Changing up their tried and true sound, The Ramones' fourth outing, Road To Ruin was bewildering at first for critics and fans alike. The bands first three albums had helped spark the punk revolution and established the group as one of the greatest rock bands to ever roll, but they were still not getting the sales either they or the label were hoping for. With the departure of Tommy Ramone as drummer - he would help take the reins on the production side - and the arrival of Marky Ramone as his replacement, the album introduced some characteristics which were previously unheard of in Ramones records. While less prominently punk rock-sounding, Road To Ruin features guitar solos, acoustic rhythm guitars, and even ballads (Joey Ramone somehow rhymes "Second Avenue" with "chicken vindaloo" in the albums opening song "I Just Want to Have Something To Do"). The album failed to garner the commercial and critical success the band was hoping for upon initial release in 1978, but critical acclaim did arrive decades later. The songs lose some of the raw power indicative of their earlier albums, but the expanded arrangements add a needed fullness to their sound. The twangling bassline and guitar solos adds a surprisingly effective countr-esque sound on songs like "Don't Come Close" and "Questioningly." That said, the classic "I Wanna Be Sedated" is a prime example of how this new approach worked for the punk outfit. Limited Edition pressing on blue vinyl, released by Rhino.
- limited pressing on blue vinyl
- includes printed inner sleeve with lyrics
- music label: Rhino 2019
reviewed by Ralphy Corduroy 2/2019
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