Ramones (1976)

Ramones was the first studio album recorded by the band the Ramones. It was released on April 23, 1976. The Ramones formed in Forest Hills, Queens in 1974 and are considered to be the main contributor to define punk-rock. The band’s original members included Joey Ramone (lead singer), Johnny Ramone (guitarist), Dee Dee Ramone (bassist), and Tommy Ramone (drummer). All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone” which casted a sense of unity of the members despite none being related. They all dressed in ripped blue jeans and leather jackets. The group of “brothers” helped invent the punk-rock sound by combining speedy grooves and sing-along lyrics. Their sound influenced thousands of bands.

Ramones is now considered to be an innovative album with its unique take on music. It cost the band a little over $6,000 to produce the album and the project took about a week to finish. The band admitted they recorded the album so quickly because of monetary restrictions as well as it being all the time they needed. The recording process was an exaggeration of the techniques used by the Beatles in the early 1960s, with a four-track representation of the devices. The guitars can be heard separately on the stereo channels (electric bass on the left channel, rhythm guitar on the right) and drums and vocals are mixed in the middle of the stereo mix.

The band played over 60 performances to promote the album, most of which were in North America. On July 4, however, the band made their debut in London. Linda Stein, manager, pushed these performances to happen. She stated, “On the two hundredth anniversary of our freedom, we were bringing Great Britain a gift that was forever going to disrupt their sensibilities.” The Ramones sold out their first performance bringing in approximately 3,000 people. Their unique sound was becoming a huge influence on a new generation of bands. As the year progressed, the band began touring, which started off their next 20 years of consistently being on tour.

Although, when the album was initially released it received mixed reviews, most critics rating it neutrally. Even though the album peaked at 111 on the US Billboard it is regarded today as being one of the best albums to ever be released. With notable songs like “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” released from this album, this album is what sparked the beginning of the genre of punk rock. Despite its lack of popularity during its initial release, the album (and the band itself) influenced bands such as the Sex Pistols, Green Day, and the Clash (to name a few).