End of the Century

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End of the Century
Ramones studio album


4th February 1980

Label (s) Sire Records

Format (s)


Genre (s)

Punk , rock

Title (number)


running time

34:14 (CD)

  • John Gillespie - Art Direction
  • Mick Rock - Photography
  • Spencer Drate - graphic design


Phil Spector

Studio (s)

Gold Star Studios , Excalibur Studios, Devonshire Sound Studios, Salty Dog Studios, Original Sound Studios (all Los Angeles )

It's Alive
End of the Century Pleasant Dreams (1981)
End of the Century (1980)
End of the Century (1980)
Chart positions
Explanation of the data
End of the Century
  US 44 02/23/1980 (14 weeks)
  UK 14th January 19, 1980 (8 weeks)
Baby, I love you
  UK 8th 01/26/1980 (9 weeks)
Do You Remember
Rock 'n' Roll Radio?
  UK 54 April 19, 1980 (3 weeks)

End of the Century ( English for "End of the Century") is the first time in 1980 published the fifth studio album of American punk band the Ramones . It was produced by Phil Spector , who underlay the minimalist, electric guitar-emphasized music of the Ramones with elaborate arrangements . End of the Century contains the single Baby, I Love You, the track that reached the highest chart positions during the band's career .

History of origin


As early as February 1977, after attending a Ramones concert in Los Angeles , the music producer Phil Spector offered the band the first time to produce one of their albums and to switch to his own music label . Spector had already made a name for himself in previous years with pop and rock music productions (including the Beatles album Let It Be and solo albums by John Lennon and George Harrison ) and with his " Wall of Sound " . He created this “wall of sound” by meticulously “layering” a multitude of sound tracks ( overdubbing ), doubling or tripling individual instrument tracks and adding complex sound effects such as reverb and echo .

Spector believed in the Ramones' songwriting abilities and intended to further the hit potential he saw in the group's music and make the band a # 1 hit. At a first meeting at Spector's house, the band turned it down. Only after further attempts to convince Spector and when the sales figures of their following published albums did not meet expectations, the Ramones let themselves be persuaded under pressure from their record company Sire Records to get involved in a cooperation with Spector. End of the Century is also the first album by the Ramones without the participation of founding member, producer and Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone .

Studio work

The recording sessions for the album End of the Century began May 1, 1979 in the recording studio Gold Star Studios in Hollywood , Los Angeles, in the already famous artists like Eddie Cochran and the Beach Boys had recorded. At the request of the Ramones, Ed Stasium , who had been involved as producer and studio musician on the two previous albums of the band, Rocket to Russia and Road to Ruin, took over the tasks of recording management, second guitar and mediation between the musicians and the producer. In the course of the studio work it turned out that Spector's methods were the opposite of the way the Ramones were used to working on their four previous studio albums. For the previous albums, the band had recorded their compositions in the recording studio in the shortest possible time for the lowest possible budget and with relatively little effort for studio production (compare the genesis of the albums Ramones and Leave Home ). At End of the Century , however, the group was exposed to the unfamiliar perfectionism of Phil Spector, who completely remixed the entire album three times within six months before it was released. In accordance with such an elaborate studio production, End of the Century was to be the most expensive album in the Ramones' career with production costs of around US $ 200,000.

Conflicts in the studio

The different ways of working of the producer and the band led to a number of conflicts during the recording sessions, which repeatedly called the continuation of the collaboration into question. Guitarist Johnny Ramone was forced to play the single, slowly fading opening chord of the song Rock 'n' Roll High School over and over again for hours; until Spector was satisfied with the result - a recording method that strained the nerves of the musician, who is considered to be very cost-conscious and impatient:

"To Johnny this must have been like the chinese water torture."

"For Johnny it must have been like the Chinese water torture."

- Seymour Stein : Owner of Sire Records , in an interview about the recordings for the album End of the Century , 2005

After the recordings of Rock 'n' Roll High School , Johnny Ramone - who, according to his own admission, had been against the choice of Spector as producer from the start (he described him as a "sad little figure") - wanted to leave the recording sessions and without him Rest of the group return to New York City . He could only be dissuaded from his project with a concerted attempt to convince the management and record label. Spector later apologized to the guitarist and promised him to change the way he worked for the Ramones.

Spector's enthusiasm for Joey Ramone's vocals caused further conflict ; his alleged or actual favoritism by Spector led to internal jealousy, especially on the part of the guitarist. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone later claimed in his autobiography that he couldn't remember which tracks on the album he even played bass on.

