26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2004
This album, from 1973, yielded three big hits: "You're Sixteen" (which featured Paul McCartney on kazoo), "Photograph" (which Ringo co-wrote with George Harrison) and "Oh My My."
While one of its selling points today is that it's the only album by a former Beatle featuring each of the other former Beatles, this fact was not given much attention in 1973. Industry people knew it, and people who read record reviews would have noticed passing references to this fact. But, this was not what made it a hit. What kept this album selling well was its pop sensibility. Nostalgia for the 1950s was at a peak, and a cover of "You're Sixteen" was a good idea. The original was just famous enough to capture fans yearning for happier times and just obscure enough to seem novel. "You're Sixteen" was a monster hit. Like the rest of the album, it was played well and had a driven quality.
The album holds up today not only because of the quality of the musicianship but because Richard Perry's production was crisp and warm; no mean trick.
The album, as originally released, ended with a sweet farewell called "For You and Me (Babe.)" Three bonus tracks have been added at the end, but only the third ("Down and Out") was recorded at the same time RINGO was recorded. The other two are "It Don't Come Easy" and "Early 1970." "It Don't Come Easy" is serious rock, but it is quite different from the RINGO album. "Early 1970" is country-rock with very specific lyrics about Ringo's life after the break-up of the Beatles. George Harrison plays guitar on both "Early 1970" and "It Don't Come Easy." He is on several tracks on the RINGO album itself, but somehow, he and Ringo and all the other musicians on this CD seem to be in a mood to entertain by 1973. The tracks from earlier have a plaintive tone. Somewhere between 1971 and 1973 the emotions of the sixties had vanished, and the RINGO album is proof that good stuff did come out in the seventies.
This is good pop.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2004
This is a driven, upbeat CD. Ringo's star-turn excels at all levels. The CD luckily preserves the original booklet, with Klaus Voorman's marvelous illustrations. The personnel are famous, but they get down to musical business. It's entertaining. There are some dark songs, such as "Photograph," but the performance of this and every song on here is vibrant.
Two of the bonus tracks are from a few years before 1973, when RINGO was released, and their mood is a bit closer to the sixties vibe. But the RINGO is a reminder that the seventies could be energetic.
The front-cover art really matches the music, and, like RINGO, doffs its cap to SGT. PEPPER'S. Richard Perry's production is crisp and clear, and Ringo Starr's showmanship works very well.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2000
In 1973 the ex-Beatles were looking to be pretty washed up. John was fighting to stay in America, separated from Yoko and released the dismal "Mind Games". After conquering the world with the triple album "All Things Must Pass" in 1970, George had finally returned with a likeable but fairly flimsy follow up with "Living In The Material World". Paul was still struggling to get WINGS off the ground (no pun intended) and had recently released the solid yet unspectacular "Red Rose Speedway". Then from out of nowhere came this Ringo gem. Notable not only for being one of the most enjoyable solo Beatle efforts, this album also features contributions by Marc Bolan, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney, the only post Beatle album able to make that claim. This album cannot be taken as an artistic statement of any description, and has all the depth of a puddle, but is simply FUN. From the witty Lennon scripted opener, to George Harrison and Mal Evans' drunken sounding finale this is endless fun. Obvious highpoints are the fantastically stupid Ringo/Vini Poncia composition "Devil Woman" ("You're like the devil with the horns on your head/The only way I'll get you is to get you in bed"! ), Paul's gentle "Six O'Clock" (save for some hideously dated keyboards), John's "I'm The Greatest", and the genuinely lovely ballad (and hit single) "Photograph", written by George and Ringo (a nice irony - a Harrison/Starkey composition that bettered anything Lennon or McCartney had written yet that year). That Paul went on to release the epochal "Band On the Run" the same year does not tarnish this amaiable album's charms one bit. It's no "Ram", "Flaming Pie", All Things Must Pass" or "Imagine", but no Beatle fan should be without it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2003
This really is a terrific CD, but I am biased because I have owned it as a cassette, which we played on our honeymoon, an LP [with terrific artwork which you can really only appreciate in the LP format] and now as a CD.
The bonus tracks are at least as good a reason for purchase as Ringo's versions of Randy Newman's "Have You Seen My Baby?" "Photograph" "Six O'Clock" and the knock out version of "You're Sixteen."
It is also worth it to hear one of the last recordings of 3 of The Beatles working together in John Lennon's song "I Am the Greatest," in which Lennon and Harrison make contributions.
