For over 20 years they toured non stop. They released album after album of perfect pop music and bridged the gap from the early days of rock and roll through the punk wars, through the dreadful eighties and into the grunge era without losing sight of their perfect vision. A mix of B- Movie image, boundless enthusiasm for the art of rock and roll and strict rules on self indulgence in music spoiling the experience.
Famously the band sold more T-Shirts than records while they were alive. I should imagine that gap has only increased further since the final show (brilliantly captured on the live album We’re Outta Here) in 1996. Do yourself a favour. Buy Ramones records instead of their apparel. It’s all so damned good.
To pick a single Ramones song for this site is impossible so I’ll start by telling you this is them at their best because it’s politically astute, catchy and spiky of sound. Later I’ll tell you it’s Locket Love from Rocket To Russia, then it’ll be Touring from Mondo Bizarro, then The KKK Took My Baby Away from Pleasant Dreams.
But for now. Today, it’s My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg) from Animal Boy. It has big poppy production values with echoy Nananana’s in the background, a chiming keyboard refrain and a characteristically brilliant power chord guitar solo. It’s about life on the road, excess and politics all at once.