Do You Remember Rock’N’Roll Radio? Covering The Ramones, PART TWO

Do You Remember Rock’N’Roll Radio? Covering The Ramones, PART TWO


The final part of our special feature in which we look at some of the greatest and most significant Ramones covers. In Part One we heard U2, Kiss, Tom Waits, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eddie Vedder, Joe Strummer, Blondie, the Pretenders and a few others. The big guns keep firing here.

  1. Soundgarden - “I Can’t Give You Anything” 

Perhaps surprisingly Soundgarden didn’t appear on any Ramones tribute albums – this was the b-side of the UK 7” version of their 1991 single “Outshined”.

  1. Foo Fighters - “Danny Says” 

Nice acoustic version from Dave and the boys. Yes, the Ramones undoubtedly influenced Nirvana too.

  1. Kirsty MacColl - “I Wanna Be Sedated” 

Kirsty was the daughter of English folk royalty (Ewan MacColl) and well known for associations with Billy Bragg and the Pogues and for her own beautiful pop songs. It took some people a while to realise that there could be a beautiful pop song hidden in the Ramones "I Wanna BeSedatede”, but Kirsty sure found it. Love this.

  1. Ronnie Spector“Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” 

‘60s girl group icons the Ronettes and Phil Spector were a massive influence on the Ramones, especially Joey. Around the same time they were in the studio recording with Phil, Phil’s ex-Ronnie was cutting this raunchy Ramones cover. A couple of decades later Joey & Ronnie would record together, but that’s another story.

  1. Saint Etienne“I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” 

The English indie-pop band on the surface mightn’t seem to have much in common with the Ramones, but with the Ramones, things ran deep. They loved their ‘60s pop music, and here Saint Etienne highlight just what great writers the Ramones were in that style, right from the beginning.

  1. Sonic Youth - “Beat On The Brat” 

Ten years after the Ramones started making records, another New York band, Sonic Youth, was causing a revolution of their own.  With this cover they paid their respects and acknowledged their roots.

  1. The Strokes - “Life’s A Gas” 

The Strokes led another wave of New York bands, and showed surprising nouse to pick this rarely heard track from the Ramones final album Adios Amigos for a cover. I don’t think reckon many old school Ramones have heard it, but they’d dig it for sure.

  1. Yeah Yeah YeahsSheena Is A Punk Rocker” 

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs came out of New York in the Strokes’ wake and featured the charismatic Karen O on vocals.  They had the very good taste to cover “Sheena” for War Child Presents Heroes, a 2009 charity album devoted to the War Child charity's aid efforts in war-stricken areas.

  1. Garbage - “I Just Wanna Have Something to Do” 

One more from We're a Happy Family, and a happy reminder how many great female-sung Ramones covers are out there! Shirley Manson is GREAT!


Hoodoo Gurus - “Carbona Not Glue” / “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” / “I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement” 

As outlined in Part 2 of our Gabba Gabba We Accept You:   , the Ramones influence on Australian music has been huge, and the Hoodoo Gurus are one of these bands who have the Ramones in their very bones. This powerhouse live medley, recorded in 1987 in New York, with Dave Faulkner and Brad Shepherd alternating lead vocals, shows just how powerful a live band the Gurus can be.

Metallica - “Commando” /  “53rd & 3rd / “Cretin Hop” / “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World” / “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” / “We're A Happy Family” 

Not a medley per se; Metallica ran through a bunch of their Ramones’ faves when asked to record something for We’re A Happy Family. “53rd & 3rd made the cut; the rest showed up in a bunch as the b-side of cd single later on. We reckon Metallica’s Ramones covers are great – they picked the Ramones toughest early songs and their hardness really captures something in these particular songs that was a bit cartoony in the Ramones’ originals.  

Henry Rollins (with Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols!) -  “Judy is a Punk” / “Commando” / “Blitzkrieg Bop”  

Another couple of hard nuts (although Steve’s looking a bit soft around the middle) captured  live at the 2006 LA Johnny tribute show, again with Marky and CJ on drums and bass, and again from the documentary Too Tough To Die: A Tribute to Johnny Ramone. And yes of course the Ramones influenced the Sex Pistols, although the Pistols were gigging before the Ramones’ first album came out.

Green Day  - “Teenage Lobotomy” / “Rockaway Beach” / “Blitzkrieg Bop” 

Doing the honours at the Ramones’ 2002 Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame induction, and the right band for the job.


Bonus Track:  Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band- “I Wanna Be Sedated”

Okay, the sound is crap but we’ve included it as evidence that the Ramones’ influence goes right to the top. To the Boss! No surprises there of course given the fact that Bruce originally wrote “Hungry Heart” for the band and they shared a love of ‘50s and 60s rock, but it’s great to hear him do it, even if the crowd completely  drowns him out by singing along! Live in Boston in 2009.

That’s it, but there’s plenty of other Ramones covers out there if you want to search. And don’t forget to check out our three-part feature Gabba Gabba We Accept You: A Love Letter From Down Under To The Ramones if you haven’t already.

And if you want the Ramones themselves, you can of course stream their classic stuff on Spotify. Check out our I Like: the Ramones playlist and go from there!



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