Review Summary: This is a great CD. If you don't buy it, you should at least download every song on it. Because the Ramones are the best.
Well, it looks like we have yet another Ramones hit compilation. I've noticed that something very ironic has happened with these guys: people have begun to almost complain about the number of greatest hits collections that they have released in past years. Thats kind of funny, since the Ramones hardly sold anything during their 19 year career. But all the same, I definitely recomend this CD to everyone: from avid fans to curious new listeners alike. I've decided to write this review in a way which will (hopefully) please every reader by typing both an overall summary and a song-by-song review. So pick which you like, and read on.
This album kicks off with the one song that almost everyone has heard, and is simply titled "Blitzkrieg Bop". The unforgettable lines of "Hey, Ho, Lets Go!" have been used everywhere for almost everything, from beer commercials to kid's movies! I've always considered this song to be an invitation to every lonely kid, every degenerate, every punk band, to just get up and play. And I don't believe that this song will ever be forgotten or lost in time. The following three songs, which are "Beat On the Brat", "Judy Is A Punk", and "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend", like "Blitzkrieg Bop", are off of the first Ramones album, and I can never really get tired of these songs, especially "Judy Is A Punk". The next three songs are "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker", "Pinhead", and "Commando". "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker was one of the few Ramones songs that actually did fairly well on the charts, and for a good reason. Its extremely poppy, and has a very summer/beach feel to it. "Pinhead" is another great Ramones song, and considered by many to be their theme song. "Rockaway Beach", "We're A Happy Family", "Cretin Hop", and "Teenage Lobotomy" are up next. "Rockaway Beach" and "Cretin Hop" are pure and simple pop, while "We're A Happy Family" and "Teenage Lobotomy" showcase some of the Ramones-brand humor that fans come to love. After these songs, I consider the first half of the album to be over.
With the begining of the second half, the songs become a little more complex, but the album still hasn't slowed down. "I Wanna Be Sedated" is a wonderful song and will be in your head for DAYS. "I Just Want to Have Something to Do" is after that, and sports a much heavier guitar riff than the other songs before it. "Rock 'n' Roll Highschool" jumps in afterwards, and is (in my opinion) possibly the best song on the entire album. It has the same spirit as other songs like "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" and "Rockaway Beach", but it is played with a little more skill. It sounds very much like the Beach Boys, and I find this to be the Ramones at their best. The next two songs, "Baby I Love You" and "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" tend to be disliked by many Ramones fans, but I see nothing wrong with them. They are just extremely poppy, but are a bit lacking with the guitars. "The KKK Took My Baby Away" and "Outsider" are both taken from Ramones albums that were made to catch on with the mainstream ear, and these two songs are two of the toughest sounding off of those albums. Now is the point where I tend to get a little confused. "Pet Sematary" and "Warthog" are the final two songs, but they broke the pattern of songs being in chronological order. "Warthog" was actually recorded 4 whole years before "Pet Sematary", but yet it appears last. I also believe that "Pet Sematary" would make a better closing song, but thats just me. But this really isn't much of a problem.
As you can tell, I believe that there are a ton of reasons to go out and buy this album. It might be missing a few songs from the Ramones' later career, but everything on here is worthy of being on a greatest hits CD.
So ends the overall summary.
The following is a song-by-song review (in case you didn't realize that yet.).
1. Blitzkrieg Bop - Not really that bad of a song, but it really will get annoying after too many listens. The perfect call for action to all young and old punks everywhere. (3.5/5)
2. Beat On the Brat - Your typical early Ramones with simple music and simple lyrics. Doesn't get old as fast as "Blitzkrieg Bop", but it does get old eventually. (3.5/5)
3. Judy Is A Punk - This is a pretty short song, and the music is quite fast. It also "borrowed" a line from Herman and the Hermits, with the whole "second verse, same as the first thing". This also happens to be one of my personal favorites on the album. (5/5)
4. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend - This is a nice little love song from the Ramones. Its a bit slower than the last three songs, but still definitely not boring. (4.5/5)
5. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker - Fast-paced and poppy, with a very summer-ish feel to it. It has an extremely catchy chorus, and also happens to be one of the Ramones' best charting songs. (4.5/5)
6. Pinhead - Break-neck speed and very, well.... Ramones-y. Considered to be their theme song as well, even though it only has about five lines, if you include the "Gabba-gabba hey, Gabba-gabba hey!" chant. (5/5)
7. Commando - I don't really know what to say about this song. I like it, and like it a lot, but theres just not a lot to say. (4.5/5)
8. Rockaway Beach - Kicks off with the trademark "1-2-3-4!" and is the perfect song for summer (which is funny, because it was originally released as a single in the winter). Great none the less. (5/5)
9. We're A Happy Family - Easily shows off the kind of humor you'd begin to expect from the Ramones, with lines like "Daddy likes men" in it. (4/5)
10. Cretin Hop - A song written about the original Ramones fans, most of which could be found at the mecca of punk rock itself: CBGB's. Its a pretty good song, but can wear on your nerves after too many listens. (3.5/5)
11. Teenage Lobotomy - Another song filled with that unique Ramones humor, but other than that, its not all too shocking. But still pretty decent. (3.5/5)
12. I Wanna Be Sedated - A nice poppy tune, its been seeing much more exposure in recent years. Definitely one of my biggest picks off of this CD. (5/5)
13. I Just Want To Have Something To Do - I've really come to like this song. The one part I enjoy most about it is the heavier (compared to previous Ramones songs) guitar riff. (4/5)
14. Rock 'n' Roll Highschool - I. Love. This. Song. Everything about it seems perfect (in my opinion) and is probably my top pick for this entire album. And there is no way that this was not inspired by the Beach Boys. (5/5)
15. Baby, I Love You - This is a cover of the Ronettes 1964 hit. This song is generally hated by fans of the Ramones, but it did very well in Europe, so I guess that, techinacally, it should be on their greatest hits CD. I couldn't tell you why, but I really like it quite a bit. (4/5)
16. Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio? - Its really just a song showing off Joey's voice and the horns, the rest of the band is kind of left out. But still, I find it not that bad. (4/5)
17. The KKK Took My Baby Away - This song actually has a pretty interesting story behind it. Its not actually about the KKK, but rather the Ramones' own guitarist, Johnny. Joey wrote this tune because Johnny "stole" his girlfriend, and Joey simply refers to him as the KKK. The guitar sounds pretty good here, as well as the backing vocals. Another top pick for me. (5/5)
18. Outsider - A song about being the outcast, so it fits the Ramones and their fans perfectly. It even includes a little singing from Dee Dee (the bassist for those of you that might not know). (4/5)
19. Pet Sematary - The guitar work in this song is pretty complicated, especially for the Ramones. It was featured in the Stephen King movie by the same name, and I like it very much. (5/5)
20. Wart Hog - This is mostly sung by Dee Dee, who sounds very much different than Joey. Not my favorite song on the album, but its sounds pretty cool. (3.5/5)