I felt sorry that The Ramones departed the ICA World Cup on penalties in Round 1, losing out to Stevie Wonder after a 24-24 draw.
The Ramones ICA was the work of the much-missed Dirk, aka Sexy Loser. I’ve been in touch, by e-mail, with our German friend who tells me that things at work and home are such that he’s not had the time, energy or inclination to get his blog moving again. I am hopeful, however, that he might be able to offer up an occasional guest posting here at TVV.
Dirk’s ICA didn’t include The Ramones biggest hit single, which reached #8 in mid-February 1980, during a nine-week stay in the Top 75.
It was also on the album End Of The Century, from which Dirk selected Danny Says for his ICA. He had this to say about the album:-
“The album was produced by Phil Spector, famous through his work with The Ronettes, The Righteous Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, The Beatles and John Lennon, among others.
During the studio work, Spector’s recording methods were different from those the Ramones were accustomed to from their four previous studio albums. The band recorded their earlier compositions in the shortest time possible for the lowest feasible budget, with a relatively low production value. With End of the Century, the band experienced Spector’s infamous perfectionism, and a budget of $200,000 to fully record and produce the album.
This method of recording caused conflicts to arise. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone wrote of Spector’s obsessive techniques: “Phil would sit in the control room and would listen through the headphones to Marky hit one note on the drum, hour after hour, after hour, after hour.” During the recording of “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”, Johnny was forced by Spector to repeat his part hundreds of times over the course of several hours. Sire Records owner Seymour Stein relates: “To Johnny, this must have been like the Chinese water torture.”
As for the decision to record Baby I Love You, it is alleged that Spector held the band at gunpoint to ensure they would cover the song, although the tale has since been suggested as an urban myth. Although not that well-received by the critics, it proved to be popular across radio stations, with all sorts of airings throughout the day, and subsequently bought by many tens of thousands of record buyers in the UK. The fact it was a Top Ten hit hasn’t changed many folks opinions – a retrospective review of End of The Century for Pitchfork had Evan Minsker writing that “even with a full understanding of End of the Century’s context, “Baby, I Love You” is jarring” and “is a museum piece—a pound-for-pound attempt to relive Spector’s golden years”
The b-side to the single was the final track on the b-side of End of The Century:-
As the back of the picture sleeve reveals, Baby I Love You was climbing the charts while the band were on an extensive UK tour.
I wonder if anyone actually went along to any of the gigs expecting to see a band playing with a full-blown orchestra……..