YEAR RELEASED: 1976
CHART ACTION: #111
SINGLES: Blitzkrieg Bop, I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: You either know all of the record, or you don’t
LINEUP: Johnny, Joey, DeeDee and Tommy, with some random studio workers singing backups at times.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: While it’s not really the first punk rock record, it became a touchstone of some struggling bands in the UK. Here in the US it was a sign that ‘real’ rock and roll was supposed to be fun, and stupid, and easy to play, and fun.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Today, there would be some ‘problems’ regarding the lyrics of some songs regarding violence, drug use, hustlers and Nazis. I really don’t think anyone in 1976 or 1977 took this record seriously except for the fun it was. To this day, it sounds like a breath of fresh air – except “Blitzkrieg Bop” which unfortunately has been used and played ad nauseum in commercials and sporting events, and that over playing was about 30 years too late, really. Seriously, if you haven’t heard the whole record, what’s your problem?
Not every song has three chords. “Let’s Dance” and “Loudmouth” may have as many as six. That’s a lot of bass strings Dee Dee had to pluck! (Johnny just went with barre chords, of course).
NOTES & MINUTAE: You may notice the stereo effect – in that the bass is in one channel and the guitar is in the other. That’s a big tribute to the early Beatles stereo, where they did it that way for ease. I’d love to hear this album remixed for mono.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, there is one with some demos and outtakes. However, the demos really sound like the original songs – so they’re kind of superfluous.
GRADE: A. Not quite an A+ as some of the material isn’t their strongest. Still it’s a hell of a record.