This week marks the 40th anniversary of Leave Home, the Ramones’ follow up to their classic debut album.
On January 10, 1977 the Ramones avoided the sophomore jinx with the release of the album that had a higher production value, but with the same upbeat three chord magic that made their eponymous debut a groundbreaking classic. The title of Leave Home is a reference to the band leaving New York to tour the world.
The front cover was designed by the same artist who worked with the Rolling Stones on Black and Blue and the back art was the first appearance of the now iconic Ramones logo.
There were three singles from Leave Home: “I Remember You,” “Swallow My Pride,” and “Carbona Not Glue.” The last was pulled from the album after it was released due to a trademark on Carbona, a popular stain removal product at the time. It was replaced in the UK with “Babysitter” and in the U.S. with “Sheena is a Punk Rocker,” which is also on Rocket To Russia. The 2001 expanded edition contains all three songs.
Leave Home sounds just as good now as it did 40 years ago. If that’s not proof that you can’t kill rock n roll, I don’t know what is!!
by Mat Weir
On Friday, July 11th, in this foul year of our Corporations, 2014, we lost the last of the original members from the godfathers of punk, Tommy Ramone. Though he only played on the first three albums—to be replaced by Marky, who would play on (most) of the remaining albums, Tommy’s influence on music, art and culture are legendary. Afterall, it was Tommy who layed down the essential snare-floor tom-hi-hat combo that created the structure for the Ramones to build their punk rock sound. Though Dee Dee wrote many of the Ramones most popular songs, it was Tommy who wrote “Blitzkrieg Bop” with its hypnotic “Hey Ho, Let’s Go!” chant that has become ubiquitous in society.
And as we know, the Ramones sound exploded beyond New York’s Bowery and even beyond the band itself. Without their first three albums, music would have continued down its sluggish path of boring, safe, stadium bands. When the Sex Pistols recorded Never Mind the Bollocks, it was the first Ramones album they brought to the studio as a reference for how they wanted to sound. Without the first three Ramones albums, the Dead Kennedys would never have existed as Jello Biafra has claimed time and time again.
I can’t help thinking that Tommy’s passing carries an extra twist of pain. We live in a world of Justin Biebers and Katy Perrys, of Kanye West’s, Beyonce’s, Lil’ Wayne’s and criminals who take a nice photo and win a modeling contract. Ringo Starr is still alive, for god’s sake. But it’s a world without the Ramones, and things are that much worse for it.
Even as I write this, two days later, I can’t shake the feeling like someone kicked my childhood in the nuts, finishing it off by exposing Santa as a lie.
The Ramones’ music is timeless. Short, fast and catchy hooks, all that you need in a good pop song, which is what the band set out to write. Thankfully for us, they weren’t recognized for their talent until much later, allowing the band to live out their true purpose—a purpose first recognized by Tommy—a purpose that changed everything.
So thank you Tommy. Thank you Johnny. Thank you Dee Dee. Thank you Joey. Your time with us was too short but nobody will ever forget the name, Ramones. It’s a name too tough to die. HEY HO, LET’S GO!!!!!!
Hi everyone! It’s been a while since the last Can U Dig It? post, but I’m back and I want to talk about my favorite music format, the 7” single. I love everything about it from the packaging to the content.
If you’re the type to pick off and enjoy the pepperoni before grubbing down the whole slice. Or if you like eating the cream from an Oreo before dunking the chocolate into a glass of ice cold milk, 7” singles are right up your alley; a wonderfully delicious pre-game before the big show.
7″s have one or two songs that usually make it to the artist’s next album with a B-side that at times trumps the A-side or packs a bigger punch than any of the filler on the upcoming full length. If that’s not enough to reel you in, think of it as a way to connect with friends without Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Invite a few friends over and play them some of your favorite singles. It’s a great way to turn people on to bands they may have never heard, or connect on similar taste. Either way it’s a good way to get real face time with your friends.
Here are a few of my favorite singles that we have on hand at Streetlight. I’ll try and keep you all updated with recommended new, and used, incoming. Until then, happy hunting and keep your local record store alive!