Thursday, September 5, 2013


Interestingly, the RAMONES opted to wrap up LEAVE HOME with this track instead of PINHEAD-- a song bursting with obvious climactic potential-- which was left to conclude side 1 of the LP. They would execute a similar misstep on the upcoming ROCKET TO RUSSIA, closing the first side with WE'RE A HAPPY FAMILY, clearly a ready made closer. The eventual utilization of these two tracks at key payoff points in the band's live sets makes their misuse in the placement of these records' running order even more apparent. For the remainder of their studio career, the RAMONES would conspicuously strive to have albums end dramatically and powerfully, leaving (surprisingly) two of their early classic releases some of the only instances where this effective tactic was ignored.

One of the numbers sampled with the group's first batch of demos (see RAMONES' OTHER DEBUT ALBUM), YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE OPENED THAT DOOR represents one of their lesser efforts in the horror-themed realm. Despite some amusing genre imagery-- unfortunately primarily confined to the rather drab verse melody changes-- the song fails to completely achieve total liftoff. Notably, the new version features a slightly modified chord progression after the chorus, which makes this and SWALLOW MY PRIDE (see SWALLOW MY PRIDE Leave Home 9) two of the only early compositions displaying detectable, significant alteration in their arrangement before official recording. (A catchy background vocal refrain has also been helpfully added to the song's distinctive chorus melody-- perhaps the tune's most memorable hook.) The band has also mastered the oddly timed intro, which amusingly takes them more than one try to nail on the initial recording.

Although outwardly lacking only next to the RAMONES very best early material, the resultant closer still feels a tad under-realized, despite all around energetic performances. The flavor of the recurrent production maladies lingers as YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE OPENED THAT DOOR fades into the grooves. Still, as the 'open that door' chant closes the door on the LEAVE HOME LP, it's easy to look forward to the the next station the Rocket would be stopping at: No less than the RAMONES finest studio moment-- where every single track would indubitably bear the mark of 100%, full blooded construction, consideration and culmination.


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