Y Not comes two years after Ringo's last studio album 'Liverpool 8'Liverpool 8
and for the first time in nearly 40 years as a solo artist Ringo decides to co-produce his own album. And its not a bad thing either!
For 'Y Not' Ringo has surrounded himself with friends old & new including co producer of 'Liverpool 8' Dave Stewart, brother in law Joe Walsh (he married Barbara's sister!) & Steve Dundas of the Roundheads on guitar. The album also includes contributions from Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers on keyboards, producer Don Was and Mike Bradford on bass, Bruce Sugar on keyboards, Ann Marie Calhoun on violin & Tina Sugandh on Tabla & chants.
The strength of Y Not is the songs & collaborators include Joe Walsh, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Glen Ballard, Richard Marx, Van Dyke Parks, Gary Nicholson, Gary Wright & Gary Burr as well as some special guests on vocals including Joss Stone, Ben Harper and Richard Marx. But undoubted the talking point of Y Not is the contribution to the album of one Paul McCartney on backing vocals on the wonderful single 'Walk With You' and playing bass guitar on Ringo's peace song 'Peace Dream'.
The album begins with the rocker Fill In The Blanks co written & sung with Joe Walsh including typical chugging guitar from Joe. Peace Dream sees Ringo singing of peace & no more war, there's actually three Beatles on this track as John Lennon is mentioned in the lyrics!
One of my favourite tracks is Other Side Of Liverpool a biographical song of Ringo's early Liverpool days. Great guitar & keyboards.
Not just because of Paul McCartney's involvement but Walk With You is truly outstanding. The song is excellent, Ringo's vocal is brilliant & Paul McCartney's contribution is superb. As Ringo says" "Paul was doing the Grammys, so he came over to the house and was playing bass on 'Peace Dream.' So I played him this other track and Paul said, 'Give me the headphones. Give me a pair of cans.' And he went to the mike and he just invented that part where he follows on my vocal. That was all Paul McCartney, and there could be nothing better. He makes it bigger and he makes it fuller. It makes the song like a conversation between us, and that was Paul's idea to do his part one beat behind me. That's why he's a gen-i-us and an incredible bass player."
Time & Everyone Wins sound familiar and would have made a great singles in the 1980's!
Richard Marx co wrote the excellent Mystery Of The Night. Here's what Richard says about the track, "" I had so much fun doing that tour with Ringo in `06, and we've stayed in touch quite a bit, so last winter he asked me over to his house in LA to write a song with him. It was a track he'd already come up with and I liked it and started writing a melody to it on the spot, and then we wrote the lyrics together within an hour or so. The song's called, "Mystery of the Night." Then a few months later he asked if I'd sing background vocals on it, so when my family and I were in LA for a week during spring break we went over and I sang a bunch of tracks of vocals. I loved how the song came out. Ringo's vocal is GREAT and he even got Benmont Tench (of The Heartbreakers) to play piano on it.
The song Can't Do It Wrong could have been lifted from any of Ringo's 70's albums or at the latest Stop and Smell The Roses but the giveaway are those great Roundhead backing vocals. Title track Y Not finds Ringo on great vocal form. The lyrics are great & Ringo lets his Indian influences shine through with Tina Sugandh on Tabla & chants. This would suprise a few people if released as a single. Finally Joss Stone contributes a great vocal to the comical Who's Your Daddy ? As Ringo sings to Joss, "Who's your daddy, who's your daddy'. You can probably guess her answer!
So, in his 70th year & Ringo produces himself & releases a great album to boot!