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The Sire Years 1976-1981

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Ramones 10/29/2013

Review

Not many bands can honestly say they changed the shape of rock & roll as we know it and upended part of the larger global culture at the same time. The Ramones did just that; by stripping down and speeding up rock & roll like a hot rod that could outrun all competition, and injecting it with a massive dose of snotty, absurdist humor, they gave the music a new lease on life, and left behind a handful of brilliant recordings that are still a solid kick to hear nearly four decades after their debut hit the streets. Punk rock first emerged from a very specific time and place, but the best of it is timeless in its joyous roar, and the first four Ramones albums absolutely live up to that description. Those four albums -- 1976's Ramones, 1977's Leave Home, 1977's Rocket to Russia, and 1978's Road to Ruin -- are included in the box set The Sire Years 1976-1981, along with 1980's End of the Century (a conceptually brilliant but musically flawed collaboration with producer Phil Spector) and 1981's Pleasant Dreams (the first Ramones album that could have been described as blah, though it has a few great tunes, most notably "The KKK Took My Baby Away" and "7-11"). The six albums appear here in the same crisp-sounding remasters that appeared in 2001 and 2002, but have been stripped of their bonus tracks, which makes one wonder why Rhino/Warner Bros. didn't opt for a three-disc set, since the albums are short enough to fit two to a CD. And while each disc gets its own cardboard sleeve that replicates the original LP artwork, there are no liner notes or any kind of accompanying booklet that would include the credits. One can quibble about the packaging and presentation of The Sire Years, yet there's no denying the strength of this music; the first four Ramones albums are essential to any decent collection of rock & roll, and though End of the Century and Pleasant Dreams pale in comparison, they still wipe the floor with nearly all of the thousands of bands who followed the Ramones' example. This isn't the ideal presentation of this music, but if your Ramones collection has mysteriously disappeared, this will catch you up on their most essential albums in one fell swoop and then some. ~ Mark Deming
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Blitzkrieg Bop Ramones 2:11
  3. 2 Beat on the Brat Ramones 2:31
  4. 3 Judy Is a Punk Ramones 1:30
  5. 4 I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend Ramones 2:24
  6. 5 Chain Saw Ramones 1:54
  7. 6 Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue Ramones 1:34
  8. 7 I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement Ramones 2:37
  9. 8 Loudmouth Ramones 2:12
  10. 9 Havana Affair Ramones 1:55
  11. 10 Listen to My Heart Ramones 1:57
  12. 11 53rd & 3rd Ramones 2:18
  13. 12 Let's Dance Ramones 1:52
  14. 13 I Don't Wanna Walk Around with You Ramones 1:43
  15. 14 Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World Ramones 2:11
  16. 1 Glad to See You Go Ramones 2:10
  17. 2 Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment Ramones 1:40
  18. 3 I Remember You Ramones 2:17
  19. 4 Oh Oh I Love Her So Ramones 2:3
  20. 5 Sheena Is a Punk Rocker Ramones 1:55
  21. 6 Suzy Is a Headbanger Ramones 2:10
  22. 7 Pinhead Ramones 2:42
  23. 8 Now I Wanna Be a Good Boy Ramones 2:11
  24. 9 Swallow My Pride Ramones 2:4
  25. 10 What's Your Game Ramones 2:34
  26. 11 California Sun Ramones 2:0
  27. 12 Commando Ramones 1:51
  28. 13 You're Gonna Kill That Girl Ramones 2:38
  29. 14 You Should Never Have Opened That Door Ramones 1:52
  30. 15 Babysitter Ramones 2:44
  31. 1 Cretin Hop Ramones 1:55
  32. 2 Rockaway Beach Ramones 2:5
  33. 3 Here Today, Gone Tomorrow Ramones 2:47
  34. 4 Locket Love Ramones 2:10
  35. 5 I Don't Care Ramones 1:37
  36. 6 Sheena Is a Punk Rocker Ramones 2:46
  37. 7 We're a Happy Family Ramones 2:38
  38. 8 Teenage Lobotomy Ramones 2:1
  39. 9 Do You Wanna Dance? Ramones 1:54
  40. 10 I Wanna Be Well Ramones 2:26
  41. 11 I Can't Give You Anything Ramones 1:58
  42. 12 Ramona Ramones 2:37
  43. 13 Surfin' Bird Ramones 2:34
  44. 14 Why Is It Always This Way? Ramones 2:11
  45. 1 I Just Wnat to Have Something To Do Ramones 2:40
  46. 2 I Wanted Everything Ramones 3:12
  47. 3 Don't Come Close Ramones 2:43
  48. 4 I Don't Want You Ramones 2:25
  49. 5 Needles & Pins Ramones 2:20
  50. 6 I'm Against It Ramones 2:6
  51. 7 I Wanna Be Sedated Ramones 2:28
  52. 8 Go Mental Ramones 2:38
  53. 9 Questioningly Ramones 3:20
  54. 10 She's the One Ramones 2:12
  55. 11 Bad Brain Ramones 2:23
  56. 12 It's a Long Way Back Ramones 2:19
  57. 1 Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio? Ramones 3:49
  58. 2 I'm Affected Ramones 2:51
  59. 3 Danny Says Ramones 3:1
  60. 4 Chinese Rock Ramones 2:25
  61. 5 The Return of Jackie and Judy Ramones 3:6
  62. 6 Let's Go Ramones 2:32
  63. 7 Baby, I Love You Ramones 3:41
  64. 8 I Can't Make It on Time Ramones 2:30
  65. 9 This Ain't Havana Ramones 2:17
  66. 10 Rock 'N' Roll High School Ramones 2:17
  67. 11 All the Way Ramones 2:26
  68. 12 High Rick Insurance Ramones 2:7
  69. 1 We Want the Airwaves Ramones 3:19
  70. 2 All's Quiet on the Eastern Front Ramones 2:11
  71. 3 The KKK Took My Baby Away Ramones 2:30
  72. 4 Don't Go Ramones 2:44
  73. 5 You Sound Like You're Sick Ramones 2:40
  74. 6 It's Not My Place (In the 9 to 5 World) Ramones 3:19
  75. 7 She's a Sensation Ramones 3:24
  76. 8 7-11 Ramones 3:31
  77. 9 You Didn't Mean Anything to Me Ramones 3:0
  78. 10 Come on Now Ramones 2:30
  79. 11 This Business Is Killing Me Ramones 2:37
  80. 12 Sitting in My Room Ramones 2:29

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