home Album Review We're a Happy Family – A Tribute to the Ramones

We're a Happy Family – A Tribute to the Ramones

A friend bought me the Ramones tribute album. I had previously told her I wanted to check it out. I was interested to see how covers of punk classics 'I Wanna Be Sedated', 'Sheena Is A Punk Rocker' among others would turn out.

The cover artwork has 4 eerie looking monsters dressed as the Ramones.. Inside the cover there are some pictures of the Ramones and a writing of appreciation from Stephen King. (Yes the author).

When thinking of a tribute album I debated to myself, should the covers be performed as they are or should the performer put their own twist on the song? For example I loved the MTVicon Metallica. The only performance that disappointed me was Snoop Doggy Dogg's version of 'Sad But True'. I even enjoyed Limp Bizkit's version of 'Sanitarium'. I am not a big Limp Bizkit fan. Anyhow back to the gabba gabba we gabba hey.

9 of the 16 songs (including the Limited Edition Bonus Track) sounded just about the same as the original versions. The voices were a bit different but besides that there wasn't too much difference.

The 7 “altered” versions came from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Pretenders, Rancid, Pete Yorn, and Tom Waits.

My favorites of the mentioned were Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and Rancid. Manson performed 'The KKK Took My Baby Away'. This song was changed morbidly but I think it's the best track on the cd. Manson's vocals were creepy. The music belonged in a horror flick. I think I'll use this song for Halloween music..ummm maybe that's not a good idea.

Rob Zombie performed 'Blitzkrieg Bop'. Being the punk classic it is I wasn't sure how much better this song could get. Zombie pulled it off; slowing down the tempo but keeping the music hard in a Rob Zombie fashion.

Rancid belted out 'Sheena Is A Punk Rocker'. Typical Rancid style that made me want to shout oi oi oi and get my ass back in the pit.

Unfortunately I was not as pleased with the other tracks.

Red Hot Chili Peppers performed 'Havana Affair' – RHCP slowed the song withe a very dreary melody; similar to the RHCP newer style. Personally give me Blood Sugar Sex Magic over any of their latest releases. They did a decent job just not my cup of tea.

I not a huge follower of the Pretenders. I listen to the popular songs like 'Back on the Chain Gang', and 'I'll Stand By You'. They covered 'Something To Believe In'. I'm not crazy about the original version of this song so I didn't expect much from the cover. Chrissie Hynde slowed down the vocals. Very slow. Never speeds up. Not as bad as the original but still bad.

I don't follow Pete Yorn. I am just not into the music. Yorn covered 'I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend'. This song was turned into a pop nightmare. The original is not the most punk song in the world but when listening to Yorn sing it made me want to go skip in the park or watch some Dawson's Creek. Ugh.

The last song I'm going to cover is not even worth mentioning. To my recollection I'm not familiar with Tom Waits. He butchered 'Return Of Jackie & Judy'. This cover just plain out sucked. I've heard cats screwing sound better then that version.

If you are a Ramones fan this cd is decent addition to the collection. The tracks that are good are REALLY good. Even the covers that sounded the same as the originals were good. I still have this cd in my cd player. I just skip the tracks I don't like.

Track Listing

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Havana Affair
2. Rob Zombie – Blitzkrieg Bop
3. Eddie Veder w/ Zeke – I Believe In Miracles
4. Metallica – 53rd & 3rd
5. U2 – Beat On The Brat
6. KISS – Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio
7. Marilyn Manson – The KKK Took My Baby Away
8. Garbage – I Just Wanna Have Something To Do
9. Green Day – Outsider
10. Pretenders – Something To Believe In
11. Rancid – Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
12. Pete Yorn – I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
13. Offspring – I Wanna Be Sedated
14. Rooney – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
15. Tom Waits – Return Of Jackie & Judy
Limited Edition Bonus Track:
16. Eddie Veder w/ Zeke – Daytime Dilemma (Dangers Of Love)

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