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Beaucoups of Blues, Ringo Starr - Wine, women and quiet sad songs...,
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This review is from: Beaucoups Of Blues (Audio CD)
Many years ago, as a teenager, I loved the simple harmonies and infectious style of the Beatles early work. When I went to University I suddenly found I loved their experimental and avant-garde later work, which I had previously hated. Then I started to appreciate more and more their solo work. However, when I first heard this, about 10 years ago I hated it. Now, listening to it again for the first time in years and having discovered Hank Williams and Bob Wills in the meantime, I find that my tastes have changed again, and I now find much to enjoy in this album. Who knows, maybe when I reach my mid sixties I might find I suddenly like McCartney's recent work?
I guess what came as a shock to me when I first heard it was that it is a pure country album, all twangy guitars and harmonicas. I just wasn't able to accept such music from a British icon back then. Secondly is the tone of the album. It's mournful, bluesy and at times pretty depressing. At the age I was back then it didn't fit with my outlook on life, so was not of interest. Now the more mature me sees a lot of merit in this music. Thirdly it was the shock of hearing Ringo's voice. Not the most perfect of instruments, I didn't like the slightly off key delivery and odd phrasings. But since then I have discovered Bob Dylan, and started to pay more attention to the feeling and meaning rather than the tunefulness of the voice. All of a sudden this album has a lot to say to me, and I can appreciate the way in which it says it.
These days I would make the following assessment of the album - A set of country ballads in the style of Hank Williams, but not so cheerful. Ringo's voice is surprisingly well suited to the genre, with a slow and growly delivery that accentuates the emotion in the songs. Surrounded by a crack band of country musician, including legend Charlie Daniels (of `The Devil Went Down To Georgia' fame) and recorded in Nashville, this is a classic Country and Western record that really captures the feel and tone of the style.
Nowadays, rather than having it languishing on a shelf I regard it quite highly and play it regularly. Probably not to all tastes (and certainly not of interest to fans of Cowell style plastic pop!), but if you like Williams, Dylan and the like you will probably enjoy it.