is a fairly appropriate title for the Ramones' second full-length. Their first albu, Ramones
, established the signature punk sound, but Leave Home
improved on it. The production is slightly better, a smooth edge added to each of the songs. While this does a fuller sense of pop mentality to the songs, they hardly need it. Though the band wrote the material for the first two albums before either were recorded, the songs here are more melodic, with the pop sensibilities bubbling from almost every song. The Ramones even take their twisted, sometimes tasteless humor even farther on Leave Home
, but they somehow make it all sound as if they were singing about a happy meadow with bunnies, flowers, rays of sunshine, and lots and lots of candy. Ya get me?
The songs on here range from twisted, drugs, murder, and shock treaments, to hanging out at Coney Island, California, and babysitting. The topics, though fairly standard Ramones affair, always keep me interested. The simplicity of the lyrics make the songs even more charming. "Carbona Not Glue" was removed after the first set of copies, due to the fact that the band refer to sniffing to Carbona cleaning fluid, a potentially life-threatening substance, and "Babysitter" was included on the U.K. version; an ode to romance with a girl while she's babysitting, and is fairly reminiscent of 60s R&B ballads, while "Oh Oh I Love Her So" is a cheerful, upbeat song about hanging out at Coney Island and Burger King, once again proving their fascination with 50s and 60s rock and pop music. "Pinhead" is the rallying call of geeks, nerds, outcasts, and anybody who wants to be with the Ramones, with lines like "Gabba gabb, we accept you, we accept you, one of us". All of the songs here are absolutely wonderful; each would make a wonderful single. The album is quite varied, in lyrical content and in musical approach, despite claims that all Ramones songs sound alike, and it proves to be one of their best albums.
In addition to the full album, the 2001 Rhino reissue of Leave Home
contains a full concert of the band playing at the Roxy in Los Angeles, on August 12, 1976, opening for the Flamin' Groovies. All of the songs are from their first two albums, obviously. The sound quality, though not perfect, reflects the rawness of their live performance, buit it doesn't match the wall of sound later captured on albums like It's Alive
. The songs are performed at their regular speed, despite people claiming that they played 15 songs in 20 minutes, or something like that. The band didn't start to speed up the songs until around '78, so the songs here seem to lag a little bit compared to other live albums. It is a nice addition to the album, but it isn't exactly the best concert that I've ever heard from the Ramones.
If You're Feeling Sinister:
"Oh Oh I Lover Her So"
"Carbona Not Glue"