44. The Ramones: Rocket to Russia
One year for my birthday my grandmother bought me Ramones: Mania (which is basically the band’s greatest hits record). At the time I couldn’t have been less interested in The Ramones as a band. I was aware of two of their songs (Blitzkerg Bop and I Wanna Be Sadated) and they bored me more than anything. But it was my grandmother so I said “That’s Grandmom! I love these guys.”
For a month or two the CD laid in my bedroom relatively unlistened to. Eventually I decided to give it a listen. I immediately fell in love with random songs on it, I still wasn’t sold on the band as a whole for a quite a few years. I wish I could even explain what happened but the best I can do is say it like this... I think there’s a point where as a kid you stop looking for the loudest and fastest music and instead look into the history of the music that you love.
I think my appreciation for The Ramones stemmed from loving the punk bands they influenced as well as hearing some of their lesser known hits. The band as a whole rarely released a perfect record... but it did happened once or twice. Rocket to Russia was one of those records.
While none of the songs were mainstream hits persay this album probably has more fan favorites than any other Ramones record containing popular tunes like Teenage Lobotomy, Sheena is a Punk Rocker and Cretin Hop. Now while these songs are great when the Ramones are doing 50’s flashback sounds they’re at their best, specifically on their cover of Surfin’ Bird as well as the demo of Slug.
If you’ve always been interested in what makes the Ramones so great but you’re only familiar with the 3 or 4 songs that everyone knows, this record truly is a great starting point.