Remaster refers to changing the quality of the sound or of the image, or both, of created recordings, either audiophonic, cinematic, or videographic. A pyramid of copies would be made from a single original "master" recording, which might itself be based on previous recordings. For example, sound effects might have been added from copies of sound effect tapes similar to modern sampling to make a radio play for broadcast. A master is the recording which experts state will be the definitive copy, duplicated for the end user into other formats i.e. LP records, CDs, DVDs etc. Problematically, several different levels of masters exist for any one audio release; as an example, examine the way a typical music album from the 1960s was created. Musicians and vocalists were recorded on multi-track tape; this tape was mixed to create a mono master. A further master tape would be created from this original master recording consisting of equalization and other adjustments and improvements to the audio to make it sound better on record players for example.
More master recordings would be duplicated from the equalized master for regional copying purposes. Pressing masters for vinyl recordings would be created; these interim recordings were referred to as Mother Tapes. All vinyl records would derive from one of the master recordings. Thus, mastering refers to the process of creating a master; this might be as simple as copying a tape for further duplication purposes, or might include the actual equalization and processing steps used to fine-tune material for release. The latter example requires the work of mastering engineers. With the advent of digital recording in the late 1970s, many mastering ideas changed. Creating new masters meant incurring an analogue generational loss; this means how much of the original intended "good" information is recorded against faults added to the recording as a result of the technical limitations of the equipment used. Although noise reduction techniques exist, they increase other audio distortions such as azimuth shift and flutter, print-through and stereo image shift.
With digital recording, masters could be created and duplicated without incurring the usual generational loss. As CDs were a digital format, digital masters created from original analog recordings became a necessity. Remastering is the process of making a new master for film, or any other creation, it tends to refer to the process of porting a recording from an analogue medium to a digital one, but this is not always the case. For example, a vinyl LP -- pressed from a worn-out pressing master many tape generations removed from the "original" master recording -- could be remastered and re-pressed from a better-condition tape. All CDs created from analogue sources are technically digitally remastered; the process of creating a digital transfer of an analogue tape remasters the material in the digital domain if no equalization, compression, or other processing is done to the material. Ideally, because of their high resolution, a CD or DVD release should come from the best source possible, with the most care taken during its transfer.
Additionally, the earliest days of the CD era found digital technology in its infancy, which sometimes resulted in poor-sounding digital transfers. The earliest days of the DVD era were not much different, with early DVD copies of films being produced from worn prints, with low bitrates and muffled audio; when the first CD remasters turned out to be bestsellers, companies soon realized that new editions of back-catalogue items could compete with new releases as a source of revenue. Back-catalogue values skyrocketed, today it is not unusual to see expanded and remastered editions of modern albums. Master tapes, or something close to them, can be used to make CD releases. Better processing choices can be used. Better prints can be utilized, with sound elements remixed to 5.1 surround sound and obvious print flaws digitally corrected. The modern era gives publishers unlimited ways to touch up, "improve" their media, as each release promises improved sound, video and others, producers hope these upgrades will entice people into making a purchase.
Remastering music for CD or digital distribution first starts from locating the original analog version. The next step tracks so it can be edited using a computer; the track order is chosen. This is something engineers worry about because if the track order is not right, it may seem sonically unbalanced; when the remastering starts, engineers use software tools such as a limiter, an equaliser, a compressor. The compressor and limiters are ways of controlling the loudness of a track. However, this is not to be confused with the volume of a track, controlled by the listener during playback; the dynamic range of an audio track is measured by calculating the variation between the loudest and the quietest part of a track. In recording studios the loudness is measured with negative decibels, zero designates the loudest recordable sound. A limiter works by having a certain cap on the loudest parts and if that cap is exceeded, it is automatically lowered by a ratio preset by the engineer. Remastered audio has been the subject of criticism.
