The Ramones: Joey Ramone (vocals); Johnny Ramone (guitar); Dee Dee Ramone (bass); Richie Ramone (drums).
Additional personnel includes: Debbie Harry (background vocals).
Recorded at Intergalactic Studios, New York, New York.
The late-eighties Ramones album formula went something like this: One crunchy, metallic mid-tempo number, an ode or two to girls or cars, a few songs by drummer Ritchie and a one or two hardcore punk numbers, preferably sung by Dee Dee. While HALFWAY TO SANITY does follow this formula, it benefits from strong songwriting (particuarly on Dee Dee's part, making up from an almost absent Joey) and crisp production courtesy of old friend Daniel Rey (ex-Masters of Reality).
The chunky metallic number is "I Wanna Live," which rightly became an MTV staple for a few months. The Richie songs are a bit hit-and-miss this time around (the forgettable "I Know Better Now"), though "I'm Not Jesus" is a hardcore classic. Dee Dee's turn at playing Speed Racer, "I Lost My Mind," tears by so quickly and enjoyably that is only later that you realize the song has only three lines in it repeated over and over again. The added highlight of Debbie Harry's guest vocals on a raved-up "Go Lil' Camaro Go" makes HALFWAY TO SANITY a strong late-period Ramones record.