Ramones, End Of The Century
The Ramones get Phil Spector'ed, resurrected
Maybe it wasn't the safest idea to put the Ramones in a studio with Phil Spector, but it didn't turn out badly. Rock's very own Colonel Kurtz perversely — and presciently — amplified the Ramones' rudiments into layers of thickly textured pop fuzz and birthed a lovably gentle monster. End of the Century (1980) is a mixed-up mess of conflicting goals and mismatched signals but, track-by-track, a lot of it works. So while Joey can't exactly sell Dee Dee's junkie lament "Chinese Rocks," the not-yet-30 singer brings a lot more conviction to the grumpy nostalgia of "Do You Remember Rock ‘n' Roll Radio" and a cover (with strings!) of the Ronettes' "Baby I Love You." The added demos are especially edifying.