HERC's introduction to Ramones, the American godfathers of punk, came in the form of a late-night HBO viewing of Rock N Roll High School back in the early Eighties. Admittedly, he was only watching the movie because it starred P.J. Soles from Halloween and Stripes. (He was shocked to later find out the youthful looking Pamela Jayne was actually much older than the characters she was portraying.) Thirteen Ramones tracks (including the film's title track below) can be heard in the movie, some of them performed by the band onscreen but we'll get into that on a future installment of Friday Film Fest. It would be another five years before HERC bought a Ramones album and when he did he bought the single most jam-packed Ramones album ever issued: RAMONESMANIA.
This bad boy featured 30 tracks from Ramones and their first ten albums on a single disc which tells you all you need to know about the band's songs; they were short and sweet, fast little in-your-face rave-ups. Clad in their uniform of ripped blue jeans and leather jackets with matching pageboy haircuts they were not pretty boys by any means and the music they played was gloriously primal, with lyrics meant to be shouted aloud.
HERC's favorite Ramones tracks are all above. The band were not critical favorites in their time but have since become highly respected for their influence. They're in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and have been named the second greatest rock band of all time (behind the Beatles, natch) but surprisingly RAMONESMANIA is their biggest selling album and it's only certified Gold - half a million copies shipped.
For the festivities of Record Store Day 2010 a multi-colored vinyl version of RAMONESMANIA was made available, though limited to a thousand copies. If you come across one cheap, pick it up for ol' HERC. He'll be ever so grateful.