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Ramones - End Of The Century: The Story Of The Ramones [DVD] (Cover Artwork)

Ramones

Ramones: End Of The Century: The Story Of The Ramones [DVD]End Of The Century: The Story Of The Ramones [DVD] (2005)
Rhino

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I would contend that the first three Ramones records are among the best ever recorded, not just because they were the rough prototypes for an entire genre of music, but because they represent an incredible, energizing and explosive music that few can match, even after almost thirty years. Few would .
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I would contend that the first three Ramones records are among the best ever recorded, not just because they were the rough prototypes for an entire genre of music, but because they represent an incredible, energizing and explosive music that few can match, even after almost thirty years. Few would disagree with that assertion that the Ramones were the first punk band. The way they deconstructed rock'n'roll down to its constituent parts and rebuilt it was in part a stroke of genius, and in part the fact that none of them could really play their instruments. Hell, you could make the case that the Ramones achieved greatness because no one ever taught them what they were supposed to do. And despite the fact that they never really achieved popular success, it is doubtless that most of the bands that we talk about these days were influenced by them, directly or indirectly.

Many of us weren't even born when the band made their recorded debut in 1976, and fewer still know the entire backstory of the band. Even as a longtime fan, End Of The Century reveals that much of what you pieced together from interviews and videos couldn't be further from the truth. Most of us knew the basic composition of the band; Joey was the romantic, Dee Dee the drugged out savant, Johnny the control-freak Republican. I knew about the years of conflict, but how bitter and divisive the dysfunction turned out to be was both saddening and mesmerizing.

While these archetypes were partly accurate, the reason that End Of The Century is such a great documentary is that it both reinforces and shatters those images. Joey was a romantic, certainly, but he was also a shy, awkward and helplessly compulsive introvert with a childlike view of romance. Dee Dee represented the filth and fury of the band, hopelessly addicted to an endless succession of narcotics and women and not entirely like his fictionalized protagonist in "53rd & 3rd." Johnny's conservatism was complicated, the knee-jerk reaction of a recovering rebel, constantly disguising his delinquent past with support for an endless succession of punk rock villains like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Like the excellent Westway To The World, the film is organized chronologically, beginning with the interest that brought them together (the Stooges) to their induction into the hall of fame. But the film takes pains to carefully highlight each of those singular moments which helped formulate the band and what both united and repelled its members. More importantly, over the hours of the film, it becomes clear that the creative brilliance of the Ramones came from the constant battle between these personalities, not some collaborative process. The film implies that Dee Dee was a great songwriter because he was so fucked up, not despite it. Joey was only able to overcome his shyness by standing in front of a huge crowd and opening up. The Ramones only managed to keep producing rebellious music because their resident Republican "overlord" refused to let them stop.

The film takes the time to examine the personalities behind the band, but never ends up like an episode of Behind The Music, instead an unparalleled compendium of concert footage is interspersed between each vignette. The contrast of music to the increasingly dark personal segments is emotionally exciting and draining. On top of that, testimonials from individuals inspired by the band is also sprinkled through the film. Joe Strummer speaks passionately about the influence of that first Ramones show in the UK, and it becomes completely obvious how important the Ramones were to the development of the Clash, the Damned, the Sex Pistols and other bands who are often mentioned in the same breath.

End Of A Century is also generous with footage of other relevant bands and performers. A particularly horrific clip of Emerson, Lake And Palmer from Pictures at an Exhibition demonstrates exactly what the Ramones were "fighting." Also included are short interviews with Captain Sensible and Glenn Matlock as well as modern musicians like Rob Zombie and Kirk Hammett. The film takes pains to show the story from all perspectives and has an extrordinary level of access to a wealth of influential people.

The documentary is also intent on providing as complete a history as is possible. Even mentioned is Dee Dee's embarassing attempt at "rap" music, complete with a fairly laughable video clip. On top of the substantial material in the film itself, the DVD includes extras featuring the entirety of interviews that were edited into the film. One particularly enjoyable example was the interview with Joe Strummer, which shows that the mighty Clash member was more than just a great musician, but also a true lover of music with the Ramones standing above all.

The makers of End Of A Century should be commended for their attention to detail, and their clear and unflinching love for these incredible, flawed geniuses, and any fan of the Ramones or punk rock in general could easily find themselves enthralled by the film.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Ramones - RamonesThe Clash - London CallingDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeNOFX - The DeclineBad Brains - Bad BrainsFugazi - The ArgumentRamones - Leave HomeFugazi - Repeater + 3 SongsBad Religion - No ControlBlack Flag - Damaged

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
mishelu182 (June 6, 2011)

This is really good stuff and it's a must see for every Ramones fan out there

ifgabeldiesiwilldie (January 11, 2009)

the biggest question: is punk really dead?

Pinchepunx (July 10, 2008)

This is punk !

C-Men (June 29, 2008)

oh my god, i love this DVD. it's so cool. the ramones are my life!

Anonymous (April 10, 2005)

Uh, I am pretty sure lester bangs or some other rock wirter of the ra coined the term 'Punk rock", mighthave even been an english fellow but it certainly wasn't anyone trying to negatively describe the music or the early scene.

Anonymous (April 10, 2005)

"But, honestly, why call it "punk rock"? That term was labeled upon artists by conservative religious right organizations and the like, it's an insult not a compliment...I like to think of it as loud, raw primal rock music."

why call it punk rock?... you answered your question yourself, because right wing conservatives tried to insult it by calling it punk rock. its like the yankee doodle song dude, the brits sing a song making fun of us, so we sing it as an anthem.... its only an insult if you let it be an insult.

