Legend has it that Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy spent a total of $6,400 recording this debut, which leads to an obvious question: Where’d all the money go? These 14 tracks sound like they were mixed on a runway at LaGuardia, but the playing is impressively clean given its speed (no song lasts longer than 2:40) and Joey’s singing proves you don’t need range to sound exuberant. Music historians long ago decided that Ramones is punk rock’s Rosetta Stone, but “Judy is a Punk,” “53rd & 3rd” and “Blitzkrieg Bop” (whose famous “Hey! Ho!/ Let’s go!” was an homage to the Bay City Rollers) succeed mostly because of the pop influences at their core.
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