2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Bad Boy (Audio CD)
This album is far more creditable than the thoroughly hostile reception it received upon its release in 1978. Rolling Stone said it was 'not even passable cocktail music'. Gosh those guys are amusing. It is in fact better than the previous album from the previous year 'Ringo The 4th' and better than the two albums that followed 'Stop And Smell The Roses' (1981) and 'Old Wave' (1983) and in itself containing some considerable merit. Ringo has always been quite judicious in his choice of covers and here he again selects well. Peter Skellern's 'Hard Times' is a superb choice with its amusing lyric and punchy tune. The band by the way on this album is Nameless (guitar is by Git-Tar and bass by Diesel for example) but they are crack session musicians whoever they are! 'Heart On My Sleeve' is classic Ringo and one feels this would have been a big hit had it been released five years earlier. Which brings us to the point. The only real problem for Ringo on this release was that people int he UK were too caught up with The Boomtown Rats, The Jam and Ian Dury to be much bothered about a Wings album, let alone a Ringo solo effort. Well, maybe one day people might sit down and realise that these late 70s solo Beatles records actually contained some fine material, certainly this is true with Paul (London Town 1978) and George (Self Titled 1979) and I can make a pretty good case for about half of this album.
'Lipstick Traces' is another cover and for me is the best song on the album. Great piano, reminiscent of Elton's on Snookeroo (1974). 'Where Did Our Love Me' works pretty well and is at any rate superior to the awful Soft Cell version from the following year.
The ballads are mixed. The title track 'Bad Boy' has a definite charm, and catchy melody for sure. 'Tonight' is pretty good and was a minor single. 'A Man Like Me' is OK but is a rewrite of a Ringo song for God's sake! There is some questionable material it has to be said: 'Old Time Relovin' and 'Monkey See And Monkey Do' are basically....forgettable.
But when this album is good it is very good. The opening track 'Who Needs A Heart' was an uptempo uplifting song which set expectations for the rest of the album rather high. Rather too high as it turned out. Especially Side 2 (of the vinyl record) which I must admit is pretty weak. But there is enough good stuff here on Side 1 plus 'Hard times' which kicks off Side 2 to warrant this album 3 stars. Anyone with a slight soft spot for Ringo can find some pleasure with this underrated album. Unfortunately even Ringo is rather dismissive of his work in the late '70s and '80s. 'Was losing interest, drinking too much etc etc' But as we know the artist himself is rarely the best judge of his own work. That is best left to the fans
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Sep 2008 12:09:49 BDT
M. G. Abbott says:
I must admit to finding Mr Heaton's review more entertaining than the album itself - another fine piece of work from the world's leading Beatles critic.
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Sep 2009 18:33:23 BDT
Mister Kite says:
I always regret not getting this album when I came across it in an HMV sale for 99p, after realizing that 'Hard Times' was actually a pretty good track, when played really loud after having consumed a large quantity of alcohol.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2009 18:24:43 GMT
John Heaton says:
And try and find the peter skellern album of which Hard times is the title track (1975)....funnily enough i prefer ringo's rendition!
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