While the United States was awash in bicentennial revelry, somewhere in the dark alleys and backstreets of New York City, a new revolution was brewing. Brash, energetic and unapologetic, the Ramones burst upon the international music scene with their eponymous debut album, influencing the early punk scene on both sides of the Atlantic and in subsequent decades for countless other artists. And now, Warner Brothers/Rhino will mark the 40th anniversary of the landmark record with a four-disc deluxe edition.
The first of the quadruple set features both a CD version of the original stereo mix, as well as a previously unreleased mono mix. “We had an idea to record at Abbey Road and do both a mono and stereo version of the album, which was unheard of at the time,” recalls Craig Leon, producer of The Ramones. “I’m thrilled that now, 40 years later, we followed through on that original idea.” The second is a vinyl version of the unheard mono version of the record.
The anniversary edition’s third disc spotlights single mixes, outtakes and demos. Of the 18 tracks selected, eight have never been released, including demos for I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend, 53rd and 3rd and Loudmouth.
The fourth and final CD captures the band’s raw, live energy, a long-time hallmark of the Ramones. Showcasing two full sets live recorded at the Roxy in West Hollywood on August 12, 1976, the evening’s second performance makes its debut here.
And while the music is certainly enough to excite fans, the anniversary edition comes packaged in a 12″ x 12″ hardcover book, featuring production notes penned by Leon, an essay looking back on the Ramones’ early days by journalist Mitchell Cohen and additional pictures taken by Roberta Bayley, the photographer who captured the band for the now-iconic cover photo. With a nod to the year of release, the Ramones’ set is limited to 19,760 individually numbered copies.