After over six weeks of providing a rundown of 65 albums that I believe everyone should own we come to the final 10. In the days between now and Xmas I will give a run down of my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released. Hopefully I have given you some thoughts as to new albums to check out and I hope that the final 10 will have you rewriting your Christmas lists and picking up a few of these brilliant albums.
Ramones – Ramones
The Ramones debut album was released in 1976 and made on a budget of just $6000 and recorded in just 7 days using microphone techniques adapted from orchestral works and adapted by the Beatles. Despite its 14 tracks the album comes in at under 30 minutes with the longest track coming in at just 2:34. At face value It hardly seems likely that this would be a recording that would simply change the face of music. Like Nirvana 15 years later the Ramones took a stagnating music industry by the throat and shook it back to life.
In July 1976 Rolling Stone wrote with “their first album, Ramones, is constructed almost entirely of rhythm tracks of an exhilarating intensity rock & roll has not experienced since its earliest days.”
Writing in 2007 Chris Jones for BBC music said “Dumb, crude, three-chord thrash? Yes. Fast, exhilarating and brand new? Yes. Intelligent, boundary smashing and woefully underrated? Definitely. The Ramones were all of these things and more. Like a film’s opening credits their first album contains everything that their later career was to offer, and in 1976 nothing else sounded quite like it.”
So it was with roaring guitar, overbearing power, catchy choruses and easy chord progression that the Ramones created one of the most recognisable sounds in music and created a new genre. The songs are all hard-driving and catchy, the simple lyrics over top. “Blitzkrieg Bop” is the first real punk sound ever recorded and arguably one of the most recognisable songs of all time. Seriously the four words “Hey, ho! Lets go!” repeated, over and over is hardly forgettable. Likewise “Beat on the Brat” isn’t exactly cerebral with the lines “Beat on the brat, beat on the brat, beat on the brat with a baseball bat”, definitely not cerebral but definitely amusing and definitely catchy.
The great attraction of the album is its simplicity, its sense of fun and the controversy it created, believe me in 1976 no-one was singing songs like “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue”. Sadly for the Ramones they were just too different and too radical for radio stations and as a result they never really hit the heights of bands like the Sex Pistols and the Clash who followed in their footsteps. That said, their influence cannot be denied, In my opinion, this is one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time, check it out, if you don’t know it you will love it, if you do remind yourself what a great band the Ramones were.
- 75 Essential Albums – #1 – Van Morrison – Astral Weeks
- 75 Essential Albums – #2 Van Morrison – No Guru, No Method, No Teacher
- 75 Essential Albums – #3 Stiff Little Fingers
- 75 Essential Albums – #4 The Levellers
- 75 Essential Albums – #5 Van Morrison – Into The Music
- 75 Essential Albums – #6 – The Clash – London Calling
- 75 Essential Albums – #7 Ramones
- 75 Essential Albums – #8 Nirvana – Nevermind
- 75 Essential Albums – #9 Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
- 75 Essential Albums – #10 RedHot Chili Peppers – Californication
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