Ramones Mania, Vol. 2

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With their 1988 collection, Ramones Mania, the best-selling album of the Ramones' entire career (as of the early 21st century, it's the only Ramones release to be certified gold in the U.S.), it was only a matter of time until a second collection was issued, as 2000 saw the release of Ramones Mania, Vol. 2. Available only as a Japanese import, Ramones Mania, Vol. 2 focuses on material not included on the first volume -- chiefly the '90s. Since Ramones Mania contained strictly highlights from the '70s and '80s (the group's creative peak), it's by far the more enjoyable of the two -- it's no secret that by the '90s, the Ramones were simply going through the motions on record (despite remaining a fine live act). Strangely, nearly half of Ramones Mania, Vol. 2 consists of cover songs (especially from their 1993 all-covers set, Acid Eaters): "Substitute," "Somebody to Love," "Have Your Ever Seen the Rain," as well as a fun reading of the theme song to the '60s cartoon series, "Spiderman." Of the handful of originals, none can hold a candle to the Ramones' stellar early works, making Ramones Mania, Vol. 2 only of interest to Ramones diehards who need everything issued by the group. For a more definitive collection that does a better job of covering the Ramones' entire career, go for the 1999 double-disc Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology.

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