|Studio album by The Ramones|
|Released||February 28, 1983|
|Recorded||December 1982, at Kingdom Sound, Syosset, Long Island|
51:29 (Expanded Edition)
|The Ramones chronology|
Subterranean Jungle is the seventh studio album by the American punk rock band the Ramones released on Sire Records in February 1983. The album appealed to a hardcore punk rock style rather than featuring several pop oriented pieces; this is due to the fact that guitarist Johnny Ramone received more leeway with steering the overall genre with his hard rock influenced riffs. The recording sessions saw disputes between band members, mainly because many of the band members were dealing with addiction of alcohol, or in bassist Dee Dee Ramone's case, cocaine.
The album begin with two cover songs, and features a third on Side B. Lyrics circle various themes, while the structuring of the songs shifted towards hard rock, psychedelic rock, and was deemed by critics to be an attempt to retreat to the band's roots. The album received mixed reception, with many reviewers disapproving of the three cover songs featured on the album. Subterranean Jungle was not very successful commercially, peaking at number 83 on the US Billboard 200 and failing to chart internationally. The singles spawned from the album did not chart either.
Unlike previous albums, Subterranean Jungle shifted the band's sound output focus towards getting back to their punk rock roots, rather than trying to expand fan-base by releasing more pop-oriented songs. This change is due to guitarist Johnny Ramone obtaining more priority over the style choice. Johnny felt as though the band needed to "be focused and stop worrying about getting played [on the radio] and just make a good record." Since lead singer Joey Ramone was not given as much stylistic freedom, the album lacks the sense of pop-influence which previous releases had contained and instead was shaped mostly by Johnny's hard rock background.
Johnny obtained more control over the musical style because the band members experienced conflict amongst themselves, specifically rooted in each member—excluding Johnny—facing issues with addiction. Both Joey and drummer Marky Ramone were dealing with alcoholism, while bassist Dee Dee Ramone was severely addicted to cocaine and was undergoing psychotherapeutic treatment. Since the Ramones' previous two releases had producers which proved dissapointing to the members, they were skeptical of the upcoming producer; this would be Ritchie Cordell, with whom they also had issues with. Marky relates: "I hated the production, I hated the producer."
The album art for Subterranean Jungle features an image of the band outside a subway car. The photograph was taken by George DuBose at the subway station on 57th Street and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. This cover concept was deemed by Dubose, who suggested that since the B Sixth Avenue Express train stopped at the empty station for about 20 minutes. In the photograph, Marky is featured peering out the subway window--Marky was positioned this way after Johnny asked DuBose to do so because "they were kicking him out of the band, but he didn't know it yet." Marky recalled that he "liked that shot, but [he] knew something was up."
"I was lying on my bed, watching Kojak when Joey calls me and says, 'Mark, I feel bad about this, but, uh, you can't be in the band anymore.' I deserved it. Joey was okay about it, but the others, forget it. No one called me after that. If it was today, Joey would've said, 'Why don't we take off for a month and you get sober?' But I didn't want to tell Joey or the band about my being in rehab, because I would've been admitting my guilt."—Marky Ramone
The internal conflicts during recording sessions would cause band members to fire Marky during the album's recording process, consequently substituting him with drummer Billy Rogers on "Time has Come Today." Johnny recounts, "We were having trouble with Mark because his drinking problem was really bad. So we did "Time Has Come Today" with a different drummer, Billy Rogers, from Walter Lure's band."
Compositions and lyrics
The album opens with two cover songs; the first, "Little Bit O' Soul," was originally written by John Carter and Ken Lewis and the second, "I Need Your Love," was first preformed by Bobby Dee Waxman. Subterranean Jungle is the first Ramones' release to begin with a song not written by the band—this track list structure was criticized by author Everett True, who said that it was "disorientating." Johnny also thought that the fact that the album consisted of three covers was a bad idea, saying, "we shouldn't have, but I was happy with the guitar sound on it." The album's third track, "Outsider," was written by Dee Dee and would later be covered by rock band Green Day on their 2002 album Shenanigans. "What'd Ya Do?" was track number four, and was described by music journalist Chuck Eddy as "crudely metallic." Eddy also deemed the next track, "Highest Trails Above," as "AOR-mystic." "Somebody Like Me" was called a "full-on rock anthem" by Everett True, who went on to say that the lyrics contained "no-nonsense lines."
The music featured on Subterranean Jungle was an attempt to return to the band's origins. "Psycho Therapy," which was released on the album, serves as an example of this, and was said by Dave Thompson to be "searing."
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Side B of the album begins with "Psycho Therapy," which was written by both Johnny and Dee Dee--The song has since grown into one of the most popular Ramones' song. Dee Dee recalled: "I knew we needed a real 'Ramones song' for the album, and I knew [Johnny] was depressed about how things were going. He needed that song to get excited about the band again." The next track is another cover song, "Time Has Come Today," which was originally recorded by the soul music group The Chambers Brothers. The Ramones' version of the song featured a psychedelic rock influence, and was said by Eddy to have more of a "garage" feel to it, as compared to the original. "My-My Kind of a Girl" was directed specifically toward the band's female fan-base. The lyrics were written by Joey about meeting a girl on 8th Street in Manhattan and wanting to spend his life with her. In Vanity Fair, the song was regarded as a "lingering affection for Phil Spec- tor's pop grandeur." Dee Dee's "Time Bomb," which was track number eleven, was said by True to be "more ridiculous than frightening." The album concludes with "Everytime I Eat Vegetables It Makes Me Think of You," which was said by author Todd Anderson to be a "sing along."
