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Ramones

(33⅓ #20)

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3.51  ·  Rating details ·  241 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Thirty-Three and a Third is a series of short books about critically acclaimed and much-loved albums of the past 40 years. Over 50,000 copies have been sold! Passionate, obsessive, and smart. Nylon an inspired new series of short books about beloved works of vinyl. Details Nicholas Rombes is an English professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he teaches and writ ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 18th 2005 by Continuum
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3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  241 ratings  ·  29 reviews


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Peter Landau
Jul 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Not a bad personal look at the import of the first Ramones album, placing in the larger context of punk, wedding it to a time and place. The first part is more general and the second half of the book is a song-by-song survey of the record. There are academic bits throughout and it ends on a cultural studies jag, which is interesting, if not all that insightful or original. But I read it pretty much in a sitting and it kept me engaged while my daughter was at a pool party. I didn't bring my suit ...more
Paul Austin
Apr 21, 2008 rated it really liked it

For a series focusing on influential and/or seminal albums, including Ramones is a given. I was a few years late getting into the Ramones (Rocket to Russia was a birthday gift in 1980, officially making me the oddest kid in my 7th grade class in Maine) but it seems like I always knew about this album. Heck, everyone did. If you were into this newfangled punk rock thing, it was essential. If you always wanted to start a band but didn’t know how to play an instrument, this was the record that said
...more
David
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Well written analysis of the origins & influence of the album. However, from the perspective of a non-Punk fan, it could be pretty dry, despite its extreme brevity. Beyond even that, it spends a surprisingly short amount of time on the album itself, focusing more on 70s Punk as a movement. Personally, I would have preferred the author spent more time actually talking about the album.
Guy
Jan 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Het is altijd bijzonder om te lezen over een plaat of artiest die je nauw aan het hart ligt, dus bij het lezen van Ramones was het dubbel prijs. De eerste plaat van de Ramones die ik kocht was Ramones Mania, een compilatie (815 frank in de New Music in Genk! Een FNAC-prijs!) met een dertigtal nummers uit hun eerste tien platen (1976-1987), maar niet lang daarna vond ik Ramones (1976) én hun derde, Rocket To Russia (1977), op LP op de Genkse rommelmarkt (500 BEF voor de twee). Dat moet in de zome ...more
pianogal
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one was surprising. The book wasn’t great- there was a lot of history on the punk movement. Fine. But the surprise was how much I loved the album. I don’t usually like this kind of music but I like this one. Looking forward to digging into it more.
Gary Lee
Far too much attention placed on the importance of rock criticism and the concept of "punk as artistic statement" and maybe ~20 pages actually dedicated to the first Ramones album.
Ted Gurley
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well researched story of the times, music and climate of 1976 and the stars that aligned allowing The Ramones to emerge.
Patrick McCoy
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
I devoured Nicholas Rombes' book on Ramones from the 33 1/3 series by Continuum Books. It is another standout in the series. Like, Frank Bruno's Elvis Costello Armed Forces book, it takes a look at cultural zeitgeist that was taking place as well as some of the more controversial aspects of the movement from a more academic perspective, which I found though-provoking and enlightening. (You gotta love references to Hemingway, Hammett, and Pynchon, Colin Wilson and Theodore W. Adorno, Pauline Kael ...more
Hollowspine
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very interesting look, not just at the Ramones, but at Punk history and culture as a whole. It’s a highly debated topic even now, just what is Punk? How did it start, what does it mean? I found Nick Rombes’ essay very informative and while so many essays on punk lean towards one definition or another I appreciated his approach to the topic, focusing on the times the members of the Ramones grew up in, using material from interviews and aggregating reviews, articles, and books on the Ramones or ...more
Jon
Jul 23, 2011 added it
Rombes doesn't have much to say about the history of the group or the individual members' lives (he doesn't even mention their real names), and--perhaps understandably, it is the Ramones, after all--he comes up a little short on analysis of the songs on their debut as well. (He doesn't even mention that the line "Second verse, same as the first" from "Judy Is a Punk" is taken from the Herman's Hermits tune "I'm Henry VIII, I Am", which itself is a radically reworked version of an old music-hall ...more
Ben
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
If you're looking for lots of not all that interesting quotes from '70s rock and roll mag and fanzine writers on this band and this record, this is the book for you.
Otherwise, skip it and check out "On The Road With the Ramones", which is much better than "An American Band" or the British Ramones book which is more like a cut and paste collection of other people's reporting and which I'm too lazy for the title of.

Also, if you love or even like this band, you owe it to yourself to watch the stel
...more
Rich
Aug 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Again, I usually stay away from rock journalism but the 33 1/3 books are changing my mind. Is this the new age of awakening for me? I doubt it...

