Joey Ramone in 1977 (Phot: BMG / Janet Macoska)
BERLIN - BMG today announced the worldwide release of a posthumous solo album from former Ramones frontman Joey Ramone, who died 11 years ago at age 49.
The 15-track album …Ya Know? will roll-out with an April 21 limited-edition 7" vinyl for lead track "Rock 'N Roll Is the Answer" produced for Record Store Day, the annual celebration of independent music retail.
…Ya Know? will be released in 20 countries worldwide, including the US on May 22, in Continental Europe on May 25 and in the UK on May 28. RED will distribute the album in North America and Rough Trade throughout Europe.
BMG Chrysalis US Vice President, Masters, Jason Hradil said in a statement: "Joey Ramone was one of the key figures in a musical revolution whose impact is still being felt today. We are honored that Joey's brother Mickey and his estate have entrusted this album to BMG. The album represents the very best of the recordings Ramone left behind and assembled by his brother Mickey Leigh, manager Dave Frey and trusted producer Ed Stasium. It features contributions from a stellar cast of Ramone's friends and collaborators, including Joan Jett, Little Steven Van Zandt, former Ramones drummer Richie Ramone, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, Dennis Diken of the Smithereens, Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye and members of the Ramones' punk-era contemporaries The Dictators."
For Hradil the Joey Ramone deal marks the latest development in BMG's plan to double its business in master recordings. The company has already announced that it will release in June "One Day I'm Going To Soar, the first album from Dexys Midnight Runners since 1985.
Dominique Kulling, Vice President Master New Recordings / TV & Film, who heads up the masters division out of Berlin said in a statement: "Ever since we announced the expansion of our masters program, we have been inundated with enquiries from artists and their representatives. We believe this shows there is a huge appetite for an alternative to the traditional record deal."
The Ramones were named among Rolling Stone's 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and Mojo's 100 Greatest Albums. In 2002 - the same year they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - the Ramones were ranked #2 in Spin's 50 Greatest Bands Of All Time, second only to The Beatles.