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Subterranean Jungle received mixed reviews by critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic called it the band's "most enjoyable record since Rocket to Russia," and said that the producers "steered the Ramones back toward the '60s pop infatuation that provided the foundation for their early records." He ended his review by stating that it may not be defined as the "strictest sense" of punk rock; however, he strongly suggested that the band had not sounded so "alive" since their earlier days. Music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a positive review, inferring that despite containing two inferior pieces ("In the Park" and "Time Has Come Today"), the album is "more worthy of an audience than anything they've done in the '80s." The Rolling Stone Album Guide called the album an "attempt at radio-friendly production," and said that the album's three cover songs "almost recasts the group as an oldies act." The peaked at number 83 in the US, but failed to chart elsewhere. Neither of the album's singles—"Psycho Therapy" and "Time Has Come Today"— charted.
|1.||"Little Bit O' Soul"||Kenneth Hawker, John Shakespeare||2:43|
|2.||"I Need Your Love"||Bobby Dee Waxman||3:03|
|3.||"Outsider"||Dee Dee Ramone||2:10|
|4.||"What'd Ya Do?"||Joey Ramone||2:24|
|5.||"Highest Trails Above"||Dee Dee Ramone||2:09|
|6.||"Somebody Like Me"||Dee Dee Ramone||2:34|
|7.||"Psycho Therapy"||Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone||2:35|
|8.||"Time Has Come Today"||Willie Chambers, Joseph Chambers||4:25|
|9.||"My-My Kind of a Girl"||Joey Ramone||3:31|
|10.||"In the Park"||Dee Dee Ramone||2:34|
|11.||"Time Bomb"||Dee Dee Ramone||2:09|
|12.||"Everytime I Eat Vegetables It Makes Me Think of You"||Joey Ramone||3:04|
|2002 Expanded Edition CD (Warner Archives/Rhino) bonus tracks|
|13.||"Indian Giver" (Original Mix)||Bobby Bloom, Ritchie Cordell, Bo Gentry||2:45|
|14.||"New Girl in Town"||Ramones||3:33|
|15.||"No One to Blame" (Demo)||Ramones||2:24|
|16.||"Roots of Hatred" (Demo)||Ramones||3:36|
|17.||"Bumming Along" (Demo)||Ramones||2:20|
|18.||"Unhappy Girl" (Demo)||Ramones||2:20|
|19.||"My-My Kind of Girl" (Acoustic Demo)||Joey Ramone||3:10|
The following personnel can be verified with AllMusic.
- Joey Ramone – lead vocals
- Johnny Ramone – Lead guitar
- Dee Dee Ramone – bass,guitar backing vocals
- Marky Ramone – drums (on all tracks apart from track 8)
- Additional musicians
- Walter Lure - extra guitar
- Billy Rogers - drums on track 8
- Ritchie Cordell – producer
- Glen Kolotkin – producer
- Ron Cote – engineer
- George DuBose – photography
- Tony Wright – cover art
- Bowe 2010, p. 66.
- Bowe 2010, p. 67.
- True 2005, p. 177.
- Porter 2004, p. 104.
- True 2005, p. 180.
- Leigh 2009, pp. 227–228.
- Leigh 2009, p. 228.
- Ramone 2012, ch. 11.
- Myers 2006, p. 189.
- Eddy 2011, p. 34.
- True 2005, p. 179.
- Thompson 2000, p. 581.
- Vanity Fair (Condé Nast) 46: 34. 1983.
- Anderson 2006, ch. 5.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Subterranean Jungle – Ramones | Albums | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
- Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved Feb 9, 2014.
- "Rolling Stone: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
- "The Ramones US albums chart history". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
- McNeil, Legs; Holmstrom, John (August 1986). "We're A Happy Family". Spin 2 (5): 78.
- Subterranean Jungle (expanded) (Compact Disc). Ramones. Rhino Records. 2002. R2 78157.
- Anderson, Todd (2006). Barry's Cherries. iUniverse. ISBN 9780595394951.
- Bowe, Brian J. The Ramones: American Punk Rock Band. Berkeley Heights, New Jersey: Enslow Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7660-3233-0.
- Eddy, Chuck (2011). Rock and Roll Always Forgets: A Quarter Century of Music Criticism. Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822350101.
- Leigh, Mickey (1994). I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir. Touchstone Books. ISBN 978-0-7432-5216-4.
- Myers, Ben (2006). Green Day: American Idiots & The New Punk Explosion. Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari. ISBN 9781609258986.
- Porter, Dick (2004). Ramones: The Complete Twisted History. Plexus Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85965-326-8.
- Ramone, Johnny (2012). Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone. Abrams Books. ISBN 978-1-61312-181-8.
- Thompson, Dave (2000). Alternative Rock : Third Ear – The Essential Listening Companion. BackBeat Books. ISBN 978-0-87930-607-6.
- True, Everett (2005). Hey Ho Let's Go: The Story of the Ramones. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-84449-413-2.