Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Ramones - "Leave Home" (LP, Sire - 1981~Italian Reissue)

Without any question the first six long plays by the Ramones are beyond any review policy (YES you must count "Pleasant Dreams" too, as an overlooked classic)! I bought for the first time "Ramones", "Leave Home" and "Rocket to Russia" about 20 years back, all three on the same day and I've played them a millions times ever since in their countless editions. "Leave Home" remains to this day my favorite Ramones output.

I guess a 'fave' item gets the prize/title by the way it fits with someone's character. And the Ramones second hit, did this for me instantly. A record title as laconic and to the point as their two and a half minute blasts. Vitriolic, sharp, impressible and funny (but never dumb as many dorks claiming) lyrics and with the often mentioned 'slicker' production by Tony Bongiovi and Tommy Ramone sounds to this day an even better approach than the one Phil Spector tried with "End of the Century"! A blasphemy? Probably but who cares anyway?! We're talking about punk rock here mate. Actually, we're talking about powerpop..!
I mean, dive your turntable's needle on the grooves and judge for yourself. Does any record by Elvis Costello or Dwight Twilley have more 'power' than this!? Come oooooooon! And when we're saying 'pop' we must agree on what we are talking about, OK? Cause I'm 100% with Joey's and Dee-Dee's side of thinking on what 'pop' is (or sadly... was). I fell in love with the Ramones because I was first in love with the Ronettes, the Crystals and the Shangri-las through the (very) few 45s of my parents. And "Leave Home" has many songs with the same over the top pop quality all these 60s girl groups had. And those pop blasting tunes are the ones that made me say from day one, "That's it, man"! Cause you can rave with any possible right from your side for trademark brudders songs like "Pinhead", "Commando" (fuckin' brilliant!!!) or "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment" but let me hassle now and go all the way for "Oh-Oh I Love Her So", "Babysitter", "Swallow My Pride" and "I Remember You" cause sorry brothers, those are the real stand-outs with the aforementioned top class pop quality! Give a listen to the pseudo Spector sounds and the woo-hoo vocal harmonies in here, and see downright that worked waaaaaaaayyy better than what Spector himself captured a few years later!
OK, clearly I can go on forever on every single track about this monument's knack, but I have to put a full stop now (I mean, I didn't even mention the unapproachable taste of the band by choosing to cover The Rivieras!).
So, we're perfectly sure by now that you did get the message from the "Italian Reissue" on the post's title, why we pick on something you probably have already and in many formats or editions. Yep, that's right, Jean Philippe's back again!

"I have checked various vinyl versions (8), and this is clearly the best one (to my ears). Japan original is probably better, but it's expensive. The French original sounds quite good, but it's got some very unpleasant distortion on several tracks. The recent Rhino reissue has also some pressing problems, and both US and UK originals are not great to my ears. All these pressings have harsh vocals & guitar, which may be viewed as 'rawness' (read: 'true punk sound'), but to me it sounds like pressing flaws. I don't know much about CD's, as I've only heard a Japanese remastered CD, and this cheap-looking Italian vinyl reissue (from 1981) sounds richer & cleaner to my ears. I like when inexpensive records sound the best!"
He-he, I'm sure you know straightly when my buddy's saying something about fidelity, can't do no wrong!

As I was going to bed for siesta, took with me Bomp's PowerPop Special issue from March 1978. Greg Shaw had seen on the Ramones the same things I was telling you in the lines upwards:

"The Ramones are now a pop group more than a punk band. Their aggressive wall of guitars sound has been accepted as part of the pop vocabulary, and where the mainstream of Punk has gone to greater extremes of offensiveness, the Ramones have become a very positive, life-affirming youth explosion. (...) If you can imagine the Beatles having emerged at a time when the doors of radio were more than momentarily shut against them, and making their first 3 albums without the benefit of any hits, you'd have it. (...) Someday, Dwight Twilley will be a star. And someday, the Ramones will be a legend."

As much as Greg's prophecy went to the dustbins about Twilley, the exactly opposite happened for the Ramones! Crank it up once again!

PS: "I Remember lying awake at night / And thinking just of you / But things don’t last forever / And somehow baby / They never really do"...  We miss you SO MUCH Joey and Dee-Dee...


  1. Ripped and uploaded by Jean Philippe: FLAC [vinyl rip - 24bit/96kHz]

    1. Instead of LHire_zip, I get this file:
      What's up with that?

    2. Don't know man! If it has the right size (about 600 MB if I remember right), try to rename and remove the exe part and then extract. Any other with the same prob?

    3. File Factory has a default to download with download manger, so downloads .exe file. Unclick the box to download with file manager, and you will get just the .zip file.
      And much respect for posting 2nd and 1st Ramones lps

    4. Thanks! I've used File Factory before but didn't notice the checked box this time.

  2. "Leave Home" remains to this day my favorite Ramones output.

    Yeah!! !! I agree with you!! And specially because the usually better rated Rocket To Russia sounds worse in my humble opinion... I mean, I prefer their Its alive versions much better than the studio LP, but not in the case of the Leave Home... Sorry for my English and... Thanks!!

  3. I think that the "wall of sound" is more effective in the studio tracks (especially in vinyl) of the firsts albums, but the live sound is more... blietzkriegged, well, raw, faster too.