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|Single by Ramones|
|from the album Ramones|
|Songwriter(s)||Tommy Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone|
|Ramones singles chronology|
"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, that was released April 23, 1976.
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). The song is based on a simple three-chord pattern. The song is popular at sporting events where the iconic chant "Hey! Ho! Let's go!" is sometimes shouted as a rallying cry.
"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 of the top 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time. In 2009 it was named the 25th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.
Origin and meaning
"Blitzkrieg Bop" is a reference to 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 other 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 is, unlike many of The Ramones' other early compositions, somewhat vague and obscure. The idea for a chant at the beginning of the song came from the 1975 Bay City Rollers hit song "Saturday Night", which begins with the chant "S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night"; Tommy Ramone wanted the Ramones to have a similarly catchy chant. The lyrics "Hey ho, let's go" were inspired by the line "High, low, tipsy toe" from the 1963 song "Walking the Dog" by Rufus Thomas, and specifically the Rolling Stones' cover of the song; the band had enjoyed mocking Mick Jagger's pronunciation of the line, which they thought sounded more like "hey ho". Tommy stated later that he "came up with the chant walking home from the grocery store carrying a bag of groceries."
"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). 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. Johnny Ramone played the entire song with barre chord shapes, as these were signature to his playing style. Dee Dee Ramone simply played the root note of whatever chord the guitarist was playing. Both the rhythm guitar and bass parts, played using downstrokes exclusively, utilize almost constant eighth notes to generate a "wall of sound". Joey Ramone's vocal melody relies on five of the seven notes found in the A major scale; A, B, C♯, D, and E. Tommy Ramone 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 Joey 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 (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 well above 200 bpm.
Uses in media
- The song has appeared in the video game NBA 2K16.
- "Blitzkrieg Bop" has been heard in numerous TV advertisements including Cartoon Network and Taco Bell.
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000|
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
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- "VH1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". Spreadit Music. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
- Hughest, Rob (July 14, 2014). "The Story Behind The Song: Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones". Louder.
- Laitio-Ramone, Jari-Pekka (May 19, 2009). "Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives". Blitzkrieg Bop's chant. Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
- Hal Leonard (2001). Ramones Guitar Anthology. Hal Leonard Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7692-0594-6.
- Ubisoft. Rocksmith 2014.
- Jim Bessman (May 15, 1993). Ramones: An American Band. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-312-09369-3.
- Michael Molenda (2007). The Guitar Player Book: 40 Years Of Interviews, Gear, And Lessons From The World's Most Celebrated Guitar Magazine. Backbeat Books. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-87930-782-0.
- Johnny Ramone, "Commando: The Autobiography Of Johnny Ramone", p. 68
- Nunneley, Stephany (July 24, 2015). "Get your groove on with the official NBA 2K16 soundtrack". VG247. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
- "Cartoonnetwork lets go". December 10, 2009. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- "Routine Republic" 2015 Taco Bell Breakfast Short Film. Youtube.com. 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "British album certifications – RAMONES – Blitzkrieg Bop". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Blitzkrieg Bop in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "American album certifications – RAMONES – Blitzkrieg Bop". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.