Various - We're a Happy Family: A Tribute To The Ramones (Cover Artwork)


We're a Happy Family: A Tribute To The Ramones (2003)


Another tribute record. For some strange reason I feel obligated to buy these, despite constantly being disappointed. The Clash, Sex Pistols, Nirvana, and Weezer all had tribute albums that, if anything, were a disgrace to the music the respective bands had created. Operation Ivy's tribute was the only one that did the band any justice, and even that was a stretch.

Despite this, however, I bought The Ramones tribute album anyway. I'd like to declare this $15 purchase the biggest waste of money in my 20 year life. As an avid music collector with over 500 CDs, it would take a lot to be considered the "worst album I own". Yet this one easily takes the cake.

Here we go, track by track.

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers "Havana Affair" - With all due respect to RHCP, they took this song and made it their own. Within seconds of the track, you recognize the Chili Peppers signature sound. However, a standard Chili Peppers song, only it's a Ramones song? RHCP's formula doesn't work well here and this song fails to do the legacy of The Ramones any justice.

2. Rob Zombie "Blitzkreig Bop" - Zombie, as one of the album's producers (along with Johnny Ramone), naturally covered The Ramones' most well-known song. Unfortunately, all he did was butcher a classic. Nothing special going on here at all.

3. Eddie Vedder w/ Zeke "I Believe in Miracles" - Why is Eddie Vedder so hell bent on proving he's "cool" and "young"? Nothing awful going on here, but nothing significant either. Just knowing it's Eddie Vedder, however, makes me skip it.

4. Metallica "53rd & 3rd" - Now here is an awful song. Basically just slow, heavy noise. Imagine a brand new garage rock band plugged in next door to you and were playing an irritatingly simple song over and over again. That's what this song feels like.

5. U2 "Beat on the Brat" - Decent song with the exception of the vocals. I'm glad the bands are trying to make the songs their own and not just rip off The Ramones, but Bono's voice is in a total other range than Joey Ramone's was. Album is 0-for-5 so far and living up to the curse of the tribute album...

6. KISS "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio" - Wow. Of all the bands here I would never have expected KISS to actually hold my interest and keep me listening. KISS actually put time, effort, and thought into their track. The result is a fun, party-song, with a horn riff that I can't get out of my head. I didn't expect it, but KISS did The Ramones name some good.

7. Marilyn Manson "The KKK Took My Baby Away" - Words can't describe what I thought when I heard this song. Joey and Dee Dee were definitely spinning in their graves due to this. God awful. Everyone take a few minutes of their day and download this track. It's one of those songs that are so bad you HAVE to hear it. All you Ramones fanatics are going to be VERY upset with this one.

8. Garbage "I Just Wanna Have Something to Do" - This song really sounds like The Donnas. The similarites are creepy. With that in mind, this song rates the same as a Donnas song. Not something you'd choose to listen to, but if it came on the radio, you wouldn't feel the need to shut it off.

9. Green Day "Outsider" - Green Day are huge Ramones fanatics, yet they couldn't go into the studio and record something new? Take the original version of "Outsider" and imagine Billie Joe singing it. That's all this track is. Nothing special going on here. Shame on you Green Day. These guys are your idols?

10. The Pretenders "Something to Believe In" - At this point I began to finalize in my head that CD was crap. The Pretenders got skipped over within 30 seconds. Nothing captivating going on. Just irritating music.

11. Rancid "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" - Prior to this album's release Rancid said they were going to play this song faster and harder than anyone thought possible. Well...they lied. Rancid dropped the ball here. I never really like any cover Rancid does come to think of it. Lars Frederiksen sings this song, which was disappointing because I think Tim Armstrong could have done a much better job. Matt Freeman's bass work, of course, is phenomenal. Nothing too exciting on this track. If Rancid couldn't get the job done, then I'm pretty sure the few remaining tracks won't...

12. Pete Yorn "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" - Why does a one-hit wonder get to pay tribute to one of the greatest bands of all time? Just the thought of this is disgusting. Another classic song, torn to shreads.

13. The Offspring "I Wanna Be Sedated" - And I thought Green Day was disrespectful?? How old is this song?? Ridiculous. The Offspring covered this song bar-for-bar, note-for-note. NOTHING creative here. Just a boring, mindless cover. So of the 3 punk bands featured on this punk tribute, they all missed the mark. Too bad....

14. Rooney "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" - Who is Rooney?? Skip.

15. Tom Waits "Return of Jackie & Judy" - Awful. Sounds like it was recorded in the 1940's. I know he has a cult-like following, and apparently is a musical genius, but that DOES NOT show here whatsoever. Just awful.

16. Eddie Vedder w/ Zeke "Daytime Dilemma (Dangers of Love)" - ANOTHER Eddie Vedder track? We weren't punished enough the first time?

Well, another tribute album, another disappointment. A real shame too, as The Ramones are deserving of so much more.

The thing that gets me is the fact that there have been some good Ramones covers in the past...River City Rebels, MxPx, Pennywise, Alkaline Trio, Bad Religion, The Queers...Why are these not featured here? Why not have a tribute that will actually do the band justice AND show the bands that they actually have influenced and inspired???

Well, we can dream.

All in all, DO NOT buy this album. I'm sure most of you are smart enough not to. I deserve a lot of ridicule for picking this thing up.

Poor Joey. I think we all owe him an apology on behalf of anyone involved in this album.