is the debut album
by punk rock
band the Ramones
. Widely cited as having the distinction of being the first punk rock group, the Ramones released the album on April 23
by Sire Records
After Seymour Stein
of Sire Records
signed the band in the autumn of 1975, the band began to record their debut the following winter. Ramones
was recorded quickly and cheaply at Plaza Sound, Radio City Music Hall, New York. The band recorded February 2 – 19, 1976 on a budget of only $6,200. The template of guitar and bass in opposite channels with the drums in the middle was based on early albums by The Beatles
Many radio disc jockeys were supposedly put off by the records' supposedly primitive, frantic music and often bizarre themes. The album did not receive heavy airplay, and it only peaked at number #111 on the Billboard's North American Pop Albums chart upon its April 23 release.
Despite this, the Ramones eventually established the reputation as being the godfathers of punk rock, and the album is highly influential on punk and myriad genres of alternative rock. Also in 2003, VH1 named Ramones the 54th greatest album of all time. In his 1995 book, "The Alternative Music Almanac", Alan Cross placed the album in the #4 spot on the list of '10 Classic Alternative Albums'. In 2007, the album was the focus in the 20th book released in the 33⅓ series.
The album was re-released in June 19, 2001 by Rhino Records. The original album was remastered, and it also contained eight bonus tracks which featured demo and alternate versions.
- "Beat on the Brat" was described by Dee Dee Ramone as a true story. "Joey saw some mother going after a kid with a bat in his lobby and wrote a song about it.
- "Judy Is a Punk" is said to be written about two overzealous real-life fans named Jackie and Judy. One interviewee in the documentary End of the Century claims that the song was "prophetic", due to Jackie and Judy's supposed later death in an airplane crash, corresponding to the lyrics, "Perhaps they'll die, oh yeah." The song features an intro that is simply one barre chord played at extreme speed. The Ramones recorded a follow-up song on the 1980 album End of the Century called "The Return of Jackie and Judy". The song was featured on the soundtrack of the 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums.
- "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" was written about the adolescents of Forest Hills, who constantly sought cheap thrills to cure their boredom. The Ramones later recorded the similarly-themed song "Carbona Not Glue" for their second album Leave Home. Dee Dee joked that after writing songs like "I Don't Wanna Go Down in the Basement" and "I Don't Wanna Walk Around with You", "We didn't write a positive song until 'Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue'. The song was also the inspiration for the name of influential British punk zine, Sniffin' Glue.
- "Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World" was inspired by Dee Dee's youth in Germany, as well as Johnny's fascination with old WWII movies. Originally titled "I'm a Nazi, Baby" the song features tongue in cheek lyrics about Nazism, such as, "I'm a shock trooper in a stupor, yes I am/ I'm a Nazi schatze, you know I fight for the fatherland". This song, along with "Blitzkrieg Bop", mark the first appearance of Nazi themes and imagery in Punk music (even though Joey was Jewish), furthered by musicians like the Sex Pistols who often wore swastikas in concert. The song is viewed as important as it demonstrates the refusal of the Ramones to write songs to be played on radio, although their later song "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)" that criticized Ronald Reagan for visiting an SS grave site also had been limited in airplay.
- "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" is an endearing love song that proved to be one of the band's most enduring compositions. The relatively tender song is seen as a nod to the Ramones' early rock and roll influences. The studio version somewhat uncharacteristically features a glockenspiel. The song was written by drummer Tommy. According to Dee Dee Ramone's autobiography Lobotomy, "We could have made a million dollars on it, because the Bay City Rollers wanted to do it."
- "Havana Affair" uses the trademark Ramones humor on the subject of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. It has been covered many times, by bands such as Screeching Weasel, Nutley Brass, The Huntingtons, P.P.M., D-A-D, Jeff Crane & I.O.U., Sonic Dolls, The Manges, Doña Maldad, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bullet Treatment.
- "Chainsaw" is based upon the film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Joey wrote the song after he saw the film.
- The song "Blitzkrieg Bop" was originally entitled "Animal Hop". The lyrics were originally contained the words "They're shouting in the back now", but they were changed by Dee Dee to "Shoot 'em in the back now".
- "Let's Dance" is a cover song originally recorded by Chris Montez in 1962.
- Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.106) - Ranked #33 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" - "An intense blast of guitar power, rhythmic simplicity and ferocious brevity."
- Spin (5/01, p.108) - Ranked #1 in Spin's "50 Most Essential Punk Records" - "The apotheosis of punk....Blitzkrieg pop stripped down to its 1-2-3-4."
- Spin - Included in Spin's list of Top Ten College Cult Classics "Everything good that's happened to music in the last fourteen years can be directly traced to The Ramones."
- Q magazine (5/02 SE, p.140) - Included in Q's "100 Best Punk Albums."
- Mojo (3/03, p.76) - Ranked #4 in Mojo's "Top 50 Punk Albums" - "The coolest, dumbest, simplest, greatest rock'n'roll record ever to be cut by four sweet, dysfunctional screw-ups."
(All songs except "Let's Dance" originally credited to the Ramones collectively. Credits have since been given to specific members where applicable.)
- "Blitzkrieg Bop" (Tommy Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone) – 2:12
- "Beat on the Brat" (Joey Ramone) – 2:30
- "Judy Is a Punk" (Dee Dee Ramone, Joey Ramone) – 1:30
- "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" (Tommy Ramone) – 2:24
- "Chainsaw" (Joey Ramone) – 1:55
- "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" (Dee Dee Ramone) – 1:34
- "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement" (Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone) – 2:35
- "Loudmouth" (Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone) – 2:14
- "Havana Affair" (Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone) – 2:00
- "Listen to My Heart" (Dee Dee Ramone) – 1:56
- "53rd & 3rd" (Dee Dee Ramone) – 2:19
- "Let's Dance" (Jim Lee) – 1:51
- "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You" (Dee Dee Ramone) – 1:43
- "Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World" (Dee Dee Ramone) – 2:09
2001 expanded & remastered CD reissue (Warner Archives/Rhino) bonus tracks
- "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (demo)" – 3:02
- "Judy Is a Punk (demo)" – 1:36
Tracks 15-16 first issued on Norton single #45-065 (1997). Produced by Marty Thau. Recorded at 914 Studios, Blauvelt, New York
- "I Don’t Care (demo)" – 1:55
- "I Can’t Be (demo)" – 1:56
First issued on All The Stuff (And More!) Volume 1, Sire #26220 (6/90)
- "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue (demo)" – 1:42
- "I Don’t Wanna Be Learned/I Don’t Wanna Be Tamed (demo)" – 1:05
First issued on All The Stuff (And More!) Volume 1, Sire #26220 (6/90)
- "You Should Never Have Opened That Door (demo)" – 1:54
Tracks 17-21 produced by T. Erdelyi. Engineer: Jack Malken
- "Blitzkrieg Bop (single version)" – 2:12
Sire single #725 (7/76)
- "Blank Generation"
- Tommy Ramone – producer
- Craig Leon – producer
- Rob Freeman – engineer
- Don Hunerberg – assistant engineer
- Greg Calbi – mastering
- Roberta Bayley – photography
- Arturo Vega – artwork