Hear Ramones' Rare Live 'Blitzkrieg Bop' From 1976 - Rolling Stone
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Hear Ramones’ Rare Live ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ From 1976

Track will feature on upcoming box-set reissue of their debut album

Hear Ramones' rare, live take of "Blitzkrieg Bop," from the upcoming box-set reissue of their debut album.

Hear Ramones' rare 1976 live take of "Blitzkrieg Bop," from the upcoming box-set reissue of their debut album.

© Roberta Bayley

A few months after Ramones put out their debut album, they played a couple of sets at West Hollywood’s famed outpost the Roxy. An energetic, never-before-released live version of “Blitzkrieg Bop,” recorded at the second set of a two-gig night there on August 12th, 1976, shows how the group would charge into the buoyant punk anthem before it became a staple for them. It will feature on a new deluxe reissue of the album, out September 9th.

“Blitzkrieg Bop” would become a speedy call-to-arms for the group at Ramones concerts in the years to come, but here it’s a stripped-down midtempo rocker. Also notable: You can barely hear any other voices singing “Hey, ho/Let’s go” along with Joey Ramone, and he’s almost nonchalant in his introduction of the song. “This is the single off the album on Sire Rekkids,” he says in his Queens accent. “The ‘Blitzkrieg Bop-uh.'”

The limited-edition reissue of the album, Ramones: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, will contain stereo and mono versions of the record, single mixes, outtakes, demos and two full-set live recordings from the Roxy, both put to tape the same day. The mono mix has never come out before, nor have the uncensored version of “Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World”; demo takes of “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” “You’re Gonna Kill That Girl” and “53rd and 3rd,” among others; or the second Roxy set. The reissue will also feature the mono version of the album on vinyl. All of the remastering and mixing was overseen by the album’s original producer and mixer, Craig Leon.

“The earliest mixes of the album were virtually mono,” Leon said in a statement. “We had an idea to record at Abbey Road and do both a mono and stereo version of the album, which was unheard of at the time. I’m thrilled that now, 40 years later, we followed through on that original idea.”

The box set is available for preorder.

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