Many remastered CDs from the late 1990s onwards have been affected by the "loudness war", where the average volume of the recording is increased and dynamic range is compresse
Digital audio is sound, recorded in, or converted into, digital form. In digital audio, the sound wave of the audio signal is encoded as numerical samples in continuous sequence. For example, in CD audio, samples are taken 44100 times per second each with 16 bit sample depth. Digital audio is the name for the entire technology of sound recording and reproduction using audio signals that have been encoded in digital form. Following significant advances in digital audio technology during the 1970s, it replaced analog audio technology in many areas of audio engineering and telecommunications in the 1990s and 2000s. In a digital audio system, an analog electrical signal representing the sound is converted with an analog-to-digital converter into a digital signal using pulse-code modulation; this digital signal can be recorded, edited and copied using computers, audio playback machines, other digital tools. When the sound engineer wishes to listen to the recording on headphones or loudspeakers, a digital-to-analog converter performs the reverse process, converting a digital signal back into an analog signal, sent through an audio power amplifier and to a loudspeaker.
Digital audio systems may include compression, storage and transmission components. Conversion to a digital format allows convenient manipulation, storage and retrieval of an audio signal. Unlike analog audio, in which making copies of a recording results in generation loss and degradation of signal quality, digital audio allows an infinite number of copies to be made without any degradation of signal quality. Digital audio technologies are used in the recording, mass-production, distribution of sound, including recordings of songs, instrumental pieces, sound effects, other sounds. Modern online music distribution depends on digital recording and data compression; the availability of music as data files, rather than as physical objects, has reduced the costs of distribution. Before digital audio, the music industry distributed and sold music by selling physical copies in the form of records and cassette tapes. With digital-audio and online distribution systems such as iTunes, companies sell digital sound files to consumers, which the consumer receives over the Internet.
An analog audio system converts physical waveforms of sound into electrical representations of those waveforms by use of a transducer, such as a microphone. The sounds are stored on an analog medium such as magnetic tape, or transmitted through an analog medium such as a telephone line or radio; the process is reversed for reproduction: the electrical audio signal is amplified and converted back into physical waveforms via a loudspeaker. Analog audio retains its fundamental wave-like characteristics throughout its storage, transformation and amplification. Analog audio signals are susceptible to noise and distortion, due to the innate characteristics of electronic circuits and associated devices. Disturbances in a digital system do not result in error unless the disturbance is so large as to result in a symbol being misinterpreted as another symbol or disturb the sequence of symbols, it is therefore possible to have an error-free digital audio system in which no noise or distortion is introduced between conversion to digital format, conversion back to analog.
A digital audio signal may optionally be encoded for correction of any errors that might occur in the storage or transmission of the signal. This technique, known as channel coding, is essential for broadcast or recorded digital systems to maintain bit accuracy. Eight-to-fourteen modulation is a channel code used in the audio compact disc. A digital audio system starts with an ADC; the ADC converts at a known bit resolution. CD audio, for example, has a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz, has 16-bit resolution for each stereo channel. Analog signals that have not been bandlimited must be passed through an anti-aliasing filter before conversion, to prevent the aliasing distortion, caused by audio signals with frequencies higher than the Nyquist frequency. A digital audio signal may be transmitted. Digital audio can be stored on a CD, a digital audio player, a hard drive, a USB flash drive, or any other digital data storage device; the digital signal may be altered through digital signal processing, where it may be filtered or have effects applied.
Sample-rate conversion including upsampling and downsampling may be used to conform signals that have been encoded with a different sampling rate to a common sampling rate prior to processing. Audio data compression techniques, such as MP3, Advanced Audio Coding, Ogg Vorbis, or FLAC, are employed to reduce the file size. Digital audio can be carried over digital audio interfaces such as AES3 or MADI. Digital audio can be carried over a network using audio over Ethernet, audio over IP or other streaming media standards and systems. For playback, digital audio must be converted back to an analog signal with a DAC which may use oversampling. Pulse-code modulation was invented by British scientist Alec Reeves in 1937 and was used in telecommunications applications long before its first use in commercial broadcast and recording. Commercial digital recording was pioneered in Japan by NHK and Nippon Columbia and their Denon brand, in the 1960s; the first commercial digital recordings were released in 1971.
