life
10. Too Tough To Die
11. Endless Vacation (tracks 6 to 11 are from the album "Too Tough To Die" released October 1984 in the USA on Sire 1-25187 and July 1985 in the UK on Beggars Banquet BEGA 59)
12. My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitberg)
13. Somebody Put Something In My Drink
14. Something To Believe In
15. I Don't Want To Live This Life (Anymore) (tracks 12 to 15 are from the album "Animal Boy" released May 1986 in the USA on Sire 25433-1 and in the UK (May 1986) on Beggars Banquet BEGA 70)
16. I Wanna Live
17. Garden Of Serenity (tracks 16 and 17 are from the album "Halfway To Sanity" released September 1987 in the USA on Sire 1-25641 and September 1987 in the UK on Beggars Banquet BEGA 89)
18. Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)
19. Pet Sematary
20. I Believe In Miracles (tracks 18 to 20 are from the CD album "Brain Drain" released June 1989 in the USA on Sire 9 25905-2 and August 1989 in the UK (on LP and CD) on Chrysalis CHR 1725)
21. Tomorrow She Goes Away
22. Poison Heart (tracks 21 and 22 are from the album "Mondo Bizarro" released September 1992 in the USA on Radioactive RARD-10615 and Chrysalis CHR 1960 in the UK)
23. I Don't Wanna Grow Up
24. She Talks To Rainbows
25. R.A.M.O.N.E.S. (tracks 23 to 25 are from the album "Adios Amigos" released July 1995 in the USA on Radioactive RAR 11273 and Chrysalis CHR 6104 in the UK)

Original issues had a card wrap and a huge 80-page booklet - reissues forgo that for a 2CD jewel case with a 16-page booklet featuring live pictures of the boys in Ramones uniform, snaps of them in London (with members of The Clash) and reissue credits. The remasters by long-time Rhino Engineer BILL INGLOT are fantastic - punching like a mother - and my God is there a lot of them.

As account-openers go - "Blitzkrieg Bop" is the kind of 7" single brilliance that hammers a nail in your head (like Punk itself - its just so bleeding visceral). Even now it's simplicity and power remains undiminished - ranking alongside similar feats by The Sex Pistols, The Undertones and The Clash. In fact the entire debut album has that same freshness and has lasted for decades for precisely that reason. I can remember having to reach for the reissue vinyl copies of 1976's "Ramones" on a daily basis in Reckless Records - and along with that other massively influential debut album "The Velvet Underground And Nico" -"Ramones" was easily our biggest selling most-in-demand reissue LP.

"Leave Home" showed that none of that initial energy splurge had dissipated by album No. 2 - if anything belters like "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment" and "Swallow My Pride" felt like they'd become America's answer to The Clash - progressing musically while still firing on all sixes. As much as I appreciate "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" - remaster or not - it stills sounds like it was recorded in a bucket with winter mufflers on. Better is the two-minute riffage of "Cretin Hop" and "Teenage Lobotomy" - the kind of rockers that engender hero worship. And although it's probably not cool to say it - but "Road To Ruin" tunes like "I Wanna Be Sedated" and "Don't Come Close" showed the songs were still sticking to the original values of simplicity - but they were getting better and better (commercial even). I know some love it (and it was a No. 8 chart hit) - but I can live without their mock Spector take on "Baby I Love You". Give me the loveable "She's The One" any day of the week - great little rocker and a lever choice for inclusion.

"To get a good job you need a proper schooling..." and "we want the world and we want it now..." and "psycho therapy is what they want to give me..." - the band riled on the "Pleasant Dreams" album - at war with themselves and establishment. And although the later albums aren't rated as much - I still dig the hard edge in "Too Tough To Die" and the fantastic combination of sheer melodic punch and truthful lyrics in "Poison Heart" where Joey moans "I just wanna walk right out of this world..." - and later his long battle with lymphoma saw that wish come sadly true (he wasn't even 50).

The original four band members - John Cummings, Jeffery Hyman, Douglas Colvin and Thomas Erdelyi with the collective pseudonyms of Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone - are all gone now (Erdelyi only died in July 2014).

Will we ever see or hear their like again? I doubt it - circumstances have changed too much for another Ramones. What a shame. But "Anthology" is an abundant way to check out what the fuss was all about then - and why they’ve endured and are beloved by so many old and new... 

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