Rhino to Reissue First Four Ramones Albums on 180g Vinyl - "All Revved Up and Ready To Go"

By , Columnist
It's hard to determine when punk music actually became a driving force in the world of rock.  Many cite the influential energy of a New York City band The Velvet Underground, which featured the inimitable Lou Reed and John Cale and alternately entertained and bewildered the world from 1964 into the early '70s. 

Others have noted the manic displays of high-powered recklessness of Iggy Pop, leader of Michigan's Iggy & The Stooges, who held sway from 1967-1974, as a primary turning point that led to the punk movement.

But few will doubt the influence of a four-member Brooklyn band known as Ramones, formed in 1974, as one of the first to demonstrate the exciting new form of music as a viable alternative.

The Ramones released their eponymous first album in 1976 on Sire Records.  It contained 14 fast-paced, under three-minute , tracks.  Anthemic songs included "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Beat On the Brat," and the under two-minute powerhouse, "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue."

The band followed up the critically well-received debut with the rapid release of Leave Home (1977), Rocket to Russia (1977), and the more pop-rock sounding Road To Ruin (1978), albums that further cemented their influence, an influence heard in countless subsequent bands.

Three of the core members of the Ramones are no longer with us.  Joey Ramone, the lanky vocalist, died of cancer in 2001, followed by the band's bassist, Dee Dee Ramone, of a heroin overdose in 2002.  Johnny Ramone, the band's fast-paced guitarist, died of cancer in 2004.  But the music they left behind keeps their legend alive.

Bernie Grundman Mastering.jpgOn July 19, Rhino Records will revisit the vinyl LP glory days with the release of the first four Ramones albums (mentioned above) on 180-gram vinyl.  Rhino Records' Asset/Media Supervisor Charles Benson joined mastering engineer Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman's disc cutting studio to cut lacquers from the original 1/4″ analog Dolby stereo masters.

With the growing niche market of vinyl becoming more appealing to an audience that is becoming aware of the quality of analog sound, labels are happy to resupply classic titles in a higher grade vinyl reissue than made available when the albums were first released.

180g-weight LPs have claimed advantages.  First, the weight makes it obviously less prone to warping, a good thing.  180g-weight LPs are also claimed to have a wider stereo bandwidth (due to deeper grooves that can be cut as opposed to a thinner 120g vinyl) resulting in a better sonic quality.  180g weight vinyl is the LP that most audiophiles reach for these days.

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Matt Rowe began his life with an AM radio, listening to anything that was considered music. Since, he has labored intently to build a collection of music, paring it down, rebuilding, and refining as he sees fit. His decided goal is to keep up with new music by panning for the nuggets among literal mountains…

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