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on December 30, 2009
No, wait a minute...bloody fantastic is what this is. I was not a big Ramones fan back in the day, probably only because my local radio stations did not expose me to their work, other than Beat on the Brat, and I Wanna Be Sedated. And silly me, I didn't want to believe a band from NYC could be any good. Yes, I was stupid, I learned there are many great NY bands. What made me buy this DVD was seeing their 1985 performance on the Old Grey Whistle Test Volume One DVD (a series I highly recommend).

Captured here is a virtual biography of Ramones performances from the beginning (1974) through the end (1996), and honestly, I didn't even know they were still performing after about 1985. Again, stupid me, but thankfully this catalog of performances is well preserved. While the films of earliest performances are a bit scratchy and fuzzy, so was the musicianship of the band. One can see and feel that something unique is developing, and as the band grows up, the musicianship and songwriting becomes better and more complex (and the film/video improves as well).

Most of this collection is very well preserved considering the age of the media it was captured on. For example, the footage from the 1982 San Bernardino US Festival is crystal clear, bright, colorful, and the audio thunderous. Conversely, on "The Cars Unlocked" DVD, footage from the same festival - of The Cars - is grainy, washed-out, and the sound tinny. Obviously great care was taken by The Ramones and those close to them to preserve these memories.

My old impression of the band was that it was a novelty act with a few clever hits. Watching this, I see the care that was taken in their uniform (jeans and leather jackets), the presentation - the simultaneous movements of Johnny and Dee Dee, the uncluttered stage, and respect for the audience - never facing away, 100 percent music and no idle banter.

A great companion piece to these performances is the biography "End of the Century" DVD. Learning about how the band members met, developed, and put up with each other over the many years is somehow compelling, and heightened my enjoyment of the performances on this DVD. Really, it's a crime that the Ramones were pretty much ignored by US radio stations. Do yourself some justice and buy this.
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Probably the fastest and shortest double live album ever released. I wasn't expecting the sound quality or even the performance to be spectacular but this caught me off guard. I think if you own the first three Ramones albums you should definitely get this one as a bookmark on that part of their career before they changed drummers and went onto some career and album experimentation. *****
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on November 13, 2017
Top 10 live albums of all time IMHO. Sounds awesome on vinyl which is really the way it should be heard - at 11.
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on July 25, 2017
Brings back memories of my gatefold sleeve double LP from 1980, long gone. 1-2-3-4....!
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on March 19, 2015
This is an historical recording. They were young, creative and evolving. One or five stars is a matter of taste. The Ramones formed in a time and place where they presented in music form the reality they lived. It is loud, fast, it has no complex melodies nor impressive lyrics, short songs, some may sound offensive, some can make you laugh, some can make you ask "what?". Not for everyone. Listen and decide. Still this is now an historical record of something that may not repeat again.
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on June 29, 2017
Love it.
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on September 28, 2017
Love it!
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on October 6, 2017
I purchased this for my husband and when we opened it, the dvd inside was the European version but the box said it was the us version so it was useless to me.
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on November 28, 2007
if you're a ramones fan don't even wait to read this review, order immediately. this dvd set is that good. it's 4 hours (on 2 dvds) of live ramones mainly from their prime, 1976-81. the sound and video quality ranges from excellent to lousy but don't worry. the whole 4 hours are a raucous, noisy JOY. just as i remember them. take it from someone who was there, THIS IS THE REAL DEAL! tommy (erdelyi) ramone was the musical director on this project and obviously a lot of work went into it. if your ANY kind of rock&roll fan this set is a must. i'll bet if any of my old friends who told me THE RAMONES suck or THE RAMONES should be shot check this out now they'll have to admit that THE RAMONES were pretty damn good. us fans know they were WAY better than that, they were bleepin' GREAT! 10 stars.
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on April 15, 2012
This is the Ramones at their prime. Raw and brutal. Heavy metal perfectly blended with bubble gum pop and good old fashioned rock'n'roll nostalgia. Here is perhaps the greatest punk band of all time at their prime. This after their first 3 or 4 albums before they'd gotten bored of these songs. If you get a chance to hear their later day live output, its too fast and sounds sloppy. Here they sound perfect. The best live album I've ever heard. Far surpassing Kick Out The Jams and that Cheap Trick live in Japan or whatever.
1 helpful vote
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