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Produits fréquemment achetés ensemble

  • Halfway to Sanity
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  • Animal Boy
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  • Too Tough Too Die (+ 12 inédits)
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Détails sur le produit

1. I Wanna Live
2. Bop 'Til You Drop
3. Garden Of Serenity
4. Weasel Face
5. Go Lil' Camaro Go
6. I Know Better Now
7. Death Of Me
8. I Lose My Mind
9. A Real Cool Time
10. I'm Not Jesus
11. Bye Bye Baby
12. Worm Man

Descriptions du produit


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10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Halfway to Sanity Delivers the Goods! 13 novembre 2009
Par Chappa - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
In April of 1987, the band (Joey on vocals, Johnny on guitar, Dee Dee on bass, and Richie on drums) gathered at NYC's Intergalactic Studios to record the twelve songs included on "Halfway to Sanity" with the band themselves in charge of the production with significant assistance from Daniel Rey. In this album, the band chose to return to a more aggressive sound in comparison with "Animal Boy", the LP from the year before. Joey emerges with a rougher singing style that fits well with the material. The resulting twelve songs that make up the LP are all shorter than three minutes except for one exception that I'll describe later! In terms of musical direction, the band continued with the balance between hardcore, straightforward punk rock style with a touch of either hard rock or pop whenever adequate, and an excellent 50's inspired ballad. The album cover, designed by George DuBose and Richie, continues the tradition of featuring a picture of the band with the usual leather jackets but in this case posing at the entrance of a Chinese restaurant situated on NYC's Chinatown district. This would turn out to be the last album to feature Richie Ramone on drums who would quit the band abruptly on August 1987 over creative differences and a financial disagreement, both primarily with guitarist Johnny Ramone. It is interesting to point out that by the time the album came out in mid September, Marky Ramone had already rejoined the group following two unsatisfactory shows with Clem Burke in late August. Although Richie didn't stay in the band to see the album's release date, the band had already started to incorporate some of the songs that make up the album into their live set list prior to his departure. In the following paragraphs, the songs are described not in chronological order but according to its songwriters involved behind them.

In addition to helping on the production department, Daniel Rey also helped out in the songwriting process and contributed extra guitar. The first of his contributions happens to be track number one titled "I Wanna Live" (Dee Dee/Daniel Rey) clearly displaying his good writing skills giving the album a pure rocking introduction with a killer set of arpeggiated power-chord figures on the intro. Instrumentally speaking, the verses are tight with the rhythm guitar being played with palm muting throughout while the drumming is steady with that quick double time attack on the hi-hat; a sort of drumming technique that was strictly required for any player wanting to be part of the band! Lyrically, the songs deals with the feeling of wanting to be alive and surviving through tough times such as a near suicide. As the song moves on to its pre-chorus part, a major lift occurs in both the drumming (hi-hat) and the guitar (no palm muting) and a simple yet effective clean guitar embellishment is added. The chorus on the other hand uses the same chords as the verse but Joey's singing of the title on top brings it into epic arena rock territory. A killer album starting point that was later featured in the popular 1988 "Ramones Mania" compilation!
The second song in which Rey made a songwriting contribution is called "Garden of Serenity" (Dee Dee/Daniel Rey) that also happens to start with some inventive arpeggiated power-chord figures with Joey adopting an aggressive vocal delivery. It includes lyrics with a slight psychedelic edge that appear to concern either life after death or perhaps it could be an account of a near death experience. It mentions taking a walk on a cemetery amongst the dead on an odyssey occurring inside somebody's mind. The garden could represent a place like heaven. The psychedelic touch is brought forward by the idea of 'riding in one's head' as Joey sings on the verse alluding to the fact that everything could be just an hallucination. The chorus has a haunting quality to it due to the Gregorian chant style of background vocals possibly supplied by Richie.

