What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ramones, the first album from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees the Ramones, is an essential early punk record; many consider it the first real punk album. The Ramones, known for their four-chord assaults, combined their love of proto-punk pioneers like Iggy and the Stooges and the New York Dolls with a healthy appreciation of '50s and '60s rock 'n' roll and made something that's got as much sweetness about it as it has grit or anger. It may be off-putting to watch your kid nod and sing along to "Beat on the Brat," but it's equally cute if he or she gets into "Let's Dance." Be aware that there is some violence and a few drug references, but sex and profanity are nonexistent.
What's the story?
The Ramones were among the bands to frequent New York's famed CBGBs club in the mid-1970s, and they are often mentioned in the same breath as punk artistes such as Patti Smith, Television, and the Talking Heads, but their approach was much more \"At the Hop\" than art school. Ramones, the band's first album, is considered their best.
Is it any good?
Whether you think Ramones is "good" depends on what you want from popular music. If you love the '60s pop of Dion, the Shangri-Las. and the Ronettes, and a tough two-minute, four-chord rock 'n' roll song is your idea of fun, this album is practically perfect. In a way, the Ramones seem to have multiple personalities -- this is in part because Dee Dee Ramone and Joey Ramone shared songwriting duties. Dee Dee tended to dig into darker ideas while Joey favored an aggressive approach to more innocent subjects. The result may be an acquired taste, but it's also fist-pumping, danceable fun.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the Ramones' (and many punks') DIY attitude. What did it mean for this band to learn their instruments on the fly and make up their own kind of music?
Listen to the Ramones' oddball lyrics. On "Chain Saw," for example, is this track violent or tongue-in-cheek brilliant, or somewhere in between?
What's the connection between punk and early rock 'n' roll?
The Ramones took a very different approach from many of their peers (Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Television, Patti Smith, etc.). How do you think these artists are connected?