I Wanna Be Sedated

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"I Wanna Be Sedated"
Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated cover.jpg
Netherlands picture sleeve
Single by Ramones
from the album Road to Ruin
A-side"She's the One"
ReleasedSeptember 21, 1978
GenrePunk rock
LabelSire Records
Songwriter(s)Dee Dee Ramone, Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone
Producer(s)Tommy Ramone, Ed Stasium
Ramones singles chronology
"Needles and Pins"
"I Wanna Be Sedated"
"Rock 'n' Roll High School"
Music video
"I Wanna Be Sedated" on YouTube

"I Wanna Be Sedated" is a song by American punk rock band Ramones, originally released on the band's fourth studio album, Road to Ruin (1978), in September 1978. The B-side of the UK single "She's the One" was released on September 21, 1978.[1] The song was later released as a single in the Netherlands in 1979,[2] then in the U.S. in 1980 by RSO Records from the Times Square soundtrack album.

The song has since then remained one of the band's best known songs.[3][4]


"I Wanna Be Sedated" was written by Joey Ramone.[5] In an interview about the song, Joey explains the chorus:

It's a road song. I wrote it in 1977, through the 78'. Well, Danny Fields was our first manager and he would work us to death. We would be on the road 360 days a year, and we went over to England, and we were there at Christmas time, and in Christmas time, London shuts down. There's nothing to do, nowhere to go. Here we were in London for the first time in our lives, and me and Dee Dee Ramone were sharing a room in the hotel, and we were watching The Guns of Navarone. So there was nothing to do, I mean, here we are in London finally, and this is what we are doing, watching American movies in the hotel room.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song, directed by Bill Fishman, was released in September 1988,[6] about ten years after the song was originally released, to promote the compilation album Ramones Mania. The iconic video features the Ramones sitting at a table (left to right: Johnny, Joey, Marky and Dee Dee), nonchalantly reading and eating generic corn flakes (branded "Corn Flakes") while the background hallway erupts into a venue for nuns, acrobats, ballerinas, monsters, cheerleaders, clowns, doctors, fetish nurses, and smoking schoolgirls. The film is intentionally sped up to show the excitement of the background, while the band's actions are in regular motion. This was achieved by having the band members move very slowly, while the crowd moved normally, and then speeding up the film. (Furthermore, one of the video's characters is a young Courtney Love.)[7]

A still from the video was featured in the liner notes of the band’s 1989 album Brain Drain, though the song itself does not appear on that album.


"I Wanna Be Sedated" was number 145 on the Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[8] Marky Ramone is the drummer on this track.

In 1999, National Public Radio included the song in the "NPR 100", in which NPR's music editors sought to compile the one hundred most important American musical works of the 20th century.

Kelefa Sanneh said of the song, "I loved it because it seemed like the beginning of a tradition, pointing away from all the conventional thing a rock 'n' roll band might do, and pointing toward anything and everything else."[9]

According to Alice Cooper, Joey Ramone acknowledged the similarity to Cooper's earlier 1972 song "Elected," explaining that the Ramones listened to a lot of Alice Cooper.[10]

Cover version[edit]

  • English punk rock band The Adicts covered the song in the mid-'80s when they were on Sire[11] although it wasn't released until the 1992 compilation Totally Adicted. It was later included as a bonus track on some versions of Sound of Music.

In popular culture[edit]

  • Ramones Time: At 12:00 am on December 31, 2020, many people posted that it was, "2020, 24 hours to go."[12]
  • The song was featured in the penultimate episode of The Magicians which aired on March 25, sung by most of the cast during a heist operation in a musical episode.[13]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[14] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "History of the Ramones". Home.drenik.net. Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  2. ^ "Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated (7", Single)". Discogs.com. Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  3. ^ Gina Boldman. "I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  4. ^ Rolling Stone (July 17, 2013). "Readers' Poll: The 10 Best Ramones Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  5. ^ "Joey Ramone: I wanna be sedated. Unplugged". YouTube. September 16, 2011. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  6. ^ "Ramones - "I Wanna Be Sedated"". Mvdbase.com. Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  7. ^ "Courtney Love - Other Works". IMDb.com. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
  8. ^ "500 Greatest Songs of All Time: Ramones, 'I Wanna Be Sedated'". Rolling Stone. December 11, 2003. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  9. ^ Kelefa Sanneh (2021). Major Labels. Canongate. p. 230. ISBN 9781838855932.
  10. ^ "Episode 840 - Alice Cooper". WTF with Marc Maron Podcast. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  11. ^ The Collection (Media notes). The Adicts. Taang! Records. 2002.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  12. ^ "2020, Summed Up with a Simple and Perfect Ramones 'I Wanna Be Sedated' Meme". Rock Cellar. December 31, 2020.
  13. ^ "The Magicians Takes On the Ramones in Musical Episode". March 24, 2020.
  14. ^ "American album certifications – RAMONES – I Wanna Be Sedated". Recording Industry Association of America.