Mondo Bizarro

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Mondo Bizarro
Ramones - Mondo Bizarro cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1, 1992
RecordedJanuary-February 1992[1]
Studio
  • The Magic Shop (New York City)
  • Baby Monster (New York City)
GenrePunk rock
Length37:25
LabelRadioactive
ProducerEd Stasium
Ramones chronology
Brain Drain
(1989)
Mondo Bizarro
(1992)
Acid Eaters
(1993)
Singles from Mondo Bizarro
  1. "Poison Heart"
    Released: 1992[2]
  2. "Strength to Endure"
    Released: 1992 (promo)[3]
  3. "Touring"
    Released: 1992 (promo)[4]
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[5]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[6]
Q[7]
Robert ChristgauA−[8]
Rolling Stone[9]
Rock Hard6.0/10[10]

Mondo Bizarro (a misspelled version of "Mondo Bizzarro," meaning "Weird World" in Italian) is the twelfth studio album by American punk rock band Ramones, released on September 1, 1992 by Radioactive Records. It is the first studio album to feature their new bassist, C.J. Ramone, who replaced original 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.

In his 1998 autobiography, Dee Dee Ramone noted that, while he had left the band, he sold them the publishing for three new compositions—"Poison Heart," "Main Man" and "Strength to Endure"—to pay for a lawyer to help get him out of jail, following an arrest for possession of marijuana. He added, "I don't know why no one in New York, or none of the Ramones, couldn't have loaned me a few thousand dollars, instead of forcing me to go through all the paranoia, confusion and extra pain of a maneuver like that. [...] It seemed that the Ramones couldn't live without me, but at the same time they treated me like an enemy."[11] "Poison Heart" and "Strength to Endure" were released as the album's singles, in June and October 1992, respectively.[citation needed]

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."[12] 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, "we needed more Dee Dee songs on it. [...] The songs are the weak spots on the album. [...] C.J. was in the band, but his writing wasn't up to par yet."[13]

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."[14]

"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 was about a girl named Heidi, whom both Joey and C.J. had dated for a period of time.[15]

"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, "Spiderman," 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.

Reception[edit]

Although Mondo Bizarro was considered to be a "comeback"[16][17] for the Ramones—following both lineup and label changes, and the dwindling sales of their previous albums from the mid-to-late 1980s (up to and including Brain Drain, which was originally meant to be the band's "comeback")[18]—the album peaked at number 190 on the Billboard 200 chart, the lowest chart position in their career.[19] However, the album's lead single, "Poison Heart", did become one of the Ramones' top ten hits in their native America, peaking at number six on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[20] The album was certified gold in Brazil in 2001.[21]

Track listing[edit]

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

Additional musicians

Technical

  • Ed Stasium – producer, mixing
  • Paul Hamingson – engineer, mixing assistant
  • Joe Warda – assistant engineer (The Magic Shop)
  • Bryce Goggin – assistant engineer (Baby Monster)
  • Garris Shipon – assistant engineer (Baby Monster)
  • Eugene 'UE' Nastasi – assistant mixing engineer (East Hill)
  • Greg Calbi – mastering
  • George DuBose – art direction, photography, design
  • Gary Kurfirst – executive producer

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
position
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[25] 69
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[26] 41
UK Albums (OCC)[27] 87
US Billboard 200[28] 190

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[29] Gold 30,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[30] Gold 100,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1992 "Poison Heart" Modern Rock Tracks 6[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ True, Everett (2005). Hey Ho Let's Go: The Story of the Ramones. Omnibus Press. p. 274. ISBN 978-1-84449-413-2.
  2. ^ "Chart history - Alternative airplay". Billboard. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  3. ^ "Strength to Endure - promotional CD single (RAR5P-2474)". Radioactive. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  4. ^ "Touring - promotional CD single (RAR5P-2584)". Radioactive. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  5. ^ Mondo Bizarro at AllMusic
  6. ^ "Mondo Bizarro - EW.com". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Ramones - Mondo Bizarro CD Album". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: ramones". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Mondo Bizarro". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Review Album: The Ramones - Mondo Bizarro". Rock Hard (in German). No. 65. 1992. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  11. ^ Ramone, Dee Dee (2009). Poison Heart: Surviving the Ramones. Helter Skelter Publishing. p. 176. ISBN 978-1-905139-18-7.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Ramone, Johnny (2012). Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone. Abrams Image. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-8109-9660-1.
  14. ^ Ramone, Johnny (2012). Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone. Abrams Image. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-8109-9660-1.
  15. ^ Ramone, CJ (28 September 2016). "Ramones of the Day Podcast". Ramones of the Day. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  16. ^ "ASLEEP AT THE TOP ZZ TOP PLAYS IT SAFE -- AND STALE". The Buffalo News. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  17. ^ "ADIOS, RAMONES?". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  18. ^ "Readers' Poll: The 10 Best Ramones Albums". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  19. ^ "Ramones Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  20. ^ a b "Billboard single chart history-The Ramones". Retrieved March 2, 2009.
  21. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Ramones" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  22. ^ a b Bessman, Jim (1993). Ramones: An American Band. St. Martin's Press. pp. 169–170. ISBN 978-0-312-09369-3.
  23. ^ a b Porter, Dick (2004). Ramones: The Complete Twisted History. Plexus Publishing. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-85965-326-8.
  24. ^ "Ed Stasium, Session Musician, Producer Etc." ramonesheaven.com. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  25. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005 (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  26. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Ramones – Mondo Bizarro". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22April 2018.
  27. ^ "Ramones | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  28. ^ "Ramones Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  29. ^ "Joey Ramone's 'Mondo Bizarro' Argentinean Sales Award". Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  30. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Ramones" (in Portuguese). Pro-Música Brasil.