Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fake sleeves for real records

A picture sleeve for the U.S. Don't Come Close 7" ...
...and for the Someting to Believe in single.

Recently there has been two U.S.-pressed Ramones singles up on Ebay with picture sleeves that I never have seen before. Apparently someone is making picture sleeves for singles that was released without real sleeves. There is no doubt that the sleeves are "homemade", stay away from them if you are looking for official picture sleeves.
From what I heard the sleeves was sold at the record fair in Utrecht, without records, and from there they have found the way to Ebay.
More new unofficial releases that was seen in Utrecht: The dutch Blitzkrieg Bop 7" on clear vinyl and on red vinyl. It seems like there is money to be made in copying these hard-to-find classics.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Record of the week – the debut from Taiwan

The Ramones never ending world tour did not reach Taiwan but the records did. Two of the albums, the debut and End of the Century, was released in Taiwan. But not the official way, as the thai Ramones singles the Taiwan records are counterfeit or pirate records. 
The classic first album was released on Jen Sheng records, the company printed the release date, in Taiwan year, on the label: 1976/06 (65.6 in Taiwan year). 
Jen Sheng released a lot of western music in the 70's but it's hard to find any information about the manufacturer. The sleeve is made of two thin paper sheets in a plastic cover. The front has the same design as the original album but with a JS-logo and a text about the Blitzkrieg Bop-single. The back has the lyrics from the original inner sleeve. In 1977 the company changed name to New Jen Sheng and re-released the album, this time with different labels and a slightly different backside of the cover.

Album: Ramones 
Number: Jen Sheng JS-5101
Year: 1976
Country: Taiwan

Album: Ramones 
Number: New Jen Sheng JS-5101
Year: 1977 (?)
Country: Taiwan

Saturday, November 17, 2012

One side of the Ramones

 Here are three records from the very limited section "One-sided Ramones singles"...
First we have the promo 7" Ramones are here … and there. The single have four shortened excerpts from Road to Ruin and a spoken intro and outro with Joey Ramone promoting the album and the UK tour in 1978. The four songs are (note that the last two have slightly different names compared with the album):

Don’t come close 
I just wanted something to do

The record was released with a picture sleeve but can also be found in the orange/yellow UK Sire company bag.

Title: Ramones are here … and there
Format: 7"
Number: J Ramone PROMO 1
Year: 1978
Country: UK

The next one-sider is a promotional single from New World pictures with radio spots to promote the Roger Corman-film Rock'n'roll High School. In the background you can hear the Ramones playing the title song. The record contains two radio spots, 30 secons each, and was sent to radiostations in the U.S.

The last one is a flexi disc from Spain. I don't know mutch about this one. It's released by the spanish record company Hispavox in 1981 and includes two songs on one side. It is marked as a promo only. Maybe someone out there knows anything more.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Record of the week – Bonzo goes to Bitburg

"I never wanted the Ramones to be about politics", Johnny Ramone says in his book "Commando". But in 1985 they were. The song Bonzo Goes to Bitburg is about the former U.S. president Ronald Reagan and his trip to West Germany the same year. Reagan was criticized at home because he planned to visit a military cemetery in Bitburg where also 49 members of the Waffen-SS was buried. Criticism before the visit came from several directions, Jewish groups, war veterans and the Congress.
But Reagan did the trip – and Joey Ramone wrote the song along with Dee Dee and producer Jean Beavoir:
"What Reagan did was fucked up. Everybody told him not to go, all his people told him not to go, and he went anyway. How can you fuckin' forgive the Holocaust? How can you say, 'Oh well, it's OK now'. That's crazy", Joey told the East Coast Rocker magazine.
Bonzo was the name of the chimpanzee in the 1951 movie comedy "Bedtime for Bonzo" starring Ronald Reagan. To compare Johnny Ramones favorite president with a chimp made guitarist mad. Strangely, he still agreed to put the song on the album Animal Boy.
"I wouldn't let them put it out with the original title. It appears as My brain is hanging upside down. They couldn't talk about my favorite president like that", he tells in "Commando".
The single was only released in the UK but sold quite well as an import in the U.S. and was played frequently on many American college radio stations. Bonzo goes to Bitburg was ranked fifth best single of 1985 by The Village Voice in New York.
According to Sire records the decision not to release the record in the U.S. was "both financial and political". Too bad, I think Bonzo Goes to Bitburg is one of the best songs the Ramones made ​​after the 70's. And in 1986 the song actually came out in the U.S. but only as the B-side on a DJ-only promo 12".
The song was released by Beggars Banquet in UK as 7" and a 12" and reached number 81 on the charts. There are three versions of the 12" with different labels. The sleeve is the same.

Songs: Bonzo goes to Bitburg/Daytime dilemma (Dangers of love)
Format: 7"
Number: Beggars Banquet BEG 140
Year: 1985
Country: UK


Songs: Bonzo goes to Bitburg//Go home Ann/Daytime dilemma (Dangers of love)
Format: 12"
Number: Beggars Banquet BEG 140T
Year: 1985
Country: UK

 Notes: First press

  Notes: second press

 Notes: Third press, from the box "End of the decade".

Songs: Something to believe in/My brain is hanging upside down (Bonzo goes to Bitburg)
Format: 12"
Number: Sire PRO-A-2510
Year: 1986
Country: US

Friday, November 9, 2012

The irish Ramones singles

On the 24th of September 1978 the Ramones played theit first show in Dublin at the Phibsboro State Cinema. 16 month earlier, in may 1977, the first Ramones record was released in Ireland, Sheena is a punk rocker. 

After that four more singles came out in Ireland. No one was released with a picture sleeve. All the Philips releases came in a irish version of the Phonogram company sleeve, except possibly the first single that I also have seen in a purple Philips-sleeve. The last single, We want the airwaves, came in the UK Sire company sleeve. There is no country printed on the label on that one but you can see the (P) instead a P in a ring, that's typical for irish releases.
Here they are – the complete irish single discography:

Songs: Sheena is a punk rocker//Commando/I don't care
Number: Philips RAM 001
Year: May 1977
Country: Ireland

Songs: Swallow my pride//Pinhead/Let's dance
Number: Philips 6078 607
Year: July 1977
Country: Ireland

Songs: Rockaway Beach//Teenage Lobotomy/Beat on the brat
Number: Philips 6078 611
Year: Dec 1977
Country: Ireland

Songs: Do you wanna dance?//It's a long way back to Germany/Cretin Hop
Number: Philips 6078 615
Year: March 1978
Country: Ireland

Songs: We want the airwaves/IYou sound like you're sick
Number: Sire 4051
Year: 1981
Country: Ireland

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Record of the week – the spanish Sheena

This is a classic, one of the most sought after picture sleeves, the spanish Sheena is a punk rocker. In 1977 The record label in Spain released the brand new album Leave Home and backed it up with this single.
As you can read here, the Spanish went their own way and included both Sheena and Carbona not glue on the album. Here they did it again, the single have Swallow my pride on the B-side instead of the usual I don't care.
A great single that is rather difficult to find in nice condition. No promo-version exist as far as I know.

Songs: Sheena is a punk rocker/Swallow my pride
Number: Philips 60 78 513
Year: 1977
Country: Spain