Johnny Ramone Grades the Ramones

Untitled Document Album Grade Review

Ramones 1976 A After each take, the engineers would ask if I wanted to hear it back. I’d ask them how it sounded. “It sounded good.” So I just said, “Okay, let’s keep going.”

Leave Home 1977 A Some of these we couldn’t have done on the first album. But we were better players, faster and more skilled at this point. You could hear our development.

Rocket to Russia 1977 A+ This was the best Ramones album—one great song after another. It has just the right balance of slow songs, ballads, and rockers.

Road to Ruin 1978 A The production on this is the best of all of them. Joey came to rehearsal with “I Wanna Be Sedated” and played it for us on his one-string guitar.

End of the Century 1980 B Nothing is bad on this record, and I’d like to hear it with a different production. It was the first time we had to write an entire album from scratch.

Pleasant Dreams 1981 B- Nobody in the band was speaking, and I didn’t write any songs with Dee Dee, so it has no real punk songs on it. It’s too light.

Subterranean Jungle 1983 B We did three covers, but I was happy with the guitar sound. I was watching the Brewers-Cardinals World Series when we were recording it.

Too Tough to Die 1984 A- All of a sudden, we all got along and stopped worrying about making a hit record. This was our best record of the eighties.

Animal Boy 1986 B- This is the album with the song about Reagan’s visit to Germany, but I wouldn’t let them put it out with the original title, “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg.”

Halfway to Sanity 1987 B- The tracks on this one aren’t the best. Dee Dee and I wrote “Weasel Face” about a guy who had a real weasel face.

Brain Drain 1989 C One of my least favorite albums; there were too many Joey songs on it, which always took more time.

Mondo Bizarro 1992 C The songs are the weak spot on this album. Joey wrote a song about Tipper Gore, and then he goes and votes for Clinton.

Acid Eaters 1993 B- This is hit-and-miss. “Surf City” fell short because we didn’t do it in the right key.

¡Adios Amigos! 1995 B+ The front cover is of dinosaurs, which is what we felt like. This has perhaps the best of all the guitar sounds I ever got.

Johnny Ramone Grades the Ramones