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Music / Rocket to Russia

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1, 2, 3, 4! Cretins wanna hop some more. 4, 5, 6, 7! All good cretins go to heaven!

Rocket to Russia is the third studio album by the Ramones, released in 1977. It is best known for hits such as "Cretin Hop", "Rockaway Beach", Sheena Is a Punk Rocker", "We're a Happy Family", "Teenage Lobotomy", and the covers of "Do You Wanna Dance?" and "Surfin' Bird". It's often seen as one of their best albums, along with their debut album from 1976.

It is also their final album with Tommy Ramone on drums. He quit the band shortly after release, replaced by Marky Ramone. Tommy did still help produce much of their later releases though.


Side One
  1. "Cretin Hop" (1:55)
  2. "Rockaway Beach" (2:06)
  3. "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" (2:47)
  4. "Locket Love" (2:09)
  5. "I Don't Care" (1:38)
  6. "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" (2:49)
  7. "We're a Happy Family" (2:47)

Side Two

  1. "Teenage Lobotomy" (2:00)
  2. "Do You Wanna Dance?" (1:52)
  3. "I Wanna Be Well" (2:28)
  4. "I Can't Give You Anything" (1:57)
  5. "Ramona" (2:35)
  6. "Surfin' Bird" (2:37)
  7. "Why Is It Always This Way?" (2:14)

Bonus Tracks (2001 Expanded Edition):

  1. "Needles and Pins (Early Version)" (2:24)
  2. "Slug" (2:23)
  3. "It's a Long Way Back to Germany" (2:22)
  4. "I Don't Care (Single Version)" (1:40)
  5. "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker (Single Version)" (2:48)

Principal Members:

  • Dee Dee Ramone - bass, vocals
  • Joey Ramone - lead vocals
  • Johnny Ramone - guitar
  • Tommy Ramone - drums

Sheena Is a Punk Troper:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "Rocket to Russia" and "Locket Love".
  • Anti-Love Song: "I Can't Give You Anything".
    You know how little I got
    I can't give you anything.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: The father in "We're a Happy Family" is a closet gay in denial.
    Daddy likes men
    Daddy's telling lies.
  • Big Applesauce:
    • "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker":
    Well, New York City really has it all, oh yeah, oh yeah.
    • "Rockaway Beach".
    • "We're a Happy Family". Near the end Joey talks in the act and tone of a deadbeat dad, declares with his New Yorker accent: "Hey, where are my socks? [...] Ahnd wear is mah ' undarhwearrr? "
    Sittin here in Queens eating re-fried beans.
  • Break-Up Song: "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow:"
    I want you still, but just can't take it
    The time has come, we oughta break it
    Somebody has to pay the price.
  • Continuity Nod: The Ramones pose against a wall on the album cover, just like they did on the cover of Ramones. Joey sings he wants "DDT" in "I Wanna Be Well", a product he craved for earlier in "Teenage Lobotomy". "Danny Says" on End of the Century would reference the song "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" again.
  • Cover Version: "Do You Wanna Dance?", a Bobby Freeman cover, and "Surfin' Bird", originally by The Trashmen.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: "Do You Wanna Dance?", where Joey invites a girl to dance "under the moonlight" and tells him he's her "lover man".
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The album cover is shot in black and white.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • "Why Is It Always This Way?":
    Why I can't let her go?
    Oh I just don't know
    Hey hey hey
    Why is it always this way?
    • "I Wanna Be Well":
    My future's bleak, ain't it neat?
  • Dirty Commies: The rocket in "Rocket to Russia" is aimed for them.
  • Dysfunctional Family: "We're a Happy Family" is a sarcastic deconstruction of a "happy family".
  • Face on the Cover: The Ramones posing against a wall.
  • Heavy Meta: "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker", a punk song about someone who is a punk rocker.
  • In the Style of: "Rockaway Beach" is the Ramones' attempt at an early Beach Boys song.
  • "I Want" Song: "I Wanna Be Well", about someone who is in dire straits.
    Daddy's broke, holy smoke
    My future's bleak, ain't it neat?
  • Lack of Empathy: "I Don't Care"
  • Lobotomy: "Teenage Lobotomy", though it's also a subversion. In this version the brain damage is caused by abuse of DDT.
  • Location Song: "Rockaway Beach" is about the beach side in Queens, where band member Dee Dee used to go to relax.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "We're a Happy Family", a cheerful little ditty which is actually a Sarcastic Title.
  • Ode to Intoxication: "I Wanna Be Well":
    I want my LSD, golly gee
    DDT, wowie!
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: The conversations near the end of "We're a Happy Family" have various family members discuss stuff that doesn't tie in with each other.
  • One-Woman Song: "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" and "Ramona".
  • The Power of Love: "Locket Love" and "Ramona".
  • Questioning Title?: "Do You Wanna Dance?" and "Why Is It Always This Way?"
  • Refuge in Audacity: The album title.
  • Sarcastic Title: "We're a Happy Family", because the family described is clearly dysfunctional. They haven't got any friends, troubles never end, the father is a closet homosexual and a liar, the baby eats flies, the mother is on pills and baby's got the chills. To top it all off they make money by selling "daddy's dope."
  • Shout-Out: "Cretin Hop" and the end of "We're a Happy Family" reference Freaks.
  • Surf Rock: "Surfin' Bird".
  • Three Chords and the Truth: As most of their songs.
  • With Friends Like These...: The son from the dysfunctional family in "We're a Happy Family" is friends with the US President and the Pope. Apparently they all make a fortune, "selling daddy's dope."