Flashback To Ramones Covering The Ronettes’ “Baby I Love You” Live In 1980

Flashback To Ramones Covering The Ronettes’ “Baby I Love You” Live In 1980

joey ramone, 1980
Joey Ramone, 1980. Photo by David Corio/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.

The Ramones’ fifth studio album, End Of The Century was released on February 4th in 1980. With Phil Spector in the producer’s chair, the album was a glossy contrast to 1978’s Road To Ruin. Spector’s polished engineering style may have steered the Ramones’ raw punk sound in a pop direction, but lyrically the song’s stayed true to their creators’ roots, dealing with topics from drug addictions and life on the road and everything in between. Along with successors to previous Ramones songs "Judy Is a Punk" and "Havana Affair", the album also featured an unlikely cover of The Ronettes' classic, "Baby, I Love You" – which was released as the first single from End Of The Century. 

This video of the band performing the song live on TV in 1980 looks like a scene belonging in a David Lynch film. The leather-clad four-piece give a deadpan performance to an audience of pre-teens, swaying their hands enthusiastically in bright coloured sweaters, as though they’re at a Monkees concert, while Joey Ramone looks as though someone is holding his puppy hostage backstage. It’s anachronistic gold. 

Ramones | “Baby I Love You” [Live 1980]

After the release of debut single, "Baby, I Love You" came the call-to-arms anthem, "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" that paid tribute to the music of the '50s and '60 that had influenced the band, and their sound. 

Ramones | “Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?”

After four solid and uncompromising albums, the Ramones End Of The Century gave them a commercial breakthrough, going  on to become their highest charting album of all time – reaching number 44 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and number 14 on the UK Albums Chart. Not bad for a band of misfits from Queens who found their feet in seedy Bowery bars and struck a chord of disharmony that rang so loud it turned them into icons of the '70s music scene. 

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