Ramones: Road to Ruin


Format: LP

Label: Sire

Country: US

Year: 1978


Out of the hospital

Out against my will

Life is so beautiful

I’ve gone mental

I’m fond of joking that the Ramones are like Enya- if you like one song, you’ll like them all. With both their music has a certain ‘sameness’ that permeates their long careers. If it weren’t for their immense talents this could be seen as indicative of some sort of shortcoming… but if it ain’t broken, why mess with it?

This is the Ramones fourth album, containing the notable tracks ‘Needles and Pins’ (written by Sonny Bono) and ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ (which made number 145 on the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and has been covered by everyone from The Go-Go’s to Bruce Springsteen.) It shows the band in top form, tight and firmly entrenched in their signature pop sound. Clocking in at slightly over 30 minutes- with an average track time of two and a half minutes- it’s a short, sweet, no-nonsense ride.


John Holmstrom in 2013, telling it like it is

Original drummer Tommy Ramone had left the band by this point (although he stayed on in a production capacity for the album), replaced by the incomparable Marky Ramone.

The sleeve art is an iconic delight done in jarring black and yellow. The front illustration was crafted by underground cartoonist John Holmstrom, founder of ‘Punk Magazine’ and illustrator on the Ramones 1977 LP ‘Rocket to Russia.’


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