Reason #347 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: End Of The Century
This one gets a bad rap, and to me it’s undeserved. It’s not a ‘punk album’, but come on, the Ramones were never really “punk” in the first place. Johnny was a card carrying Republican and Joey wanted to be Diana Ross! No, it’s not fantastic, either; it’s not up to par with the fabulous first four Ramones records. But now that we’re a full 34 years away from the original release date and the original savaging it received, I have to say it holds up as one of the better Ramones albums, definitely better than anything released after it.
(Over)produced by Phil Spector, opener Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio? is definitely a top 5 Ramones song and one hell of a way for our boys in blue jeans to kick off the decade. It’s a nostalgic ode to, well, Ye Olde Time Rock And Roll Radio, and is followed by the blistering Chinese Rock, Let’s Go, This Ain’t Havana and, of course, Rock and Roll High School.
I mean, what else can I say, it’s a Ramones record, fer cryin’ out loud! Fast guitars, a couple of slower numbers, and immaculately produced by that crazy old white guy with the afro who plays with guns.
Now that all four original Ramones have gone it’s time to reassess this album. Enjoy it for what is is, what it always was, and that is one damn fine rock and roll album. Nothing more, or less.