14 Classic Albums That Flopped When They Were Released

'Pet Sounds' and more iconic slow burners

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Ramones, 'Ramones' (1976)
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Ramones, 'Ramones' (1976)

The debut from Queens' first "family" of punk came on the heels of hype by a slew of New York writers who had seen the band at CBGB and were amazed by their taut compositions and snarling stage presence. ("Four really pissed-off guys in black leather jackets," Legs McNeil recalled in his punk oral history Please Kill Me.) But the brutally stripped-down aesthetics of New York punk were decidedly out of step with the time's more grandiose rock tastes. Ramones, which came out two months after the band's week-long recording session, only sold 6,000 copies in the United States during its first year of commercial availability. In 2014, 38 years after its release, it would be certified gold.

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