RAMONES: Too Tough to Die: CD

With this eighth studio release, the Ramones came back to plant their flag in the asses of lame imitators, showing that they’ve always had a hard edge, and this LP has more than declared that to be true. With the Rhino re-issue of Too Tough, you don’t only get this reclamation of the Ramones roots, but a whole lotta bonus offerings like demo versions of a bunch of the LP’s cuts. Also included here are the Dee Dee vocal versions of “Planet Earth 1988,” “Danger Zone,” and “Too Tough to Die,” which will want to make you start a pit on the freeway with your vehicle. And let me just add that the Dee Dee vocal versions add a new dimension to these songs, not that Joey wasn’t fucking key to begin with, ‘cause he always was. Some U.K. b-side singles “Smash You” and the Stones cover of “Street Fighting Man” are here, too, as well as the unreleased “Out of Here” and “I’m Not an Answer.” Every time I throw Too Tough on the stereo it reminds me how the Ramones kicked off their live shows with “Durango 95” from this LP. Magic. Absolute fucking magic.

 –dale (Rhino)