By 1989s Brain Drain, the Ramones eleventh and least compelling album, the band appeared creatively exhausted.
Rather than pick up a New York City/CBGB has-been to fill the enormous shoes left by departing bassist Dee Dee Ramone, the band chose Christopher Joseph Ward, a young punk kid fresh out of the Marine Corps.
Christened CJ RAMONE, the band hit the road in 1989 on an extensive world tour that culminated in 1991s Loco Live album.
Clearly re-energized, the Ramones first studio record with CJ1992s Mondo Bizarrowas their strongest album in over a decade and a return to the classic Ramones punk rock form that theyd slipped in and out of throughout the 1980s in their search for more mainstream success.
CJ RAMONE sang lead on two songs including Strenth to Endure, a true Ramones classic.
Singing lead on three songs from 1994s covers album, Acid Eaters and four songs on the Ramones swan song ¡Adios Amigos!, including his own tune, Scattergun (Joey sang another CJ original, Got a Lot to Say), CJ RAMONE was coming into his own as a lead vocalist and songwriter.
After the Ramones disbanded in 1996, CJ RAMONE continued making music, honing his singing and songwriting skills in Los Gusanos and Bad Chopper before releasing Reconquista in 2012, his first official album as CJ RAMONE.
Invigorated by the reception of the album and live shows around the world from the Ramones faithful, CJ RAMONE is back in 2014 with Last Chance to Dance, a new album of even stronger material and a stellar backing band of Steve Soto (Adolescents), Dan Root (Adolescents), and David Hidalgo, Jr. (Social Distortion).
With a sound and style true to the Ramones, CJ RAMONE has again added to the legendary Ramones canon with a positively infectious punk rock record.
While Fat Wreck Chords has a long history of bands influenced BY the Ramones (Screeching Weasel, Chixdiggit!, Teenage Bottlerocket, Masked Intruder), releasing an album FROM an actual Ramone is a first and a true honor.
Sometimes you just need a Ramones fix, the expression goes, and CJ RAMONEs Last Chance to Dance satisfies that craving in spades.
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