I love Ringo's funny song "Early 1970" in which he laughs at his musical ability [says he can only play piano in the key of C and guitar in the key of E] and John and Yoko's habit of lying in bed watching Cookie Monster on Sesame Street [which John also refers to in his song "Hold On."]
And you get "It Don't Come Easy" and one or two others.
This recording contains some terrific musical arrangements and plenty of variety. It has been viewed by many as Ringo's best solo CD, which is kind of a shame as it was recorded in 1973!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2006
This is a great pop album: entertaining, catchy, great musicians, and it even has a great cover, designed by Klaus Voorman. While the LP size makes for a better cover, it doesn't have the three excellent bonus tracks featured here: Down and Out (the b-side of Photograph); It Don't Come Easy, and its charming b-side, Early 1970: no prizes for guessing what that song's about.
For some reason, my import copy has `Down and Out' between Photograph and Sunshine Life for Me, which doesn't quite sound right.
Despite all the marvellous guest stars, such as the other Beatles, most of The Band, etc etc it's still Ringo's record. George Harrison makes a major contribution to the set, with three songs co-written with Ringo and some marvellous guitar parts which really evoke a Beatles sound, especially on I'm the Greatest, the first track.
The album abounds with decent tunes, good songs and Ringo's personality: listen to the way he just rolls off his thank you's to his Beatle mates on the original final track, You and Me Babe.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2005
3 1/2 stars actually.
After the gushing reviews of my fellow reviewers, I'm prompted to write a more realistic review of this record for anyone thinking of taking the plunge.
Yes this is without any shadow of doubt,Ringo's finest work as a solo artist.
Ringo was and is a very innivotive drummer (and anyone that has ever picked a pair of drumsticks will tell you that) and all round good egg. A great singer and songwriter,by his own admission, he ain't. In my opinion you have to be at least one those to make a truely great (5 star)album.
That said,although this isn't a great album, it is a great album FOR RINGO.
The trouble with not being a prolific writer is that you have to rely on others for the songs and the problem with that is you sometimes get left with songs that others have discarded as not being good enough. McCartney's "Six O'clock" is an example of this. Although a Macca cast off is a masterpiece by some other writers standards and Ringo does a great job with this song.
The Lennon penned "I'm The Greatest" and "Photograph", co-written with Harrison are the best songs here and that is probably because both songs were written specifically for Ringo rather than being songs that they didn't want.
I remember hearing "Your 16" on the radio,as a kid and thinking it was a great song back then.I didn't know it was a cover then, in fact i didnt know Ringo was a Beatle. It's still a great version.
"Oh My My" a song co written by Ringo is a stomper with nonsense lyrics but lots of fun.
Anyone that had read any of my other reviews will know that I'm not a great fan of extra tracks tacked onto the end of original album track listings. However when a bonus item is as good as "It Don't Come Easy" its hard not to approve. One gripe though,the final track on the LP was "You And Me Babe" which has a little spoken "credits" section at the end which a rendered pointless when they are followed by another 3 songs.
All in all this is a very decent album.Not a great album but a good one. It's not one of the best Beatles solo albums so lets not get all gooey about it.How could it be? Look what it's up against !Does it compare with All Things Must Pass,Imagine,Plastic Ono Band,etc,no of course not.
Its a decent record and certainly the best Ringo Starr solo album. This album would not appeal to anyone outside of the Beatles fraternity but for fans looking to discover Ringo's solo work this is the one to go for.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2005
What can I say about this album? It very nearly produced a reunion of all four Beatles. With just McCartney's visa problems on account of his drug busts preventing this historic event from taking place. Only Ringo could have achieved this incredible feat. But the fact that he didn't quite manage to pull it off is not to detract from this wonderful album. Of all the Beatles' solo albums this one remains a Tour De Force. It succeeds on every level.
