Blitz and pieces
From page 94 of Classic Rock Magazine Summer 2005
Hey-ho – a coolly packaged collection from da bruvvers.
Weird Tales Of The Ramones
Opening – of course – with Blitzkrieg Bop , there’s a case for saying that if that had been the only recorded evidence of The Ramones here on this earth it would have been enough. The self-titled debut album and all of its predecessors were superfluous. Every punk rock cliché is on Blitzkrieg Bop from Joey’s iconic ‘hey-holet’s-go!’ intro to Tommy’s flawless 4/4 backbeat and Johnny’s chainsaw guitar. It’s one of the few pieces of music that you can honestly say is absolutely perfect in every way.
The first disc-and-a-half of this
collection is drawn from the three classics ( Ramones , Leave Home and Rocket To Russia ). By the time they made Road To Ruin , they were caught on the horns of a dilemma: they couldn’t do yet another album of simple-minded, three-chord, three-minute teen-surf-punk vignettes. Anything else was messing with the formula, so everything from Road To Ruin on smacks heavily of failure such as the terrible cover of Needles & Pins , or the country-tinged Don’t Come Close . Magnificent failures End Of The Century and the slightly less magnificent Pleasant Dreams are mercifully skirted over and the late-period albums – Subterranean Jungle et al – sound like a last hurrah before they degenerated into endless farewell tours and terrible covers (The Amboy Dukes’ Journey To The Center Of The Mind being a particular lowpoint). This isn’t the only Ramones compilation (try the briefer, cheaper and less wilfully completist 1988 comp Ramones Mania or the near identical Loud, Fast Ramones: Their Toughest Hits ) but it sure is the biggest. And in Ramones-world, quantity is quality.