This is the second book in the series that I've read and the second excellent effort. The author gives an intriguing rendition of the era of NYC punk (and contrary to an opinion I got recently, punk DID NOT start in the 1990s - sheesh!). He deftly points out that the mythologizing of punk has led to the current impression that punk artists didn't want t
...more
Andrew
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
The first three quarters of this book don’t really tell anything about the Ramones’ first album, nor does it tell anything about the Ramones themselves that anyone who’d even has a speck of interest in reading this wouldn’t already know. The book mostly talks about 70’s pop culture, making references to movies, television shows, and of course music, but all the references are way too mainstream to be interesting and fail to offer anything informative. The last quarter or so it gets into the maki ...more
Jesse
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Eh. I suppose it could be considered pomo (ie "second verse, same as the first") to repeat yourself in a book of basically 100 pages, but come on. There's about 20 pages of good stuff here about how nobody on the CBGBs scene in the 1970s, the Ramones first and foremost, subscribed to the oppositional/holier-than-thou hipster creed--they all wanted to make it and thought they would, legendary $6400 budget or no. And, aside from a few decent points about the album itself, that's it; I think he wan ...more
Mike Bender
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
More of a study of the history of punk and the meaning of punk through the lens of Ramones, rather than a discussion of the album itself. Very interesting premises and also conjures up images of mid-70s New York City which were a plus for me.
Thomas
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, read_2014
It's perhaps not a MUST read if you're a Ramones fan, but I don't think it would hurt. Even if you just appreciate them and want to hear a particularly interesting perspective on the development of punk rock, in particular focusing on the differences between UK and American punk, the progenitors of punk, and the discrepancy between the more recent revisionist idea that punk has always been a political vehicle and the reality that much of at least the early punk rock scene was, if anything, apoli ...more
Robert
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It's not easy to talk about the Ramones debut as it's a subject which journalists love to write about. Earleist punk rock record etc etc but Rombes does a good job. In fact I saw a pitchfork documentary on this album and the material was lifted from this book (I think) Anyway it's the usual - the stories behind the recording of the debut and what happened to the band after. Total fun.
Nathan
Dec 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Educated Punks
Shelves: 33-1-3-series
I own three different versions of this album, and I couldn't wait until I had a chance to read this book. I really enjoyed the way the book looked beyond the battle of who started punk in order to get to the purpose of this album, as portrayed by the band. Quick read, and worthy of my time for sure.
Matt Ogborn
Dec 25, 2014 rated it liked it
It was interesting to read some contemporary accounts of the perceptions of "punk" in its early days, but the book is a bit dry. And honestly, Rombes made such a big deal about the metatextual import of the lyric "second verse same as the first" but seems to be unaware of the same phrase being used in "I'm Henry the VIII I Am" ten years earlier by Herman's Hermits. How is this possible?
Michael Lachowski
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
Best for someone who is more interested in the history, meaning, positioning, nuances and theories of punk rock than in the Ramones or in the subject matter of the book's title, the first Ramones album.
Robert Barbantini
Quick read....kind of takes the fun out of an album when one psychoanalysis it. Some of the supporting info was interesting, but on the whole, this series, analyzing whole albums, is not my "cup of tea."
Arf Ortiyef
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
in this essay about early punk rock, the author briefly inserts mentions of the Ramones and tells me what i think about some of the songs. you read that correctly.

this 33 1/3 series is such a hack job. don't buy these crummy books.
Tripp
Jul 07, 2014 rated it liked it
The 33 1/3 are always a gamble. The freedom provided by the editors allows for all sorts of books. I enjoyed this one well enough, but didn't feel it really clued me into the band or album as much as would have liked.
Josh
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
An interesting look at this album, but falls easily (and often) into the too-clever-by-half trap that makes some of these books so self righteous.
Anne
Jun 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who likes the Ramones and Punk Rock will enjoy this quick read.
Mike
Jun 06, 2009 added it
one of my faves in 33 1/3 series.
Kevin Duvall
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
A really nice piece of cultural theory, though Rombes talks quite a bit more about the wider scope of American punk as a cultural movement than about the Ramones' debut album.
CleverGirl
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
i love the ramones and this book didn't tell me anything new about them. i hesitate to pan it completely, because maybe i suffered from knowing too much already? i don't think the writing was great.
Steven
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites from the 331/3 series
pasd137
rated it really liked it
Oct 06, 2007
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Nicholas Rombes works in Detroit. The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing (Two Dollar Radio, 2014) is his first novel which, according to Elizabeth Hand, is "beautiful and nightmarish" and which Brian Evenson describes as "smart and slyly unsettling." And Evan Calder Williams says: "Suffused with the best elements and obscure conspiracies of Bolaño, Ligotti, and speculative fiction, Rombes' work g ...more

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