Why The Ramones’ Half-Hour of Mayhem Changed Everything
Recording Academy

I used to have a long-standing dialogue with the owner’s son, I was manager/roadie for the House band at the side cafe, about where the Ramones stood: they should be looked at, in context vs the Pistols, not against Springsteen or Motown or vs progrock or even space rock. When the Pistols are their foil, they simply look like great American Rock n' Roll: Motown harmonies, 50’s biker/monster movie aesthetic, forget the oversimplification of their Velvet’s three-chord pop.

If you look at it solely through this prism, then it takes on a sort of Manchester vs Liverpool dynamic, and they become the Beatles. The Beatles were honing their sound in Germany, nightly gigs, hard work, to get tight, before the Invasion. They were built for radio-friendly mono AM 45 3 minute pop, but sounded best with weird time signatures on acid with quad stereo and a drone.

Similarly the Ramones were working in the 70’s, an era when, while audiophiles were using quad, were rockers (in the eternal mods vs rockers battle) 8-track was the medium of the masses. One 'advantage' of 8-track, not to be confused with lotek 8-track recorders which let you record to all eight tracks of a standard cassette (or, actually four in stereo) was their ability to loop tracks for infinite play, precursor to random select for multi-CD or iPods. The Ramones throw-back Motown-inspired pop, heard on tunes like Sheena is a Punk Rocker, or Blitzkrieg Bop, were infused with new life during the 80’s by the crisper digital noise-reduction of compact disc and were perfect for Pet Cemetery b-movie second reel schlock, as you say.

You can’t necessarily say this for all Punk rock bands. This was, in fact a major argument of the day in the late 80’s, early 90’s when grunge was at its height.

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