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Ramones – Live, January 7, 1978 At The Palladium, NYC

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It has been said that it’s a shame hard rock fans never truly accepted The Ramones. Indeed, the majority of heavy rock connisseurs who’ve felt no pangs at embracing the minimalist, solo-less crunch of Korn and Rage Against The Machine, who rely on the same wall of high-volume sound as the Ramones did, shun the New York foursome. Ramones fans have been passed off as punk rockers only.

I’ve always felt this was a bit unfair as The Ramones didn’t scream and holler about anarchy in the same vein as The Sex Pistols or The Dead Kennedys did. The Ramones wrote about girls, hanging out at the beach, cars and drugs. Blink 182 and Green Day have done as much. Hell, even Billy Joel wrote about these same things.

Johnny Ramone’s guitar never screeched, but it sure did growl. It had bite, backed up by Dee Dee’s buzzing bass and Tommy’s drums, which never missed a beat. Topping it all off was Joey’s unique pseudo-British vocals, a linguistic tour de force that was to be reckoned with. You could always tell these guys apart from the rest of the crowd.

As post-modern architects of loud, fast, no-nonsense rock’n’roll – the way rock’n’roll is supposed to be – The Ramones were and still, in an unsettling posthumous way, are a joy to listen to.

As good as their studio work was, their true spirit and flourish lies in their live recordings. Live, January 7, 1978 At The Palladium, NYC is the honest way to hear this band. “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment,” “Commando,” “California Sun,” and “We’re A Happy Family” all capture the consciousness of the bona fide rock-and-roller. These guys were Andy Warohl-styled Elvis and The Beatles rolled into one satisfying musical doobie.

The band’s sense of humor shines through in such declarations as, “Well, after five years in the institution, now I wanna be a good boy!” Tell me how this differs, in terms of witty cynicism, from “They rally ’round the family with a pocket full of shells,” or “Do you know where you are? You’re in the jungle, baby!”

The Ramones expressed things their own way, which is what the best rock music is all about. I urge any serious rock fan to at least possess Live, January 7, 1978 At The Palladium, NYC in their collection. If you have no stomach for the “polish” of The Ramones’ studio albums, you deserve the chance to hear their live stuff. But, please forget It’s Alive!

This is the one live Ramones album you need.

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About Nightdragon

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    mark, what’s the matter with “It’s Alive”?

    i’ve got it on vinyl and always thought it was a blast.

    also have “Loco Live”.

  • Vern Halen

    I’ve got both of them. It’s Alive has an extra track, Judy is a Punk; otherwise, the set lists are identical.

    Palladium was recorded I believe about a week after It’s Alive was recorded in England. The difference is subtle – New York is the homewtown crowd for the boys, and there’s a little something extra in the attitude. Also, the mix is definitely more aggressive than It’s Alive.

    I grew up with It’s Alive -it’s very familiar to me, but I like the Palladium also.

    Six of one, half doz the other over here.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    you should see my “It’s Alive” vinyl.

    it’s a two-record set with the tracks taking up about an inch of the outer disc with a huge run-off area in the middle.

    when i first got it, i thought it was a manufacturing defect.

  • Marty Thau

    If I remember correctly, SUICIDE opened for the Ramones on that show.

  • http://www.kolehardfacts.blogspot.com Mike Kole

    Wow! Suicide opening for the Ramones. I would have loved to have taken in one of Suicide’s shows- from a bit of a distance. That must have been some kind of tension built up before the Ramones hit the stage.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Good review / thoughts, Mark.

    I’ve always considered (right or wrong) the Ramones to be part of the holy trinity, along with the Sex Pistols and the Damned, that really brought punk rock rolling into the mainstream.

    You’re right in pointing out their slightly sneery sense of humor, too. They rocked and they were fun — which makes their sound fresh and refreshing today (especially a good live cut).

    I love the way that the Ramones combined the best of the original 50s rock sound and updated it for the angry, disillusioned late 70s. It’s a sound that so many other bands tried and failed to capture.

    So, really, it’s not that simple.

    Eric Berlin
    Dumpster Bust: Miracles from Mind Trash

  • Joe

    I am only 14 and heavily into the ramones Sex pistols and the clash this cd blew my mind it Kicks ars i cant help but listen to it

  • Bennett

    Rock on Joe! The original recordings, particularly the first two albums, are as energy-filled as anything released before or since.

    Put Sedated on at a party, and watch the heads bob.

  • Andy Ramone

    Rubbish.

    I have both live albums and plenty more besides. ‘It’s Alive’ is infinitely superiorto the Palladium album – there is no ciontest at all. And when the OIt’s Alive DVD is released (UK – September 07), we’ll have ther final proof……