The band biographies with a few anecdotes tell of the grueling collaboration between the Ramones and Phil Spector on this album. In their biographies, Dee Dee Ramone and tour manager Monte Melnick agree that Spector once held the band against their will for hours during a visit to his home in Los Angeles (according to the Ramones bassist at gunpoint) in order to get them at other times to play his compositions on the piano.

Importance of the album

Assessment by the band

End of the Century was the first in a series of albums by the Ramones, on whose musical quality and importance for their careers the band members could not find a consensus. The wide-ranging assessments of this work by the group members particularly highlight the internal conflict between singer and guitarist, which was to shape the further history of the Ramones even after their dissolution. While Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone hated the album and the guitarist called End of the Century, unmoved by its relatively high chart successes, in retrospect as “the worst thing we have ever done in our career” (literally: “ […] the worst thing we've ever done in our career ”), Joey Ramone classified the album including the collaboration with Spector as the realization of a dream“ ( a dream came true ) ”. There was also disagreement in the band about the song Baby, I Love You, a composition by Spector. Since singer Joey Ramone is represented as the only band member on the recording, Johnny Ramone called it a "Joey solo single " and feared the end of the band's career. The selection of the photo for the front of the album cover also caused disputes in the band. The photo used shows the group without their typical black leather motorcycle jackets; a decision that the guitarist considered a major mistake and detrimental to the band's image. However, he was outvoted by the other band members.

Reception and reviews

Regardless of its break with the maxim of musical minimalism characteristic of the previous Ramones albums, the End of the Century , which the band produced with atypical great effort, was largely positively received by the music press when it was released. While the Ramones' first attempts at more elaborate production of the 1978 studio album Road to Ruin led to negative press reactions, End of the Century, when published as a “subversive experience” ( Trouser Press ) , was “the best thing they [the Ramones] did. have ever done ” ( New Musical Express ) and“ the Ramones and Spectors most believable album, best work in years ” ( Rolling Stone ) . In 1980, End of the Century made Time Magazine's "Album of the Year" list . However, music journalist David Fricke criticized the Spector-typical production of the album in the British magazine Mojo and criticized the fact that the characteristic distorted Ramones electric guitar sound was too much overlaid by sound effects and acoustic guitar.

The pieces of music on the album (selection)

  • Do you remember rock 'n' roll radio? is a throwback to rock music from the 1950s to the late 1960s and names many well-known musicians ( Jerry Lee Lewis , John Lennon , T. Rex ), music programs ( Shindig, The Ed Sullivan Show ) and presenters of US radio stations ( including Murray the K , Alan Freed ) from these musical epochs. To emphasize the retrospective "rock 'n' roll character" of the piece, the Ramones are accompanied by the saxophone and electronic organ , which are atypical of the band's background instruments. The lyrics of the song are inspired by Dee Dee Ramone's childhood in Germany, when he secretly watched rock music radio broadcasts on Radio Free Europe and Radio Luxemburg under the covers at night .
  • Danny Says describes the band's day-to-day tour with sound checks , autograph sessions and interviews. With "Danny" is meant the then manager of the Ramones, Danny Fields , whose instructions the band must obey according to the lyrics. This ballad Joey Ramones was inspired by songs by Lou Reed like Candy Says and Caroline Says , according to the singer .
  • The text by Chinese Rock deals with the everyday life of a heroin addict (" junkie "); the term "Chinese Rock" itself is a code name for the drug heroin . The autobiographical piece was written by Dee Dee Ramone in collaboration with the then The Heartbreakers bassist Richard Hell . Both musicians were known for their heroin addiction. Due to the explosive subject, the Ramones initially refused to include the song in their repertoire. The piece was first published in 1977 by the Heartbreakers on their first single, with slightly changed lyrics.
  • The Return of Jackie and Judy quotes in text and music Judy is a punk - a track from the band's 1976 debut album, Ramones . Numerous studio guests were involved in the recording, including the bodyguard Phil Spectors, the brothers Dan and David Kessel (sons of the US jazz guitarist Barney Kessel ), and the Californian DJ and radio presenter Rodney Bingenheimer. The composition was republished by Tom Waits in a cover version on his 2006 album Orphans .
  • Singer Joey Ramone is the sole member of the band on Baby I Love You, which was released as a single , a hit by The Ronettes in 1963/64 and the only cover version of the album as a Phil Spector composition . He is accompanied by the music arranged by Spector by an ensemble of strings, keyboards and acoustic guitars. The song is the only recording on all of the Ramones albums that includes string instruments .
  • Rock 'n' Roll High School is the title track of the US film comedy released in 1980 also eponymous Rock 'n' Roll High School , where the Ramones and their music play a major role.
  • All the Way is another autobiographical title about the band's everyday life, in whose text Tour Manager Monte Melnick is briefly mentioned (quote: “ Well, Monte's making me crazy, it's just like being in the Navy ” - German: “Monte makes me crazy; it's like in the Navy. ").

