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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 January 2012
Now this is a something very few saw coming. Amazingly, for an artist whose output doesn't bother the charts, this is Ringo Starr's 17th studio album since March 1970, and it doesn't seem possible that 42 years have disappeared into the distant recesses of the mind since he struck out on his own after the Fab Four called it a day. Whilst that might seem to be not much of an output, this is his fifth release in less than seven years (one being a `best of'). What might surprise many though is that he does still have legions of followers, even if anything he releases sells less in the UK than the number of hot dinners I have; it's just that as those fans are spread far and wide with no concentration in any one territory, it might appear that no one buys anything bearing his name. (Whilst this might be an irritation for him, I'm sure it's a minor one considering he won't have to rely on the royalties to pay his gas bill.)

Right, let's see what `2012' is like.

Anthem. The longest track here, it's five minutes of Ringo singing easy couplets about peace and love and to be brutal, it sounds like many other things he's done.
Wings. A re-recording of a track from `Ringo the 4th' updated with a reggae style backing. Why he chose to revisit this song isn't known. Scheduled to be a single in the USA but maybe not here.
Think it Over. Familiar to most groups in the late 50s, it's certainly the catchiest song here.
Samba. This isn't what you might think. Whilst it does have samba style percussion and that, some needless guitar spoils it.
Rock Island Line. Another one attempted by the majority of fledgling groups up and down the country, once again, I think the wailing guitar spoils this, which is completely out of place. It would have been better using a simple line up in the way the song was meant to be. Yes, time has marched on since the 50s, but that doesn't mean you have to use modern technology. Some things are best left alone.
Step Lightly. Originally recorded for `Ringo' in 1973, it's yet another `so what' track. If he had to go to his back catalogue, he should have chosen something better than this.
Wonderful. Is nothing special; it's just an ordinary song that doesn't have anything to save it.
In Liverpool. The third song he's written about his home town, and name checks the Iron Door, Sefton Park, his time as an apprentice engineer and `the boys' (not necessarily the other Beatles). With an `ooo la la la' backing similar to `You Won't See Me', he asks the question as to how good it was for you?
Slow Down. Is his rock and roll song that is actually not that bad, though it's the backing that makes it as opposed to the nondescript words. It's a shame it didn't have a different title.

The total running time for this CD is under 30 minutes (a lamentable 28:46 minutes to be precise), which harks back to the days of 14 song LP's and it's a bit short. The inlay sleeve is another huge disappointment; other than song credits there's nothing. At least give us something to read. Okay, we all know what to expect in the singing department but this isn't anywhere as good as his last two releases Y Not and Liverpool 8, and to be rather brutal, it's all a bit of a mess. I admit to having everything Ringo has ever released but I really feel it's time for him to retire. Considering that this gives the impression that he realises it too, maybe it really is the last hurrah?

Anyway, if nothing else, Ringo Starr is still the celebrity with more records where he is the subject matter than any other, and it will probably remain that way evermore. Annoyingly, there is also a double CD version not available here that includes a DVD with commentary and live footage.
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on 20 March 2012
Really suprised at some of the comments of the other reviewers.This is a really good album.Some great songs, and tellingly well performed.

i don't know how anybody can think that "Wings" isn't a substantial improvement on the version from Ringo the 4th ! The earlier cut is OK but pretty lacklustre, while the new version is really catchy - a great choice for a single, and I think Ringo's drum part on it is superb.

I don't skip any tracks whilst playing this album."In Liverpool" is another stand out for me.It has a very similar formula to the other Dave Stewart colaboration "Liverpool 8",but it's enjoyable nonetheless.A good version of "Rock Island Line" , and "Think it Over" (with Ringo playing the keys solo!) I also like the drum sample from "Glass Onion" at the beggining of "Anthem" , the opening track - nice.

Y Not is one of my absolute favourite Ringo albums,and I'm not sure if I think Ringo 2012 is quite as good, but it's close.It's a wee bit short - surely 10 tracks would be a nice even number...? but it's certainly quality if not quantity for me.

