The Ramones (1) Take On Anthrax (16) In The Queens Division's First March Madness Matchup

Categories: Ramones

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The Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—continues, and you get to vote on who makes it to Round Two. The first pairing in our Queens division pits its top seed, three-chord punks the Ramones, against the Big Four thrashers in Anthrax. Check out the arguments in favor of each, then cast your ballot at the Sound of the City facebook page.

THE RAMONES
The Ramones were ridiculous. The Ramones were deadly serious even as they were taking the piss and style-coordinated even though that style was an anti-style—the polar opposite of the first-wave political punk coming out of the U.K. when this foursome made its debut. Even with dozens of three-chord singles to their credit ("Blitzkrieg Bop," "Beat On The Brat," "I Wanna Be Sedated," and a cover of "California Sun" chief among these) you never really felt like you knew the Ramones, the sunglasses and leather jackets always keeping you at a distance. And yet, there's no denying the group's influence on successive generations—bands from the Dead Kennedys to the Mr. T Experience to the Queers to the Strokes to Green Day to Shonen Knife to Guitar Wolf have claimed spiritual or stylistic ownership in four dudes from Queens who unknowingly pioneered a rock'n'roll archetype.
Raymond Cummings

ANTHRAX
Faster than a shark, Anthrax came ripping out of Queens in 1981, serving as a crucial cornerstone of the burgeoning thrash metal movement, which was, at the time, primarily a West Coast scene. Easily the most tongue-in-cheek of thrash's Big Four, the band adapted comic stories and offered darkly funny social commentary while using pure, unchecked speed with much more glee than their contemporaries, who wielded it as more of a weapon. Their collaboration with Public Enemy on "Bring the Noise" may have come five years after "Walk This Way," but the hybrid of metal riffs and rapped vocals would inspire scores of bands, for better or for worse.
Chris Steffen

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2 comments
Road Cat
Road Cat

Learn all about the Ramones in the book; “ON THE ROAD WITH THE RAMONES”.Throughout the remarkable twenty-two-year career of the Ramones the seminal punk rock band, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers and Recording Academy Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners Monte A. Melnick saw it all. He was the band’s tour manager from their 1974 CBGB debut to their final show in 1996. Now, in this NEW UPDATED EDITION he tells his story. Full of insider perspectives and exclusive interviews and packed with over 250 personal color photos and images; this is a must-have for all fans of the Ramones.

Jensen Lee
Jensen Lee

Has to be the Ramones. While most identify 1964’s “California Sun” with the Ramones and the Rivieras (from sun-drenched South Bend, Indiana), the song originated with New Orleans R&B singer Joe Jones, who is known for his Top Ten hit, “You Talk Too Much.” Jones recorded “California Sun” in an R&B style backed by a horn section but met little success. Rockaeology at http://bit.ly/sqawfu tells how the Rivieras replaced Jones’ horn section with a guitar and organ trading riffs and reached #5 with the track. “California Sun” was covered in 1977 by the Ramones, who added distortion and amped up the speed of the Rivieras’ track. 

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