"As liner note writer Kurt Loder states, the Ramones issued a "wake up call" to 1976 consumers listening to hits "by people like Barry Manilow and Walter Murphy and England Dan and John Ford Coley." This is an excellent collection, mostly from the third and forth albums, "Rocket to Russia" and "Road to Ruin" (along with a few obligatory bonus tracks), that demonstrates how the Ramones eventually work rescued radio rock with an simple but powerful mixture of heavy drums and bass, constant thrashing guitars, and one of the best punk vocalists, Joey Ramone. Some of that new sound, in songs like "Ramona, "Rockaway Beach" and, especially, "Sheena is a Punk Rocker," are clearly linked to the surf bands (most notably, the Beach Boys), but energized and propelled by the least subtle drumming you'll ever hear, and the joy of Joey's "inimitable Anglo-Queens lead bleat" (again, quoting Kurt Loder). There are a few "ballads' (e.g., "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow") that don't really work, especially in contrast to the faster songs. On the other hand, it's nice to have some breaks from the glorious pounding. Side 2's "I Want You Around" is much more successful, the textures and shading reminiscent of Elvis Costello. Mostly, though, the songs are fast, short, and energized; if you don't like one cut, the next one might get to you. The Ramones seem to have a special affinity for covering older songs, highlighted here by a fast "Do You Wanna Dance," "Needles and Pins," and their near perfect adaptation of the great "Surfin' Bird." Other highlights include "Slug," which features woofer-destroying bass and drums and a John Lennon-esque chorus, and "Road to Ruin" songs "I Want You Around," and "I Just Want to Have Something to Do" where the band displays a bit more texture and invention, alongside great hooks and raw energy. Unfortunately, there are also the inexplicably polished "Questioningly" and the country excursions of "Don't Come Close." But the "Road to Ruin" songs include the thrashing "I'm Against It" ("when I'm against it, I'm against it"), and one of the best (and most popular) of the Ramones' work "I Wanna Be Sedated." Completing the psychiatric trilogy are "Mental Health" (pronounced beautifully as "Men-till") with its blistering guitars, and the excellent 60's sound (buffeted by punk's flatted chords) of "Bad Brain." Although a few cuts begin to blend together (especially after 71 minutes of it here), you'll want to return to this New York roller coaster even after you have muscle memory of its thrill. The Ramones are well worth listening to again and again."
Amazon needs to do their homework
jason lutz | Harrisburg, NC | 07/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As stated in previous reviews...this is a compilation of the Ramones 3rd and 4th album, not their 1st and 2nd as stated in amazon.com's review. "Road to Ruin" and Rockets to Russia" (the two albums contained on this disk) are my two favorite Ramones studio albums. Rockets to Russia is hit after hit after hit that never really became a hit. Road to Ruin is the same. Most of the Ramones following albums suffered from poor production...or production taken in the wrong direction. Most producers tried to take them in a "new wave" direction and it just didn't work. Later on..."Too Tough to Die" returned to this type of sound, but some albums in-between didn't fit the Ramones sound. All the stuff and more Vol. 1 containes the Ramones first two albums...both great, but I prefer Vol. 2. Simply put, I like ths songs better on Vol. 2 which is why "Rockets to Russia" and "Road to Ruin" are my favorite two Ramones albums...and you get them here on one disk."
Sheer, unadulterated rock'n'roll brilliance!
William Errickson, Jr. | Raleigh, NC United States | 07/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Ramones need no introduction to anyone who truly loves rock'n'roll. I don't even have to listen to these albums anymore; they're in my bloodstream, in my very brain cells. These songs are perfection, deranged pop tunes at breakneck speed laced with misfit wit ("Chewin' out a rhythm on my bubblegum/Sun is out and I want some"--"Hangin' out on 2nd Avenue/ Eatin' chicken vindaloo"--"I'm friends with the president/ I'm friends with the pope/ We're all makin' a fortune/ Sellin' daddy's dope") and a worldview colored by Joey's rose-tinted glasses. The unreleased songs here are terrific, like the gem "Slug," charming and Spector-esque, and the ode to Sid'n'Nancy, "I Don't Want to Live This Life." I love the Ramones for their belief that rock'n'roll should be fun , and for all the bands they paved the way for. If "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" isn't one of the most sublime and perfect pop songs ever written, what is? It's a real crime that these guys never got the mass popularity they deserved, but then, that's what makes them great; they're misfit heroes. 30 songs on one CD! All your favorites! Turn it up to 11!"
1234 The Ramones are the best punk band!
William Errickson, Jr. | 10/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This features there 3rd and 4th releases 1977's Rocket to Russia and 1978's Road to Ruin. These are both classics. Rocket to Russia is pure pop punk at its best. Second to the greatest punk album ever "Ramones". This album has many classics such as "Cretin Hop","Were a Happy Family","Teenage Lobotomy",and many more. Road to Ruin introduces Marky to the band. Has one of there biggest anthems in"I wanted Be sedated" among other classics!"
Before you trade, read...
Jesse Nelson | Tucson, AZ USA | 12/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great double album. Of course, the original albums have been rereleased with lots of extra stuff, making All the Stuff Vol. 1 obsolete, but All the Stuff Vol. II has a track, "I Don't Wanna Live This Life Anymore" which was not included on the individual album rereleases. Not sure why, unless it was considered in bad taste after all the deaths in the Ramones family. Oh well."