Thursday, April 30, 2020

Certain Songs #1807: Ramones – “Sitting in My Room” | Medialoper

Album: Pleasant Dreams
Year: 1981

. . .

It was a bit of a miracle that Pleasant Dreams got made at all, as something happened at that time that forever changed the trajectory of the band: Joey’s girlfriend Linda — for whom he had written “Danny Says” — left him for Johnny.

This, of course, is the type of incident that usually wipes bands out, but like The Rolling Stones before them, the Ramones believed so much in their core mission that they soldiered on for another 15 years, Linda eventually marrying Johnny. And while people often thought that the pummeling “The KKK Took My Baby Away” was about all of this, it was supposedly written years earlier.

In any event, Joey turned his ire towards the record industry, so “We Want The Airwaves” was accompanied by songs like “It’s Not My Place (In The 9 to 5 World)” — which stole from both The Doors and The Who — and “This Business Is Killing Me.”

Given all this tension, is it any wonder that Dee Dee wanted no part of it? “Sitting In My Room” is the best song on Pleasant Dreams, a supersonic roar of long guitar riffs, massive vocal harmonies and lyrics that remind us withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.

Sitting in my room
Record player on
Sitting in my room
Humming a sickening tune
Sitting in my room
Something to do soon

For most of the rest of Pleasant Dreams, the pop songs lacked punch and the punk songs lacked melody. But this one put it all together, and kind of set a pattern for the rest of the 1980s: on pretty much every Ramones album for the rest of the decade, there would be one or two songs that would remind us of why we loved the brothers in the first place, even if they couldn’t sustain it for a full record.

Why is this Ramones song different from all other Ramones songs?
It’s their best album closer, even better than “It’s A Long Way Back to Germany” or “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World.” And I often played Pleasant Dreams just to get to it.

“Sitting in My Room”

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