“Blitzkrieg Bop” – Postponed Punk Popularity

By looking at how the Ramone’s 1976 “Blitzkrieg Bop” gained popularity over time through appearances in films like Rock ‘n’ Roll Highschool, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Spider-Man Homecoming, we can see how commercial success was gained despite never charting, and without sacrificing the raw and underground elements of punk music. As a punk song, we can see the Ramones showcasing a high-tempo, strong forte, and rough production. 

A comment from this “Blitzkrieg Bop” Youtube video.

As a punk band, the Ramones embodied rebellious actions, which is showcased in the main hook of the song, “Hey hoe, let’s go!” This hook was designed to make fun of the lyrics featuring in the Rolling Stones song “Walking the Dog,” that said “High low, tippy-toe.” Ironically it was the Rolling Stones that were an early version of punk-rock, but with vast differences from the Ramones. The Stones had cleaner production techniques, did not traditionally play songs at a fast tempo, and had a generally higher image of themselves. While the Stones could be considered rebellious by some, they were also trend-hoppers and would bounce around to different areas of music. The Ramones, however, rejected all other forms of music besides their own and didn’t care to hear otherwise. 

The song did not immediately find commercial success, with minimal radio air time and a lack of charting on Billboard Music. Success, however, was not the initial goal for the Ramones. Recorded as part of an LP (a longer length vinyl or album), their entire budget for the whole project was only $6,400. As a result of this, it led them to record at night because the studio rates were cheaper, and the lack of extensive production also helped the band to achieve the fast-paced and unbalanced volume dynamics of the song. 

Credit: Mal-One. (1976) ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, Blitzkrieg Bop Single [Vinyl]. Phonogram: Sire Records.