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Ringo Starr might be a singer but he is not a crooner
on 25 December 2004
"Sentimental Journey" was Ringo Starr's first solo project, actually begun in late 1969 (i.e., before the Beatles officially imploded). To the surprise of everyone this was not a collection of rock 'n' roll but rather a trip down memory lane with standards from the 1930s and 1940s that Ringo's mum and dad preferred to the music that made Richard Starkey world famous (remember, he was also the oldest of the Fab Four). In the grand tradition of having a little help from his friends, the songs Ringo sings were arranged by everyone from George martin and Paul McCartney to Quincy Jones, Elmer Bernstein and Maurice Gibb. However, the songs simply do not play to Ringo's strengths and you will hear by listening to just about any song on the album; "You Always Hurt the One You Love" would be the exception that proves the rule, but then it is the song that comes closest to the fun little songs Ringo got to sing with the Beatles. Contrast that with "Night and Day" or "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" and the difference is palatable.
If fans thought "Sentimental Journey" a strange cup of tea from Ringo then his other 1970 album, "Beaucoups of Blues," with its country western songs must have made them wonder what was coming next. But there is actually a key common denominator for both albums in that these musical genres focus on the vocalist, and whatever else you might say about Ringo he was a most distinctive vocalist. "Beaucoups" is the better of the two albums, which is not surprising given Ringo's comfort with country and western music was established way back when he recorded "Act Naturally."