The album that inspired Bad Brains to name themselves after a Ramones song, “Road to Ruin” was the Ramones’ fourth studio album, where they began experimenting beyond power chords. By Ramones standards, it was a softer album focused more on melodic vocals and catchy hooks. That’s not to say the album is devoid of punk rippers like the standout track “I Want To Be Sedated” and “I Wanted Everything.” But one of Ramones most successful mid-tempo tracks they ever released, “Needles and Pins,” proved that changing the formula could work and was necessary more in their career.
“Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!” A short chorus that would come to embody the Ramones and punk for decades to come. It’s in the band’s simplicity that they found their success. A few chords and some attitude were all it took for them to breathe life into rock & roll’s spirit. And although the band never saw great commercial success in their heyday, they did have massive influence and critical acclaim. They made the most out of what they had. If they could do it, you could do it too, inspiring bands like Bad Brains, Black Flag, Green Day and Soundgarden into existence. Flirting with dark ideas for the time like drugs, addiction and even Nazi brutalism, the Ramones were edgy but their DIY spirit and signature sound made them into enduring punk icons.