Road To Ruin (LP)The Ramones
1977, considered by many to be the height of the punk rock genre of music, saw the release of one the greatest albums from New York legends The Ramones; Rocket To Russia. It featured the band's most polished production and sound quality to date, and was a smash success among critics. In spite of all of this, the album was not financially successful, and was largely lost in the mix of the numerous other punk bands that had formed in their wake. The supposed failure of Rocket To Russia would drive longtime drummer Tommy Ramone to leave the band, also citing stress and depression from touring.
Determined to achieve some form of commercial success, The Ramones returned to the studio in the summer of 1978 with new drummer Marky Ramone, (Marc Bell, of Richard Hell & The Voidoids.) and producer Ed Stasium. (Along with Tommy Ramone, who stuck around to help produce.) The end result was released in the fall of the same year, and bore the title Road To Ruin. The album stood out among The Ramones' discography with its addition of guitar solos, acoustic guitars, and ballads, reflecting the band's interest in expanding their sound, and desire for mainstream acceptance.
Road To Ruin was a gamble for the Ramones which initially backfired. The album was not a commercial success despite managing to reach the Billboard 200 charts, it was released to muted critical reception, and their own fanbase looked upon the bid for mainstream appeal with incredulousness. As time went by, Road To Ruin was subject to renewed critical appeal, with retrospective reviews praising the material as a campy punk gem. Road To Ruin is also noteworthy for the inclusion of the track "I Wanna Be Sedated", which became not just a signature song for the band, but a staple classic of punk rock itself.