Writers: Tommy Ramone
Producer: Craig Leon
Recorded: Spring 1976 in New York City
Released: April 1976
|Players:||Joey Ramone (Jeffrey Hyman)–vocals
Johnny Ramone (John Cummings)–guitar
Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Colvin)–bass
Tommy Ramone (Thomas Erdelyi)–drums
The Ramones formed in the summer of 1974, first playing a private party in Forest Hills, New York, before making their debut at the legendary CBGB's. All ardent pop fans, the quartet decided to take stage monikers with the same surnames to make them sound like a sibling act.
The group's name was inspired by ex-Beatle Paul McCartney's touring pseudonym, Paul Ramon.
“Blitzkrieg Bop” was the group's first single, released a few weeks before their debut album.
Drummer Tommy Ramone wrote the song, though bassist Dee Dee Ramone, whose ancestry is German, contributed the title. “And he changed one line,” Tommy said. “There was a line that went, 'They're shouting in the back now.' He changed it to, 'Shoot 'em in the back now,' which is a non-sequitur, but to him it made sense.”
Despite the military connotations of the title, the song itself is actually good, clean fun, according to the late Joey Ramone. “I hate to blow the mystique, but at the time we really liked bubblegum music, and we really liked the Bay City Rollers. Their song 'Saturday Night' had a great chant in it, so we wanted a song with a chant in it: 'Hey! Ho! Let's go!' 'Blitzkrieg Bop' was our 'Saturday Night.'”
The song did not chart as a single, but it later was used in several TV ads and has become a staple of hype music at sporting events.
The Ramones album–recorded for a mere $6,400–made its way to Number 111 on the Billboard 200.
The group was slow to take hold in the U.S. because its songs–unusually short, aggressive blasts of energy–were foreign to the commercial marketplace at the time. It would be years before the band received its due in its homeland.