Year 6, Day 38: Ramones – Ramones
- Blitzkrieg Bop
- Beat on the Brat
- Judy is a Punk
- I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
- Chain Saw
- Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
- I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement
- Havana Affair
- Listen to My Heart
- 53rd & 3rd
- Let’s Dance
- I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You
- Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World
About the Album
Ramones is the self-titled debut album from American punk band, Ramones. The album was released on April 23rd 1976 through Sire Records. The album peaked at number 111 on the Billboard 200. The album has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Thoughts on the Album
One of my first forays into the punk genre was through the Ramones‘ Blitzkrieg Bop. It’s fast paced and punchy riffs mesmerized me. I was instantly hooked. Now then, the Ramones are the forefathers or godfathers of New York punk, and probably the genre as a whole. The ay this album was produced is pretty unique and that’s what makes it interesting. It’s the way that the music comes from the left and right channels that makes it unique, interesting, and enjoyable. Here’s the thing, the songwriting and song structure is simplistic at best and does get repetitive after awhile, but there is absolute magic in this album.
The album opens with the three chord assault of the lead single and most recognizable Ramones‘ song, Blitzkrieg Bop. Even after Blitzkrieg Bop, the three chord assault and the rapid speed and tempo doesn’t let up until the final track hits 0:00 remaining. The guitars roar with overbearing power and at the same time crafting infectious and easy to play chord progressions that any idiot (or novice guitar player) could play. The drums fiercely fight to keep pace. Joey Ramone croons in an almost British accent. Anyway, I would make the argument that Blitzkrieg Bop was the first true punk sound ever recorded. It’s simple and fast I-IV-V chord progression begins the aural assault with the rest of the band roaring in and then it happens. Suddenly, everyone but the drums drops out and soon you hear the four most recognizable words in punk rock, shouted by Joey…
Hey, ho! Let’s Go!
What the Ramones were all about were speed, hooks, stupidity, and simplicity. An example of the stupidity is found on Beat on the Brat. the line…
Beat on the Brat, Beat on the Brat, Beat on the Brat with a Baseball Bat!
Never fails to make me laugh, despite it being a song about teenage violence. Blunt humor. Judy is a Punk follows in a similar vein albeit showing off some surf rock roots. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend is an excellent punk rock love song featuring some arpeggiated chords; Listen to My Heart is a similar, yet weaker song. What stands out with Listen to My Heart is the excellent bridge/chorus. On the flip side, I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You might be the best anti-love song.
Sometimes an album doesn’t have to be commercially successful for it to have a lasting impact. That’s what the Ramones self-titled album is. It was a commercial failure, and yet it’s one of the seminal albums of punk rock and rock music in general. You would think with 14 songs, the album would be well over an hour long. Nope. With most songs clocking in at 2:30 (on average), it’s barely 45 minutes long. What made this album one of the quintessential albums in rock history is it’s ability to blend together fast paced punk with surf rock, girl group pop, and early rock and roll. The Ramones boiled it down to the essentials… and in the end, that’s all you need.