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The Ramones – The Ramones (1976)

August 24, 2017

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Fabulous logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 562/1001]

Some might say that every Ramones song sounds exactly the same.

I beg to differ.

For example, take the intros to Blitzkrieg Pop (running time 2:13) and Loudmouth (running time 2:14).

The hi-hat is clearly slightly more open in Blitzkrieg Pop!

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That being said, the similar, simple strong structures are actually a major selling point here.

I gather Ramones was released a few weeks after Rush’s 2112, an album notable for its 20+ minute title track.Ramones_-_Ramones_cover

So while I’m a fan of 2112, if I’d been an aspiring musician in April 1976, I imagine my reaction upon listening would have been incredulity: how in the world are these guys making those sounds?

Whereas when Ramones was released a few weeks later, with a total running time just slightly longer than a single Rush track, my reaction upon listening might have been similarly incredulous but for an opposite reason: oh my goodness, I can play these songs, I can do this too, hey ho, let’s go!

And that Do-It-Yourself feel is merely a part of what makes this efficient/energetic/engaging/effective/eponymous record a debut for the books.

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Verbalize the Positive

I can’t recall the name, but I remember being at a restaurant on Elgin Street in Ottawa a couple of years ago where they played I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (among other solid tunes) during our dinner.

Cheers to restaurants that provide excellent soundtracks with their meals!

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From → 1970s

36 Comments
  1. An appropriately succinct summation about why this album was…and is…so enjoyable. I appreciate the Rush comparison too. Love ’em both (but my Rush love far exceeds my Ramones love…possibly because I’m a drummer who’s been able to decipher and occasionally tackle many Rush songs). I imagine Rush taking a Ramones approach to many of their songs, with Neil shouting “1-2-3-4-5-6-7” as they launch into a 7/8 tempo (for at least a few measures). 😛

    • Cheers Rich!
      Of all the drummers to try to decipher, Neil Peart’s got to be among the trickiest, so well done on being able to play along (or harder yet, like you said, to count along!) with him.
      I appreciate that the Ramones adherence to the 4/4 time signature gives me hope for being able to play along with these tunes, especially considering I wouldn’t have to play each tune for long, I think the longest track was 2:40 or so!

      • I can’t say that I perfected Peart’s style…never quite had the chops…but I can mimic most of what he did, and incorporated a lot of his style into my own. Not sure why but none of my bands have ever played any Ramones songs. Certainly a missed opportunity.

  2. Yeah, I don’t know how Geddy Lee makes those noises with his vocal cords either.

  3. While I’m a fan of Rush, there is a false dichotomy: either 7/4 time, or simple, Ramones-style rock. Check out Argus by Wishbone Ash (beating out both Tull’s Thick as a Brick and Deep Purple’s Machine Head as Album of the Year back in 1972—I would argue that it is not as good as Brick (practically nothing is), but better than Machine Head): everything is in 4/4, but it is a milestone of progressive rock.

  4. As Lemmy once howled…R-A-M-O-N-E-S, RAMONES! A killer 2 minute and change tune by Motorhead!

    • It’s now playing as I type – what a terrific howl, even when spelling!

      • Good Stuff Geoff. I reviewed this song a ways back. Lemmy had a great knack for writing an autobiographical tale from start to finish with Ramones!
        Another great Lemmy tale is the track “We Are The Road Crew”

      • I remember the road crew from Ace of Spades, good tune, and solid album deserving of its spot on the 1001!

  5. You have an impressive finger.

  6. One of my favourite albums!!

    • I’m glad I waited until this year to review it – I wasn’t instantly enamoured a few years ago, but I’ve since joined the fan club!

  7. Y’know, I have this here and, well, it just doesn’t click with me. I want to like it, but I don’t think my feelings on The Ramones will ever go beyond appreciation.

    • Oh I left them off my Top 5 “R” artists a few years ago as my being a fan is only a couple years old.
      I’ve now started to think of them like Little Richard – there’s lots of ‘sameness’ to the songs, but oddly, I’d now be disappointed if the songs were dissimilar.
      When I listen to Little Richard, I want 12-bar blues & wooooos, Ramones I want and a handful of chords and 2 minute tunes!

      • That’s pretty much what I want from my Little Richard. There are artists that I listen to for exactly those structure staples (Chuck’s recycled intros and chord progressions, etc)

  8. jprobichaud permalink

    I’m with J. The Ramones are another of those bands on my unwritten list of bands that I can appreciate but don’t love.

    • Both the appreciation and enjoyment are relatively new to me (I can picture it ‘clicking’ for me on a drive to Hamilton in 2015) – until then, I sometimes felt a bit like Will Ferrell at the end of Zoolander where he was screaming about Ben Stiller only having one look!

  9. I could probably listen to a Ramones album twice on my way to work where I would only get through a few songs of a Rush album. For that reason, when I go back to work next Tuesday, I am going to listen to a couple of Ramones album.

  10. My favourite LP ever.

  11. This hits the nail on the head. Of course a kid in 1976 who has just picked up his or her first guitar isn’t going to try and learn how to play 2112 off the bat. They’re going to try basic chords — and the Ramones has loads of good ones to try.

  12. Great review Geoff.
    “efficient/energetic/engaging/effective/eponymous” earns E for Effort. (Where E equals excellent).

  13. As Dictators Handsome Dick Manitoba said “They were the smartest dumb band you ever heard”. Music that killed a lot of the fat, pretentious nonsense that was around at the time.

    • Smartest dumb band, I like that – then again, I don’t think I’ve liked many album covers than the one featuring Handsome Dick Manitoba!

  14. The first four Ramones albums are total no-brainer must-haves. I couldn’t even count how many times I have played this record, this far in my life, but it’s a lot. Glad you dug it!

    Also, excellent alliteration work, young man! “efficient/energetic/engaging/effective/eponymous”

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