Track list

  1. Do you remember rock 'n' roll radio? (Ramones)
  2. I'm Affected (Joey Ramone)
  3. Danny Says (Joey Ramone)
  4. Chinese Rock (Dee Dee Ramone / Richard Hell)
  5. The Return of Jackie and Judy (Ramones)
  6. Let's Go (Johnny Ramone / Dee Dee Ramone)
  7. Baby, I Love You (Phil Spector / Jeff Barry / Ellie Greenwich)
  8. Can't make it on time
  9. This Ain't Havana (Dee Dee Ramone)
  10. Rock 'n' Roll High School
  11. All the Way (Joey Ramone)
  12. High risk insurance

Title of the extended new edition from 2002

  1. I Want You Around (Soundtrack Version)
  2. Danny Says (demo)
  3. I'm Affected (Demo)
  4. Please Don't Leave (Demo)
  5. All the Way (demo)
  6. Do you remember rock 'n' roll radio? (Demo)

Single releases

  • Baby, I Love You / High Risk Insurance (January 1980)
  • Do you remember rock 'n' roll radio? / I Want You Around (April 1980)
  • I Wanna Be Sedated / The Return of Jackie and Judy (August 1980)

Charts positions

  • End of the Century came to number 44 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1980, the highest US chart position for an album by the Ramones in their career, and in Great Britain it came to number 14 on the UK Top 40 Albums Chart.
  • The single Baby, I Love You also reached # 8 on the UK Top 40 Singles Chart in 1980 , making it the highest chart positioning of a Ramones single in the band's history.


  • David Fricke: Hit or Bust . In: Mojo - The Music Magazine, May 2011 issue, pp. 78–84. Article about the making of End of the Century
  • Dick Porter: Ramones - The Complete Twisted History . Plexus Publishing, London 2004, ISBN 0-85965-326-9 (English)
  • Monte Melnick, Frank Meyer: On the Road with the Ramones . Sanctuary Publishing, London 2003, ISBN 1-86074-514-8 (English)
  • Everett True: Hey Ho Let's Go. The Story of the Ramones . Omnibus Press, London / New York 2002, ISBN 0-7119-9108-1 (English)
  • Dee Dee Ramone with Veronica Kofman: Lobotomy - Surviving the Ramones . Thunder's Mouth Press, New York 2000, ISBN 1-56025-252-9 (English) autobiography

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Chart placements:
  2. a b True: Hey Ho Let's Go - The Story of the Ramones , pp. 136 ff.
  3. ^ A b c Johnny Ramone: Commando: the autobiography of Johnny Ramone . Abrams Image, New York 2012. ISBN 978-0-8109-9660-1 , pp. 90 f.
  4. True: Hey Ho Let's Go - The Story of the Ramones , pp. 138 ff.
  5. a b c d David Fricke: Hit or Bust, in: Mojo - The Music Magazine, May 2011 issue, p. 78
  6. a b c d e f g h i True: Hey Ho Let's Go - The Story of the Ramones , p. 145 f.
  7. Porter: Ramones - The Complete Twisted History , p. 104
  8. ^ True: Hey Ho Let's Go - The Story of the Ramones , p. 134
  9. a b Porter: Ramones - The Complete Twisted History , p. 102
  10. a b c Melnick: On the Road with the Ramones , pp. 206 ff.
  11. End of the Century - the Story of the Ramones , DVD-Video. Warner Music Vision, 2005
  12. ^ True: Hey Ho Let's Go - The Story of the Ramones , p. 140
  13. a b c Dee Dee Ramone: Lobotomy - Surviving the Ramones , p. 131 f.
  14. Porter: Ramones - The Complete Twisted History , p. 103
  15. a b Legs McNeil, Gillian McCain: Please Kill Me - the uncensored history of punk . Standard work on the history of US punk from 1967–1992, German-language edition, p. 416 ff. Koch International GmbH / Hannibal, 2004. ISBN 978-3-85445-237-9
  16. a b True: Hey Ho Let's Go - The Story of the Ramones , p. 144.
  17. ^ True: Hey Ho Let's Go - The Story of the Ramones , p. 121
  18. ^ True: Hey Ho Let's Go - The Story of the Ramones , p. 149: Quotes from press reviews
  19. Dee Dee Ramone: Lobotomy - Surviving the Ramones , pp. 88 f.
  20. ^ True: Hey Ho Let's Go - The Story of the Ramones , p. 138
  21. Christian Graf: Punk! Das Lexikon , p. 493. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf Verlag, Berlin 2003. ISBN 3-89602-521-X