Happy 40th: Ramones, IT’S ALIVE
40 years ago this week, The Ramones released their first official live album, a 2-LP affair in which the bruddahs managed to squeeze 28 songs into a 53-minute run time.
(Yeah, we know: itâs really not all that shocking when you consider the bandâs typical output. But if you donât know the Ramones back catalog that well, then you have to admit that itâs a little bit eyebrow-raising.)
Recorded at Londonâs Rainbow Theater on New Yearâs Eve 1977, ITâS ALIVE had a title which offered a knowing nod toward the horror film of the same name, and if youâve somehow managed to live your life for all this time without being familiar with this classic horror flick, then just hit âplayâ now and thank us later.
Unlike the Ramonesâ subsequent live albums, ITâS ALIVE leaves off two very important parts of the bandâs standard concert performances â the Ennio Morricone tunes which they used for their introduction (âThe Good, The Bad and the Uglyâ) and their departure (âThe Ecstasy of Goldâ) â but letâs get real here: whatâs most important about a Ramones live album is the Ramones, and you get that in spades.
âThe Ramones were the hottest band in the world and everybody wanted to see them live. Everybody was there,â said Arturo Vega, the bandâs lighting director, in a piece by Ed Stasium on PleaseKillMe.com. âThe show was a perfect fast-and-furious punk attack. The party after the show was over-the-top and everybody was in a festive mood, feeling this was only the beginning of the punk revolution. The Ramones were at their prime and the album that came out of that night captured a cultural phenomenon at its peak.â
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