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With: Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, Marky Ramone, Tommy Ramone (a.k.a Tommy Erdelyi), Richie Ramone, C.J. Ramone
Written by: n/a
Directed by: George Seminara
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 240
Date: 03/18/2013

Ramones: It's Alive 1974-1996 (2007)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Hey Ho Let's Go

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Though many critics accused punk pioneers the Ramones of never changing, this two-DVD set of live footage recorded over 22 years offers a unique time-lapse view of their durability. Likewise, it's also a time capsule of just how video and audio recording equipment has improved over time (the Europeans seemed to be ahead of us in that regard). The disc begins at an early, awkward CBGB show, during which the band doesn't seem to have much confidence. They quickly improve over the next couple of years, and the disc is highlighted with a generous 14-song sampling of their famous London show of December 31, 1977, preserved here in glorious audio and video. Disc two contains several European and South American shows, plus a very odd outdoor, daytime show filmed in San Francisco in June of 1979 (the Ramones strike one as a nighttime, indoor band exclusively). Even more surreal is a 1980 appearance on the "Sha Na Na" television show. As time rolls on to the late 1980s and early 1990s, Joey begins to put on a little weight, and the bass players and drummers change, but their speed, energy and style are still the same. I saw them in 1994, and it was a great show. They are most certainly a contender for the title of Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band of All Time.

DVD Details: The DVD from Rhino comes with detailed liner notes, video interviews and other stuff (including the "funny" introduction to the "Sha Na Na" performance).

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