The BBC began to experiment with digital audio in the 1960s. By the early 1970s, it had developed a 2-channel recorder
A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has varying roles during the recording process, they may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements. A producer may also: Select session musicians to play rhythm section accompaniment parts or solos Co-write Propose changes to the song arrangements Coach the singers and musicians in the studioThe producer supervises the entire process from preproduction, through to the sound recording and mixing stages, and, in some cases, all the way to the audio mastering stage; the producer may perform these roles themselves, or help select the engineer, provide suggestions to the engineer. The producer may pay session musicians and engineers and ensure that the entire project is completed within the record label's budget.
A record producer or music producer has a broad role in overseeing and managing the recording and production of a band or performer's music. A producer has many roles that may include, but are not limited to, gathering ideas for the project, composing the music for the project, selecting songs or session musicians, proposing changes to the song arrangements, coaching the artist and musicians in the studio, controlling the recording sessions, supervising the entire process through audio mixing and, in some cases, to the audio mastering stage. Producers often take on a wider entrepreneurial role, with responsibility for the budget, schedules and negotiations. Writer Chris Deville explains it, "Sometimes a producer functions like a creative consultant — someone who helps a band achieve a certain aesthetic, or who comes up with the perfect violin part to complement the vocal melody, or who insists that a chorus should be a bridge. Other times a producer will build a complete piece of music from the ground up and present the finished product to a vocalist, like Metro Boomin supplying Future with readymade beats or Jack Antonoff letting Taylor Swift add lyrics and melody to an otherwise-finished “Out Of The Woods.”The artist of an album may not be a record producer or music producer for his/her album.
While both contribute creatively, the official credit of "record producer" may depend on the record contract. Christina Aguilera, for example, did not receive record producer credits until many albums into her career. In the 2010s, the producer role is sometimes divided among up to three different individuals: executive producer, vocal producer and music producer. An executive producer oversees project finances, a vocal producers oversees the vocal production, a music producer oversees the creative process of recording and mixings; the music producer is often a competent arranger, musician or songwriter who can bring fresh ideas to a project. As well as making any songwriting and arrangement adjustments, the producer selects and/or collaborates with the mixing engineer, who takes the raw recorded tracks and edits and modifies them with hardware and software tools to create a stereo or surround sound "mix" of all the individual voices sounds and instruments, in turn given further adjustment by a mastering engineer for the various distribution media.
The producer oversees the recording engineer who concentrates on the technical aspects of recording. Noted producer Phil Ek described his role as "the person who creatively guides or directs the process of making a record", like a director would a movie. Indeed, in Bollywood music, the designation is music director; the music producer's job is to create and mold a piece of music. The scope of responsibility may be one or two songs or an artist's entire album – in which case the producer will develop an overall vision for the album and how the various songs may interrelate. At the beginning of record industry, the producer role was technically limited to record, in one shot, artists performing live; the immediate predecessors to record producers were the artists and repertoire executives of the late 1920s and 1930s who oversaw the "pop" product and led session orchestras. That was the case of Ben Selvin at Columbia Records, Nathaniel Shilkret at Victor Records and Bob Haring at Brunswick Records.
By the end of the 1930s, the first professional recording studios not owned by the major companies were established separating the roles of A&R man and producer, although it wouldn't be until the late 1940s when the term "producer" became used in the industry. The role of producers changed progressively over the 1960s due to technology; the development of multitrack recording caused a major change in the recording process. Before multitracking, all the elements of a song had to be performed simultaneously. All of these singers and musicians had to be assembled in a large studio where the performance was recorded. With multitrack recording, the "bed tracks" (rhythm section accompaniment parts such as the bassline and rhythm guitar could be recorded first, the vocals and solos could be added using as many "takes" as necessary, it was no longer necessary to get all the players in the studio at the same time. A pop band could record their backing tracks one week, a horn section could be brought in a week to add horn shots and punches, a string section could be brought in a week after that.
