Ramones - Leave Home (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Leave Home (1977)

Sire Records

In a 1981 television interview, Johnny Ramone said "Punk is rebellious rock for kids, all of them…[its] not a bunch of old men playing music for your mothers and fathers. That's what you have now. That's what they call ‘rock.'" That's right. Punk wasn't and still isn't rock and roll for your parents to approve of. And for their second album, Leave Home, The Ramones kept that attitude along with their simple, fast, and of course, rebellious sound, just like they had on their debut album.

When people think of punk rock there seems to be the notion that its all about anarchy, destroying the state, hating religion, etc. and it rarely, if ever, addresses love. But for those of us who actually know what we're talking about, Stiff Little Fingers wrote "Barbed Wire Love," The Buzzcocks wrote, "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone Shouldn't've) and the list goes on. Just on Leave Home alone, there are plenty of songs addressing love and heartbreak like "Glad to See You Go," "I Remember You," "Oh Oh I Love Her So" and "You're Gonna Kill That Girl." And these songs are honest and really humble. They are nowhere near as pretentious as the god—awful mainstream garbage that was released in 1977. For example, some of the lyrics in song "Oh Oh I Love Her So" are "I met her at the Burger King/We fell in love by the soda machine…And no one's gonna ever tear us apart/ Cause she's my sweetheart." Not only were they trying to bring back the simple 1—4—5 sound of the 1950's (that they updated) back to counter the over—inflated rock of the 70's, but they were also trying to bring back lyrics that weren't filled with bullshit.

Of course, what's a punk album without some controversy attached to it? Originally, the song "Carbona Not Glue" was supposed appear on Leave Home, but when the Carbona cleanser company threatened legal action over the title of the song, it was replaced by one of The Ramones' most famous songs and one of the greatest punk rock songs ever written, "Sheena is a Punk Rocker," which would later be on the band's next album, Rocket to Russia that came out later the same year Leave Home was released.

Leave Home is undeniably a classic punk rock album. The Ramones' music made fans of the 1970's realize that rock n' roll got way too arrogant and lost touch with its roots. The Ramones brought rock n' roll back in touch by stripping it down. In other words, there is no excuse for a 20—minute organ solo, nor will there ever be a need for one.