Rhino is releasing a deluxe edition of the Ramones‘ third LP, Rocket to Russia, on November 24th.
In addition to two different mixes of the album, the 40th anniversary edition contains a wealth of previously unreleased material: an early version of “Needles And Pins,” 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 versions of “Why Is It Always That Way?” and “Ramona” with alternate lyrics. In addition, there is an entire disc dedicated to a previously unreleased concert the band gave at the Apollo Centre in Glasgow, Scotland on December 19, 1977.
This material will be spread across three CDs – available for $64.98 – and contextualized by Sire Records founder Seymour Stein, Creem Magazine co-founder Jaan Uhelszki and original Rocket to Russia engineer/mixer Ed Stasium. Stasium is also responsible for putting together the second version of the original album, a tracking mix that incorporates “It’s A Long Way Back To Germany” instead of “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker,” since “Sheena” was actually recorded in earlier sessions after the release of Leave Home.
This is not Rhino’s first visit to the Ramones’ back catalog. In 2013, the label released Ramones: The Sire Years (1976-1981), a box set containing the group’s first six albums, including Rocket to Russia.
Rocket to Russia was the last Ramones album to be recorded with the band’s original lineup intact. It peaked at Number 49 on the Billboard 200, making it the group’s second most successful album on that chart. The LP’s singles “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker,” “Rockaway Beach” and “Do you Wanna Dance” all charted on the Hot 100, the only three Ramones’ tracks to achieve that commercial distinction.