Music review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Ramones Music Poster Image
Punk pioneers fuse early rock 'n' roll with garage grit.

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age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

The Ramones' self-titled debut was a pure punk album -- no songs about peace and freedom here. Their relentless two-minute gems are populated with equal measures of lovesick teenagers ("Let's Dance," "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend") and bored drug addicts ("Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," "53rd & 3rd"). Kids won't (and shouldn't) use Ramones as any sort of guide. But the opening track, "Blitzkrieg Bop" is practically anthemic ("Hey, ho, let's go!"), and many kids who hear this record for the first time will feel they've found their music.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You wouldn't say The Ramones' first album, which includes the songs "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" and "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement," sends a super-positive message, but the DIY rock 'n' roll ethic that spawned these New York punk pioneers can be really uplifting. Johnny Ramone's buzzsaw guitars and Joey's Shangrilas-inspired vocal style let every aspiring punk know that he or she can form a band and sound amazing.


"Violent" songs like "Beat on the Brat," "Loudmouth," and "Chain Saw" are way more weird-funny than scary. However, there is something about punk records that makes kids jump up and down, and into one another -- what used to be called "slam dancing."


The Ramones might seem scary or stupid to parents, but their relationship songs are adorably innocent.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

This album (like most Ramones albums) includes a couple of songs about drug use. "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" is sung from the point of view of a bored kid who just wants "somethin' to do." The much grittier "53rd & 3rd" is literally about a corner where Dee Dee Ramone, who struggled with heroin addiction throughout his career, used to score drugs. However, there are plenty of very innocent-sounding songs on Ramones as well.

What 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.

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Teen, 16 years old Written byAnne1536 February 27, 2015
Teen, 14 years old Written byKmfan97 January 17, 2015

the ramones are one of my favorite band's of all time this and their other albums are mainly for teens.

This is a fantastic punk album in my opinion and a great introduction to one of the greatest band's ever. This album is pretty mild for a album from a punk... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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?

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