Multitrack recording had another pro
The Four Seasons (band)
The Four Seasons are an American rock and pop band that became internationally successful in the 1960s and 1970s. Since 1970, they have been known at times as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In 1960, the band known as The Four Lovers evolved into the Four Seasons, with Frankie Valli as the lead singer, Bob Gaudio on keyboards and tenor vocals, Tommy DeVito on lead guitar and baritone vocals, Nick Massi on electric bass and bass vocals; the legal name of the organization is the Four Seasons Partnership, formed by Gaudio and Valli taken after a failed audition in 1960. While singers and musicians have come and gone and Valli remain the band's constant. Gaudio no longer plays live, leaving Valli the only member of the band from its inception, touring as of 2017; the Four Seasons were one of only two American bands to enjoy major chart success before and after the British Invasion. The band's original line-up was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, joined the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
They are one of the best-selling musical groups of all time, having sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide. Frankie Valli's first commercial release was "My Mother's Eyes" in 1953; the following year, he and guitarist Tommy DeVito formed The Variatones, which between 1954 and 1956 performed and recorded under a variety of names before settling on the name The Four Lovers. The same year, the quartet released their first record, "You're the Apple of My Eye", which appeared on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart, peaking at #62. Five additional Four Lovers singles were released over the next year, with no sales, airplay, or jukebox play. In 1957, the band's seventh single had a similar lack of success. From 1956 until 1958, the band stayed together, performing in clubs and lounges as the Four Lovers and recording on various record labels with various names: Frankie Tyler, Frankie Valley, Frankie Valley and the Travelers, Frankie Valley and the Romans, the Village Voices, the Topics are some of the 18 "stage names" used individually or collectively by the members of the band.
In 1958, Charles Calello replaced Nick Massi on bass in the lineup. In 1959, the band started working with producer/songwriter Bob Crewe for session work; that year, the Four Lovers were performing in Baltimore on the same stage as the Royal Teens, who were riding the wave of success of "Short Shorts", a song co-written by then-15-year-old Bob Gaudio, the Royal Teens' keyboardist. In late 1959, Gaudio was added to the Four Lovers on keyboards and guitar, as a replacement for rhythm guitarist Hank Majewski. Early the following year, Nick Massi returned to replace Calello, who remained the band's musical arranger. In 1960, despite the changes of personnel, the fortunes of the Four Lovers had not changed—they failed an audition for a lounge at a Union Township, Union County, New Jersey bowling establishment. According to Gaudio, "We figured. So we took the name of the bowling alley, it was called the Four Seasons." Despite the last few years of frustration of the Four Lovers, this proved to be the turning point for the band.
On a handshake agreement between keyboardist/composer Bob Gaudio and lead singer Frankie Valli, the Four Seasons Partnership was formed. The Four Seasons signed as artists to Crewe's production company, they released their first Crewe-produced single under their new name in 1961; the single did not chart. The band continued working with producer Bob Crewe as background vocalists, sometimes leads under different band names, for productions on Crewe's own Topix label; as a follow-up, Bob Gaudio wrote a song that, after some discussion between Crewe and Gaudio, was titled "Sherry". After the song was recorded and the members of the band solicited record labels to release it, it was Frankie Valli who spoke with Randy Wood, West Coast sales manager for Vee-Jay Records who, in turn, suggested the release of "Sherry" to the decision makers at Vee-Jay. "Sherry" made enough of an impression that Crewe was able to sign a deal between his production company and Vee-Jay for its release. They were the first white artists to sign with Vee-Jay.
In 1962, the band released their first album, featuring the single "Sherry", not only their first charted hit but their first number-one song. Under the guidance of Bob Crewe, the Four Seasons followed up "Sherry" with several million-selling hits composed by Crewe and Gaudio, including "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Walk Like a Man", "Candy Girl", "Ain't That a Shame", several others. In addition, they released a Christmas album in December 1962 and charted with a unique rendition of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town". From 1962 to early 1964, the Beach Boys were the only band to match the Four Seasons in record sales in the United States, their first three Vee-Jay non-holiday single releases marked the first time that a rock band hit #1 on the Billboard singles charts with three consecutive entries. In 1962, they were invited to perform their hit "Big Girls Don't Cry" on the show American Bandstand. Despite the band's success, Vee-Jay Records was in financial distress; the label had released several ear
Rhino Entertainment Company is an American specialty record label and production company founded in 1978. It is the catalog division for Warner Music Group, its current CEO is Mark Pinkus. Founded in 1978, Rhino was a novelty and reissue label during the 1970s and 1980s, it released compilation albums of pop, rock & roll, rhythm & blues successes from the 1950s through the 1980s, as well as novelty-song LPs and retrospectives of famous comedy performers, including Richard Pryor, Stan Freberg, Tom Lehrer, Spike Jones. Rhino started as a record shop on Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles, in 1973, run by Richard Foos, became a record distributor five years thanks to the effort of then-store manager Harold Bronson, their early releases were novelty records. The difficulties involved in getting airplay and distribution for such material caused Foos and Bronson to take the label in other directions. One of Rhino's early artists was The Twisters, whose Los Angeles popularity far exceeded their album sales.
