Album #364 – Ramones

Album #364

The Ramones’ self-titled debut album is one of the most influential in rock music history. It clearly changed the course of music as we know it today. They rejected the self-indulgent, pompous Progressive Rock of the day, which itself became bloated. Instead, they played fast and hard. Nobody had ever quite heard that style before. They gave punk rock an even faster edge than most of the protopunk bands that preceded them. The subject matter of the songs vary and are quite funny at times. Themes include: violence, drug use and life as a teenager. Now, before you issue stereotypes, the Ramones wrote these songs in jest and they were really nice and normal guys. It has been said that Joey loved to make people laugh and hated to see people down. They also cover an early 60’s pop tune (Let’s Dance), something that many punk bands before and after continue to do. The album is short and some of the songs sound similar but, the Ramones changed the way rock music could sound. They were anti-glam: no flash, stripped down and ungodly. The Ramones showed that anyone could play music. You didn’t have to look or act a certain way. This album’s cover proves that. Joey Ramones voice is as unique as the songs themselves. You can hear Ronnie Spector’s influence in the way he sings. Dee Dee, Johnny and Tommy provide a fast moving alternative to bands of this era. What they did may have looked and sounded simple but, it was not. Most musicians back in 1976 could NOT play like the Ramones. That is why I love their music. It may look like nothing but, it is much more difficult to play and do. This album is an essential listen for any rock music fan. The Ramones, along with The Clash, are the reason I love punk music so much. If you look past the speed, you can see that the songs are pop songs, played fast. Long Live The Ramones!!! Other Highlights include: Blitzkrieg Bop, Judy Is A Punk, I Don’t Care, Beat on the Brat, I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend, Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue, I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement, 53rd and 3rd (written by Dee Dee about a male prostitute who stabbed customers if they approached ,to prove he was straight) and the Nazi-inspired Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World. Overall, I give Ramones, 5 out of 5.

Next: Zombie by Fela Kuti

 

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