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End of the Century (Deluxe Edition)

Ramones

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Album Review

Road to Ruin found the Ramones stretching their signature sound to its limits; even though there were several fine moments, nearly all of them arrived when the group broke free from the suddenly restrictive loud-fast-hard formula of their first records. Considering that the Ramones did desire mainstream success and that they had a deep love for early-'60s pop/rock, it's not surprising that they decided to shake loose the constrictions of their style by making an unabashed pop album, yet it was odd that Phil Spector produced End of the Century, because his painstaking working methods seemingly clashed with the Ramones' instinctual approach. However, the Ramones were always more clever than they appeared, so the matching actually worked better than it could have. Spector's detailed production helped bring "Rock 'n' Roll High School" and "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" to life, yet it also kept some of the punkier numbers in check. Even so, End of the Century is more enjoyable than its predecessor, since the record has stronger material, and in retrospect, it's one of their better records of the '80s. [The 2002 reissue adds six songs to the original track listing: a different take of "I Want You Around" and demos of "Danny Says," "I'm Affected," "Please Don't Leave," "All the Way," and "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?"]

Biography

Formed: 1974 in Queens, New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

The Ramones are the first punk rock band. Other bands, such as the Stooges and the New York Dolls, came before them and set the stage and aesthetic for punk, and bands that immediately followed, such as the Sex Pistols, made the latent violence of the music more explicit, but the Ramones crystallized the musical ideals of the genre. By cutting rock & roll down to its bare essentials — four chords; a simple, catchy melody; and irresistibly inane lyrics — and speeding up the tempo considerably,...
Full bio

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