Hear a Newly Completed Version of the Ramones “S.L.U.G.” from Upcoming Road To Ruin Reissue (KEXP Premiere)

Music News, KEXP Premiere
09/05/2018
Dusty Henry
photo by Chalkie Davies

Quintessential punk icons the Ramones were astoundingly prolific with 14 studio albums and a still ever-growing list of compilations and live albums under their ratted, mangled belts. Although the original lineup is no longer with us, new treasures continue to emerge from the vaults.

Rhino Records is preparing to release a new deluxe edition of the Queens, New York outfit’s landmark fourth album Road To Ruin on Sept. 21, featuring a remastered version of the original album, a new stereo mix, and a disc of newly unearthed recordings – primarily outtakes and alternate versions of the classic tracklist. Fans will be particularly excited about two two previously unreleased tracks “S.L.U.G.” and “I Walk Out.” Fans can now stream the former below ahead of the deluxe edition release.

 

Savvy Ramones die-hards will be quick to point out that a demo of “S.L.U.G.” previously appeared on a 2001 expanded edition of Rocket to Russia as well as the Weird Tales of the Ramones compilation (and some bootlegs), but the version we’re hearing today is the first time we’re hearing a fully-realized version of the long lost track.

“Two unused songs, cut during the tracking sessions, but never finished — “S.L.U.G.” and “I Walk Out” — were also unearthed from the original tapes,” shares original Road to Ruin producer Ed Stasium. “It was a thrill to discover we had recorded several vocal tracks with Joey for these two songs, which made it possible to create a new vocal comp, and, as a result after 40 years, a proper mix of both.”

Throwing on “S.L.U.G.” gives the thrill of hearing a Ramones record for the first time all over again, if even for just two minutes. It’s a crystallized version of the band in arguably their prime, with Joey Ramone’s familiar cadence tumbling over the wonderfully simple chugging guitar chords. It’s easy to imagine an alternate reality where “S.L.U.G.” is part of the band’s canonized hits with its catchy hook spelling out the word “slug” and painting a gross scene of the mollusc crawling over Joey while he lies in bed, pining for a love he can no longer have. Take a listen for yourself and time travel back to 1978.

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