Standing in the Spotlight

Dee Dee Ramone

Sire, 1989

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Yes, you read that right. This is a Dee Dee Ramone solo album from just before he split from the Ramones. Unfortunately, Dee Dee decided to make his version of a pseudo hip-hop record, using the moniker Dee Dee King. His idea of hip-hop was a lot of posing, gold chains, and talking about luxury. “Psycho Therapy” and “Blitzkrieg Bop” this ain’t. Hearing the opening track “Mashed Potato Time,” the cringe level gets cranked all the way to maximum level. It wouldn’t have felt out of place in “Hairspray,” but as for being the master of hip-hop, Dee Dee isn’t anywhere close. The backup vocals on the track courtesy of Debbie Harry help save it from complete embarrassment, but god, Dee Dee’s lyrics are total trash.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Dee Dee knew he didn’t really have any real flow when it came to being a rapper, so he basically just sings everything with a rudimentary drum machine backing him. Now on older Ramones tracks like “Wart Hog,” “Love Kills” and “Endless Vacation,” his vocals are more than suited for each track, but hearing him try to croon on “Baby Doll,” you can’t help but snicker and giggle. It’s just so ridiculous, but it’s not as terrible as I had suspected. It’s more of a head scratcher as to why Dee Dee thought this was a good idea. It didn’t really harm the band as Dee Dee quit a few months later to pursue whatever the hell he decided was better than dealing with Johnny Ramone.

Ironically, the band ended up covering “The Crusher” on their last record, Adios Amigos; it’s the closest thing to a regular Ramones track. Luckily it’s a better song than whatever “Commotion In The Ocean” is. Whatever you’ve heard, this isn’t strictly hip-hop, but it’s not very good either. It’s not even the worst thing I’ve ever heard; if anything, it’s just embarrassingly sad and weird. If Dee Dee had gotten a bunch of friends to do songs he’d written, it would have been better than all this weirdness. Stream it for yourself and strap in for a very confusing ride.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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