9. Ramones - It's Alive
You know what you’re getting with a Ramones album, and even more so with a live record. They’ll tear through tracks at pace, dashing off as many punk-pop masterpieces as they can in their allotted time, touching on a mixture of sophomoric and supernatural subjects.
But that predictability doesn’t make the product any less fantastic. It’s Alive takes its material from the band’s first three (and best) albums, which basically guarantees hit after breakneck hit. They pull out “Blitzkrieg Bop” early, burning shortly thereafter through “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” and the oft-underrated political cracker “Havana Affair”.
The record does a fantastic job of capturing the energy levels of a band whose sound helped to define punk rock. The Ramones’ ice cold charisma comes across on the album; they’re not there to banter with the crowd or put on much of a formal show at all, just to tear through tracks, look cool in leathers and shades, and get out of there.
By the finale, “We’re A Happy Family”, they’ve scorched almost 30 songs, all of which are played with disarmingly faultless technique. They don’t like to look as though they’re trying, but this is a slick show.