10 Of Ramones’ Remarkable Covers In Their Career
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While the Ramones were certainly giants in the punk scene, this image also put them inside a small box of perception where they ought to be limited to playing power chords. That was not the case, however, as the band’s decision to tackle songs of other artists shed light on their capabilities as efficient musicians. Here are some of the Ramones’ renditions of songs from other artists that proved how they could sweep the floor alongside the dynamism of their rock contemporaries.
“Surfin’ Safari” – The Beach Boys
While it’s quite a challenge to wrap one’s head around the Ramones’ taking over a sixties-era song such as “Surfin’ Safari”, but they totally hit the nail on the head with their cover. Surf rock meeting punk is a blessing when the Ramones dish it out, and probably earned the respect of the original artists that they have covered “Rockaway Beach” frequently.
“My Back Pages” – Bob Dylan
While punks vowed to disown what came before them in order to realize change, the Ramones didn’t keep their love for Dylan a secret by covering his song “My Back Pages” on their Acid Eaters album. The song’s intent matched the band’s energy and made for a perfect match in the modern setting.
“Take It As It Comes” – The Doors
While The Doors’ “Take It As It Comes” is an intimidating number to take from one of rock’s absolute titans, The Clash paid heed to the title’s pleas and made the song their own. Infused with the band’s inherent rowdiness, it wasn’t hard to see how they could have come up with such an impressive rendition of the cut.
“Somebody To Love” – Jefferson Airplane
In contrast to Grace Slick’s signature vocal delivery on “Somebody To Love”, Joey Ramone breaks off from the standard and screams his lungs out in the Ramones’ rendition on the Jefferson Airplane hit. It’s not all bruise, however, as the guitars on the cover clearly do the song justice.
“Street Fighting Man” – The Rolling Stones
What better way to come up with a banger cover than to derive it off an equally fiery original? The Stones’ “Street Fighting Man” showcases Keith Richards in peak form as he rips mean riffs effortlessly. Of course, this was the perfect canvas for a punk outfit like the Ramones, owning the song by updating it with their own gnarly formula.
“When I Was Young” – The Animals
Counterculture would certainly lack its motivational charm if an act like The Animals didn’t exist then. Their unorthodox cut, “When I Was Young”, packed a surprise on the original version but the Ramones have managed to kick it up a notch with their punk take on it. Punk may not be the answer to everything, but it certainly is for this cover.
“Surfin’ Bird” – The Trashmen
When an artist takes a song and turns it into something that one would think is originally theirs on the first listen, you know they’re a top-caliber act. The Ramones have proven that time and time again, but their cover of “Surfin’ Bird” is so on point that it’s probably safe to say they were the original artist.
“Baby, I Love You” – The Ronettes
While the recording of End of the Century was certainly a dysfunctional affair between the band and producer Phil Spector, something good came out of the sessions nonetheless. The Ramones respect the Ronettes so much that they tone down their punkish edge for more faithful reproduction of their song, which comes out as an amazing rendition from start to finish.
“I Don’t Want To Grow Up” – Tom Waits
Tom Waits had an unmistakable punk hint to his creative process even if he was most closely related to jazz. The Ramones only found it proper to take Waits’ artistic spirit back to the arms of the punk machinery with their cover of “I Don’t Want To Grow Up.”
“Substitute” – The Who
The Who aren’t punks themselves but watching their performances clearly shows the band not shying away from unruliness. The Ramones borrowed their song, “Substitute”, and never really had to stray far from the original. This is the closest the Ramones have delved into classic territory, but they never sounded this punk at the same time.