A sound emanated from the grimy streets of New York City this week, 43 years ago. On April 23, 1976, a group of leather-jacketed punkers calling themselves the Ramones burst onto the scene with Ramones, a collection of 10 songs that would set in action a career that left an indelible influence on all genres of rock and punk music. (Pick up the 40th anniversary reissue here).
It doesn’t hurt that the album began with “Blitzkrieg Bop,” a charging anthem that has since become one of the most ubiquitous punk songs ever recorded, heard at nearly every major sporting event every day.
Short blasts of energy and vocalist Joey Ramone snarling over the propulsive beats — that’s what Ramones is all about, and it’s all over in 29:04, a quick shot to the face and senses that leaves you breathless and wanting more.
Its legacy is such that the Ramones influenced countless bands in their wake. There are some who say Ramones paved the way for a number of musical movements, among them grunge, alt/rock and the punk of the 1990s — there wouldn’t be a Green Day or a Rancid without Ramones, in other words.
It was Green Day, after all, who performed “Teenage Lobotomy,” “Rockaway Beach” and “Blitzkrieg Bop” at the Ramones’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2002:
While the Red Hot Chili Peppers have played “Havana Affair” in concert throughout their career:
Such is the undeniable impact the music of the Ramones had on a number of acts that formed in their wake. And it all started with the release of Ramones in 1976.
Stream the classic album below, via Spotify: