The Ramones released its second album of the calendar year (and third overall) on November 4, 1977, capping off one of the biggest years in the history of punk with Rocket To Russia. Among the band’s best-loved albums, it features classics like “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” and “Rockaway Beach” along with their signature covers of “Do You Wanna Dance?” and “Surfin’ Bird.” It’s also the last album ever recorded by all four founding members, as drummer Tommy Ramone left soon after to focus on writing and producing.
To celebrate the album's 40-year anniversary, Rhino will release two versions on November 24. It contains two different mixes of the album: a remastered version of the original and a new 40th Anniversary Tracking Mix by original Rocket To Russia engineer/mixer Ed Stasium. The collection also includes a number of unreleased studio recordings, plus a previously unissued recording of the band’s 1977 concert in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Deluxe Edition will be produced in a limited and numbered edition and comes packaged in a 12 x 12 hardcover book. Along with the music, the set also features stories about the band by Sire Records founder Seymour Stein, details about making the album by Stasium, and extensive liner notes by renowned music writer and co-founder of Creem Magazine, Jaan Uhelszki.
The first disc of the Deluxe Edition features a remastered version of the original stereo mix for Rocket To Russia, plus the 2017 Anniversary Tracking Mix created by Stasium, which provides a back-to-basics version of the album, and a different track listing from the 1977 original. The 2017 Anniversary Tracking Mix is also featured on the LP that accompanies the Deluxe Edition.
Stasium provides some details on the new Tracking Mix in the set’s liner notes: “When putting together this new Tracking Mix, I decided to include the versions of ‘I Don’t Care’ and ‘It’s A Long Way Back to Germany,’ since they were recorded during the Rocket To Russia sessions at Mediasound, and are completely different takes that have never been heard before. ‘Sheena’ has been omitted, as it was recorded in a totally different session a few months prior, in-between the Leave Home and Rocket To Russia albums.”
Two dozen rare and unreleased recordings are found on the second disc, including rough mixes from sessions at Mediasound and The Power Station. There’s also an early version of “Needles And Pins” with Tommy on drums, the B-side single mix of “Babysitter,” an alternate version of “It’s A Long Way Back To Germany” with Dee Dee on vocals, an original radio promo with Joey Ramone, and more.
A highlight of this Deluxe Edition is the complete unreleased concert included on the third disc. This never-before-heard multi-track recording of the band’s December 19, 1977 show at the Apollo Centre in Glasgow, Scotland captures the Ramones just a few days before the group recorded the classic live album It’s Alive, and mixed for this 40th Anniversary edition by Ed Stasium. In Glasgow, they played songs from all three studio albums including “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Judy Is A Punk,” “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment,” and “California Sun.”
ROCKET TO RUSSIA: 40th ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION
Disc One: Original Album
Remastered Original Mixes
40th Anniversary Tracking Mix
Disc Two: Bonus Material
Mediasound/Power Station Rough Mixes
40th Anniversary Extras
Disc Three: Live at Apollo Centre, Glasgow, Scotland (December 19, 1977)
LP: 40th Anniversary Tracking Mix