Review Revue: Ramones – Subterranean Jungle

Subterranean Jungle

Here’s another one: How is this the first time I’ve covered a Ramones album in this almost decade-long series of blog posts? I mean, the Ramones! Come on! Is there a more influential band with a deeper catalog more filled with albums that college radio DJs are likely to have intensely critical and controversial opinions about? I have no excuse, all I can do is try to correct the record.

The Ramones need no introduction, but what their seventh album, Subterranean Jungle, might well need is a healthy dose of college-radio-DJ-splaining. Unlike some other albums I could have chosen (and might choose in the future), Subterranean Jungle was seen by many as a return to form and didn’t elicit too many nasty complaints about selling out, overproduction, and so on. It’s still a fun bunch of music-nerding out, though.

“GABBAGABBAHEY! FINALLY! Sounds more like early Ramones . . . not as highly produced as Pleasant Dreams or End of the Century . . . strange miking of the drums.”

“Yeah. The cymbals especially.”

“Yes, I would like this for my birthday. Thanks. (The subways are never that clean)”

“As Tony the Tiger would say GRRRRRREAT! PS Especially remakes 2.2 & 1.1. Also good are 2.1 & 1.3!!!”

Great cover of ‘Time Ha Come Today’ – old Chamber Bros. tune.”

“Yes! From 1966.”

“Tracks 5 + 6 on side 1 are tighter than a duck’s ass. (This means ‘watch out,’ becos you’llmiss, like me.)” [Which, if I may elaborate further, means that there is very little space between the end of track 5 and the beginning of track 6, so the DJ had to be ready to make a quick switch before it was too late.]

“Yow! The Ramones do a great cover of a FRAZZ tune.”

“Sorry – it’s the Music Explosion.” [As long as we’re correcting each other . . . actually, it’s the Little Darlings. But of course they didn’t have Wikipedia at KCMU in 1983.]

“I was kidding!”

“Sure… sure…”

“As the world’s #1 Ramones fan, I say it’s good, but not their best. But with a few great cuts.”

“‘Little Bit of Soul’ great rock + roller”

“What?? New jeans + tennis shoes?!”

“‘Everytime I Eat Vegetables…’ solid rock + roll.”

“‘I Need Your Love’ – nice cover of the Boyfriend’s song.”

“I’ve been here too long – get me outta ‘H.'”

“There are so many good cuts here, it should be in ‘H’ til ‘the cows come home’ (- Capt. Action, 5/29/83)” [This comment was only written two months after the album was first added to the KCMU library, which doesn’t seem that insanely long to me, especially for a kickass Ramones record.]

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  1. Eric Leckbee
    Posted April 28, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    This was the first Ramones record I bought. I had listened to friends’ Ramones records but when I went to the store this was displayed as latest release so that’s the one I picked. An underrated gem in their catalog. Their cover of Little Bit O Soul is definitive. Challenger for best song title ever: Everytime I Eat Vegetables It Makes Me Think Of You.

  2. john engel
    Posted April 28, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I have to say after my 30 year plus love affair with music Ramones are, in my book, perhaps the single most over-rated band in American music history. Little talent, sing-song doo-wop rhythm and the most basic chord structure available. They may have given rise to the notion that ‘yes we to can play music’ if these schmucks pretend to. Got leather coats and skinny jeans – hey, who needs actual more?

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