The next notable songwriting team to appear on the credits is the Dee Dee/Johnny partnership which came up with three songs taking inspiration from the hardcore genre on two and on the third one showcasing a more hard rock based approach. The first to appear is "Bop Til You Drop" with its hard rock sound. There's a slight R&B/blues touch to the chord progressions used here...kinda like Albert King's hit from 1967 "The Hunter"! It is a cool tune that seems to be about the fans of the band and functioning as a tribute to them as evidenced by the reference to their earlier song "Cretin Hop" in the lyrics. It is possible that the inclusion of the word 'bop' was included as a reference to their immortal song "Blitzkrieg Bop". The main idea seems to be the kick that the fans get when listening to the band's fast & energetic songs perhaps used as an antidote to better cope with life's difficulties as the verse line 'you tired and tried but you're a flop/you're thirty five still pushing a mop/no time to cop do the cretin hop' shows. This is the second song from this album to make it to the "Ramones Mania" anthology. The remaining Dee Dee/Johnny compositions showcase the hardcore direction with the first to show up in the song list being "Weasel Face" that happens to barely surpass the one minute and a half mark. It begins with the old-fashioned 1-2-3-4 count in and it is a pretty simple song about a guy who'd spending too much time in front of the TV set. Joey employs a pissed-off type of vocal delivery over the quick verses and chorus. Still the arrangement left room for a short instrumental bridge following the second chorus. Not one of the album's best but pretty catchy. The last of their collaborations is "I Lost My Mind" signaling a return to their roots in the sense that it features a minimal amount of lyrics with Dee Dee himself providing the lead vocals. Lyrically it is self-explanatory barely expanding upon the idea of the title and musically alternating between two fairly basic chord progressions plus a short solo.

Drummer Richie wrote two songs this time around. The first to show up in the running order is the rebellious "I Know Better Know" which concerns somebody who's looking back on his years of parental guidance and the rules imposed by the education system with a feeling of having outgrown both authorities as a consequence of growing up and being older. It beings with the chorus and features a great set of chord progressions. The song has a style that seems to anticipate the alternative rock sound of the 90's a little. The second is the hard core inspired "I'm Not Jesus" which is probably the darkest song the band ever did in terms of the music. It is played at two different tempos: very fast on the vocals parts but a considerable slower tempo is employed for the heavy metal style intro. It features lyrical references to the life of Jesus and once the slower intro is reprised in the middle, a voice sample of somebody saying the Lord's Prayer or the 'Our Father' in Latin. Although the song utilizes dark sounding chord progressions, the lyrics bring forward a sense of hope through the idea of saying one's prayers. The Christian references are included as a creative way to express the main idea behind the song: a case of mistaken identity, albeit an unrealistic one. Definitely a very unusual song for the Ramones.

Last but not least we find five more solitary songwriting efforts. Joey wrote three songs on his own for this LP and all three appear on the B-side of the original vinyl. From his mind came the hard rock sounding "Death of Me" with lyrics that appear to continue the theme of inner turmoil previously explored on the song from the previous album "Mental Hell" while showing a nice syncopation of the drums and the guitars on the intro. What follows next is the traditional sounding punk-pop of "A Real Cool Time" where the palm muted rhythm guitar technique returns but this time playing a typical Ramones chord progression while the vocals are more melodic. It is about meeting your favorite girl at a club and enjoying the moment. There's a memorable vocal bridge in the middle and a good coda. This song also includes a refrain that recalls the Cheap Trick song "So Good to See You" from their 1977 "In Color" album. Now it's on to the biggest surprise: the album's lone ballad "Bye Bye Baby" that not only it's the longest song on the LP but it is actually the band's longest song EVER at 4:34! It has a 50's rock feel with a tenuous orchestral arrangement and a killer lead guitar melody. The arrangement makes good use of songwriting dynamics by using some clean guitar arpeggios during the verses and then switching to power chords for the chorus. Joey sings about feeling sad over having to part ways with somebody and towards the end, a nice upward key change occurs before the fade out. Superb song!
Bassist Dee Dee contributed two more tunes written on his own. Debbie Harry of the group Blondie guested on backing vocals on "Go Lil Camaro Go", a catchy tune that could be described as a punk version of The Beach Boys seemingly made for the summertime with its references to girls and cars plus the closing "Worm Man", a song about an outcast that is filled with pessimistic lyrics while musically going back to hard core mode somewhat with Richie providing a tribal drum beat getting busy with the tom toms recalling the approach on "Mama's Boy" from a few years back.

