Day 21 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks us for our rare, our limited vinyl. And I’ll tell you, I had no intention of owning a rare copy of the debut from one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. Hell, I don’t even know if it is rare, but I haven’t found mention of it on any websites. Discogs has nothing, the Steve Hoffmann forums don’t mention it. So be it; that’s enough for me to count my weird-ass maybe valuable copy of the Ramones debut eponymous album for today’s entry. Really, any excuse will do…
The story quick: I went looking for Ramones because, well…it’s one of the greatest albums of all time. Those first four, really. Anyway, I found a great looking copy for about $20. Checked it out – looked great. Played a few songs on Side 1…sounded perfect. Brought it home, danced like a look through all the amazing tracks: an army of bands started because of songs like “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Beat On The Brat,” “Judy Is A Punk,” classics one and all. The side ended, and I danced over to flip the record, looking forward to the pulse of “Loudmouth” to continue my journey.
And…man, this sounded a LOT like “Blitzkrieg Bop” again.
Now, you can make that joke about a LOT of the music of the Ramones. That’s fine: that power chord attack launched a thousands bands that tried but could never emulate what the boys had. Anyway, I checked the label. Sure enough, Side B kicking off with “Loudmouth,” then moving into “Havana Affair” and “Listen To My Heart” before hitting one of my favorites: the classic gnarled crunch of “53rd and 3rd.” I put the side back on and dropped the stylus.
“Blitzkrieg Bop” played again.
So yeah: I have a copy of Ramones that has Side 1 on both sides of the vinyl, despite what the actual labels or back cover says.
Still plays great, and I found a copy from Portugal a few weeks later. It plays great.
Seriously: there is nothing that puts me in a good mood quite like the Ramones. One of there best bands to ever rock three chords, wear denim and leather, and sound tough as nails even as they were harmonizing "ooohs" and "ahhh" and covering classics from the 50s. They're the sound of myyouthm, your youth...everyone's youth.