It's the Ramones!
The Great Gonzo | Prunedale, California | 08/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you ever saw the Zero movie "Misled Youth", you'd know how perfect the song "I Wanna Live" really is. Perfect for the picture, and as for the other songs? Pretty damned good (Garden of Serenity is the next best though..... Chilling). However, for a True Ramones knockout, get one one of the earlier gems like Rocket to Russia or Just Good 'Ol Ramones (They recorded bass in one ear and guitar in the other----- brilliant!!!!!)
Halfway To Sanity Rocks!
Chappa | Olympus Mons, Mars | 11/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In April of 1987, the band (Joey on vocals, Johnny on guitar, Dee Dee on bass, and Richie on drums) gathered at NYC's Intergalactic Studios to record the twelve songs included on "Halfway To Sanity" with Daniel Rey in charge of production.
In this album, the band chose to return to a more aggressive punk rock sound in comparison with "Animal Boy", the LP from the year before. Joey emerges with a rougher singing style that fits well with the material. All songs are shorter than three minutes except for one exception that I'll describe later!
In addition to producing Daniel Rey also helped out in the songwriting process (on two songs) and contributed extra guitar. Both the album's most well-known tune "I Wanna Live"(Dee Dee/Daniel Rey) and "Garden Of Serenity" show his good writing skills with the former opening the LP in pure rocking fashion and the two include killer arpeggiated figures on the intro plus great verse and chorus! The second tune "Bop Til You Drop" was put together by Johnny and Dee Dee showcasing a sound that's closer to hard rock instead of punk but it is a cool tune that made it into the popular 1988 "Ramones Mania" compilation!
Drummer Richie Ramone wrote two songs this time: the rebellious "I Know Better Know" and the hard core inspired "I'm Not Jesus" which is probably the darkest song the band ever did and speaking of hard core there are two other cool compositions in that vein both written by the Johnny/Dee Dee team and clocking at less than two minutes each: "Weasel Face" and "I Lost My Mind", the latter features short lyrics and sung by Dee Dee himself. From Joey's mind came the poppy "A Real Cool Time", the more rocking "Death Of Me", and the album's lone ballad "Bye Bye Baby" that not only it's the longest song on the LP but it is actually the band's longest song EVER at 4:34! It has a 50's rock feel and utilizes a tenuous orchestral arrangement.
Last but not least, bassist Dee Dee contributed two more tunes written on his own. Debbie Harry of the group Blondie guested on backing vocals on "Go Lil Camaro Go", a nice catchy tune and a rare occurrence on a Ramones record plus the closing "Worm Man"; a song filled with pessimistic lyrics.
For those who would like to hear the band's harder rocking sound, this LP is a great choice!
Thanks for taking t the time to read!