Rhino's mail-order catalogs and early LP labels featured the company's mascot character, a cartoon Elvis Presley rhinoceros wearing a black leather jacket named "Rocky", designed by bootleg cover artist William Stout, cartoonist Scott Shaw!. Some of the label's earliest successes with reissues were achieved by acquiring the rights to the White Whale Records catalog that included the Turtles. By the mid-1980s, most of Rhino's releases were reissues of released recordings licensed from other companies. For superior sound quality, audio mastering of the original tapes was done under the direction of Bill Inglot, the label's creative packaging made Rhino one of the most respected reissue record labels, receiving rave reviews from music collectors and historians. Rhino was quick to get into the compact disc market, releasing dozens of oldies CDs at the dawn of the CD age in 1984, their retrospective compact disc releases, such as those in the Billboard Top Hits series, are remastered to restore or improve upon the releases' original analog audio quality.
In the late 1980s, Rhino transitioned into a complete entertainment company specializing in home video reissues of television programs such as The Monkees, The Lone Ranger, The Transformers, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Ed Sullivan's Rock'n' Roll Classics collection, as well as compact disc releases of select artists and movie soundtracks. Through the 1980s and 1990s, the company continued to sign artists and release new music, on the main Rhino label and on subsidiary labels such as RNA and Forward. However, the company's artists tended to generate more critical acclaim than public interest. One exception was the success of "At This Moment" by Billy Vera & the Beaters, a 1981 song that went to the top of the U. S. Billboard charts in late 1986 after being featured in an episode of the hit NBC TV series Family Ties. In 1985, Rhino signed a six-year distribution agreement with Capitol Records. During 1989 Rhino and Capitol’s parent EMI made a deal to jointly acquire Roulette Records; when the distribution deal with Capitol ended in 1992, Rhino signed a new distribution deal with Atlantic Records, in turn Time Warner bought a 50 per cent stake in the record company.
In 1998, Time Warner bought the other half of Rhino. The Rhino Records retail store, part of the 50% sale in 1992 but which reverted to Foos after Time Warner bought out the remainder, closed in 2005, it is through this merger that the label has reissued material from such artists as the Monkees, Eric Burdon, Dannii Minogue, the Ramones, the Grateful Dead, Lake & Palmer, the Beach Boys, the Doobie Brothers, the Cars, Tom Paxton, Third Eye Blind, the Doors, Spirit of the West and most the Bee Gees. Rhino's soundtrack releases include Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Easter Parade, North by Northwest, King Kong, Doctor Zhivago and Finian's Rainbow; the Turner Entertainment and Warner Bros. film soundtrack libraries are managed by Warner Bros.' in-house label subsidiary, WaterTower Music. In 1999, Rhino started the'Rhino Handmade' division of limited-edition releases available from their website. All Handmade deluxe editions were limited to about 3,000 copies or less, once sold out were not re-pressed.
