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Customer Review

on 23 March 2005
What can I say about this album? It very nearly produced a reunion of all four Beatles. With just McCartney's visa problems on account of his drug busts preventing this historic event from taking place. Only Ringo could have achieved this incredible feat. But the fact that he didn't quite manage to pull it off is not to detract from this wonderful album. Of all the Beatles' solo albums this one remains a Tour De Force. It succeeds on every level.
From the opener the Lennon penned 'I'm The Greatest' it has that stamp of Quality that few albums can ever hope to have. But on this album, not only do we have that uplifting quality which pervades most of 1970s Ringo. Here we have a collection of Great Songs. I was too young at the time but it must have been superb to see a Harrison-Starkey composition ('Photograph') at the top of the US charts in 1973. After so many years under the shadow of Lennon-McCartney this is an undoubtedly highlight of both Ringo and George's career. Deservedly so. The song is brilliant. And the other songs are almost all of a similar quality: 'You're Sixteen' is an inspired choice for Ringo to cover depsite the un PCness of the lyrics. How ridiculous this whole PC business has become. Mary Whitehouse should be forced to listen to this song ad infinitem...until she screams. Randy Newman's song 'Have You Seen My Baby' is so joyous that it leaves one tempted to each for The New Oxford English Dictionary to see if this track is indeed mentioned under that word. It is not for some reason. And Ringo pens some fine numbers himself here too. 'Oh My My' sounds like an oldie but it is actually written by Ringo no less, with a little help from his friend Vini Poncia. 'Step Lightly' is another charming Ringo original which would have sat comfortably on the White Album. That's how good this album is. 'Six O' Clock' is a typically melodic McCartney tune, displaying that effortless melodic genius that was so evident on both of Paul's albums from this year 'Red Rose Speedway' and 'Band On The Run'. 'Devil Woman' is a decent rocker if not that memorable. Here it fits perfectly however. 'Sunshine Life For Me' is quite interesting, mainly for George's superb backing vocals. And the extra track the previous B side of 'Photograph' 'Down And Out' is catchy but memorable chiefly for the inspired Harrison guitar solo. The closing number 'You And Me (Babe)'is quite brilliant, not just because George co-wrote it (with Mal Evans). But because it sums up the spirit of this Fine Album. When we hear this great melodic song recede into a big Thank You to every one invloved in 'this piece of plastic we're making' one is truly moved. Especially so as Ringo mentions all three of his Beatle brothers by name.
After the infighting and resentment of the early 1970s among the four protagonists involved, it must have been truly heart warming when this album came out. I was too young at the time but I can see it now. Amongst this traumatic quadrangle of friendship and emotion Ringo's middle name should have been Cement. And the music here is also inspired. Among the Top 5 Beatles solo albums this one in my opinion.
And that is saying something.
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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