Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 4: The Ramones, "Ramones"

Artist: The Ramones
Album: Ramones
Year: 1976
Label: Sire

28 minutes, 14 tracks, 4 friends, 3 chords, 1 legendary album. The self-titled debut record from punk pioneers, The Ramones, loudly marked the true arrival of "punk" music. Simple songs, played with loads of heart at breakneck speed became the trademark of Queens' favorite sons.

Certainly one of the most important bands ever to never achieve commercial success, The Ramones influence still be seen today in music, fashion, as well as many other elements of popular culture. The Ramones represent a true anomaly in the history of music. One truly cannot find another band that had as much impact on the musical landscape, and yet remained a "club" band in the two largest music markets (the US and the UK).

Ramones opens with one of their most well known songs, "Blitzkrieg Bop" and belts out anthem after anthem for the remainder of the record. After hearing or seeing footage of their live shows, one can clearly see just how restrained the bands' sound was on this record. However, the ethos of the Ramones is clearly displayed and would be kept true for nearly 25 years.

Grunge (which was another term form punk), pop punk (crap), and nearly any band since that has played with any sort of angst or gone for the "stripped down" sound owes their livelihood to The Ramones, and more specifically, the album, Ramones.

Standout tracks: "Judy Is A Punk," "I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement," "Blitzkrieg Bop."

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