Blitzkrieg Bop

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"Blitzkrieg Bop"
Single by Ramones
from the album Ramones
Released February 1976
Format 7"
Recorded January 1976
Genre Punk rock
Length 2:12
Label Sire/ABC
Writer(s) Tommy Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone[1]
Producer(s) Craig Leon
Ramones singles chronology
"Blitzkrieg Bop"
(1976)
"I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"
(1976)
Music sample

"Blitzkrieg Bop" is a song by the American punk rock band Ramones. It was released as the band's debut single in February 1976 in the United States. It appeared as the opening track on the band's debut album, Ramones, also released that month.

The song, whose composition was credited to the band as a whole, was written by drummer Tommy Ramone (music and lyrics) and bassist Dee Dee Ramone (lyrics).[2] Based on a simple three-chord pattern, "Blitzkrieg Bop" opens with the chant "Hey! Ho! Let's go!" The song is popular at sporting events where "Hey! Ho! Let's go!" is sometimes shouted as a rallying cry, particularly in the city of Glasgow where fans chant "Hey! Ho! Glasgow!"

"Blitzkrieg Bop" is number 92 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at number 31 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, and in 2008 Rolling Stone placed it number 18 on top 100 of Best Guitar Songs of All Time. In 2009 it was named the 25th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.[3]

Origin and meaning[edit]

"Blitzkrieg Bop" was named after the German World War II tactic blitzkrieg, which means "lightning war". The song was mainly written by drummer Tommy Ramone, while bassist Dee Dee Ramone came up with the title (the song was originally called "Animal Hop"). Dee Dee also changed one line: the original third verse had the line "shouting in the back now", but Dee Dee changed it to "shoot 'em in the back now". The precise meaning and subject matter of the song are, unlike many of The Ramones' other early compositions, somewhat vague and obscure.

Composition[edit]

"Blitzkrieg Bop" is a 4/4 time song written in the key of A. It contains four chords; A major (I), B minor (II), D major (IV), and E major (V).[4][5] The song relies heavily on the I, IV, and V chords, most notably used in the intro and verses in the form of the I - IV - V chord progression. The II chord appears only briefly towards the end of the refrain.[4][5] The guitarist played the entire song with barre chord shapes, as these were signature to his playing style.[4][6][7][8] The bassist simply played the root note of whatever chord the guitarist was playing.[6] Both the rhythm guitar and bass parts, played using downstrokes exclusively,[6] utilize almost constant eighth notes to generate a "wall of sound". The singer's vocal melody relies on five of the seven notes found in the A major scale; A, B, C#, D, and E. The drummer maintains a steady backbeat on the kick and snare throughout the entire song. Constant eighth notes are played on the hi hat cymbals during the verses, and on the floor tom whilst the singer shouts "Hey, Ho, Let's Go!", whereas quarter notes are used on the ride cymbal during the refrain. Occasional crashes are used to accentuate certain beats.

The song was originally played at a very fast tempo (Allegrissimo), or roughly 177 bpm. When the band performed the song live, they started to play it at even faster tempos, gradually increasing the speed throughout their career. At the band's final show, they played the song at an extremely fast tempo (Prestissimo), well above 200 bpm.

Dedications[edit]

  • The punk rock band Blitzkrieg Bop took their name after the song title.
  • A monthly club night at the Arches in Glasgow is named after the song.

Notable covers[edit]

Uses in popular culture[edit]

  • The song appeared in the 1983 movie National Lampoon's Vacation.
  • The song was used as a battle hymn in the first episode of the sci-fi/action TV series Space: Above and Beyond.
  • "Blitzkrieg Bop" has been heard in TV commercials. CBS used the song to promote a new season of The Amazing Race, and is heard in a 2013 ad for Coppertone, and ao.com used it for their advertising campaign in 2013.
  • The song was also used in a 2010 campaign for Cartoon Network and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
  • A remastered version of "Blitzkrieg Bop" is on the soundtrack of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (PlayStation version).
  • The song is featured on the soundtrack of the video game MLB 08: The Show.
  • The song was used on the original Rock Band video game that was released on November 20, 2007 in the US.
  • The song was used in the game Rocksmith 2014.
  • The song was used for advertising campaign BIGBON in 2014.
  • Green Day regularly plays the song over the loud speakers before going on stage.
  • The song is regularly played before home games at St. James' Park, home of Newcastle United.
  • Frequent references to the song are made in the novel "Pet Sematary" by Stephen King.
  • There was a weapon named the Blitzkrieg Button created by Howard Stark in the 4th episode Marvel's Agent Carter episode called "The Blitzkrieg Button".
  • Taco Bell used the song in an advertisement released in March 2015.[13]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bessman, Jim (1993). Ramones: An American Band (New York: St. Martin's). ISBN 0-312-09369-1

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Bessman (1993), p. 48.
  3. ^ "VH1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". Spreadit Music. Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c Hal Leonard, "Ramones Guitar Anthology"
  5. ^ a b Ubisoft, "Rocksmith 2014"
  6. ^ a b c Jim Bessman, "Ramones: An American Band", p. 13
  7. ^ Michael Molenda, "The Guitar Player Book: 40 Years Of Interviews, Gear, And Lessons From The World's Most Celebrated Guitar Magazine", p. 71
  8. ^ Johnny Ramone, "Commando: The Autobiography Of Johnny Ramone", p. 68
  9. ^ "23. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Blitzkrieg Bop. | Video Youtube - NMETV Latest Music Videos and Clips". Nme.Com. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  10. ^ Despres, Shawn (July 14, 2011). "Shonen Knife 'Osaka Ramones' ". Japan Times. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  11. ^ Ruhlmann, William: Golddiggas, Headnodders and Pholk Songs. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  12. ^ Bush, Nathan: Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  13. ^ "Routine Republic" 2015 Taco Bell Breakfast Short Film (in English). 2015. 

External links[edit]