Celebrating 40 Years of The Ramones Debut Album ‘Ramones’
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Numerous creators of art have been imitated throughout time whether they were fashion designers, painters, photographers, or musicians. Those creators who have been imitated were true trendsetters. They were inspirational innovators.
It was 1974. A time when many notable punk bands were forming in New York. Those bands’ early days consisted of playing at the legendary club CBGB in Manhattan. One of those bands was The Ramones. Jeffrey Hyman, John Cummings, Douglas Colvin, and Thomas Erdelyi (better known as Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, and Tommy Ramone) formed the band and adapted the surname Ramone as a form of unity.
They had many characteristics that branded them and became their image. Little did they know their image would have a remarkable impact on punk rockers for decades to come. They had long black hair and dressed in t-shirts, leather jackets, jeans, and sneakers. During live performances, Dee Dee would count off the songs by shouting “1-2-3-4-!” which became one of their many signatures. They managed to write quick, punchy songs with the minimal chords they knew how to play…but they made it work and they made it sound powerful.
The Ramones recorded their first album ‘Ramones’ in just seven days. The album consists of the iconic punk anthem “Blitzkrieg Bop” along with thirteen other catchy songs that are all under three minutes in length. The album cover features the four band members leaning against a brick wall in New York wearing leather jackets, t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers. This iconic album was released in 1976 and is easily one of the most important punk albums as it set the tone for the punk bands that would later form.
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Forty years since the album was released, it is awe-inspiring how much that album and the style of The Ramones have influenced multiple generations. Even though all of the original members of the band have died, their music and success lives on. Their songs are still used in commercials, television shows, and movies. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have been honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award amongst many other forms of recognition.
Their iconic logo, created by Arturo Vega, was a design in which he interlocked the Presidential Seal with a baseball bat, in reference to their song “Beat On The Brat”, and it had all four members’ names around the design. This design on t-shirts became extremely popular. The logo has been imitated countless times by bands and apparel brands. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Needless to say, The Ramones strongly influenced music, as well as fashion, and are punk icons.