Ramones - End Of The Century
Label: Sire Records Company, Sire Records Company
Catalog#: QSR 6077, QSR-6077
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Inner lyric sleeve is VG+ VG++
Country: Canada Issue
Released: Jan 1980
Style: Rock & Roll, Punk
Credits: Producer - Phil Spector
Notes: Label has QSR-6077 as cat#
Sleeve & Spine has QSR 6077 as cat#
A1 Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio?
A2 I'm Affected
A3 Danny Says
A4 Chinese Rock
A5 The Return Of Jackie And Judy
A6 Let's Go
B1 Baby, I Love You
B2 I Can't Make It On Time
B3 This Ain't Havana
B4 Rock 'N' Roll High School
B5 All The Way
B6 High Risk Insurance
The Most Controversial Album in the Ramones' History
It's quite interesting to read about cases in which a band is matched with a producer whose ideas clash with those of the group he or she is assigned to. Rock is filled with examples. Just recently, Paul McCartney re-issued the Beatles' legendary "Let it Be" album, but minus the input and infamous "Wall of Sound" of producer Phil Spector, who was paired with the Ramones in 1980 for "End of the Century," perhaps the punk rock pioneers' most controversial album, and one that raises a lot of points. The Ramones had started to expand their three-chord buzzsaw approach with "Road to Ruin" and a gradual progression was inevitable. But this album was a shock to many, as it contained such surprising bits as string arrangements and other things that don't come to mind when one mentions the Ramones. But "End of the Century" is a fascinating piece of history, not only of the Ramones, but of punk in general (even though the group was being overshadowed by the countless bands who had ripped them off, i.e. "the acts they had inspired").
In all fairness, it must be said that a big part of the progression in the album comes not from Spector's producing, but in the Ramones' songwriting. There are the typical Ramones-style punk rockers like Let's Go, The Return of Jackie & Judy, All the Way, and High Risk Insurance but there are other elements that have begun to sprout. There's storytelling in the dark heroin tale Chinese Rock, a song as dark as the obsession in I'm Affected, in which it seems the Ramones are actually in control of producing and not Spector, whose input is most obvious in the catchy ode to the 50's and 60's pop scene. Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?, opening the album with a collage of radio sound effects, and in a dripping pop cover of Baby I Love You (a hit which Spector had co-written many years earlier), which became the Ramones' biggest single in the UK, while I Can't Make it on Time remains one of the many numbers on the album that should have been a hit. The hard rocking but catchy This Ain't Havana has a bit of cynicism in it, and there's even a punkier version of Rock N' Roll High School, the title song to the cult film the group had starred in (the more poppier single version showed up on the 1988 compilation "Ramones Mania"). Another notable point is guitarist Johnny's ability to pick and strum in the well-arranged Danny Says, an innocent, weary look at the rush of the music business.
For years, some of the Ramones pronounced "End of the Century" as their worst album, but it has become accepted by most bandmembers, and many fans, over time. The recently departed Johnny Ramone is quoted in this remaster's liner notes as saying he's glad the band worked with Phil Spector. It's actually hard to imagine the Ramones' catalog without the album. "End of the Century" was a necessary step, even if the public wasn't ready for it, in showing that the Ramones were growing as musicians and as individuals, even if the band was quite uncomfortable with it. Naturally, and fortunately, their next step was to stray from the wild ideas of Phil Spector and write history with their own definition of expanding, as shown on their next two albums, "Pleasant Dreams" and "Subterranean Jungle."
Ramones - Baby I Love You - Live at top of the pops January, 1980
- Ramones - Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio
- Ramones - Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio? (Live)
Ramones - I'm Affected - Live 1980
Ramones - Chinese Rock - 1982