Anonymous (April 8, 2005)

Just so that some of you know....the term "punk rock" had been floating around since the late 60's, it was just never commonly used until the mid 70's. The way I see it, many "60's era" bands embody the punk spirit, as well as the sound. Iggy & The Sttoges obviously....along with MC5. But I can't forget the Doors, if Jim Morrison were born a decade later he would've been a punk rock icon, and whether you like him or not, it's impossible to deny. I'd say Jimi Hendrix's wild playing and manic style were deeply influential on punk rock. The Ramones were just the first band to be "advertised" (sort of, not in a bad way) as "punk rock", up until them it wasn't exactly a good thing to be known as a punk.....hell it wasn't really socially accepted until the mid-80's. But, honestly, why call it "punk rock"? That term was labeled upon artists by conservative religious right organizations and the like, it's an insult not a compliment...I like to think of it as loud, raw primal rock music.

Anonymous (April 7, 2005)

Everyone who likes punk rock have to at least respect Ramones, to me, I love them!

and ow, nice review!

Luis Longhi, Brazil

swingline (April 7, 2005)

ramones raw was a waste of time. "look at the sloth!" "sloth!" "slothhhh!" "say hi, sloth" "slothy sloth" "lazy sloth" "sloth" "i'm going to buy a rolex"

Anonymous (April 7, 2005)

Overated bsnfd.

blinkrules (April 7, 2005)

not punk, score is for Blink

Anonymous (April 7, 2005)

http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blbananas.htm

Anonymous (April 6, 2005)

Great DVD. I highly recommend it for Ramones fans

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

" will. I give the MC5 and Iggy and the Stooges way more credit for stripping all the bullshit out of mainstream rock and boiling it all down. Punk started in Motown, not New York."

In that case, what about The Sonics and other raw garage groups? Or early Rolling Stones? Or Howlin' Wolf?

Punk was a movement, if you're going to label the music as such, and while the Stooges and MC5 influenced the movement, their collective output couldn't really be called "punk rock".

-BSD

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

Chinatown being an annoying twat is much of a news item, it's just fact around here.

TheOneTrueBill (April 5, 2005)

"It's films as good as this that make me hate that RAMONES RAW DVD even more. That thing was terrible.

-Scott"

I wouldn't say I hated it, but it definitly didn't live up to what it could have been. I mean, look at all the footage they had for this movie but didn't use in Raw. And a lot of stuff they did have in there was recycled from either "We're Outta Here" or "Around the World."

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

"One particularly enjoyable example was the interview with Joe Strummer, which shows that the mighty Clash member was more than just a great musician, but also a true lover of music with the Ramones standing above all."

Joe did love the Ramones, but they were not as major of an influence as folk singers like woody guthrie and early rockers such as bo diddley were.

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

I'm willing to bet Chinatown wrote the comment below about NUFAN.
I'm also willing to bet that Chinatown is an annoying twat.

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

No Use For A Name 's new album, Keep Them Confused>, comes out on June 18th. It will contain 13 dark, aggressive new songs (two of which were originally written in the Making Friends era). Prepare to be rocked.

maverick (April 5, 2005)

It's films as good as this that make me hate that RAMONES RAW DVD even more. That thing was terrible.

-Scott

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

" Few would disagree with that assertion that the Ramones were the first punk band."

I will. I give the MC5 and Iggy and the Stooges way more credit for stripping all the bullshit out of mainstream rock and boiling it all down. Punk started in Motown, not New York.

-Ken

As good as the MC5 were, would you really say they truly stripped down rock? I mean, they covered Sun Ra.

moneenerd (April 5, 2005)

I agree. But I don't think IGGY and MC5 were called punk when they first came out. So its a hard argument, I know.

It's like Ramones were the first band to be CALLED punk, but were they the first to actually BE and PLAY punk?

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

" Few would disagree with that assertion that the Ramones were the first punk band."

I will. I give the MC5 and Iggy and the Stooges way more credit for stripping all the bullshit out of mainstream rock and boiling it all down. Punk started in Motown, not New York.

-Ken

manifesto (April 5, 2005)

I love this film. Compared to Raw, EOTC actually develops like a movie-documentary. Still, I would have appreciated longer concert footage. But anyway, the film's excellent. Buy it.

kirbypuckett (April 5, 2005)

Such an amazing watch.

Everyone should own this.

- Kirby

stevejonestherealbones (April 5, 2005)

i think someones got a little crush on me...he even has a cute nickname for me and responds to every one of my comments...and thats alot of responses...too bad for him i like girls and shemales only

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

If only more punk DVDs came out this week...

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

Ritchie Ramone kinda resembles Ray Liotta near the end of Goodfellas in this movie. That suit is quite hilarious!

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

This movie is one of the best music documentaries I've ever seen! I just bought my own copy. More bands should do something like this, it gives you an interesting look on the inside.

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

You can rent it at video stores, but you're still a pud Jones.

joeg (April 5, 2005)

I saw this last September too. Fucking great movie. Seeing Ritchie Ramone in a business suit was hilarious.

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

This film is fucking awesome. It's shocking how disfuntional and insane this band really was. The Ramones should never have happened, but somehow they did and I love 'em to death.

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

This is high on my Netflix queue but they say it's got a "long wait."

stevejonestherealbones (April 5, 2005)

hhmmm...sounds interesting..i wonder if this will be for rent at video stores

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

swingline (April 5, 2005)

i'm gonna have to actually buy this.

TheOneTrueBill (April 5, 2005)

This is honestly one of my favorite movies ever, right up there with Ghostbusters and the Big Lebowski. I made sure that I was at the one night it was in Chicago in September, and I've watched it at least three times since the DVD came out.

I was amazed, and delighted, that they got Richie Ramone to talk. When they showed the footage of "Wart Hog" with him on drums, I started to freak out because I was so happy.

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