(Part 1 of a Series)
Let’s say an apocalypse happens. How it happens isn’t terribly important. However it happens, though, I’m one of the few survivors. Now I have like half a day to get back to my apartment and gather some of my things before I have to leave my place for good and set out into the wasteland for who knows how long. Let’s assume I’ll be out there a very long time.
The 30-gig iPod I’ve had for years has recently been broken beyond repair, because, oh I don’t know, it got destroyed in some apocalyptic explosion which I was lucky enough not to be in, or something like that. However, I happen to have in my possession a brand new 8-gig iPod with nothing on it yet, ready to replace the old one. Unlikely, perhaps, but there’s a reasonable explanation, like maybe I got the 8-gig iPod as a gift just a couple minutes before the apocalypse and haven’t had time to do anything with it yet. Sure, that works.
Now once I gather some essentials- food, canteen, weapons- I have some time to fill my newer, smaller iPod with music that I absolutely positively have to bring along on my sure-to-be perilous journey. So which songs and albums do I choose to occupy those 8 precious gigs? Or, for simplicity’s sake, let’s convert those 8 gigs into roughly 8,100 minutes (at 128 kbps).
In other words, this has been a prolonged way of setting up a modern twist on the old “desert island albums” hypothetical.
Ramones – Ramones/ Rocket To Russia/ Road To Ruin, plus various singles
The post-apocalypse won’t give a crap about things like “influence” and “genre pioneering,” so the mere fact that The Ramones created the sound we call pop-punk has nothing to do with why I plan to upload their stuff first. I mean they are basically the nexus of great rock n’ roll, the point which most great rock n’ roll either helped shape or was shaped by. But more important than being the nexus is being the essence; that is, even if they never achieved all that influence, they still captured that perfect rock n’ roll sound, the sound of freedom and dancing like a spaz and sock-hops for high school outsiders, a sound I can hardly imagine the world without, and they had the tunes to back it all up. People who say all Ramones songs sound the same are only half right. The style of the songs is pretty much the same, but the hooks and the melodies and the lyrics are usually unique. Which is why I can’t just stop with one Ramones album. I need all the stuff they did during their peak, except maybe Leave Home which is pretty good but not essential. I’d also include a selection of tracks from their post-peak period: “Do You Remember Rock N’ Roll Radio?” from the Phil Spector Production (Produced By Phil Spector) End Of The Century; “The KKK Took My Baby Away” from Pleasant Dreams; “Little Bit O’ Soul” from Subterranean Jungle; “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down” from Animal Boy; “I Believe In Miracles” from Brain Drain (for an added dose of optimism); and “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” from Adios Amigos!
Total: 46 songs, approximately 110 minutes; 7990 minutes left