Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer School of Rock - The Ramones

Without The Ramones, punk rock as we know it today would not exist. They played fast and hard. They had a different sound than any other band ever had before them. They were edgy, they made people uncomfortable.

Their songs were usually shorter than two minutes. Quick and dirty.  Stripped down and raw.

Formed in New York in the mid 70's, their first album was released in 1976 to critical acclaim, even if it wasn't a huge commercial success.  They had to grow on people, and that they did.  Their first single, Blitzkrieg Bop is still in pretty heavy rotation on rock and alternative radio stations today, 35 years after it was released.

Wayne Robinson of Newsweek said this about them.

They are authentic American primitives who's work has to be heard to be understood.  They are the best young rock and roll band in the known universe.

It took a while for the public to agree.  In fact, the album that their most famous song, I want to be sedated is from, Road to Ruin, didn't even crack Billboard's Top 100 list.  They connected with the underground youth, though, and had a huge influence on the future of music.

The band turned decidedly more pop after being included in the movie Rock and Roll High School, much to the dismay of some members, and struggled with both their lineup and identity after that.  The band toured for over 20 years, playing well over 2,000 shows, then broke up in 1996 after touring with Lollapalooza.

Tommy Ramone is the only surviving member of the original band.

Nothin' to do, nowhere to go-o.  I wanna be sedated.

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