A more cynical exercise in record company marketing you aren’t likely to find

40 years ago four dudes using the same last name blasted out of the New York underground with the most stripped-down, raucous take on rock n roll imaginable.

Virtually ignored at the time, the Ramones – and this album – have gone on to be considered one of the most important acts in rock history, establishing punk rock as a legitimate genre and holding an influence on most other forms of hard-riffing guitar music. What better way to celebrate the fourth decade of this landmark recording than for Warner specialist label Rhino to turn it into an immense 78-track triple album?

Disc one offers the original 14-track album in all its glory, all 29 minutes worth of the buzzsaw guitar, bubblegum lyrics and frenetic 1-2-3-4 counts that helped to craft and define an entire genre of music of come. Essentially, that would most likely be enough right there – it’s a recording that’s pretty well perfect already in its execution and overall statement of intent. An album doesn’t get crowned with the mantle of one of the all time best without, you know, actually being that.

Rhino, of course, don’t believe you could be satisfied with just that, and also pack in a mono version of the album (it’s the same, but in mono!), another disc’s worth of single mixes and outtakes and two versions of the same live performance from August 1976. The Roxy show is probably worth it – but why is it on here twice? In the end, what the 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition does is give you a new CD version of the Ramones’ first album and then a bunch of (slightly) different versions of the same tracks that you’ll probably listen to once, if at all. A more cynical exercise in record company marketing you aren’t likely to find in a hurry.

If you want to honour da Brudders on the 40th anniversary of their debut, just bust out the original version. It’s the punk rock thing to do.
1. Blitzkrieg Bop
2. Beat on the Brat
3. Judy is a Punk
4. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
5. Chain Saw
6. Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
7. I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement
8. Loudmouth
9. Havana Affair
10. Listen to My Heart
11. 53rd & 3rd
12. Let’s Dance
13. I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You
14. Today You Love, Tomorrow the World
15. Blitzkrieg Bop (mono version)
16. Beat on the Brat (mono version)
17. Judy is a Punk (mono version)
18. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (mono version)
19. Chain Saw (mono version)
20. Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue (mono version)
21. I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement (mono version)
22. Loudmouth (mono version)
23. Havana Affair (mono version)
24. Listen to My Heart (mono version)
25. 53rd & 3rd (mono version)
26. Let’s Dance (mono version)
27. I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You (mono version)
28. Today You Love, Tomorrow the World (mono version)
29. Blitzkrieg Bop (single version)
30. Blitzkrieg Bop (single version – mono)
31. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (single version)
32. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (single version – mono)
33. Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World (uncensored lyrics version)
34. I Don’t Care (demo)
35. 53rd & 3rd (demo)
36. Loudmouth (demo)
37. Chain Saw (demo)
38. You Never Should Have Opened That Door (demo)
39. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (demo)
40. I Can’t Be (demo)
41. Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World (demo)
42. I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You (demo)
43. Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue (demo)
44. I Don’t Wanna be Learned/I Don’t Wanna be Tamed (demo)
45. You’re Gonna Kill the Girl (demo)
46. What’s Your Name (demo)
47. Loudmouth (live)
48. Beat on the Brat (live)
49. Blitzkrieg Bop (live)
50. I Remember You (live)
51. Glad to See You Go (live)
52. Chain Saw (live)
53. 53rd & 3rd (live)
54. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (live)
55. Havan Affair (live)
56. Listen to My Heart (live)
57. California Sun (live)
58. Judy is a Punk (live)
59. I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You (live)
60. Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World (live)
61. Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue (live)
62. Let’s Dane (live)
63. Loudmouth (live)
64. Beat on the Brat (live)
65. Blitzkrieg Bop (live)
66. I Remember You (live)
67. Glad to See You Go (live)
68. Chain Saw (live)
69. 53rd & 3rd (live)
70. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (live)
71. Havana Affair (live)
72. Listen to My Heart (live)
73. California Sun (live)
74. Judy is a Punk (live)
75. I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You (live)
76. Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World (live)
77. Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue (live)
78. Let’s Dance (live)