If I think back to Ringo's recent releases : Y Not, Liverpool 8,Choose Love,Ringo Rama, Vertical Man , and Time takes Time (all of which I own), with the exeption of "Ringo" (1973) - they are a lot better than their 70's and 80's counterparts IMO both in terms of quality,and enjoyment.

Ringo 2012 is a continuation of that same quality, and if you like any of his more recent titles, then I'd recommend Ringo 2012.

One negative aspect.I bought the CD/DVD version, and although it's good to have for any serious Ringo fan - it too is short and as it is an import VERY overpriced.

Apart from that, don't be put of the main album by the same predictable tired old reviewers who will slag of Ringo no matter what he produces...
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on 31 January 2012
I am a life long Beatle fan, have collected a lot of solo albums, but have always been lacking in the Ringo dept. However, a trip to one of his concerts last year with his All Starr band changed all that, and on the strength of that I purchased His "Y not" album which I really enjoyed, so I had high hopes for this release. Unfortunately, at just under 29mins long and a meagre 9 tracks, I have to say I am disapointed. Thats not to say its a bad album, just that it has got an air of "will this do" about it. Could do better. I really think that both Paul and Ringo should get together with someone like Rick Rubin, and each produce one last great album. It worked for Johnny Cash, it worked for Neil Diamond, so "Y not?" Anyway, roll on next week and Maccas new album!
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on 31 January 2012
Firstly, I have to confess to being a Beatles fan , who has bought all the group and solo releases. However, this effort stretches that loyalty. The album last 29 minutes, contains two reworks of previous songs, and a Buddy Holly cover (Think It Over) that has already been released in 2011 on a compilation album. Why Ringo thinks he needs to rework Wings from "Ringo The 4th", and Step Lightly from "Ringo" I'll never know. As for the new songs.... The usual peace and love effort, "Anthem", and the predictable autobiographical effort "In Liverpool". Its all been said and done better on previous albums. The other songs on the album are equally forgettable. Sadly the drumming doesn't sound anything special either.
Throw in the dullest sleeve and liner notes and this botched cheap effort is complete. Save your money.
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on 30 January 2012
First off let me say I am a lifelong Beatles fan and an admirer of (most of) Ringo's solo work. Having said that, sadly this is a really poor album and just a bit of a rip-off. Its a "why did he bother?" album. You have three covers from the Rock'n'roll era , Rock island line , Think it over and Slow Down (which the Beatles did so much better in 1965). Then there are two remakes of tracks from earlier albums. Neither "Wings" or "Step Lightly" is an improvement over the original versions. Finally you have four indifferent new tracks and a substandard album with a total playing time of 28 minutes for the 9 tracks! Disappointing is not the word- Ringo has made some great albums since the Beatles broke up. This is not one of them . Sorry .
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This is a great time for Beatlefans with a new album by Ringo followed by Paul's new album in about a week. Now, I admit that I am biased, but to me it seems that not only is Mr Starr looking younger than ever, but his albums are just getting better and better. This collection, a mixture of styles from rock to country, shows Ringo at his most relaxed and he seems to be enjoying every song.

The album begins with "Anthem", Ringo's plea for us to not give up on those Sixties ideals of love and peace. There are nine songs altogether, including the classic "Rock Island Line" and a cover of Buddy Holly's "Think it over". The other seven songs are all either written or co-written by Ringo. Two songs are new versions of those from earlier albums - "Wings", which appeared previously on "Ringo the 4th" and "Step Lightly" from the original "Ringo" album. "Step Lightly" sounds almost aimed at Paul - "soon the pain will pass, in the meantime you've got to find yourself a love that's gonna last...".

