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Weird Tales of the Ramones Box set

43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, August 9, 2005
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$41.99 $41.99

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The supreme godfathers of punk-face it, they were on their third album before the Sex Pistols even broke-are true American originals, and their sensational end-of-the-century juggernaut is chronicled as never before in this career-spanning collection. Reducing and scrambling multiple strains of early rock 'n' roll and pop into a signature chainsaw of sound, the Ramones' loud, fast, and hard legacy rocketed out of NYC's CBGB in the early '70s and changed the face of modern music. Johnny Ramone, before his 2004 passing, oversaw the compilation of this first-ever 3 CD Ramones blitzkrieg box for Rhino. Includes a bonus DVD 2005.

Given their irreverent sensibilities, it's almost ironic to lionize the comic deconstruction of ossified rock history that was the Ramones' stock in trade, or note the decades of punk and alt.rock that remain their legacy. Instead, this collection smartly recasts the punk pioneers as literal pulp culture icons via its EC Comics-inspired packaging and the brilliantly executed comic book history of the band that accompanies it. Musically, the set's first three discs offer up 85 highlights of the band's recording career, personally compiled by founder/guitarist Johnny Ramone and seasoned with rarities like the demo for "Slug," the UK B-side "I Don't Want to Live This Life," and the single mixes of "Sheena.." and others. Its accompanying Lifestyles of the Ramones documentary DVD intersperses 14 videos with the often bittersweet recollections of the band and key family members, as well as such notables as Sire's Seymour Stein, Talking Head Tina Weymouth and producer Ed Stasium; another bonus six clips (including covers of the Who's "Substitute" and the '60s' "Spiderman" theme) round out that history. But it's the dizzying visual eclecticism of the included graphic history (executed in color b&w and 3-D by 25 top comic artists including Matt Groening, Zippy creator Bill Griffith, Mad magazine vet Sergio Argones, bootleg cover legend William Stout and Love and Rockets' Xaime Hernandez) that becomes the set's unusual focal point, a loving visual evocation of both their infectious music and shrewd, if willfully low-brow public persona. -- Jerry McCulley

Disc: 1
1. Blitzkreig Bop
2. Beat On The Brat
3. Judy Is A Punk
4. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
5. Loudmouth
6. 53rd & 3rd
See all 34 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Rock 'N' Rock High School (Ed Stasium Mix)
2. I Want You Around (Ed Stasium Mix)
3. Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio?
4. I'm Affected
5. Danny Says
6. The KKK Took My Baby Away
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. I Wanna Live
2. Bop 'Til You Drop
3. I Lost My Mind
4. Garden Of Serenity
5. I Believe In Miracles
6. Pet Sematary (Single Version)
See all 25 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 9, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0009CTUPA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,785 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Gina Miller on August 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
If you don't know a lot about the Ramones, some of the other reviewers provide a very accurate account. But if you are already a Ramones fan - then you know the history, the impact, the sound, the look, the realism - and I know you are going to keep your original LP's, but this package will keep you entertained for, well, as long as the materials hold up. 85 songs! The 3 CD's hold a whopping 25 to 34 songs each. Plus there is a DVD that plays their music videos with only short attention span commentaries and interviews in between. The comic book captures the essence of the Ramones, and changes style enough to keep you turning the pages and laughing along the way. If you are here reading these reviews, that's enough for me to be able to tell you in confidence, "go ahead and get it, you will love it, you will experience premium nostalgic fun."
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By tashcrash on August 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm not even going to attempt to defend my adulation of the Ramones or define their cultural importance, since a great many have already done so here. Rather, I think it important to point out the only major flaw with the set: the selection of post-TOO TOUGH TO DIE songs. This set was compiled by Johnny Ramone, and the third disc of the set reflects his bias (and I say this with the utmost respect; Johnny Ramone was perhaps the most perfect rock n roll guitarist since Chuck Berry). Strangely, he opted to include such dreck as Dee Dee's "Love Kills" (from ANIMAL BOY), an ode to Sid and Nancy which I've always felt greatly diminished the Ramones' punk authority, and marked the unfortunate downslide in Dee Dee's songwriting abilities (other Dee Dee songs, especially "Poison Heart" from MONDO BIZARRO, are still painful to listen to, and difficult to justify). Further, the inclusion of so many C.J.-sung songs, rather than the still-great Joey tunes on ADIOS AMIGOS is inexplicable, especially the execrable "Scattergun" (at least "Life's A Gas" and "Spiderman" are included). Lastly, HALFWAY TO SANITY and BRAIN DRAIN, their two most consistent late-period albums, are inexplicably under-represented.

The point of this gripe is simply to point out a missed opportunity; everybody already knows by now that the first four albums are peerless, even if they don't "get" the Ramones. The misguided survey of their waning years only furthers the assumption that they went downhill precipitously after 1984 (which is somewhat true, yet predominantly exaggerated). I can't help but wonder what it would have been like had Joey and Johnny been forced to collaborate on this compilation. If nothing else, it would have been more balanced.

Otherwise, the remastering sounds great (a further improvement over the already-wonderful album reissues) and the comic book is ingenious.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. Martin on August 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Let's be straight about it: all these tunes have come out before. Most of them have been repackaged a few times in a few different configurations. If you're a major Ramones fan, there's probably nothing here you haven't seen or heard.

But then, if you're a major Ramones fan, none of this matters; you want pretty much anything you can find related in any way to the Ramones. If you DON'T have all these songs, it doesn't matter either. So let's dispense with any handwringing over whether this box set is really necessary. Hey, pizza isn't really necessary either, but aren't you glad it exists? Thought so.

So let's cut to the chase. This set, you see, serves a higher purpose than just placing dozens of GREAT Ramones tunes onto a new batch of plastic discs. It serves a higher purpose than mere commerce. This set is about cementing and furthering the legacy of one of the rarest, most endangered beasts in the history of rock & roll: the Perfect Band.

The Perfect Band, after all, must possess every last piece of the rock puzzle. Its members must all be cool in their own way. They must all have their own, distinct personalities and charisma. They don't have to be individually handsome or pretty, but they must look good together. As far as the music goes, the playing of the members must serve the song and must NEVER become the focal point INSTEAD of the song. The Perfect Band must function as a unit with each member making a viable contribution to the group's overall sound and image. The Perfect Band absolutely MUST have the capacity to come up with one great song after another. In fact, the Perfect Band must have dozens and dozens of great songs under its belt.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dustin J. G. Griffin on August 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Well what can you say about the Ramones? They are the TRUE Godfathers of punk rock. The originals. Forget all the hu-bub about whether Sex Pistols or Ramones came first. Track the bands releases and live shows back to the 70's and you'll see the Ramones were the first and best. Anyone framiliar with the current crop of pop-punk and skate-punk music has to know that this is where it started!

And, finally, a box set. Why it took almost 30 years for this to hit the shelves I don't know. Nor do I care, because here it is. This was the last thing Joey Ramone had a hand in for his band before his death. Now, the cd's included feature every popular and recognizable Ramone song including some songs that weren't quite as popular but were just as good. It also features some unreleased remixes of a couple of songs on disc 2. Interesting, but not as cool as the originals. Also included is a DVD with some video and live performances. Finally, as a bonus treat, the first ever Ramones comic book. The art is amazing, the story, funny and interesting.

If you're a huge Ramones fan, you probably already have this, if not and you have a few extra bucks (40 or 50), trust me, punk rock would not exist in its current fashion today, without the Ramones.

CD's: 5 stars

DVD: 4 stars

Comic Book: 5 stars
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The Ramones!
Nov 12, 2008 by N. Hustis |  See all 3 posts
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