The Ramones, an American punk rock band, stormed the music scene in 1974 with their fast, loud, and raw sound. Some of their best-known songs include “I Wanna Be Sedated,” “Blitzkrieg Bop,” and “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker.”
Despite not reaching great commercial success, their unique style, characterized by simple chord structures and catchy melodies, came to define the genre.
This article explores the legacy of their musical influence, showcasing bands that have carried the torch lit by this punk rock pioneer. Dive into the sonic universe of 13 incredible bands similar to the Ramones and discover how their spirit lives on in contemporary music. Let’s dive in!
Two years after the Ramones came to be, another punk rock band emerged; this time, from the Manchester music scene across the pond in Bolton, England: Buzzcocks.
The founders, singer-songwriters Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto, were inspired by a performance by the Sex Pistols to form the band in 1976.
Early in their career, Buzzcocks released their first EP, Spiral Scratch, in 1977. This release was significant, as it was one of the first independent punk records to be released in the UK. However, shortly after this, Devoto departed from the band.
Even without Devoto, Buzzcocks continued to make waves in the punk/pop scene. They are perhaps best known for their string of successful singles, including “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve),” “What Do I Get?” and “Orgasm Addict.”
Our next band, Blondie, is similar to the Ramones in terms of punk rock sound; however, they’ve added their own flair by fusing it with elements of pop, disco, and reggae.
Formed in 1974, Blondie’s breakthrough came with their third album, Parallel Lines, released in 1978. This album produced several hit singles, including “Heart of Glass,” which topped the charts in the US and UK.
Blondie continued to have success throughout the late ’70s and early ’80s, with other notable releases like “Call Me” and “The Tide Is High.”
As a testament to their considerable influence on the music landscape, Blondie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. They’ve also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and been recognized by the Grammy Hall of Fame for “Heart of Glass.”
3. The Clash
Next up is The Clash. Co-founded by Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, and Paul Simonon, they were part of the original wave of British punk rock and gained prominence for their intense, powerful performances.
Debuting in 1977, The Clash was an instant success. However, their 1979 album London Calling shot them to greater fame. It is cited as one of the greatest punk rock albums of all time, while its title track is also hailed as one of the most influential punk songs ever written.
In 2003, The Clash was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. London Calling was also honored by the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007. Despite their disbandment in the mid-1980s, The Clash’s legacy continues to inspire and influence artists across various music genres.
4. The Dictators
Before the Ramones, there was The Dictators. Formed in 1973, the band is best known for their proto-punk sound and is considered one of the pioneering bands of the punk rock movement.
The Dictators made a significant impact with their debut album, Go Girl Crazy, released in 1975 — iconic in that it is one of the first punk rock albums to come out of New York City, predating releases by other iconic punk bands similar to the Ramones.
Though they did not achieve widespread commercial success during their initial run, The Dictators have been recognized for their influence on the genre. As of today, they are still making music and performing, kicking out their brand of music for 50 years.
5. Sex Pistols
Both the Sex Pistols and the Ramones are considered pivotal bands in the development of punk rock, albeit from different sides of the Atlantic.
The Ramones, formed in New York in 1974, were central to the birth of American punk, while the Sex Pistols, formed a year later in London, were at the forefront of the British punk movement.
Despite a rather short career altogether, the Sex Pistols’ discography has had a lasting impact. Their album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, is considered a seminal work in the punk genre. Songs like “God Save the Queen” and “Anarchy In the UK” have become punk anthems.
Legendary figures in music that they are, the Sex Pistols were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006; however, they refused to attend.
6. The Strokes
Hailing from New York City like the Ramones, punk rock band The Strokes played a crucial role in the resurgence of garage rock and post-punk revival in the early 2000s.
The band gained significant attention in the early 2000s for their debut album, Is This It. The album was critically acclaimed, featuring the Platinum hit “Last Nite.”
Following the success of their debut, The Strokes went on to release more albums that reached the top five of Billboard 200, including Room on Fire, First Impressions of Earth, and Angles.
As of today, the band continues to record and perform. The Strokes’ most recent album, The New Abnormal, won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2021, marking their first-ever Grammy win.
7. Hüsker Dü
In the year 1979, Bob Mould, Greg Norton, and Grant Hart bonded over their love for the Ramones and formed a band of their own called Hüsker Dü. They would go on to become a major influence in the punk rock movement that emerged in the 1980s.
Though their career didn’t last a full decade, Hüsker Dü’s discography was extensive. It included six studio albums, two live albums, one compilation album, and two extended plays. Some of their most notable releases include Flip Your Wig, Zen Arcade, and New Day Rising.
