The Ramones: “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”

Posted: January 19, 2014 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
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Tune du Jour: “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” – The Ramones
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Boris the Sprinkler vs. Nutley Brass
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DDT Did A Job On Me ... Now I Am A Teenage Broccoli!

Well All I Eat Is Broccoli … Rock, Rock, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School


Rock ‘n’ Roll High School was recorded by The Ramones in 1979 for the soundtrack of their musical comedy movie of the same name. What more can I really say? Not exactly one of their better efforts but a fun song, nonetheless, that was somewhat of a staple for their live shows.

The Original


The Ramones:

There are actually three versions of the song Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. The first, produced by Ed Stasium, was intended for the soundtrack of the movie. However, this version did not make it onto the soundtrack and was not released until 1988 on the compilation album Ramones Mania. The second version, produced by Phil Spector, is a remix of the Stasium version, implementing Spector’s famed “Wall of Sound” mixing technique. Spector’s “Wall of Sound” was created by a number of electric and acoustic guitarists performing the same parts in unison, then recording the sound using an echo chamber, which resulted in a dense, layered, reverberant sound that came across well on AM radio and jukeboxes popular to that era. This is the version that was used for the soundtrack of the movie. The third version, also produced by Phil Spector, is a complete re-recording of the song for The Ramones’ album End of the Century.

This is the second version:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Boris the Sprinkler vs. Nutley Brass Band


Boris the Sprinkler:

In 1998 the band Boris The Sprinkler released their own version of End Of The Century, covering the fifth album by The Ramones in its entirety. According to the band: “It was recorded for under $500 in bassist Eric #2’s basement studio, a cost of less than one-half of one percent of the recording cost of the original album.”

Not at all bad for basement music!

Nutley Brass

Brass Band + The Ramones = EPIC FELICITY!

Veronica Kofman (co-auther with Dee Dee Ramone of Poison Heart: Surviving The Ramones) from the liner notes of Ramones Songbook as Played by the Nutley Brass (1988):

“I was introduced to the Nutley Brass a couple of years ago by Joey Ramone himself, who was mightily impressed by this unique combo. There have been many tributes to the Ramones over the years, but, for your listening (and dancing) pleasure, the Nutley Brass have delivered the most original homage. Joey Ramone knows a good thing when he hears it, and I didn’t need any persuading that in the Nutley Brass, he had discovered a hidden treasure. Unbelievers, who think punk bands were just a tuneless racket – eat your hats. Immediately.”

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?



Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. bornunderabadsign says:

    Nutley Brass…pure genius!

  2. Cuspid says:

    I don’t know Dubbs. I had a hard time hearing much difference between these two covers, except that perhaps the tuba is a little lower in the mix in Boris the Spider’s version.

  3. Arnie Plotnick says:

    That Nutley Brass really get the toes tappin’

  4. RDubbs says:

    I love the Nutley Brass. It really is genius. I mean a brass band reverently covering the Ramones producing renditions that somehow capture the energy and pure fun of the originals.

    As far as Boris, well you get what you pay for. Actually that’s not a fair assessment at all. I am actually impressed with their raw version of the song. I’m sure it would really sound great live. But sorry guys, Nutley Brass is the unstoppable force of Ramones’ covers.

  5. P. J. Soles was really funny in this

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