My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Ramones is self-titled debut album by the New York band. The album was recorded during a one week period for $6,400 hundred dollars. It was released in April of 1976. The album was not commercially successful at the time of its release, but is considered the album that launched Punk Rock in sound and style.
What I think: This is a top ten of all time album for me. It is responsible for so much of the music in my life and I can’t praise it enough for that alone, but it holds on musically as well to be one of my favorites. This is the album that took Rock from being bloated and overindulgent and brought it back to the style of the early 1960’s. We have short, simple and catchy songs in the vain of early Beatles and Beach Boys, but often with both serious and humorous lyrics concerning the urban decay of New York City. This prototype would stick with Punk throughout the years, just changing locations. In simple terms what really gets me about the album is that these songs are catchy as hell and most concern such serious topics. They are pop songs that aren’t ALL about girls and high school.
Instead of listing my favorite tracks on the album, I thought I’d give you my favorite performance from each band member. Please excuse mistakes if I credit someone wrong as the liner notes for the album were very simple.
Joey Ramone: My favorite vocal on the album is the only real ballad in “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”. I love the tenderness of it right in the middle of all the toughness. I specifically love the double tracked vocal.
Johnny Ramone: The distortion on the guitar in “Beat on the Brat” is just amazing and almost hypnotic. It sounds almost like it has a degraded quality over the rest of the album, but that just makes it better.
Dee Dee Ramone: Dee Dee’s place to shine is on “53rd and 3rd” in both bass and vocals. He lays down a great groove and a stellar, barley understandable vocal on one of the albums catchiest, and darkest tracks.
Tommy Ramone: Really it’s a toss up for me between the drum breakdowns in “53rd and 3rd” and “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue”. I give the edge to the latter, because it allows for that wonderful gang vocal part over the top of it.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? One of the best, no doubt about it.
Rating (Out of 5) 5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (85/374)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 77%