In 2003, co-founders and longtime executives Richard Foos and Harold Bronson left Rhino due to frustration with the challenges of an competitive market. In fact, Time Warner's final vesting of its 100 percent ownership of the label, its subsequent'reorganization' of label staff, which did not stop at the former owners, were the major factors in their exits. Soon after, Foos inaugurated a new label, Shout! Factory, which began releasing dozens of CDs and videos mirroring the original early-1990s Rhino philosophy. In 2004, Time Warner spun off its music divisions and today Rhino is part of the newly organized Warner Music Gr
Ray Charles Robinson was an American singer, songwriter and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called "Brother Ray", he was referred to as "The Genius". Charles started losing his vision at the age of 5, by 7 he was blind, he pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues and blues, gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic. He contributed to the integration of country music and blues, pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, notably with his two Modern Sounds albums. While he was with ABC, Charles became one of the first black musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company. Charles cited Nat King Cole as a primary influence, but his music was influenced by Louis Jordan and Charles Brown, he became friends with Quincy Jones. Their friendship lasted until the end of Charles's life. Frank Sinatra called Ray Charles "the only true genius in show business", although Charles downplayed this notion.
In 2002, Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", number two on their November 2008 list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time". Billy Joel said, "This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley". Ray Charles Robinson was the son of Bailey Robinson, a laborer, Aretha Williams, his mother was a teenage orphan making a living as a sharecropper. They lived in Florida with Robinson's father and his wife, Mary Jane Robinson; the Robinson family had informally adopted Aretha, she took the surname Robinson. When she became pregnant by Bailey, incurring scandal, she left Greenville late in the summer of 1930 to be with family members in Albany, Georgia for the baby's birth, after which mother and child returned to Greenville, she and Mary Jane shared in Ray's upbringing. He was devoted to his mother and recalled her perseverance, self-sufficiency, pride as guiding lights in his life, his father abandoned the family, left Greenville, married another woman elsewhere.
In his early years, Charles showed an interest in mechanical objects and would watch his neighbors working on their cars and farm machinery. His musical curiosity was sparked at Wylie Pitman's Red Wing Cafe, at the age of three, when Pitman played boogie woogie on an old upright piano. Charles and his mother were always welcome at the Red Wing Cafe and lived there when they were in financial distress. Pitman would care for Ray's younger brother George, to take some of the burden off their mother. George drowned in his mother's laundry tub. Charles started to lose his sight at the age of four or five, was blind by the age of seven as a result of glaucoma. Destitute and mourning the loss of her younger son, Aretha Robinson used her connections in the local community to find a school that would accept a blind African-American pupil. Despite his initial protest, Charles attended school at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine from 1937 to 1945. Charles further developed his musical talent at school and was taught to play the classical piano music of J.
S. Bach and Beethoven, his teacher, Mrs. Lawrence, taught him how to use braille music, a difficult process that requires learning the left hand movements by reading braille with the right hand and learning the right hand movements by reading braille with the left hand, combining the two parts. While Charles was happy to play classical music, he was more interested in the jazz and country music he heard on the radio. On Fridays, the South Campus Literary Society held assemblies at which Charles would play piano and sing popular songs. On both Halloween and George Washington's birthday, the black department of the school held socials at which Charles would play, it was here he established "RC Robinson and the Shop Boys" and sang his own arrangement of "Jingle Bell Boogie". During this time, he performed on WFOY radio in St. Augustine. Ray Charles' mother died in the Spring of 1944, when Ray was 14, her death came as a shock to him. Charles returned to school after the funeral but was expelled in October for playing a prank on his teacher.
After leaving school, Charles moved to Jacksonville with a couple, friends with his late mother. He played the piano for bands at the Ritz Theatre in LaVilla for over a year, he joined the musicians' union in the hope. He befriended many union members, but others were less kind to him because he would monopolize the union hall's piano, since he did not have one at home, he started to build a reputation as a talented musician in Jacksonville, but the jobs did not come fast enough for him to construct a strong identity. He decided to move to a bigger city with more opportunities. At age 16, Charles moved to Orlando, where he lived in borderline poverty and went without food for days, it was difficult for musicians to find work, as since World War II had ended there were no "G. I. Joes" left to entertain. Charles started to write arrangements for a pop music band, in the summer of 1947 he unsuccessfully auditioned to play piano for Lucky Millinder and his sixteen-piece band. In 1947, Charles moved to Tampa, where he had two jobs: one as a pianist for Charles Brantley's Honeydippers.
