NEW YORK / BERLIN, 18 APRIL 2012 – BMG has scooped the worldwide rights to an unreleased posthumous solo album from former Ramones frontman Joey Ramone, who died 11 years ago aged 49.
The 15 track album “…ya know?” will be preceded on April 21 by a limited-edition 7” vinyl for lead track “Rock ‘N Roll Is the Answer” produced exclusively for Record Store Day, the annual celebration of independent record stores.
The album is being released in 20 countries worldwide in the biggest demonstration, yet of BMG’s commitment to releasing master recordings as a complement to its core rights management and music publishing business.
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.
BMG Chrysalis US Vice-President, Masters, Jason Hradil said, “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.”
“…ya know?” will be released in the US on May 22, in Continental Europe on May 25 and in the UK on May 28.
The album represents the very best of recordings Ramone left behind on his death which were later 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.
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 One Day I’m Going To Soar, the first album from legendary UK soul band Dexys, since 1985, on June 4.
Unlike the traditional record deal which tends to comprise a cash advance and a small royalty with creative aspects and marketing decisions controlled by the record label, the BMG masters model is based on rights owner and company jointly agreeing upon a budget and a plan to be executed in partnership with the majority of the economics of the deal going to the artist.
Dominique Kulling, Vice President Master New Recordings / TV & Film, who heads up the masters division out of Berlin said, “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 album will be distributed by RED in the North America and Rough Trade throughout Europe.