The Ramones’ fourth studio album from 1978, Road to Ruin.
Originally released on Sept. 22, 1978, Road to Ruin—at the time—was a chronicle of the Queens quartet’s most dynamic sonic shift to date. With Bell rechristened as Marky Ramone and Tommy splitting his production duties with Ed Stasium and managing the group, the fourth Ramones LP boasted a much looser grip on the relentless machine gun punk that defined the New York City punk rock sound in the mid-70s, featuring complex chord changes and a closer reach towards the ’60s pop feel which was always at the core lead singer Joey Ramone’s rebel heart.
Featuring the iconic cover art of Punk Magazine founding editor John Holmstrom based on a fan-made drawing, not only does Road contain one of the Ramones’ most enduring street hits “I Wanna Be Sedated,” the original 12-track mix also featured maneuvers that were aimed directly at attaining the group more radio airplay, including a pair of ballads in the heartbreaking lament “Questioningly” and a sincere rendition of the 1963 Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono composition “Needles and Pins.”
The fire of the Gabba-Gabba-Heyday was present in the kinesis of blistering tracks like “I Wanted Everything,” “I Just Wanna Have Something to Do” and “Bad Brain” (where the legendary DC hardcore band got its name, btw). But it’s the lean towards the Ramones’ affinity for Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound that makes Road such a vital title in the group’s canon. (Ron Hart)
• 180g Vinyl LP
• Superior 2017 remastered audio