Revolutions: Ramones "Ramones"
REVOLUTIONS EXPLORES SOME OF THE RECORDS THAT HAVE ALTERED AND INFLUENCED THE MUSIC WORLD.
The Rock Hall and Klipsch Audio take fans deep inside these albums to showcase their significance and impact. In this episode, it's loud, it's fast and it's one of the greatest album debuts ever. Buckle up for The Ramones Ramones.
Nothing flashy, nothing fancy – it's rock and roll stripped of all pretense. It's fast. It's fun. It's loud. It's melodic. It's one of the greatest debuts of all time, the opening volley of a punk rock assault that lasted 20 years as the Ramones – and will go on so long as their are kids starting bands, figuring themselves out.
So how did it all go down?
It came together for just over six grand at Plaza Sound on top of the Radio City Music Hall, and the band recorded the tracks in the same order they appear on the album – over the course of three days.
Johnny Ramone's guitar amp was set up in the Rockettes’ rehearsal space and Dee Dee Ramone's bass was set up in the main studio – the same one that Toscanini used to rehearse and broadcast the NBC Symphony radio shows from. Drummer Tommy Ramone used a visual metronome placed directly in front of him, set at a ridiculously fast 204 BPM. It was an unlikely stew that somehow worked – and boy did it work.
14 songs in less than 30 minutes, "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Judy is a Punk," "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," "Loudmouth" – this is vital, this is genesis. And like the Velvet Underground's monumental Nico, was a commercial flop.
It peaked at 111 on the Billboard charts, and took four decades to achieve gold status. But that didn't matter. It inspired millions worldwide. It inspired a movement that charges forward still long after the group called it quits in 1996.
The album was inducted into the Library of Congress in 2013 alongside Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon and Janis Joplin's Cheap Thrills. Not bad for a group of New York City punks.