Fans growing impatient for the release of the Ramones tribute album We're a Happy Family now have a good reason to turn that frown upside down.
The track list for the LP, which is currently being mastered, and a tentative street date of November 5 were announced via a posting on the Web site of Rob Zombie, who is serving as co-producer along with guitarist Johnny Ramone.
Although Zombie himself vouched for the accuracy of the most specific details concerning the album since he first announced plans for it in November (see "Rob Zombie Helming Ramones Tribute Album"), a spokesperson for Columbia Records, the label which intends to release the LP, couldn't confirm them at press time.
"The project just snowballed," Zombie said on Monday of the time-consuming effort that went into assembling the album. "You start a project, and everyone is like, 'Well, who else is on it?' 'Well, no one yet.' So everyone waits to see what everyone else is doing. As we started confirming people like Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2, everyone was like, 'Now I want to do it!'"
Besides previously reported tracks from Green Day, Marilyn Manson, U2 and Eddie Vedder, who collaborated with Seattle thrashers Zeke for his contributions, the track list reveals new additions such as the Pretenders' "Something to Believe In"; the last entry, Pete Yorn's "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"; Tom Waits' "Return of Jackie and Judy"; Kiss' "Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?" (a late addition Zombie said was among his favorite cuts); and "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" by newcomers Rooney (see "L.A. Rockers Rooney Get A Hand From Weezer, Britney, 'NSYNC"). Although the inclusion of a new band yet to drop their debut may seem odd alongside songs by such veteran artists, Zombie explained that the bandmembers are friends with Johnny, who invited them to the party.
Tragedy helped Metallica — who couldn't decide which song of a possible eight being considered (four of which had been recorded) they would deliver to Zombie — finally settle on one, according to a Metallica spokesperson (see "Rob Zombie's Ramones Tribute LP Just Waiting For Metallica"). Upon learning of the death of Ramones bassist Dee Dee in June (see " 'Dee Dee Ramone Was Punk Rock' To Friends, Fans"), they eliminated the other recorded options, "Commando," "Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World" and "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," and went with "53rd & 3rd," Dee Dee's signature song about his early days spent hustling in midtown Manhattan. The fate of the other recorded tracks are unknown, the spokesperson said.
Vedder and Zeke recorded two tracks for the LP, "I Believe in Miracles" and "Daytime Dilemma," though the latter will appear only as a bonus track limited to the album's initial pressing.
Not only does We're a Happy Family sound like a great listen, Zombie took special care to ensure that the album's artwork and packaging were comparable to the music, so he designed it himself with the intention to make it as elaborate as possible. Zombie described the finished product to be a gatefold Digipak containing never-before-published photos of the Ramones from the early '70s to up until their very last farewell tour, taken by the band's friend and documentarian Arturo Vega.
With the artwork completed, all that's left is for horror author and diehard Ramones fan Stephen King to write the liner notes.
In other Zombie news, his feature film "House of 1,000 Corpses" may be back from the dead. After a deal with MGM fell through because of what Zombie said was an offhanded dis during an interview with Ben Affleck for MTV's "Movie House" (see "Rob Zombie Says Joke Derailed 'Corpses' Deal With MGM"), he said he's very close to signing a new deal which will give the film a proper theatrical release "soon."
We're a Happy Family track list, according to Rob Zombie:
- Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Havana Affair"
- Rob Zombie - "Blitzkrieg Bop"
- Eddie Vedder with Zeke - "I Believe in Miracles"
- Metallica - "53rd & 3rd"
- U2 - "Beat on the Brat"
- Kiss - "Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?"
- Marilyn Manson - "The KKK Took My Baby Away"
- Garbage - "I Just Want to Have Something to Do"
- Green Day - "Outsider"
- Pretenders - "Something to Believe In"
- Rancid - "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker"
- Pete Yorn - "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"
- The Offspring - "I Wanna Be Sedated"
- Rooney - "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow"
- Tom Waits - "Return of Jackie and Judy"
- Eddie Vedder with Zeke - "Daytime Dilemma (Dangers of Love)" (limited edition bonus track)