Mondo Bizarro

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Mondo Bizarro
Ramones - Mondo Bizarro cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1, 1992
RecordedFebruary 1992
StudioThe Magic Shop (New York, New York)
GenrePunk rock
Length37:25
LabelRadioactiveUS
ChrysalisUK
ProducerEd Stasium
Ramones chronology
Brain Drain
(1989)
Mondo Bizarro
(1992)
Acid Eaters
(1993)
Singles from Mondo Bizarro
  1. "Poison Heart"
    Released: 1992
  2. "Touring"
    Released: 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[2]
Q3/5 stars[3]
Robert ChristgauA−[4]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[5]

Mondo Bizarro (a misspelled version of "Mondo Bizzarro," meaning "Weird World" in Italian) is the twelfth studio album by the American punk band the Ramones, released in 1992. It is the first to feature their new bassist, C.J. Ramone, who replaced departed member Dee Dee Ramone. The album was re-released in the UK by the Captain Oi! record label on August 10, 2004, with the band's cover of the Spider-Man theme song included as a bonus track.

Background[edit]

Mondo Bizarro was the Ramones' first studio album in three years, after the band left Sire Records for a new contract with Radioactive Records. The title was taken from the film of the same name, a 1966 sequel to the film Mondo Cane.

Although Dee Dee Ramone had left the band, he provided the songs "Poison Heart," "Main Man" and "Strength to Endure" as compensation for the band bailing him out of jail due to problems with his long drug addiction. "Poison Heart" and "Strength to Endure" were released as the album's singles, in June and October 1992, respectively.

In a 1992 interview for an Argentinian newspaper, Johnny Ramone said of the album, "Generally I always find two or three songs that I hate. From Mondo Bizarro, I really like almost all the songs and I am very satisfied with the result."[6] However, when he was interviewed about the album for the 2003 documentary End of the Century, he stated, "I don't like it. I don't like it at all." In Johnny's 2012 autobiography, Commando, he awarded the album (along with its predecessor, 1989's Brain Drain) a "C" grade, stating, "The songs are the weak spots on the album. [...] C.J. was in the band, but his writing wasn't up to par yet."

The album was certified gold in Brazil in 2001.[7]

Songs[edit]

The song "Censorshit" was written by Joey Ramone about how rock and rap albums were being censored by the Parents Music Resource Center, a group of politicians' wives who sought to put parental advisory warning labels on records, a practice which has since become standard. It has a reference to Ozzy Osbourne and Frank Zappa in the line, "Ask Ozzy, Zappa, or me, we'll show you what it's like to be free." The song is addressed to Tipper Gore, who was the wife of then-Tennessee Senator and eventual Vice President of the United States, Al Gore. In his book Commando, Johnny Ramone stated that he "didn't like the lyrics on 'Censorshit.' It was stupid. I liked the song, though. Joey wrote this song about Vice President Al Gore's wife, Tipper Gore, then he went on and voted for Bill Clinton."

"Heidi Is a Headcase" was written by Joey Ramone and Daniel Rey. According to an interview on the podcast "Ramones of the Day," C.J. Ramone stated that the song is about a girl named Heidi who both Joey and C.J. dated for a period of time.[8]

"Take It as It Comes" is a cover song, originally recorded by The Doors for their 1967 debut album. The 2004 CD reissue bonus track, "Spider-Man," is a cover of the theme song from the original Spider-Man animated series. It was originally released as an unlisted bonus track on initial releases of the Ramones' 1995 album ¡Adios Amigos! (omitted on later editions), and a slightly different version was available on the 1995 various artists compilation album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Censorshit"Joey Ramone3:13
2."The Job That Ate My Brain"Marky Ramone, Garrett James Uhlenbrock2:17
3."Poison Heart"Dee Dee Ramone, Daniel Rey4:04
4."Anxiety"Marky Ramone, Garrett James Uhlenbrock2:04
5."Strength to Endure"Dee Dee Ramone, Daniel Rey2:59
6."It's Gonna Be Alright"Joey Ramone, Andy Shernoff3:20
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
7."Take It as It Comes" (The Doors cover)Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek2:07
8."Main Man"Dee Dee Ramone, Daniel Rey3:29
9."Tomorrow She Goes Away"Joey Ramone, Daniel Rey2:41
10."I Won't Let It Happen"Joey Ramone, Andy Shernoff2:22
11."Cabbies on Crack"Joey Ramone3:01
12."Heidi Is a Headcase"Joey Ramone, Daniel Rey2:57
13."Touring"Joey Ramone2:51
2004 Captain Oi! CD Bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
14."Spiderman"Bob Harris, Paul Francis Webster1:56

Personnel[edit]

Ramones

  • Joey Ramone – lead vocals (tracks 1-4, 6-7, 9-14)
  • Johnny Ramone – guitar
  • C.J. Ramone – bass, backing vocals, lead vocals (tracks 5, 8)
  • Marky Ramone – drums

Additional musicians

Additional personnel

  • Bryce Goggin – assistant engineer
  • Joe Warda – assistant engineer
  • Gary Kurfirst – executive producer
  • Greg Calbi – mastering
  • Ed Stasium – mixing, producer
  • Paul Hamingson – engineer
  • Eugene Nastasi – assistant engineer
  • Garris Shipon – assistant engineer
  • George DuBose – art direction, photography, design

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1992 The Billboard 200 190[9]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1992 "Poison Heart" Modern Rock Tracks 6[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mondo Bizarro at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Mondo Bizarro - EW.com". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Ramones - Mondo Bizarro CD Album". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: ramones". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Mondo Bizarro". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  6. ^ Ramone, Johnny."For the third time, Ramones in Buenos Aires": Interview with Johnny Ramone, by Pedro B. Rey Originally published on September 17, 1992 at La Nación. Archived 2006-10-14 at the Wayback Machine. In Spanish.
  7. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Ramones" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  8. ^ Ramone, CJ (28 September 2016). "Ramones of the Day Podcast". Ramones of the Day. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Billboard album chart history-The Ramones". Retrieved March 2, 2009.
  10. ^ "Billboard single chart history-The Ramones". Retrieved March 2, 2009.