There’s no mistaking a Ramones song. The funny thing is,
throughout their career, the band paid tribute to their roots and influences by
peppering their albums with versions of their favourites by other artists,
making them sound like Ramones songs too. To see what I mean, try listening to
this CD without lurching into ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, ‘Carbona Not Glue’ or ‘I Wanna
Be Your Boyfriend’.
Sequenced in the order in which the Ramones cut the
songs, this collection kicks off with Chris Montez’s original of ‘Let’s Dance’,
which the band revived on their debut album “Ramones” in1976.
instances, rather than be pedantic about original versions, some songs are
included in the renditions first heard by the Ramones. Hence ‘California Sun’,
featured on their second album “Leave Home”, is heard here by the Rivieras (not
Joe Jones); ‘Surfin’ Bird’ and ‘Do You Wanna Dance’, from1977’s “Rocket To
Russia”, are by the Trashmen and the Beach Boys (as opposed to the Rivingtons
and Bobby Freeman); and ‘Needles And Pins”, from their fourth LP “Road To Ruin”,
is by the Searchers (rather than Jackie DeShannon).
In1978 the guys
teamed up with the Paley Brothers for an update of Ritchie Valens’ ‘Come On,
Let’s Go’, a childhood favourite of Joey Ramone; the band’s1980 album “End Of
The Century”, produced by Joey’s hero Phil Spector, contained a revival the
Ronettes’ ‘Baby I Love You’; and in1982 Joey got together with Holly (of Holly
& the Italians) to cut a version of Sonny & Cher’s ‘I Got You Babe’.
‘Little Bit O’ Soul’, here by the Music Explosion, and ‘Time Has Come
Today’ by the Chambers Brothers were both revamped by the band on1983’s
“Subterranean Jungle”. The sessions also yielded a version of the1910 Fruitgum
Co’s ‘Indian Giver’, which sneaked out on the B-side of a12-inch single in1987.
In1993 the Ramones released “Acid Eaters”, an entire album of cover
versions, represented on this CD by Jan & Dean’s ‘Surf City’, the Troggs’ ‘I
Can’t Control Myself’, the Byrds’ ‘My Back Pages’, the Seeds’ ‘Can’t Seem To
Make You Mine’, Max Frost & the Troopers’ ‘Shape Of Things To Come’, the
Amboy Dukes’ ‘Journey To The Center Of The Mind’, Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Somebody
To Love’ and Love’s ‘7 And 7 Is’. TheJapanandBrazileditions of the album also
contained the band’s version of the Beach Boys’ ‘Surfin’ Safari’.
Amigos”, the Ramones’ farewell album of1995, included their version of Tom
Waits’ ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’. Waits repaid the compliment by contributing a
cover of the band’s ‘The Return Of Jackie And Judy’ for the Ramones tribute
album “We’re A Happy Family”. It’s not every day that one band records a tribute
to another, but Motorhead did just that with ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S.’ on their1991album
“1916”. In return, the Ramones’ own version of the song was included on
theJapanedition of “Adios Amigos”.
The set concludes with the Stooges’
‘1969’ and, poignantly, Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’, as covered
on Joey’s solo album “Don’t Worry About Me”, released in 2002, by which time he,
Johnny and Dee Dee were dead. The Ramones were no more. See,
(tekst: ace records)