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CD review: Ramones, The Sire Years 1976-81 (Sire/Rhino)


Ramonistas of refined sensibility will tell you that only two of the group’s first six albums are essential to life: Ramones and Rocket to Russia. They are essential like certain proteins are. But, equally, if someone offered you all six in a neat little box for affordable moneyola, you’d be a fool not to...

Well, here you go, nicely in time for Christmas: the most exquisite boiling-down of cartoon pop into a rockin’ elixir ever concocted. This, readers, is what you take to feel alive.

Gratifying to note, too, that the celebrity produced End of the Century (1980, Phil Spector) and Pleasant Dreams (1981, Graham Gouldman) still don’t cut it like the first four. (And don’t expect the usual box-set frills, either — because there are none).