Despite their eventual break-up in 1988, Hüsker Dü’s influence has continued to resonate within the music industry, and they are often cited as a key inspiration by many post-hardcore bands, like Quicksand and Title Fight.
Considered pioneers of the subgenre horror punk, we have next the punk rock band Misfits. This group was formed by Glenn Danzig, who served as the band’s vocalist and songwriter in 1977.
Similar to the Ramones, Misfits’ music is characterized by its fast-paced punk rock sound and catchy melodies; however, influenced by horror films and B-movies, they’ve also established a signature dark, eerie image.
The original lineup of the band disbanded in 1983 but left a significant legacy in the punk genre. They released several albums and EPs that have since become classics, including Walk Among Us and Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood.
9. Green Day
Emerging from the vibrant punk scene of Berkeley, California, Green Day is a rock powerhouse that has redefined the genre. This dynamic trio — Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool — has been rocking the airwaves since their formation in 1986.
Starting with humble beginnings at local venues, Green Day catapulted to global fame with their breakthrough 1994 album, Dookie. It topped charts in several countries, including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Over the years, they’ve been acknowledged for their notable work, including Grammys for the albums Dookie, American Idiot, and 21st Century Breakdown, as well as for the song “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”
From their grassroots origins to their enshrinement in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Green Day’s journey is a testament to their relentless creativity, authenticity, and the undeniable power of their music.
10. The Offspring
Borne out of the Southern California punk scene, The Offspring is similar to the Ramones in terms of sound. The band was formed in 1984 by Dexter Holland (lead vocals, guitar), Greg K. (bass, backing vocals), and Kevin Wasserman (guitar, backing vocals). Soon after, they were joined by drummer Pete Parada.
The Offspring’s breakthrough came with their third studio album, Smash, released in 1994. Featuring the chart-topping hits “Come Out and Play” and “Self Esteem,” it remains one of the best-selling independent records of all time, with over 11 million copies sold worldwide.
Since then, The Offspring has continued to produce music and tour worldwide, maintaining a strong fanbase over the decades. Their influence on the punk rock scene is undeniable, and their music continues to resonate with fans, old and new.
11. The Damned
Another band across the Atlantic has been compared to the Ramones for their punk rock sound. Emerging from London’s burgeoning punk scene in 1976, The Damned holds several distinct honors:
They are the first UK punk band to release a single (“New Rose” in 1976), an album (Damned Damned Damned in 1977), and tour the United States, establishing them as pioneers of the punk revolution.
But The Damned didn’t confine themselves to punk’s boundaries. As their career progressed, they began incorporating elements of goth rock, psychedelia, and new wave into their sound.
Despite numerous lineup changes over the years, The Damned continues to perform and remains a vital force in the world of punk rock.
12. Talking Heads
Like the Ramones, the Talking Heads hails from New York City and also echoes their punk rock sound. The group was composed of David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, and Jerry Harrison.
The Talking Heads began their journey playing at the legendary CBGB music club in 1975, where they opened for acts like the Ramones. Their performances soon caught the attention of critics and audiences alike, leading to their signing with Sire Records and the release of their debut album, Talking Heads: 77, in 1977.
From there, their popularity only grew. They released a series of critically acclaimed albums, including Fear of Music and Remain in Light, which featured some of their biggest hits like “Life During Wartime,” “Once in a Lifetime,” and “Burning Down the House.”
13. Black Flag
Ending this list is the Black Flag. This punk rock band emerged from the Southern California music scene in 1976. Known for their intense, hard-hitting sound and provocative lyrics, Black Flag is often hailed as one of the pioneers of hardcore punk.
Released in 1981, Black Flag’s most iconic album, Damaged, is considered a seminal work in hardcore punk, with its blistering tracks like “Rise Above,” “Six Pack,” and “TV Party” offering a searing critique of American society.
The band is also known for their tireless touring schedule and shows in unconventional venues like warehouses and basements. To this day, Black Flag continues to tour.
Summing Up Our List Of Bands Similar To The Ramones
As you have read, the punk rock scene has been graced with many bands that carry a similar vibe to the Ramones, from contemporaries like Sex Pistols and The Clash to artists inspired by their trailblazing style.
Thank you for joining us on this musical journey. We hope this article has been informative and enjoyable, sparking new interest and reigniting old passions.
If you feel there are other bands that echo the spirit of the Ramones and should have been included, we encourage you to share your recommendations so we can add them here!