Joey Ramone’s cover of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” will be the first single released from the late punk icon’s only solo album. The track will be sent to U.S. rock and modern rock radio outlets for airplay beginning in early January and will appear on the album “Don’t Worry About Me,” due Feb. 19 via Sanctuary Records. According to a source, the promotional single will also include the track “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight),” which at deadline was not expected to appear on the album.
Ramone, who died April 15 at age 49 after a long battle with lymphatic cancer, worked on the album for several years following the demise of the Ramones. The 11-track set was produced by Daniel Rey, with friends and session musicians backing Ramone. The full track-listing boasts “What a Wonderful World,” “Stop Thinking About It,” “Mr. Punchy,” “Maria Bartiromo,” “Spirit in My House,” “Venting,” “Like a Drug I Never Did Before,” “Searching For Something,” “I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up),” a cover of Iggy Pop’s “1969,” and the title track.
Prior to his death, Ramone previewed some of the songs during his occasional solo performances, including a notable October 2000 gig at New York’s legendary punk club CBGB’s. The revved-up pop take on “What a Wonderful World” and “Maria Bartiromo,” his homage to the CNBC “Business Center” co-host, were among the songs Ramone belted out into the wee hours of the morning on that occasion.