This week’s Midnight Album Feature is the Ramones’ self-titled first release, The Ramones. What I like best about the Ramones is that they were a bunch of outcasts who refused to be put aside in society. They worked really really hard and became underground superstars. The music that they made just gelled in a way that was powerful and different and new. Their rough and low rent style changed the face of rock music. They’ve influenced most of the music you are hearing today.
My very favorite thing about the band is Joey Ramone. He was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder as a kid and was told he would never be a functioning member of society. He went on to become a rock star, and he influenced the music of the future. Joey also did something that I did as a kid, he made recordings of thunderstorms on tape players. I find that very endearing.
Here’s the opening track of the album, “Blitzkreig Bop”:
I love all the songs on here. The song “I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement” is one of the songs Joey wrote the lyrics to. There’s something about some of the lyrics, especially the ones that Joey wrote, that have an innocent little kid vibe but at the same they’re aggressive and have a darkness. Kind of fighting the darkness. He’s the good guy.
This album was released in 1976 and it made a huge impact on the U.K. punk explosion. Many of the bands in the U.K. that were punk rock cite the Ramones as a big influence. Along with the Heartbreakers, they were one of the few American bands who really got some respect in England.
The Ramones were four guys from Queens who made their mark across the world: DeeDee, Johnny, Joey, and Tommy.