Ramones - Brain Drain (Cover Artwork)


Brain Drain (1989)

Sire Records

"It was tough recording the Brain Drain album because everyone took their shit out on me. I dreaded being around them. It drove me away. Everybody in the band had problems; girlfriend problems, money problems, mental problems." - Dee Dee Ramone

The Ramones were looking a new direction for their music. While they were tired of touring, and were about to lose Dee Dee, the group decided to try and make a contemporary effort. That effort came in the form of the album Brain Drain. The Ramones reinvented their sound and made them look and sound relevant.

Brain Drain is a seriously loud and enjoyable album. The best songs are "I Believe in Miracles," "Zero Zero U.F.O.," "Don't Bust My Chops," "Learn to Listen" and "Palisades Park" (in which the main riff climbs up and down the guitar and is a great cover), along with "Pet Sematary," the most known song of this album and one of the Ramones' biggest radio hits.

During this time Dee Dee was looking for a way out of the Ramones and looking for a way into the spotlight as Dee Dee King. The man born Douglas Colvin delivers an outstanding vocal performance on "Punishment Fits the Crime," emphasizing the lyrics in a more distressing style, bu producer Bill Laswell (a bassist himself) did not do Dee Dee any favors by mixing his bass downright into the background. The bass is a barely audible. What a way to make an exit!

However, despite any oversights in production techniques, Brain Drain is a meritorious album, featuring very sustaining and satisfying punk hooks. I love Brain Drain. And, heartbreakingly, it was Dee Dee's last.