Punk rock as we know it was officially born in 1976 when New York City’s very own Ramones dropped their debut album, Ramones, on an unsuspecting public. Life would never be the same! I remember first seeing the album cover advertised in Circus magazine and being drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Stark, uncompromising attitude in a black and white photograph, the cover looked simultaneously intimidating and inviting. These guys looked as much like a gang as a rock and roll band, and it excited me. It made me want to hear what they sounded like, and when I finally did, I became a fan for life. Ramones stripped away all the excess elements of rock music and distilled it to its raucous core…a handful of basic chords, melodic hooks that stuck in your brain, and crazy lyrics which covered topics mostly unexplored by anyone at that time. All four members of the band took the last name Ramone, cementing the gang/family connection, making it easy to remember Joey (vocals), Johnny (guitar), Dee Dee (bass), and Tommy (drums). A handful of songs from this landmark release remain punk rock classics for all eternity; Beat On The Brat, Judy Is A Punk, Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue, 53rd And 3rd, and the immortal Blitzkrieg Bop. For the most part, the songs are delivered at breakneck speed (the entire record clocked in at 28 minutes) and are free of guitar solos or any other self indulgent forms of technique. Ramones is pure. Ramones is fun. Ramones is immortal. Hey Ho, Let’s Go!
Written By Braddon S. Williams