Thursday, June 10, 2021

Duff Guide to Ska Fast Takes: Bobby Ramone "Rocket to Kingston"

The cover image features a part of the cover of The Ramones' "Rocket to Russia," but with Bob Marley's face on one of The Ramones' bodies. (Review by Steve Shafer)

Hat tip to my friend and former Moon Records colleague Ray Manuud for turning me on to Bobby Ramone's Rocket to Kingston (Digital/LP, Guerilla Asso, 2021), which is a brilliant, fun, and extremely well-done mash-up of Bob Marley's vocals from many of his hits with the spot-on '60s pop/'70s NYC punk-type sounds of dah bruddahs from Queens, The Ramones. In other words, it's as if Legend mated with Rocket to Russia and this is the beautiful result (and these types of rebel music have always been simpatico). Top tracks are "I Don't Wanna Stand Up," "Stirring in My Room," "Jamming Affairs," "Three Little Surfin' Birds," "Kaya Bop," "Is This Love Kills?," and "Bye Bye Redemption." What's particularly amazing is how the geniuses behind Bobby Ramone work in snippets of Ramones songs all over the place--like how the opening of "Glad to See You Cry" sounds like "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker," "Stirring in My Room" has bits of "Rockaway Beach" in it, and some of the chord progressions from "Teenage Lobotomy" are in "I Don't Wanna Stand Up." If there's a heaven above, where musicians who have passed hang out and jam together, maybe this is what you'd hear coming out of some rehearsal room in the afterlife.

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