|Single by Ramones|
|from the album Ramones|
|Tommy 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). 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.
"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.
"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. Tommy Ramone tells about the chant in Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives, written by Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone: "I came up with the chant walking home from the grocery store carrying a bag of groceries. It was based on the line: 'High Hose nipped her toes' from the song, "Walking The Dog" by Rufus Thomas."
"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.