That leaves us with the new songs, "Samba", "Wonderful", "In Liverpool" and "Slow Down" (not forgetting "Anthem" which kicks off the album). "Wonderful" is my personal favourite, a moving love song about him and his beautiful wife, Barbara Bach, with the refrain, "for me and you, the worst it ever was was wonderful". My other favourite is "In Liverpool". Now, we all know that Liverpudlians took offence at a joke Ringo made about his home city, but this is him remembering his youth and the time when, "me and the band live in a fantasy, breaking the rules, acting like fools..." Well, they were never fools, because nobody lasts this long without a great deal of intelligence, humour and talent. Ringo has all three and this is a great, feel good album, which will hopefully be the success it deserves to be.
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on 6 February 2012
Ringo is never going to be Bob Dylan or Deep Purple...or the Beatles!
But what he does do, is give fun, easy listening music and thats what we get here. His last six or seven albums have been pretty consistant with their quality and this one is with them.
Give this a few listens and you will find it enjoyable, if you want to!
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on 10 July 2013
I'm not a mad reviewer, I'm just a simple 20 year old drummer, who listens to Ringo music all the time and considers Ringo Starr the greatest drummer of all time.

After Ringo recorded and released Y Not in 2010, I was excited to see what he could produce with his next album. Y Not, to this day, is at least number 3 on my top 5 Ringo albums, right up there with Ringo from 1973 (naturally) and Vertical Man from 1998.

Here's a quick run down of all the tracks on here.

ANTHEM: First track up, and actually the longest. This is an Anthem for Peace and Love...... that's pretty much it. It can possibly be seen as a "sequel" to Peace Dream from Y Not. Not much to say for this one. Fun to listen to, fun to sing, fun to play on drums. My second favourite song on this album.

WINGS: Already, we're onto Wings, the single from this album, as well as My favourite song on this album. A re-recording of the same song from Ringo the 4th from 1978. As soon as I heard this song, I was pretty much hooked. Wings is my 3rd favourite Ringo Starr song, right up there with Oh My My and Back Off Boogaloo. Once again, fun to play, fun to sing, lyrics are quite memorable. Some people seem torn between which version is better, the original from Ringo the 4th, or this version. Personally, I enjoy them both, and I listen to them both all the time, but if I had to pick, this version wins.

THINK IT OVER: Ringo's cover of the classic Buddy Holly song, recorded I think the year before for a Buddy Holly tribute album. I was actually kinda hoping that Ringo would re-record this and maybe extend it to something around the 2 1/2 minute mark, but nope, this track is super short, around 1:47. Still, that doesn't stop it from being a good song. It's nice to hear Ringo pay tribute to one of the legends of Rock N Roll.

SAMBA: This song, I don't really care for. It's OK, I guess. I will listen to it every now and then, when Windows Media Player is playing the Complete Ringo collection, with track selection set on Random, but as for the entire CD, it's probably my least favourite track on this list. Not the worst Ringo song in the world though. There's far worse. Like Wrack my Brain or Hey Baby.

ROCK ISLAND LINE: This song is the song that got me interested in this album, long before I even heard Wings. I'm a big fan of the Lonnie Donegan version of Rock Island Line, so I was interested to see what Ringo could do with this song, and needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. Awesome track. Not very skiffle-y, if that is a word, and that may turn off a few listeners, those are skiffle fanatics. But still, the song is good, probably my third favourite on this CD.

STEP LIGHTLY: Now....... when this album came out, I originally didn't care for Step Lightly, whether it was the remake, or the original from the Ringo album. But over the past year, the remake has kind of grown on me. I find myself going back to listen to it quite a bit. I still don't really care for the original. Unlike Wings, when it comes to deciding which version of Step Lightly is better, there really is no contest. The remake wins for me anyday.

WONDERFUL: A new song from Ringo, dedicated to his lovely wife of currently, 32 years. It's could be interpreted as a musical way of saying "If you really love each other, you can fix your way through any argument or fight, no matter how bad it is." So far, I've been going out with my girlfriend for nearly 2 years, with our anniversary on October 16th. We've had a pretty rough time in that time. But I always say, "As long as we're still together, it can't be all bad. We can make this work." And so far, it seems to be working. So as long as I'm with this girl, I will enjoy this song.

