Ramones It's Alive 1974-1996

Ramones It's Alive 1974-1996
Easily the greatest compilation of band footage — Ramones or otherwise — to hit the market since the advent of shiny aluminium discs, It’s Alive is a segmented retrospective following the creators of true punk rock from their earliest shows at Bowery hole CBGB through to their final year as a touring outfit. Divided into two portions highlighting the band’s formative and influential salad days (1974 to1980, disc one) and successive tumult until becoming cult heroes (1981 to1996, disc two), It’s Alive features a wealth of rare live footage and television performances from around the world. The majority of sub-par, yet entertaining, chronological footage rests on the first disc. Rough as it is, the clips rarely span more than a half-year in separation and are too numerous to fully comprehend. Disc two hosts an equally enthralling array of footage that pays respectable attention to the Richie and C-Jay years. However, through these rougher times the band were neither as cohesive internally nor as appealing to media. The end result is a steady gap of documentation that spans years, as opposed to disc one’s studious account. Regardless, thanks to better equipment, disc two’s footage is clearly the stronger set — less bootleg, more actual film. The music is the point and the parade of Ramones classics are ripped out seamlessly, offset by the odd diamond in the rough, making It’s Alive nothing less than superb and essential. Even the first disc’s extras (photo gallery, previously unreleased videos and early interviews) feel like almost too much for a collection that is simply bursting at the seams. (Rhino)