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It has been fourty years since the sophomore album Leave Home was released under Sire Records and three years since the last original Ramone, Tommy past away. The moody foursome influenced the likes of Black Flag, The Misfits, Metallica, The Offspring and Green Day and forever changed the face of punk music and what it meant to be a misunderstood teenager in the 1970s and 1980s. You cannot listen to the Ramones without conjuring up grainy images of the foursome, arms folded, matching DIY haircuts, acid wash jeans and leather jackets. A uniform for the forgotten, the anti-Vietnam-ers and the just plain different.
Luckily, we now have the 40th anniversary of Leave Home spread across three discs, including two different mixes of the album, rare and previously unreleased material and a live show from 1977 in New York. In short, that is eighty fucking songs of original punk rock at its finest and most pure form. Leave Home featured the original lineup with angsty, fast paced classics delivered by Joey’s deadpan vocals, Johnny’s crunching guitars, Dee Dee’s count in and Tommy’s pummelling drums on classics like ‘Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment’, ‘I Remember You’, ‘Swallow Your Pride’, the infamously controversial ‘Carbona Not Glue’ and a cover of The Rivieras’ ‘California Sun’ (that riff is still iconic!). Known for the faster tempos and literary progression from their previous debut album, Leave Home was ranked in NME’s ‘Album of the Year’ list for 1977.
Leave Home stills makes you want to break out the stained Converses, thick sunglasses and the leather jacket that’s two sizes too small and march around your room.