Ramones: Road To Ruin 12"

Rhino Records

$18.00

The last installment of the Ramones' breathtaking run of four albums in two years, the underrated ROAD TO RUIN shows that the group's follow-up, the Phil Spector-produced END OF THE CENTURY, was not as huge a change of direction as it's often made out to be. Compared to the fairly primitive RAMONES and LEAVE HOME, ROCKET TO RUSSIA had sounded almost slick, and ROAD TO RUIN goes it one better. Tom Erdelyi remains as co-producer, but his new partner Ed Stasium reveals a gift for balancing hard-candy gloss, bubble-gum hooks and noisy punk passion; similarly, Erdelyi's replacement on the drums, former glam-rocker Marc Bell, adds both power and finesse.The high points--particularly the uncharacteristically emotional love song "Questioningly" and the immortal rocker "I Wanna Be Sedated"--are excellent, and ROAD TO RUIN is a fitting conclusion to the Ramones' first and best era.
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