Ramones
Road to Ruin


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chewbacca USER (32 Reviews)
August 14th, 2005 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist


If you look back and think, 1978 really was the death of punk. The Sex Pistols imploded, the Clash recorded an album with a Blue Oyster Cult producer, Blondie was playing dicsco, and the Ramones "were playing country songs, for God's sake!" At least, all of this was the common punk's thoughts on what was going on around them. Road to Ruin shows signs of maturity and stylistic changes, as the band strives to be commercially succesful in a world that turned against punk, until the 90s. The album even contains some solos.How about them apples? Tommy Elderlyi and Ed Stasium produce, giving Road to Ruin a large, anthemic-type sound that sounds commercial, but still gives the songs an edge. In place of Tommy, who left the Ramones in early 1978 to become a full-time producer, is Mark Bell, otherwise known as Marky Ramone. His drumming is fairly similar to Tommy's, though it is a bit varied and more interesting.

As I stated earlier, Road to Ruin signifies several changes in the band's sound and approach to songs. Along with the crisp, beefy production, there are plenty of acoustic ballads, showing a new, refreshing side to a band usually thought of as a one-trick pony. Songs like "Don't Come Close" and the Searchers cover "Needles and Pins" don't strive too far from the bands original bubblegum approach, with shimmering acoustic guitars. "Needles and Pins" in particular, is a heart-wrenching, melodramatic love song, and quite possibly one of Joey's best performances. "Questioningly" is the most controversial song here, with an obvious country and western feel to the song (and even references to whiskey). The song is one of the best here, with Joey pouring his heart out over the acoustic backdrop, and brief, melodic guitar solos.

The rest of the album, though, is the same old song and dance. Johnny's guitar sound is beefend, churning out fiery power-chord after fiery power-chord. "I Just Want to Have Something to Do" is another ode to teenage boredom, one of the trademark topics of the band. "I Wanna Be Sedated" is the closest thing to a hit that the band has ever had, easily recognizeable, with chugging guitars and Joey singing about the boredom of touring, and yet making it sound so joyous at the same time. That's the genius of the Ramones. "She's the One" bops along at a frantic pace, providing another bubblegum-punk barn burner, while "It's A Long Way Back" is a sad, depressing ending to the album, with descending chord progressions, and a melodic guitar lead midway through. Other than that, well, the sogns aren't that good. Songs like "I'm Against It" and "Bad Brain" are dreadfully boring and stupid, as is the case with "Go Mental," probably the worst song on the album. These uninspired loads of crap hold the album down from being truly great, and it's upsetting to see these on the same album as the others. For shame.

So, what else can I say about Road to Ruin? As I have stated earlier, the album shows that the band was struggling for commercial success, and they still failed. They went on to produce great albums, contrary to popular belief, which stemmed from the commercial appeal of this album. From here, the Ramones went on to produce End of the Century, voted one of the best album of 1980 by Rolling Stone, and was produced by the legendary Phil Spector. Though many people think of Road to Ruin as a sellout, and the beggining of the end for the Ramones, I think of it as a bridge to somewhere even greater. It's sad to think that that bridge collapsed so quickly, though.

If You're Feeling Sinister:
"I Just Want to Have Something to Do"
"Don't Come Close"
"Needles & Pins"
"I Wanna Be Sedated"
"It's a Long Way Back"



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Senor_Whippy
August 14th 2005


367 Comments


Good little review i've always liked a bit of Ramones i think it's about time i bought one of their record and see what all the fuss was about.

danje
August 14th 2005


44 Comments


got this album don't listen to it though, I Listen to the Anthology instead.
All in all Rocket to Russia is by far there best album

Rudd13
August 14th 2005


952 Comments


Nice review, but this album sucks :thumb:

Desensitized
August 14th 2005


136 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this album. My second fave Ramones album behind Too Tough To Die.

SyphonAss
December 20th 2005


141 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

not there best cd but still a good one nice review

MyRamona
March 27th 2006


1090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

definately one of their best records, but not as up to scratch as the first three.

Sonicpop
August 11th 2006


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I Just Want To Have Something To Do" is one of my all time favourite Ramones songs.

ReturnToRock
July 25th 2008


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

meh...

"needles and pins", "sedated", "she's the one" and "bad brain" are ok. the rest is boring.



shindip
June 7th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My favourite ramones album

Weed
August 18th 2011


161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wanz be sedated

blackparade
February 29th 2012


133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

____ 4 ____

someguest
August 10th 2013


21205 Comments


"I Just Wanna Have Something To Do" is my favorite Ramones track. Absolutely perfect chord progression.

NeroCorleone80
June 3rd 2014


29910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not as good as the first 3

BigPleb
July 14th 2014


37579 Comments


20 20 20 4 hours to goooooo

I wanna be sedaaateeeeed

NeroCorleone80
July 14th 2014


29910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bad Bad Brain

danielcardoso
September 8th 2014


2567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album. I Just Want To Have Something To Do, Don't Come Close, I Don't Want You and I Wanna Be Sedated are some of my all time favorite Ramones tracks.

NeroCorleone80
September 8th 2014


29910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great, but a step down from the classic that is Rocket to Russia

danielcardoso
September 8th 2014


2567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, but still very good.



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