Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Joey T. Germ Presents: Cassette Reviews: Too Tough To Die

THE RAMONES
Too Tough to Die (Sire) 1984
Not the greatest Ramones record ever ever, but really, have they ever made a bad one? With the Ramones you have to embrace their faults, idiosyncracies, and quirks and love them warts and all. Considering the personalities and disorders at play in the band, any release seems like a miracle in hindsight. Plus, we got Tommy Ramone back in his spot at the controls, so there's that. While most of the tunes on Too Tough to Die won't have you jumping to your feet, shaking your fist in a beat-on-the-brat kinda way, it does have its moments. Like "Wart Hog," for example—a Dee Dee punk rock gem with a very infectious chorus. This was Dee Dee's answer to the hardcore of the day, but he just couldn't help making it a catchy tune in the bargain. "Endless Vacation" is another Dee Dee attempt to play hardcore which succeeds in the brainless and tunelessness a lot of hardcore aspired to in the mid 80s. In fact, Too Tough to Die is a mostly Dee Dee affair with the bass player contributing nine out of thirteen tracks. Non Dee Dee songs like "Chasing the Night," and "Howling at the Moon (Sha-La-La)" are classic 60s ala Ramones pop songs. There are some throwaways sure, like "Planet Earth 1988" (still four years away at this point), and "Danger Zone," a forgettable if not forgivable bland rock attempt. All in all, Too Tough to Die is a return to form and remains a solid brick in the house that the Ramones built—Joey T. Germ

Dan Kiss contributed this cassette to Joey T. Germ Presents: Cassette Reviews. Thanks, Dan!

Always read Reglar Wiglar!

5 comments:

The Ghost of Douglas Colvin said...

Danger Zone starts out like this:

What song are we doin? DANGER ZONE. Oh, okay. 1-2-3-4!

Dr. Monte Melnick, Ramones Studies Dept., Oberlin College said...

All alone in the danger zone
All alone in the danger zone
All alone in the danger zone
All alone in the danger zone

You've flipped your lid
You've flipped your lid
You've flipped your lid
You've flipped your lid
They say you're just a mixed up kid
You've flipped your lid
You've flipped your lid

Potter's Mom said...

But what did you think about "Momma's Boy," the opening track?

Jim Messina said...

Loggins was so gaga over this record, he wrote his own take on the danger zone motif:

Headin' into twilight
Spreadin' out her wings tonight
She got you jumpin' off the track
And shovin' into overdrive

Highway to the Danger Zone
I'll take you
Right into the Danger Zone

Office Manager said...

In response to Potter's Mom, I like any song with the phrase "jelly bean brain" in it. I do not care for real life Momma's Boys, however.