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Music / Road to Ruin

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Don't be sedated while you listen to this.

Road to Ruin is the fourth studio album by the Ramones, released in 1978. It is their first album with Marky Ramone, who replaced founding member Tommy Ramone shortly after Rocket to Russia. Tommy does co-produce this album, however.

The album is notable for featuring stuff not found on punk records in those days, such as guitar solos, acoustic rhythm guitars and ballads. The most famous song is "I Wanna Be Sedated", which is one of their signature songs.


Side One

  1. "I Just Want to Have Something to Do" (2:42)
  2. "I Wanted Everything" (3:18)
  3. "Don't Come Close" (2:44)
  4. "I Don't Want You" (2:26)
  5. "Needles and Pins" (2:21)
  6. "I'm Against It" (2:07)

Side Two

  1. "I Wanna Be Sedated" (2:29)
  2. "Go Mental" (2:42)
  3. "Questioningly" (3:22)
  4. "She's the One" (2:13)
  5. "Bad Brain" (2:25)
  6. "It's a Long Way Back" (2:20)

Bonus Tracks (2001 Expanded Edition):

  1. "I Want You Around" (3:02)
  2. "Rock 'N' Roll High School" (2:20)
  3. "Blitzkrieg Bop"/"Teenage Lobotomy"/"California Sun"/"Pinhead"/"She's the One" (11:00)
  4. "Come Back, She Cried (AKA I Walk Out)" (2:21)
  5. "Yea, Yea" (2:08)

Principal Members:

  • Dee Dee Ramone - bass, vocals
  • Joey Ramone - lead vocals
  • Johnny Ramone - guitar
  • Marky Ramone - drums

I just wanna have something to trope tonight, tonight, tonight...:

  • Accentuate the Negative: "I'm Against It". Many lyrics on this album are about mental breakdown, break-ups, frustration and boredom.
  • Alliterative Title: "Road to Ruin", "Bad Brain".
  • Anti-Love Song: In "I Don't Want You" and "Don't Come Close" the protagonist rejects everyone. In "Questioningly" he tells a girl he doesn't love her any more.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: "I'm Against It".
    I don't like Jesus freaks.
  • Big Applesauce: "I Just Want To Have Something To Do":
    Hanging out on Second Avenue eating chicken vindaloo.
  • Break Up Song: "Questioningly" is about a relationship where Joey doesn't like a certain girl any-more. "Needles And Pins" are about a girl he thought liked her, but to his despair it was all an illusion.
  • Call-Back and Continuity Nod: In "Oh, Oh, I Love Her So" from Leave Home Joey Ramone sang how he met a girl at Burger King, while in "I'm Against It" he sings he is "against Burger King".
  • Concept Album: Several songs are about wanting something and / or not wanting a particular thing. "I Wanna Be Sedated", "Go Mental" and "Bad Brain" are about mental illnesses.
  • Cover Version: "Needles And Pins", a cover of The Searchers.
  • Design Student's Orgasm and Fan Art: The album cover, drawn by Ramones fan Gus MacDonald. John Holstrom later redrew the cover a bit to include Marky instead of Tommy.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: "I Just Want to Have Something to Do", where the bored protagonist longs for something more in life. "I Wanted Everything" Joey sings he wanted "everything" in life and had the world on his shoulder. Eventually he could bring his dreams into reality and sank off into a life of crime.
  • Dirty Commies: "I'm Against It".
    I don't like politics
    I don't like communists
    [...] I don't like the Burger King.
  • Face on the Cover: The band is featured prominently on the cover artwork.
  • Instant Sedation: "I Wanna Be Sedated", where the protagonist wants to immediate and quick sedation.
  • "I Am" Song: "I'm Against It".
  • "I Want" Song: "I Just Want to Have Something to Do", "I Wanted Everything", "I Wanna Be Sedated". Subverted by "I Don't Want You" and "I'm Against It".
  • It's All About Me/Lack of Empathy: "I'm Against It".
    All I care about is me.
  • List Song: "I'm Against It" voices a hate against politics, Communism, games, fun, Jesus freaks, circus geeks, summer, spring, anything, sex, drugs, waterbugs, poverty, ping pong, the Viet Cong and Burger King.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Go Mental", a rollicking rock track about a man who went mentally insane.
    I've killed my family
    They thought I was an oddity
    Life is so beautiful
    I am a vegetable
  • Non-Appearing Title: The album title doesn't appear in the lyrics.
  • Nostalgia Filter: "It's A Long Way Back" about Dee-Dee's years in Germany.
  • One-Word Title: "Questioningly".
  • Out-of-Character Moment: "Bad Brain" has a very strange interlude where weird sound effects are heard. For the Ramones, this is pretty unusual.
  • The Power of Love: "She's the One".
  • Product Placement: "I'm Against It".
    I don't like Burger King.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "I Wanna Be Sedated" is Joey recalling on how when they first went to London, given it was Christmastime, the city was shut down, so the only thing they could do was stay in the hotel and watch TV. "It's A Long Way Back" was about Dee Dee's childhood in Germany.
  • Riches to Rags: "Bad Brain".
    I used to go to parties
    I used to drink champagne
    Now I'm beginning to feel the strain
    Bad bad brain
    I used to be in show biz
    I used to have fortune and fame
    I used to have pleasure and pain
    I used to have a name
    Bad bad brain...
  • Sanity Slippage: "Go Mental", "I Wanna Be Sedated", where the protagonist is a patient in a mental hospital heavily in need for sedative drugs.
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: Subverted with "I'm Against It".
    I don't like sex and drugs.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The punk band Bad Brains was named after the song "Bad Brain".
    • The Supergrass album Road To Rouen note  appears to be a homage.
  • Straw Nihilist: "I'm Against It".
    I don't like anything.
  • Super-Speed: "I Wanna Be Sedated".
    Just put me in a wheelchair, get me on a plane
    Hurry hurry hurry before I go insane.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: "I Wanna Be Sedated".