Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ringo - Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr
Apple  SWAL-3413

Another souvenir from my time in Salt Lake City.  It was the sixth album I ever bought.  I even bought it before I bought "Sgt. Pepper" so the cool cover reference escaped me.  I remember quite vividly hearing "Photograph" on the school bus (they played the top 40 radio station for us) and being very moved by it.  Even though it is about a girl, I projected into it my missing California, my old friends and my father.  I think it is one of Ringo's best songs, co-written with George Harrison, it is among the best songs either man ever wrote.  The other hit singles on this, "Oh My My" and "You're Sixteen," don't really do much for me although they are pleasant enough and suit Ringo's voice quite well.  The real gems on this record come from his ex-mates in the Beatles, particularly Lennon's "I'm The Greatest" and McCartney's "Six O'Clock" which are first rate.  Harrison's "Sunshine Life for Me" and "You and Me (Babe)" are less impressive but since they beat anything on "Living in the Material World" or "Dark Horse" I respect Harrison's generosity in parting with them and of course he deserves a lot of credit for "Photograph."  "Devil Woman" which Starr wrote with Vini Poncia is the only real sour note on the album, its obnoxious misogyny seems out of character for the generally good-natured Starr.  The album is beautifully packaged from the colorful cover to the handsome lyric booklet which features charming illustrations of the songs by Klaus Voormann.  At the time this seemed like the closest thing to a Beatles reunion that there would ever be and that certainly adds some resonance to the music, but it is a fine album in its own right, proof that Ringo could do pretty well with a little help from his friends.  Recommended for Beatles' fans yearning for another fix.

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