TIME Music

The Ramones’ First Album Finally Goes Gold, 38 Years Later

Ramones Drummer Richie Ramone
Jeffrey Mayer—WireImage Ramones drummer Richie Ramone at a screening in Hollywood, California on October 1, 2013 .

It's been a long time coming

The debut album by punk band The Ramones–creatively titled Ramones–has finally gone gold, with over 500,000 copies sold since its release in 1976.

The Recording Industry of America certified the album’s gold status on April 30, almost exactly 38 years after its debut. The slow progress may be thanks to the album’s lack of commercial success in the 1970s. It peaked at 111 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

Since then, however, the album has been labeled the most influential punk record by Spin magazine and was inducted into the Library of Congress in 2013 alongside Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Janis Joplin’s Cheap Thrills.

Before his death in 2004, lead guitarist Johnny Ramone graded each of his band’s 14 albums and gave Ramones an A. “After each take, the engineers would ask if I wanted to hear it back,” Ramone said. “I’d ask them how it sounded. ‘It sounded good.’ So I just said, ‘Okay, let’s keep going.'”

[The A.V. Club]

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