On my way to work today I decided it should be a Ramones day. So I popped on their first album and promptly listened to nearly the whole of it before I arrived at work. It features fourteen songs that don’t even reach the thirty minute mark. Most of them last for barely two minutes. They are pure punk pop gems, from the opening riff and chant of “Hey-ho Let’s Go” of Blitzkrieg Bop to the closing strains of “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World”. The Ramones first album completely blew the cobwebs of prog rock away. They sang, in a jacked-up Girl Group-cum fifties rock n roll style, about the things kids like: cars, girls, B-movie monsters. They were almost like a cartoon, with the towering Joey Ramone and the bowl cutted Johnny Ramone. They looked the part with their leather jackets, ripped jeans and converse sneakers. And, quite frankly, even if you don’t like their music, you must be thankful they put an end to things like this:
Bands have made greatest hits on less than the amount of classic tunes found on The Ramones debut album. We have “Blitzkrieg Bop”, “Beat on The Brat”, “Judy Is A Punk”, “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”, “Listen To My Heart”, “I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement” and “I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You” for starters, and these are ably backed up by the likes of “Havana Affair”, “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” and their cover of “Let’s Dance”.
The energy, intensity the Ramones display on their first album meant they all but started the punk movement, for better or worse, and despite the numerous terrible bands to come out of that period, they at least gave us the likes of The Clash, who’s first album is pretty close in tone to The Ramones.
So, anyone still in thrall to grown men playing twenty minute guitar solos, throw down your capes and triple necked guitars and come over to the dark side. It is WAY more fun!