IN LIVERPOOL: Every album since 2008's Liverpool 8, Ringo has recorded a mini-autobiographical track regarding his days in Liverpool. This time, it's Chapter 3. This track revolves around Ringo going to, or occasionally skiving, school, and going to Sefton Park, or "breaking the rules, and acting like fools" as Ringo puts it in this song. He also talks about going to nightclubs such as the Iron Door, becoming an apprentice engineer, and developing his interest in music. It's a good song, I will say that. The strange thing about this song is that I have found the lyrics to be incredibly memorable, more memorable than than any other track on here, except maybe Wings. When compared to the other Liverpool "Chapters", this one is second best for me, probably due to the lyrics. The Other Side Of Liverpool wins in the Liverpool category, with both lyrics and drum beat winning for me.

SLOW DOWN: Naturally, there's gotta be a family track, this track being with Joe Walsh. Very good guitar and lyrics on this one. It seems to me that, pretty much on this and Y Not's Fill In The Blanks, Ringo and Joe probably just hang out in Ringo's guest house, with drums, a guitar, and a couple of mics, and probably just spurt out random words. And in both Fill In The Blanks and Slow Down, it works. 2 very good tracks in my opinion.

Well, that's it. All 9 tracks. Pretty short. For me, there's 2 reasons this album isn't 5 stars.

1. It's too short, only 9 tracks, running around 29 minutes. That's too short for a Ringo album. Y Not had 10 tracks, resulting in around 35 minutes worth of music. I just hope Ringo isn't running out of musical ideas. I just hope the next album isn't this short.

2. The songs just aren't as memorable as Y Not. Those songs on Y Not seemed to... gel together, and seemed like they were all good combos with each other.

What could've won this album over for me? A remake of either Oh My My with Edgar Winter on saxophone, or a remake of Back Off Boogaloo. Those are my 2 favourite songs above Wings.

But all in all, this album really isn't that bad. It's not the best, but it's not the worst either. The songs are not all horrible. It's still worth it in my opinion, but there is much better Ringo out there.
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on 24 February 2013
The track, "Rock Island Line", the lyrics are, "If you want to ride it, YOU'VE GOT TO RIDE IT LIKE YOU FIND IT, get your ticket at the station for the rock island line". Why did he cut one of the lines out? I know it's a little thing, but to someone my age who remembers the original song, and people like Lonnie Donegan having a big hit with it, it's annoying.
Other than that it's a good album. I've always liked Ringo, his "Ringo Star", with songs by Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison, album is one that I still play.
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VINE VOICEon 1 February 2012
In case you hadn't noticed, and ex-Beatles has put out a new album. And, no, it's not the ex-bass player, it's the ex-drummer. Yes, indeed, Ringo Starr has just released his seventeenth solo album (really), and as befits a man in his seventies, it's got nine tracks, and would easily fit on two sides of vinyl. So, a small smattering of applause, even before it's been played.

It's a Ringo album that could have come from any point in time, but specifically, the "Ringo", "Goodnight Vienna", "Ringo's Rotogravure" years. Which means it's amiable seventies soft rock, with a smattering of country, blues and rock'n'roll splashed about hither and thither. To this end, he's played the Ringo card, and called up a whole bunch of well known musos to make sure that, at the very least, it's well performed. So say hallo to the likes of Joe Walsh, Benmont Tench, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dave Stewart, Don Was, Van Dyke Parks and Edgar Winter.

With the exception of a run through the Buddy Holly tune 'Think It Over' and the good old Trad Arr 'Rock Island Line', it's all Ringo co-written, with some big time writers along for the ride. So, Glen Ballard, Van Dyke Parks, Dave Stewart and Joe Walsh pop up amongst the credits. For some reason he's seen fit to revisit two of his old songs in the shape of 'Wings', which first appeared on "Ringo the 4th" in 1977 and 'Step Lightly' from "Ringo" in 1973. Which actually cuts it down to five new songs.

Apart from 'In Liverpool', an appalling piece of doggerel, there isn't anything to actively dislike here. It's all smiley, smiley, matey, matey, no frills seventies rock, with the only real standout, his cover of 'Rock Island Line', which has a life and vigour lacking elsewhere. The lyrics are what you would expect from a peace sign giving tax exile, and his voice still has a nasally charm. Maybe he should go all the way, and link up with The Jive Aces, to make his eighteenth album a skiffle one! Get Joe Brown in, and I'd be buying it.
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