From the opener the Lennon penned 'I'm The Greatest' it has that stamp of Quality that few albums can ever hope to have. But on this album, not only do we have that uplifting quality which pervades most of 1970s Ringo. Here we have a collection of Great Songs. I was too young at the time but it must have been superb to see a Harrison-Starkey composition ('Photograph') at the top of the US charts in 1973. After so many years under the shadow of Lennon-McCartney this is an undoubtedly highlight of both Ringo and George's career. Deservedly so. The song is brilliant. And the other songs are almost all of a similar quality: 'You're Sixteen' is an inspired choice for Ringo to cover depsite the un PCness of the lyrics. How ridiculous this whole PC business has become. Mary Whitehouse should be forced to listen to this song ad infinitem...until she screams. Randy Newman's song 'Have You Seen My Baby' is so joyous that it leaves one tempted to each for The New Oxford English Dictionary to see if this track is indeed mentioned under that word. It is not for some reason. And Ringo pens some fine numbers himself here too. 'Oh My My' sounds like an oldie but it is actually written by Ringo no less, with a little help from his friend Vini Poncia. 'Step Lightly' is another charming Ringo original which would have sat comfortably on the White Album. That's how good this album is. 'Six O' Clock' is a typically melodic McCartney tune, displaying that effortless melodic genius that was so evident on both of Paul's albums from this year 'Red Rose Speedway' and 'Band On The Run'. 'Devil Woman' is a decent rocker if not that memorable. Here it fits perfectly however. 'Sunshine Life For Me' is quite interesting, mainly for George's superb backing vocals. And the extra track the previous B side of 'Photograph' 'Down And Out' is catchy but memorable chiefly for the inspired Harrison guitar solo. The closing number 'You And Me (Babe)'is quite brilliant, not just because George co-wrote it (with Mal Evans). But because it sums up the spirit of this Fine Album. When we hear this great melodic song recede into a big Thank You to every one invloved in 'this piece of plastic we're making' one is truly moved. Especially so as Ringo mentions all three of his Beatle brothers by name.
After the infighting and resentment of the early 1970s among the four protagonists involved, it must have been truly heart warming when this album came out. I was too young at the time but I can see it now. Amongst this traumatic quadrangle of friendship and emotion Ringo's middle name should have been Cement. And the music here is also inspired. Among the Top 5 Beatles solo albums this one in my opinion.
And that is saying something.
on 23 February 2012
I've always loved this album since I owned the original LP on vinyl all those years ago and I have always felt it to be one of the strongest records released by any of the former Beatles. It is helped enormously, of course, by the assistance of all three of Ringo's former band mates, all of whom contributed songs and performances and which helped to make it the standout record of Ringo's solo career. It is simply full of terrific songs, from the fantastic opener, the John Lennon penned "I'm the Greatest", right through to the closer, "You and Me (Babe)", jointly credited to George Harrison and former Beatle Roadie Mal Evans (although the cd contains an additional three bonus tracks, the best of which is Ringo's own composition, "It Don't Come Easy"). Ringo also contributes the strongest song writing work of his career, collaborating with George Harrison on one of two US No. 1 hit singles taken from the album, the lovely "Photograph", and also the one solo composition included, the wistful and rather beautiful "Step Lightly".
One word of caution in regard to the cd version of this album, the original vinyl LP was a most beautifully packaged record, with it's attractive gatefold sleeve and stunning picture book featuring outstanding lithographic illustrations by long-time Beatles friend and artistic collaborator Klaus Voormann, who also plays bass on the album. Although the book is included in reduced form, it doesn't transfer particularly well and many of the nuances of the lithographs are lost in the process. For this reason, it's still worth trying to track down the original record if you can get hold of it. Either way, no true Beatles fan should fail to have this in their record (or cd) collection. Absolutely Great!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2004
What a wonderful little album! “Ringo” was the closest the world came to seeing a true Beatles after the ho-hum ‘Free As A Bird’ and ‘Real Love’ released to coincide with the Beatles Anthology: John Lennon wrote ‘I’m The Greatest’ track for this album and helped Mr Starkey along by adding backing vocals and piano (to hear the original version sung by Lennon listen to the Lennon Anthology’); George Harrison co-wrote ‘Photograph’ with the famous drummer and again did backing vocals, and even Macca, bitter at the way he was treated by his ex-bandmates and the Allen Klein affair, makes an appearance as he contributes to a song written by himself and his wife Linda.
Other songs not involving the talents of the other chaps are fantastic too, for example ‘Oh My My’ and the song about Lennon and Yoko Ono titled ‘Early 1970’ about, presumably, Lennon living with his wife in that big white manor in Tittenhurst. These were the days when rock-stars were really rebellious! You wouldn’t get Oasis singing about their mates’ domestic affairs. Don’t give Noel any ideas though.
This album wouldn’t really appeal to passing Beatles fans but for the big fan this album shouldn’t be missed. Have a close look at the tongue-in-cheek album cover too!
on 7 June 2014
Hello, for years I have had the old L.P. of this album by Ringo, I always treasured the sketch book inside and also the fact that it was a Beatles reunion of sorts has John, Paul and George all contributed.
So, my opinion only, but I rate this above all other Ringo albums so if you are missing this classic L.P. buy it now on the remastered C.D. Hope this is helpful to you, Deano.