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A lot of people feel the Ramones were on a bit of a decline at this point. It isn’t uncommon to hear griping that the music on ‘Subterranean Jungle’ is “too poppy” (as if they were ever anything else). Another constant grievance is that they included too many covers (three in total). Included in those three is ‘I Need Your Love’ originally performed by an obscure New York band called the Boyfriends. The fact that no one on earth has ever heard the Boyfriends original version vetoes that charge, hence, lowering the fine to an acceptable two. Not uncommon.

As far as I am concerned, ‘Subterranean Jungle’ is the last great Ramones album. After this album they began to let the internal strife rise to the surface and mar every album they made afterwards. In the 80’s I ate, slept and breathed Ramones. They made the best albums of the early 80’s. Bar None!!!! Name one band that made better than the Ramones in the early 80’s? You can’t. You know why? Because even if you were collecting Billy Childish records, there was a severe drought in great albums.

Seriously, if you weren’t around in the eighties all that you missed was a really long Michael Jackson video that featured more dancing than music, millions of George Michael loving fools wearing white t-shirts with ‘Choose Life’ written on it in bold lettering and a charity concert called Live-Aid in which every major pop act of the day competed for the title of who can play the vomit inducing live set without getting booed (except for George Thorogood. He’s always great). It’s hard to convince me they weren’t taking bets. And nobody booed. Not even when Madonna and the Thompson Twins performed a duet version of the Beatles ‘Revolution’. I would have lobbed a big ol’ slurpee sized cup of spew right between the material girl’s eyes (remember, it’s all for charity).

And where were the Ramones? Was Bob Geldolf so gung-ho on getting the Hooters he didn’t have time to look up the Ramones telephone number? Why didn’t anybody boo? Because they didn’t know any better. Why didn’t anybody know any better? Because the Ramones were still subterranean.

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