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Brain Drain

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 18, 1989
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sire / London/Rhino
  • ASIN: B000002LHT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,807 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Just as the Ramones faced a crisis in 1979, wondering where they should allow musical direction to drift in the early '80s post-punk confusion, they also faced a similar crisis ten years later. The band was looking for another new direction. The Ramones struggled to keep their fan base all decade long, shining momemtarily on "Too Tough to Die" and "Animal Boy," but otherwise came up lackluster. The two really good albums from the '80s, "Pleasant Dreams" and "Subterranean Jungle," were panned by critics and ignored by fans. Now, come 1989, they were tired, were about to lose their long-time bassist, and looking to make a bold statement.
That statement came in the form of the extremely hard-hitting "Brain Drain." The Ramones re-invented their sound in a fitting way for the explosion of nu metal, grunge and retro punk that would define the '90s, and brought them into that decade looking and sounding relevant.
"Brain Drain" does not follow the Ramones' punk formula. The album is mostly goth rock and proto-heavy metal. But it works. The production is as heavy as it gets, but is also necessary. The songs wouldn't work if not for the bone-crunching sound that master chops man Bill Laswell provides. In short, "Brain Drain" is a seriously loud album, but enjoyable.
I could do without "Palisades Park," which is just downright silly and doesn't fit well into the album, but the other songs jive with their new direction in style and sound. Excepting the obvious "Pet Sematary," the best songs are "I Believe in Miracles," "Zero Zero U.F.O.," "Don't Bust My Chops," "Learn to Listen," and "Can't Get You Outta My Mind."
Considering this was Dee Dee's swan song with the Ramones (before returning years later stricly in the role of songwriter), you'd think that he'd have more lead vocal duties.
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Format: Audio CD
This album marked the return of Marky Ramone to the Ramones. It also was Dee Dee Ramone's last album with the group. And their last studio album for Sire Records. The album is pretty good, overall. It can't measure up to their earlier albums, but how could it? There are good songs here, but only two true Ramones "classics" ("I Believe in Miracles" and "Pet Sematary"). Although the Christmas song is a near classic. Ramones fans should enjoy this album.
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Format: Audio CD
The guy who produced this album also produces Motorhead's classic "Orgasmatron", and man, can you here it! This is by far the heaviest Ramones album. From the bump-and-run of "I Believe in Miracles", to the churning grind of "Don't Bust My Chops", to the almost thrash/metal "Zero Zero UFO", this album just rocks. It also has a "classic" style Ramones song (the video was "dedicated to the fans") called "Merry Christams (I don't want to Fight Tonight)".

If you feel like you must get an album after "Too Tough To Die", then get this little ditty...you'll be glad you did!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I would put Brain Drain right in front of Subterranean Jungle as my favorite Ramones record in the period of 1980-1995. I honestly love every record they've ever made because they're all unique in their own way, but most fans will agree that a line is drawn thru the time between Road to Ruin and End of the Century. This is the infamous period of time when Joey and the record label wanted to push the band to cover more ground musically as to attract a larger audience. And so, that raw edge sound of those earth shattering, historic first four albums was lost in the shuffle.

Most fans have their own opinion of what the real "return to form" was, if any at all, and Brain Drain is mine. To me, the songs flow better stylistically than any other album they made in the 80s. The song structure was just solid punk rock. All the songs have the trademark Ramones hooks and catchiness. And most importantly, Johnny's guitar work is at the nucleus of each song, just like the good old days.

Not surprisingly, AllMusic gave the album 2 stars and shrugged it off (as they usually do with many of my favorite albums), but I totally disagree with that assessment, and I strongly urge you to as well. If you go into the album remembering "hey, this is 1989 here.. 15 years after Blitzkrieg Bop and 6 years away from the end", you'll have a much better chance at loving it for what it is. Keep an open mind and as always, PLAY IT LOUD.
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By A Customer on June 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Although the production is kinda bad, the songs aren't.
There are a lot of great songs on this one, of course "I believe in Miracles" and "Pet Sematary" are 2 of the greatest Ramones songs and its worth it just for those.
Other songs like Zero Zero UFO, Punishment Fits the Crime, Palisades Park, Ignorance is Bliss, Merry Christmas, Come back,
and one of my all time favorite Ramones songs "Can't get you outta my mind", make this CD very much worth buying.
The Production is kinda muddy but the songs make up for it.
not the best Ramones album, but a very good album none the less.
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Format: Audio CD
BRAIN DRAIN (1989) oughtta be considered a Ramones classic. I hate when people talk about a great rock album and say things like "The only good song is PET SEMETARY." It's simply not true with this album. I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES is both one of the best Ramones songs ever, and also on my list of top ten rock songs of the eighties.

Also, this album has more great songs- song for song- than any albums from the eighties. It rocks out like Road To Ruin. And is far better than any albums they recorded afterwards. It's different than the seventies albums , sure,.. but the band synched perfectly, and created a stellar rock album. ZERO ZERO...rocks, DONT BUST MY CHOPS... awesome, dig the hook, bay-bee; PUNISHMENT FITS and ALL SCREWED UP to me sound just as good as any seventies stuff, only with a little eighties production. But we're talking Red Hot Chilli Peppers eighties, not Journey. Whatever, it still sounds fresh and it sounds like Ramones. The song from that Stephen King movie is probably the most un-Ramones-like song in the mix, but it's still good. Followed by PALISADES PARK... another cool take on some fifties bubble gum that rocks. The rest of the album balances left to right with Dee Dee's aggresive LEARN TO LISTEN and IGNORANCE IS BLISS, sandwiched between Joey Ramone ballads CANT GET YOU OUTTA MY MIND and COME BACK BABY... two songs that foreshadow some of the great tunes that Joey Ramone would do on his own. The Christmas one is good too. All three would be on any Joey Ramone greatest hits package. Should one ever be released. Every song is great. This may be my FAVORITE Ramones album of all. So stop bustin' chops.

*The remaster series doesn't add much, except an alternate version of Pets, but I've often found it much cheaper at other places. You can save money here at Amazon, by just getting the straight version.
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