Ramones
It's Alive


3.5
great

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
September 27th, 2005 | 19 replies | 6,960 views


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist


2 of 3 thought this review was well written

The sound of a crowd cheering. An open-chord strum on an electric guitar. Somebody says «good evening, we’re The Ramones, and this one’s called Rockaway Beach!» Another someone immediately goes «1, 2, 3, 4!» and the song starts. Thus gets underway one of the most famous live albums of all time, The Ramones’ It’s Alive!. I once saw an article describing this album as the only defining, career-changing live album ever released. While this statement is more than a little inflated, the importance of this record remains untouched.

It’s Alive! captures The Ramones at the peak of their form. Tommy Ramone was still on board, Rocket To Russia was selling like hotcakes, and the band had managed to make it big overseas. No wonder, therefore, that the band should decide to record this live album in London, England, on New Year’s Day 1978. They perform a lightning-fast set of 28 songs in under an hour, in front of an enthusiastic crowd. The time/number of songs ratio may seem incredible, but we must not forget that The Ramones belted out two or three songs in the time it took other bands to play one! In fact, the vast majority of these songs are under three minutes long, and (much in the punk spirit) take only as long as they need to.

However, being so d*mn fast can be a double-edged blade. On the one hand, the band nearly bring the house down with their ripping, tearing performance; on the other, some of the less interesting songs are drowned in the mass of repetitive riffing. This happens, for example, with Now I Wanna Be A Good Boy or Suzy Is A Headbanger (with the latter sounding much better on the Leave Home album than it does here). Upon further hearings of the album, one will instinctively start to skip these tracks, urging to get to the highlights.

And what highlights! Rockaway Beach gets our blood pumping, Blitzkrieg Bop, although slightly accelerated, is its usual glorious self, Glad To See You Go rips through our speakers, Commando has never sounded better, Cretin Hop is irresistible…and of course, they all lead to the cherry on top of the cake. D’You Wanna Dance? is absolutely the best track on here, one minute and thirty-nine seconds of pure punkabilly bliss. But the album does not end here, and there are still a few good songs left to go : Today Your Love Tomorrow The World, Let’s Dance and Oh Oh I Love Her So are particular standouts.

But all the songwriting genius is marred by one huge downside: in the long run, the album becomes haplessly tiredsome. The Ramones’ songs all sound so similar that my first reaction upon hearing this album was «gee, what a long opening track!» When I checked the CD’s timer, it was already track 3… This, of course, will cause a bit of boredom after a while. Plus, if you listen to this CD too many times over a short period of time (like I once did), you will never want to pick it up again.

Personally, this is my least favourite of all my Ramones albums (I own self-titled, Leave Home, Brain Drain, End Of The Century and this one). I believe this album has been more than a bit overhyped over the past few decades, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad album. Let’s say it’s a perfect way to get into punk, or into The Ramones, but once you’ve been introduced, you will overlook this one for other stuff. At least I did…

Reccomended Tracks
Rockaway Beach
Blitzkrieg Bop
Glad To See You Go
California Sun
D’You Wanna Dance?
Let’s Dance
Oh Oh I Love Her So



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Zebra
Moderator
September 27th 2005



2647 Comments


Good review, I think the Ramones are awesome but I hate live albums.

masada
November 24th 2005



2733 Comments


This has studio overdubs, so Live in NYC 1978 is automatically better, even if it is missing "Judy is a Punk".

Storm In A Teacup
November 24th 2005



12687 Comments


This doesn't have I Believe In Miracles so I don't want it. :mad:

masada
November 24th 2005



2733 Comments


Yeah, that was what, 1989 or 1991?

This concert was in 1977.This Message Edited On 11.24.05

Storm In A Teacup
November 24th 2005



12687 Comments


Doesn't matter

masada
November 24th 2005



2733 Comments


Your FACE doesn't matter.

:mad:

Rudd13
November 24th 2005



952 Comments


pwn3d

kolzig33189
November 24th 2005



335 Comments


kripes-how doesnt it matter? if the concert was recorded in 78 and released in 79 obviously they cant do a song that wasnt written until ten years later

ReturnToRock
November 25th 2005



3448 Comments


studio overdubs?! where?

atheistpeace
March 18th 2006



23 Comments


you know kerrang! voted this their greatest album! i need this album after reading that and this review

MyRamona
April 1st 2006



1074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Iv'e heard 'Loco live!' and its awesome, how does this compare?

711
April 1st 2006



1342 Comments


Ramones are awsome, this is awsome. It has some really great songs that really make their career stand out. I love Sheena is a Punkrocker and rockaway beach, and many others.

ReturnToRock
April 3rd 2006



3448 Comments


Loco Live is much worse, because it was recorded at the decline of their career. Sometimes, it's so fast it's irritating. This is a better buy.

ReturnToRock
April 3rd 2006



3448 Comments


that was released years after this was recorded. hence, it could not have featured here.

MyRamona
April 22nd 2006



1074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hmmm I really loved loco live , this must be one hell of a live album. The only thing I believe that lets 'Loco' down is Joeys Growly lyrics, he's not supposed to be a growler. The speed is lovely though, especially Blitzkrieg bop and judy is a punk. Also it's more diverse as it includes tracks from most of their albums up to 1991.

MyRamona
May 16th 2006



1074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just bought this......fantastic :D

masada
May 16th 2006



2733 Comments


Loco Live is an abomination.



metallicaman8
May 16th 2006



4677 Comments


YOUR FACE IS AN ABOMINATION!
that was for kripes!

aha just kiddin dude.
Anways, I like the ramones but I'm not big on this album

smokersdieyounger
May 23rd 2006



672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Johnnys Guitar has never sounded better than on this album, also, have they recorded live with Richie??



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