The 41st Anniversary of the 1st Ramones Album

There’s not much need to go into how important this album is because there will be a million articles telling you that story
What I want to do is talk about my own personal experience with The Ramones 1st Album

1st album front
The first Ramones album was not my first Ramones ALBUM
That would be Rocket to Russia
Rocket to Russia front
I can’t remember when I bought the 1st album but I can remember that I had bought other albums, like Too Tough To Die before that

This was mostly due to the fact that most of my albums were used and you just didn’t even see the 1st album in stock at all
My exposure to the songs from the 1st album had come from “It’s Alive” which, at that time, was an import that I bought at Bill’s Records and Tapes
It's Alive front

Once I finally did get the album, I noticed how basic it was, even for the Ramones
I had the luxury of having a large back catalog at my disposal and I was listening to the more modern albums with larger production
The 1st album helped to solidify the Ramones concept for me because, other than live performances, it was them in their most purest form
Most of the songs on this album made it onto It’s Alive, so I was already familiar with them once I got this one
One of my clearest memories was taping the album as soon as I got it
I used my father’s good stereo in the living room and the song 53rd and 3rd was playing when he walked into the room
He heard the Dee Dee vocal part and said “That is the worst music I have ever heard”
My dad wasn’t a square by any means but it was nice to have something to irritate the old man

Fast forward to 2015 and the concept of The Ramone was created but the mechanics of how I would record all of these videos was still unknown
I knew how to play all of the Ramones songs but had not done the amount of repetition that it would take to play the drum parts by memory
I remembered that I used to use the 1st album to practice because of the stereo separation of the bass and guitar
I would turn the balance all the way towards the bass and play along on guitar and then flip it over to guitar on the other channel when playing bass
This simplicity would make it possible for me to play along with the entire album while recording both drum and bass tracks for The Ramone
My first performances were the entire 1st album

I have no doubt that thousands of other kids figured this out for themselves and got to “sit in” with the Ramones like I did

There is a mono version of this album that was released for the 40th anniversary
It is amazing how much more powerful the songs sound in mono
I couldn’t imagine this album being any more raw but the mono mix cranks it up to Eleven
Plus, they left in all of Dee Dee’s “1-2-3-4’s”
The Ramones 1st Album Mono Mix

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