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With Ringo, Ringo Starr finally put his solo career in gear in 1973, after serving notice with back-to-back Top Ten singles in 1971 and 1972 that he had more to offer than his eccentric first two solo albums. Ringo was a big-budget pop album produced by Richard Perry and featuring Ringo's former Beatles bandmates as songwriters, singers, and instrumentalists. On no single track did all four appear, though George Harrison played the guitars on the John Lennon-penned leadoff track "I'm the Greatest," with Lennon playing piano and singing harmony. But it wasn't only the guests who made Ringo a success: Ringo advanced his own cause by co-writing two of the album's Top Ten singles, the number one "Photograph" and "Oh My My." The album's biggest hit was a second chart-topper, Ringo's cover of the old Johnny Burnette hit "You're Sixteen." Songs like "Have You Seen My Baby," a Randy Newman song with guitar by Marc Bolan, and Ringo and Vini Poncia's "Devil Woman" were just as good as the hits. Ringo's best and most consistent new studio album, Ringo represented both the drummer/singer's most dramatic comeback and his commercial peak. The original ten-track 1973 album got even better in 1991 as a 13-track CD reissue, the bonus tracks including the 1971 gold single "It Don't Come Easy" and its B-side, "Early 1970," a telling depiction of Ringo's perspective on the Beatles breakup.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best Beatles solo albums, this contains the wonderful_Photograph by George Harrison, and Lennon's otherwise unreleased 'Im The Greatest' - the only post Beatles album... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Neil
Ringo, with a little help from his friends, made a very good album. Nothing can ever come close to recreating the magic of the Beatles but some of these collaborations show... Read morePublished 11 months ago by L. C. Roberts