In his early career, he modeled himself on Nat King Cole. His first four recordings—"Wondering and Wondering", "Walking and Talkin
The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are sometimes cited as the first true punk rock group. Despite achieving only limited commercial success the band was influential in the United States and the United Kingdom. All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname "Ramone", although none of them were biologically related, they performed 2,263 concerts, touring nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell concert and disbanded. By 2014, all four of the band's original members had died – lead singer Joey Ramone, bass guitarist Dee Dee Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone and drummer Tommy Ramone. Recognition of the band's importance built over the years, are now mentioned in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as number 26 in the Rolling Stone magazine list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" and number 17 in VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".
In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only by the Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the original four members and Tommy's replacement on drums, Marky Ramone, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on their first year of eligibility, though Joey had died by then. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; the original members of the band met in and around the middle-class neighborhood of Forest Hills in the New York City borough of Queens. John Cummings and Thomas Erdelyi had both been in a high-school garage band from 1965 to 1967 known as the Tangerine Puppets, they became friends with Douglas Colvin, who had moved to the area from Germany, Jeffrey Hyman, the initial lead singer of the glam rock band Sniper, founded in 1972. The Ramones began taking shape in early 1974 when Cummings and Colvin invited Hyman to join them in a band. Colvin wanted to play guitar and sing, Cummings would play guitar and Hyman would play drums.
The lineup was to be completed with their friend Richie Stern on bass. However, after only a few rehearsals it became clear that Richie Stern could not play bass, so in addition to singing, Colvin switched from guitar to bass and Cummings became the only guitarist. Colvin was the first to adopt the name "Ramone", he was inspired by Paul McCartney's use of the pseudonym Paul Ramon during his Silver Beetles days. Dee Dee convinced the other members to take on the name and came up with the idea of calling the band the Ramones. Hyman and Cummings became Johnny Ramone, respectively. A friend of the band, Monte A. Melnick, helped to arrange rehearsal time for them at Manhattan's Performance Studios, where he worked. Johnny's former bandmate Erdelyi was set to become their manager. Soon after the band was formed, Dee Dee realized that he could not sing and play his bass guitar simultaneously. Dee Dee would continue, however, to count off each song's tempo with his signature rapid-fire shout of "1-2-3-4!"
Joey soon realized that he could not sing and play drums and left the position of drummer. While auditioning prospective replacements, Erdelyi would take to the drums and demonstrate how to play the songs, it became apparent that he was able to perform the group's music better than anyone else, he joined the band as Tommy Ramone. The Ramones played before an audience for the first time on March 1974, at Performance Studios; the songs they played were fast and short. Around this time, a new music scene was emerging in New York centered on two clubs in downtown Manhattan—Max's Kansas City and, more famously, CBGB; the Ramones made their CBGB debut on August 16, 1974. Legs McNeil, who cofounded Punk magazine the following year described the impact of that performance: "They were all wearing these black leather jackets, and they counted off this song... and it was just this wall of noise... They looked so striking; these guys were not hippies. This was something new."The band swiftly became regulars at the club, playing there seventy-four times by the end of the year.
After garnering considerable attention for their performances—which averaged about seventeen minutes from beginning to end—the group was signed to a recording contract in late 1975 by Seymour Stein of Sire Records. After they were seen by Sire A&R man Craig Leon he brought the band to the attention of the label. Stein's wife, Linda Stein, saw the band play at Mothers. By this time, the Ramones were recognized as leaders of the new scene, being referred to as "punk"; the group's unusual frontman had a lot to do with their impact. As Dee Dee explained, "All the other singers were copying David Johansen, copying Mick Jagger... But Joey was unique unique." The Ramones recorded their debut album, Ramones, in February 1976. Of the fourteen songs on the album, the longest, "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement" surpassed two and a half minutes. While the songwriting credits were shared by the entire band, Dee Dee was the primary writer; the Ramones album was produced by Sire's Craig Leon, with Tommy as associate producer, on an low budget of about $6,400 and released in April.
The now iconic front cover photograph of the band was taken by Roberta Bayley, a photographer for Punk magazine. Punk, responsible for codifying the term for the scene emerging around CBGB, ran