Sire – 2001 - CD1: 76 minutes, CD1: 77 minutes

Predating supposed originators of punk, the Sex Pistols, by several years, New York's Ramones were the first band to strip rock and roll down to its bare essentials. Formed in early 1974, The Ramones arrived just in the nick of time to kick the bloated monster that had become 60s rock into its rightful, historic place. Original members Dee Dee (bass), Joey (vocals), Johnny (guitar) and Tommy (drums) in their torn skinny-leg jeans and biker jackets took on the world with attitude, wit and just four chords. Fitting a world of frustration into just two-and-a-half minutes, the Ramones set the long skinny yardstick for everyone else to measure up to.

Over almost sixty songs, the 'Anthology' covers twenty years, fourteen albums, several line-up changes and a full circle of musical evolution. The first half of this double album deals with the early heady days from 'Blitzkrieg Bop' all the way through to Phil Spector's 'Baby I Love You'. The second, while less focused, still contains gems such as 'The KKK Took My Baby Away' and Joey Ramone's thoughtful paean to the festive season, 'Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)'. The perfect introduction to the best punk rock band ever.

Caroline Hennessy

Tracklising Disc 1: Blizkrieg Bop - Beat On The Brat - Judy Is A Punk - I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend - 53rd And 3rd - Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue - Glad To See You Go - Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment - I Remember You - California Sun – Commando - Swallow My Pride - Carbona Not Glue – Pinhead - Sheena Is A Punk Rocker - Cretin Hop - Rockaway Beach - Here Today Gone Tomorrow - Teenage Lobotomy - Surfin' Bird - I Don't Care - I Just Want To Have Something To Do - I Wanna Be Sedated - Don't Come Close - She's The One - Needles And Pins - Rock 'N' Roll High School - I Want You Around - Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio - Chinese Rock - Danny Says - Baby I Love You

Tracklising Disc 2: The KKK Took My Baby Away - She's A Sensation - It's Not My Place (In The 9 To 5 World) - We Want The Airwaves - Psycho Therapy - Howling At The Moon (Sha-La-La) - Mama's Boy - Daytime Dilemma (Dangers Of Love) - I'm Not Afraid Of Life - Too Tough To Die - Endless Vacation - My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down - Somebody Put Something In My Drink - Something To Believe In - I Don't Want To Live This Life (Anymore) - I Wanna Live - Garden Of Serenity - Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight) - Pet Semetary - I Believe In Miracles - Tomorrow She Goes Away - Poison Heart - I Don't Wanna Grow Up - She Talks To Rainbows - R.A.M.O.N.E.S.