In conclusion, for those who would like to hear the band's harder rocking sound, this LP is a great choice!
Thanks for taking the time to read!
14 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Never mind the purists, here's a tough, kick-butt album! 21 novembre 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
It's not in my top fifty of all time, unlike the Ramones' first four albums. It's from the much-maligned 80's period that spawned Animal Boy before and Brain Drain after. But those three in my opinion are the most underrated, misunderstood Ramones albums. It's just Johnny Ramone's later, more hard rock/metal guitar that the strict '77 punk purists can't handle.
At first glance at the cover you might say, "Whoa! Joey's wearing purple socks!" and then "Dude! Who's the Ramone with the pink Converse? Sure they're still the classic Chuck Taylors, but..." That my friends is none other than Richie Ramone, the "lost Ramone" drummer who was last spotted working at a Florida hotel.
Back to the music. Halfway to Sanity features a couple 50's influenced, traditional-sounding Ramones songs, and 2 or 3 more metalish hard rockers. The remainder of the album treads the line right between those two styles. This is how I would actually describe all Ramones studio albums starting with Too Tough to Die, as the hard rock/"classic" Ramones blend. The only exception would be Acid Eaters, which even as a HUGE Ramones fan, I can honestly say is the only of one their albums you should avoid.
The obvious 50's influence, catchy popsters on this one would be "Go Lil Camaro Go," "A Real Cool Time," and "Bye Bye Baby," all arguably among the Ramones' best. "Bye Bye Baby" is a slow 50's girl group type ballad, so it makes sense that Joey later did a duet of it with Ronnie Spector. Debbie Harry does backing vocals on "Camaro." Blondie fans should note that after Richie left the Ramones (this was his third and last album) Clem Burke filled in, but with disastrous results.
Representing the hard rock side you got mid-tempo anthems like "I Wanna Live" and "Death of Me." If you like later Ramones songs like "Pet Sematary," "I Believe in Miracles" and "Poison Heart" I would definitely put these songs in the same category: classics. Another criminally underrated song is one Richie wrote, "I Know Better Now," it's got a great anti-authoritarian message.
"Garden of Serenity" is another good one, even though I could do without the electronically enhanced-sounding Gregorian monk vocals on the chorus. Sounds like they were trying to be creepy with laughable results. "Weasel Face" is fast and hateful in the vein of "Wart Hog"--I'm surprised Dee Dee didn't sing it. The only one he did sing was "I Lost My Mind," with the snotty, abrasive, and yes, "punk" results we expected from Dee Dee.
"Bop Til You Drop" may be my favorite song on this album. Johnny's chugging guitar on the chorus is 80's metal but then it blasts right back into three chord heaven that reminded me of something off "Rocket to Russia." Dee Dee even mentions the Cretin Hop in his lyrics. Worth getting for this song alone.
So the only songs I didn't think were near genius on Halfway to Sanity were "I'm Not Jesus" and "Worm Man." They're still decent songs though. "Jesus," despite a bad chorus, is probably the fastest Ramones song I've ever heard next to "Endless Vacation." I mean it's like 80's NYHC pace! They were trying to sound like speed metal or something. So it's good as a kind of novelty in a way.
Maybe I just have a soft spot for this album due to the fact that I was a senior in high school when it came out?? After graduation I saw them live for the first time....memories. Long live the memory of Joey and Dee Dee.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Play Loud ! 31 octobre 2006
Par Hoagie Mike - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
Very surprised about how good this album is. Who knew? Every song is a tight, well crafted gem, and it rocks hard, really hard (aside from one nice ballad) from start to finish. Favorite songs are "Death Of Me", "Weasel Face", "I'm Not Jesus", and Dee Dee's fierce "I Lost My Mind", which is an all-time classic. The ballad "Bye Bye Baby" is one of Joey's best as well, a real gem. Drummer Richie Ramone shines on this record, he's great. This may be the best 80's era Ramones album. By far, it's the most underrated Ramones album in their entire catalog. Check it out-it's better than you may remember, or may have heard. Like the liner notes say...PLAY LOUD.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A classic 17 août 2010
Par Yaacov Segal - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD Achat vérifié
Well, I don't have much to say. You just need to listen to the album and you'll get my point.
I will only say, that this album is a classic and you should buy it. I really don't think you'll be sorry for it. You probably know 2 songs from the album, I Wanna Live and Garden of Serenity. If you like those, then I can ASURE you that you'll love it.

P.S. Please IGNORE all the bad reviews about this amazing album. This album always had been a masterpiece, and always will be.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Music to my Ears 10 octobre 2010
Par Kathy Ramone - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD Achat vérifié
This is one of my favorite Ramones albums; even though Marky isn't on it. I purchased on cassette tape 20 years ago, and finally got the CD. It starts with the haunting yet energetic "I Wanna Live," and continues to rock out for the next 30 minutes or so. Joey's vocals are at their best on "Death of Me" and "A Real Cool Time." Dee Dee has his short energetic song also, "I Lost My Mind." This album is a must have for Ramones fans!
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