Yes, the Ramones were one of the greatest, best bands of their time, but the single-disc 2002 Rhino compilation Loud, Fast Ramones: Their Toughest Hits is not the place to become acquainted with their legacy. The problem is that it's neither a concise, combustible recounting of their late-'70s heyday, nor is it a good single-disc capsulation of their big tunes from "Blitzkrieg Bop" to "I Don't Wanna Grow Up," or at least "Pet Semetary." Given that this only concentrates on Sire material, it's easy to forgive the absence of MCA material, but it stops somewhat inexplicably in the mid-'80s -- the time that Rhino's Ramones reissue series stopped, circa October 2002, coincidentally enough -- giving this set very little rhyme or reason, especially since it tries to treat the decade or so it covers evenhandedly, which means there are a lot of great songs absent in favor of latter-day, lesser tunes. There surely are some terrific, timeless tracks here, and the first 17 or 18 tracks are stone-cold classic and flow superbly, but there are 12 other tracks that are not bad, but pale dramatically in comparison to what came before, especially because it's a small sampling of a few years and doesn't attempt to be an overview of the rest of their career. There is enough great music here to make it partially worthwhile, but, on the whole, it's not nearly as good as the schizophrenic but deliriously fun Ramones Mania or the comprehensive double-disc set Hey! Ho! Let's Go, which does this kind of overarching overview much better.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine