When I look into your big brown eyes, and I feel like I’m in paradise. I want you by my side.”
My love for the Ramones isn’t just love. It’s an obsession. A way of life. If I was male, I’d want to be as tall as Joey Ramone. I’d have the hair too. Instead I am short, chubby and I have the same wild hair. I make do with what I have; I have to. It’s alright. I wear my Ramones hoodie with pride, but at the same time loath the thought that someone may assume I know nothing about them and are just wearing it to look “cool.” Please note that the term “cool” is bloody awful and nobody is cool. It’s a redundant word to make people into all they aren’t. Ramones are probably my favourite band ever. Closely followed by The Jesus And Mary Chain. This is all my uncle’s doing, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I always thought I could never pick a favourite record by Ramones because they have done so many. I think it’s around 14 or 15. I’ve always had a place firmly reserved for End Of The Century. I think if it wasn’t produced by (my favourite producer of all time) Phil Spector, my love for the record may not be as deep as this. Merging Punk and the Wall Of Sound together showed the genius of both Phil Spector and the Ramones. I’ve read many stories about the difficulties that occurred when recording End Of The Century. From Phil apparently holding the band hostage (with a gun) to recording the record in several studios; it is still one of the best records ever made.
My personal highlight of the record will always be their cover of the Ronettes song, Baby I Love You. I love this song more than I can put into words, and to hear my favourite band cover it in a way that still keeps hold of the vulnerability in the song is just incredible. Joey’s voice on this song is just stunning. To the point where you find yourself singing along with him and yelling “I LOVE YOU TOO JOEY” at the end of the song. Is that just me? I think it could be. It’s alright.
I know that it is a record that many fans of the band may not like, but for me it isn’t about the songs. It is about the fact that Phil Spector (in all his madness but genius) and the Ramones made a record together. Through all the madness and whatever else happened, a record came from it. It may or may not be “true” to the sound of the Ramones but no band ever stays the same. You cannot ever expect a band to keep making the same record over and over. What would be the point?
I own a few Ramones records on vinyl, but not many on CD. For me, I enjoy them more hearing the crackling in the background on vinyl. Sure you can hear the production more clear on a CD but I want the background noise. Ramones were raw. Regardless of who produced the records, they always stayed true to that. That easily makes them the best band ever. There will never be another band like them. Just like there will never be a producer like Phil Spector. So to have a record like End Of The Century, regardless on your view of it, was a truly great thing to happen to music.