Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) is the final song on The Ramones’ 1989 released album, Brain Drain. Brain Drain is The Ramones 11th studio album, released on March 23, 1989 through Sire Records.
Editor’s note: released on me 20th birthday!
Brain Drain is the last release to feature bass player Dee Dee Ramone, the first release to feature Marky Ramone since his departure after Subterranean Jungle, and the last studio album on Sire Records.
About the making of the album, Dee Dee wrote in his autobiography, Lobotomy: Surviving the Ramones:
“It was tough recording the Brain Drain album because everyone took their shit out on me. I dreaded being around them. It drove me away — I didn’t even end up playing on the album. Everybody in the band had problems; girlfriend problems, money problems, mental problems.”
Many “Ramones fans” feel that the band was on a downhill slide by the time they recorded their first Christmas song.
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) first slipped out as a B-side in 1987, to the single I Wanna Live. The song was full of the 1-4-5 chord progression that can be traced back to their first single The Blitzkreig Bop. No one noticed the song at the time – I Wanna Live failed to chart in the US or the UK – but it seemed to take on an afterlife since the demise of Ramones, joining ranks with the more modern Christmas music fodder that is played on the radio, and across bars and restaurants and shopping malls, during the holiday season.
Editor’s Note: With the recent holiday that just passed, and the fighting that ensued that left me feeling exhausted and disheartened, this song has significant relevance this season. I am determined to make this month’s holiday a good one – with no fighting – so here I am, turning the song up high, and singing-a-long with all the gumption and sentiment I can muster. MERRY CHRISTMAS I DON’T WANT TO FIGHT TONIGHT.