The Ramones were loud and fast - Everyone knows that, even the poor, blind saps who never loved the band. But the Ramones were many things, and gloriously so, from the moment of their inception in Forest Hills, New York, in 1974, until their final concert, #2,263, in Los Angeles on August 6, 1996.
They were prolific - releasing 21 studio and live albums between 1976 and 1996 - and professional, typically cutting all of the basic tracks for one of those studio LPs in a matter of days. They were stubborn, a marvel of bulldog determination and cast-iron pride in a business greased by negotiation and compromise. And they were fun, rock n' roll's most reliable Great Night Out for nearly a quarter of a century.
Above all, the Ramones were pop: stone believers in the Top 40 7-inch-vinyl songwriting aesthetic; a nonstop hit-singles machine with everything going for it - hammer-and-sizzle guitars and hallelujah choruses played at runaway-Beatles-velocity - except actual hits.
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