Ringo Starr: Ringo 2012 (Hip-O/Universal)

 |   |  1 min read

Ringo Starr: Samba
Ringo Starr: Ringo 2012 (Hip-O/Universal)

It's a shame the most interesting Beatles at the time of their 1970 break-up – Lennon and Harrison – are no longer with us, because the post-Beatles legacy is carried into the second decade of the 21st century by McCartney and Starr's simultaneously released albums . . . which confirm their irrelevance in contemporary music, McCartney's Kisses on the Bottom especially.

But his excuse is it was deliberate to do covers of songs from the Thirties and Forties. Doubtless he'll get back to pop (or we might hope, electronic) business in due course.

McCartney isn't the first ex-Beatle to have ambled through his past. Ringo's first solo album Sentimental Journey was a heavily orchestrated collection of standards like Night and Day, Stardust and Whispering Grass.

Now up to his 16th solo studio album (when did you ever count?) he is surviving by the same formula which gave him early hits like It Don't Come Easy, Back Off Boogaloo and You're Sixteen: slather the songs in multi-tracking and backing vocals to cover his shortcomings.

Still, he and friends – among them jazz bassist Charlie Haden (on Buddy Holly's Think It Over), Joe Walsh, co-writers Glen Ballard, longtime pal Vinnie Poncia, Van Dyke Parks (who co-write the best track Samba with Starr), Dave Stewart and others – enjoy themselves on covers (Rock Island Line) and vocally undemanding originals.

And there's another reflective tribute to his childhood with In Liverpool (as he did on the vastly superior Liverpool 8 album of 2008).

But, as I noted at the time of Liverpool 8, no one is listening anymore so it doesn't really matter.

Another enjoyably irrelevant confection from the man John Lennon once jokingly described as "not even the best drummer in the Beatles".

But hats off to him, he's 71 and still writing, recording and touring.

And still flashing the peace sign. 

Share It

Your Comments

Relic - Feb 20, 2012

“No, no, no I don’t smoke it no more...” etc.
Bettye La Vette does a great scenery chewing reinterpretation of Ringo’s “It don’t come easy” on her brit covers album.

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Tama Waipara: Fill Up the Silence (tamawaipara)

Tama Waipara: Fill Up the Silence (tamawaipara)

In a recent interview with Elsewhere, Tama Waipara conceded some of the songs on this diverse but thoroughly consistent album were built up from rhythms, was flattered by the comparisons with Rufus... > Read more

Stornoway: Beachcomber's Windowsill (4AD)

Stornoway: Beachcomber's Windowsill (4AD)

Named for a small town in the Outer Hebrides and affecting a kind of folksy pop, Stornoway from Oxford pull light and slightly satirical styles (We Are The Battery Humans with its references to... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Greg's Khabli Palau (Afghani spiced lamb pilaf)

Greg's Khabli Palau (Afghani spiced lamb pilaf)

Greg offers this colourful recipe for lamb which comes with a back-story: he had it in Chicken Street in Kabul in 1979, just before the Russians invaded. It's some kind of food lover who gets a... > Read more

Stephan Micus: Panagia (ECM/Ode)

Stephan Micus: Panagia (ECM/Ode)

In a previous profile of the German-born musician Stephan Micus (here), I noted that his musical journey has run parallel to a deeply spiritual one and this album -- his 20th for ECM, settings of... > Read more