Fans saddened by the death of Joey Ramone may be comforted by the late punk icon's last musical offering, a solo album bearing the reassuring title Don't Worry About Me.
Scheduled for a February 19 release on Sanctuary Records, the singer's solo album the only one he ever recorded began to take shape soon after the Ramones' final show in 1996, according to the album's publicist. Ramone worked on the LP periodically until he died of lymphatic cancer April 15 (see "Punk Pioneer Joey Ramone Dead At 49").
The album's first single, a cover of the musical standard popularized by jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong, "What a Wonderful World," is expected to surface at radio in January. Other tracks on Don't Worry About Me include a cover of the Stooges' "1969" featuring the Misfits' Jerry Only (bass) and Dr. Chud (drums); "Maria Bartiromo," a paean to the CNBC business news anchor; and the title track, which features guitars by Ramone's real brother Mickey Leigh. The Ramones' onetime drummer Marky Ramone and the Dictators' bassist Andy Shernoff appear throughout the album.
Prior to the album's release, a two-song single recorded by Ramone and Leigh, featuring "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)" and "Couldn't Sleep Last Night," will hit shelves, on December 18. A Ramones version of the holiday track appeared on the band's 1989 album, Brain Drain.
Joey Ramone's only other non-Ramones offering was 1994's three-song EP In a Family Way, recorded with Leigh under the moniker Sibling Rivalry.
A Ramones tribute album, to be produced by ghoulish rocker Rob Zombie and guitarist Johnny Ramone, is also in the works, with Zombie contributing a cover of the band's 1976 song "Blitzkrieg Bop" (see "Rob Zombie Helming Ramones Tribute Album").
Don't Worry About Me track list, according to the album's publicist:
- "What a Wonderful World"
- "Stop Thinking About It"
- "Mr. Punchy"
- "Maria Bartiromo"
- "I Got a Spirit in My House"
- "Feel Like a Drug"
- "Searching for Something"
- "I Got Knocked Down (But I'll Get Up)"
- "Don't Worry About Me"