" After each take, the engineers would ask if I wanted to hear it back, and I'd ask them how it sounded. "It sounded good." So I just said "OK, let's keep it going." I didn't need to hear it back. We did all our tracks in two days at Radio CIty Music Hall.We got this done for sixty-five hundred dollars, which was cheap even then."
The back cover to the Ramones album was designed by artist Arturo Vega who produced the photo of a belt buckle in a photobooth
JOHNNY RAMONE GRADE: A
February 1977, Sire Records
" I wrote the song "Carbona Not Glue" after listening to an Eddie Cochran album. But I don't think you can hear that in there. The Carbona company made us pull the song from the album. They didn't want us singing about sniffing the stuff, but I thought the song was funny. I sniffed Carbona a couple of times. It was worse than glue."
"This was the best Ramones album, with the classics on it. The band had reached its peak both in the studio and live. This one has one great song after another, most of them written between our first and second albums." - Johnny Ramone, from his book Commando.
"The production on this is the best of all of them, and there are so many good songs on it. " I Wanted Everything", Bad Brain", " Go Mental", they're all great songs, so great I can't narrow it down to my favorite. Joey came to rehearsal with " I Wanna Be Sedated" and played it for us on his one-string guitar. He had it all together (...)"
I Just Want to Have Something to Do I Wanted Everything Don't Come Close Needles and Pins I'm Against It
I Wanna Be Sedated Go Mental Questioningly She's the One Bad Brain It's a Long Way Back
Art By: John Holmstrom and Gus McDonald
END OF THE CENTURY-1980
JOHNNY RAMONE GRADE: B
January 30 1980, Sire Records
"These were really good songs that were marred by the production of Phil Spector, who, ironically, was supposed to deliver the Ramones' first hit record. It's interesting that the songs were this strong, because it was really the first time we had to write an entire album from scratch.(...)"
"One of the first things tht happened when we got to the studio was that the producer, Graham Gouldman, said," What's that humming noise?" Well it was my guitar, just like it always sounded. He told me to fix that, and so I knew that things weren't going to go well.[..] My favorite on here is " The KKK Took My Baby Away," which we did live for a long time. [...]
"It was kind of a good time. Dee Dee and I were working together.[...]We did three covers, and we shouldn't have, but I was happy with the guitar sound on it. We were going in the right direction with this record."
12."Everytime I Eat Vegetables It Makes Me Think of You"
TOO TOUGH TO DIE-1984
JOHNNY RAMONE GRADE: A-
October 1st 1984, Sire Records.
"All of the sudden, we all got along and stopped worrying about making a hit record, as a result, this is a really good album. Tommy and Ed produced it, and it has a great guitar sound. All the songs are solid."
The cover photo for the album was taken by photographer George DuBose in a subway in Central Park. DuBose relates: "Johnny wanted a picture that would evoke memories of the gang in A Clockwork Orange."
JOHNNY RAMONE GRADE: B-
May 19 1986, Sire Records/Warner Brothers.
"This would have worked if the production had been better, but the guitar doesn't even sound like me. This is also the album where Dee Dee and Joey wrote the song about Reagan's visit to Germany. Dee Dee was always leaning to the right. I don't know why he wrote that. I didn't want politics in the songs anyway. When I was in the Ramones, I never wanted it to be about politics. I spoke out once in a while. One time I told a college newspaper that Ronald Reagan wasn't conservative enough. I did it to get a reaction, just to irritate people"
7."My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)"
9."Eat That Rat"
10."Freak of Nature"
11."Hair of the Dog"
12."Something to Believe In"
HALFWAY TO SANITY-1987
JOHNNY RAMONE GRADE: B-
September 15 1987, Sire Records, Warner Brothers.
" The tracks on this one aren't the best. I always had a problem bringing songs into the band unless I was sure they were going to be very good. I was very selective because I didn't want to embarrass myself. [..] Debbie Harry did guest backing on vocals on " Go Lil' Camaro Go". "
" One of my least favorite albums, but it has a couple of bright spots, like " I Believe in Miracles" and "Punishment Fits the Crime"."Miracles" was the song we kept in our live repertoire for a while, and " Pet Sematary," which we wrote for a Stephen King Movie, was also a live song for a while."
12."Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)"
JOHNNY RAMONE GRADE: C
September 1 1992, Radioactive Records
"Dee Dee's "Main Man" and "Strength to Endure" are the best songs, and we kept doing them live to the end. But we needed more Dee Dee songs on it.[..] We did a Doors cover,"Take it As It Comes."It was my idea which nobody liked at first.But Joey did a great job on the vocals, and it shows, because the song works."
"This is hit-and-miss, but overall I think we did a good job.Pete Townshend came in to do backing vocals on " Substitute." He is one of the greats and one of my guitar heroes, but he was late. After a while, I started wondering if he was going to show up at all, and everyone was getting excited about talking to him. That was not how I wanted to meet him, so I left to go watch the Yankee game."
1."Journey to the Center of the Mind" (Original by The Amboy Dukes)
2."Substitute" (Original by the Who)
3."Out of Time" (Original by the Rolling Stones)
4."The Shape of Things to Come" (Original by Max Frost and the Troopers)
5."Somebody to Love" (Original by the Great Society, popularized by Jefferson Airplane)
6."When I Was Young" (Original by the Animals)
7."7 and 7 Is" (Original by Love)
8."My Back Pages" (Original by Bob Dylan, popularized by the Byrds)
9."Can't Seem to Make You Mine" (Original by the Seeds)
10."Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" (Original by Creedence Clearwater Revival)
11."I Can't Control Myself" (Original by the Troggs)
12."Surf City" (Original by Jan and Dean)
JOHNNY RAMONE GRADE: B+
July 18 1995, Radioactive Records
"This album has perhaps the best of all guitar sounds I ever got. My favorite is "The Crusher". I love "Scattergun". We did a cover of Tom Waits's " I Don't Want To Grow Up". The front cover is of dinosaurs, which is what we felt like. When we showed up for the shoot for the back cover, I told them that we were going to face away from the camera.[...] So the back cover is just a photo of us with our backs to a firing squad."