Category Archives: ringo starr
ON THIS DATE (47 YEARS AGO)
June 4, 1965 – The Beatles: Beatles For Sale No. 2 [EP] is released in the UK.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 5/5
# Allmusic 4/5 stars
Beatles for Sale (No 2) is an EP released by The Beatles on 4 June 1965. The EP was only released in mono. Its catalogue number is Parlophone GEP 8938. It was also released in Australia.
Bruce Eder, allmusic
More highlights off the Beatles for Sale LP, another repackaging of existing material, but also highlighting their exquisite Buddy Holly cover “Words of Love,” plus “Baby’s in Black,” which became part of their concert set, and Paul McCartney’s exquisite “I’ll Follow the Sun,” probably his most succinct and beautiful ballad, note for note and second for second.
Songs Lennon/McCartney except noted.
“I’ll Follow the Sun”
“Baby’s in Black”
“Words of Love” (Buddy Holly)
“I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party”
ON THIS DATE (43 YEARS AGO)
May 30, 1969 – The Beatles: “The Ballad Of John And Yoko” b/w “Old Brown Show” (Apple R 5786) 45 single is released in the UK (June 4, 1969 in the US).
“The Ballad of John and Yoko” is a song written by John Lennon, attributed to Lennon–McCartney as was the custom, and released by The Beatles as a single on this date in May 1969. The song, chronicling the events surrounding Lennon’s marriage to Yoko Ono, was the Beatles’ 17th and final UK number one single.
The song is a ballad in the traditional sense of a narrative poem in a song, not in the sense used in modern pop music where the term usually refers to a slow, sentimental love song. Authored by Lennon while on his honeymoon in Paris, it tells the events of his marriage (in March 1969) to Ono and their publicly-held honeymoon activities, including their ‘Bed-In’ at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel and their demonstration of ‘bagism’.
Lennon brought the song to McCartney’s home on 14 April 1969, before recording it that evening. The song was recorded without George Harrison (who was on holiday) and Ringo Starr (who was filming The Magic Christian). In his biography, McCartney recalls that Lennon had had a sudden inspiration for the song and had suggested that the two of them should record it immediately, without waiting for the other Beatles to return. Reflecting this somewhat unusual situation, the session recordings include the following exchange:
Lennon (on guitar): “Go a bit faster, Ringo!”
McCartney (on drums): “OK, George!”
This session also marked the return of Geoff Emerick as recording engineer of a Beatle session after he quit working with the group during the tense White Album sessions nine months earlier.
ON THIS DATE (46 YEARS AGO)
May 30, 1966 – The Beatles: “Paperback Writer” b/w “Rain” (Capitol 5651) 45 single is released in the US.
“Paperback Writer” is a 1966 song by The Beatles. Written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney, the song was released as the A-side of their eleventh single. The single went to the number one spot in the United States, United Kingdom, West Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Norway. On the US Billboard Hot 100, the song was at number one for two non-consecutive weeks, being interrupted by Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night”. “Paperback Writer” was the last new song by the Beatles to be featured on their final tour in 1966, and was the group’s only U.S. number one released that year.
According to disc jockey Jimmy Savile, McCartney wrote the song in response to a request from an aunt who asked if he could “write a single that wasn’t about love.” Savile said, “With that thought obviously still in his mind, he walked around the room and noticed that Ringo was reading a book. He took one look and announced that he would write a song about a book.” In a 2007 interview, McCartney recalled that he wrote the song after reading in the Daily Mail about an aspiring author, possibly Martin Amis. The Daily Mail was Lennon’s regular newspaper and copies were in Lennon’s Weybridge home when Lennon and McCartney were writing songs.
The song’s lyrics are in the form of a letter from an aspiring author addressed to a publisher. The author badly needs a job and has written a paperback version of a book by a “man named Lear.” This is a reference to the Victorian painter Edward Lear, who wrote nonsense poems and songs of which Lennon was very fond (though Lear never wrote novels).
“Rain” is a song by the The Beatles, written by John Lennon but credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was first released in June 1966 as the B-side of the “Paperback Writer” single. Both songs were recorded during the sessions for Revolver but neither appears on that album. “Rain” has been called The Beatles’ finest B-side, especially notable for its heavy sonic presence and backwards vocals, both of which were a hint of things to come on Revolver, released two months later.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg directed four promotional films for the song shot on 19 and 20 May 1966. On the first day they recorded a colour performance at Abbey Road, for The Ed Sullivan Show, which was shown on 5 June, and two black and white performance clips for British television. These were shown on Ready Steady Go! and Thank Your Lucky Stars on 3 June and 25 June, respectively.
On 20 May, another colour film was made at Chiswick House in west London. The Beatles mimed to the song, and they were shown in and around the conservatory in the grounds of the house. The clip was first broadcast in black and white on BBC-TV’s Top of the Pops on 2 June. The Beatles made their only live appearance on Top of the Pops to mime to “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”. They were introduced by DJ Pete Murray. This session is famous for being wiped by the BBC when they were cleaning tapes for re-use. The session showed how difficult it was for the Beatles to even mime to their later material – they had difficulty in taking their performance seriously.
ON THIS DATE (47 YEARS AGO)
May 26, 1965 – The Beatles record their final musical appearance at the BBC.
Just over three years since their first appearance on BBC radio, The Beatles recorded their final musical appearance on this day at Number 1 Studio, Piccadilly Theatre, London. 2:30-6:00pm.
It was their 52nd radio appearance for the corporation, and was broadcast on the BBC Light Programme on 7 June 1965 under the name The Beatles (Invite You To Take A Ticket To Ride) – a change from the usual From Us To You at the group’s insistence, as they felt the old title no longer did justice to their maturing image.
The session took place at the BBC’s Piccadilly Studios in London between 2.30pm and 6pm, including time spent rehearsing. The Beatles recorded seven songs: Ticket To Ride, Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby, I’m A Loser, The Night Before, Honey Don’t, Dizzy Miss Lizzy and She’s A Woman.
The Beatles were also interviewed by the host, Denny Piercy, and there were a number of guests also appearing on the show.
Ticket To Ride
Ticket To Ride
Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby
I’m A Loser
The Night Before
Dizzy Miss Lizzy
She’s A Woman
ON THIS DATE (20 YEARS AGO)
May 22, 1992 – Ringo Starr: Time Takes Time is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 4/5
# Allmusic 4.5/5 stars
# Rolling Stone (see original review below)
Time Takes Time is the tenth studio album by Ringo Starr, released on this date in May 1992. It is his critically acclaimed comeback album. The lead single “Weight Of The World” managed to reach #74 in the UK, giving Starr his first single entry there since “Only You (And You Alone)” in 1974.
His first studio album since 1983’s Old Wave, it followed a successful 1989/1990 world tour with his All-Starr Band. Aligning himself with top producers Don Was, Peter Asher, Phil Ramone and Jeff Lynne, the album was recorded sporadically throughout 1991. The material was written predominantly by outside writers, with Ringo co-writing three songs. Time Takes Time features several celebrity guests including Brian Wilson, Harry Nilsson and Electric Light Orchestra frontman Lynne. Time Takes Time also marked Starr’s first alliance with Mark Hudson, both of whom would embark on a long-term musical partnership in the ensuing years. Hudson assisted in vocal arrangements on some of the Phil Ramone-produced tracks.
After spending most of the ’80s pursuing his acting career and being a celebrity sideman for other artists, Ringo Starr started barnstorming with a group of famous musicians named the All-Starr Band. The success of these tours spurred Starr back into the studio for 1992’s criminally underrated Time Takes Time. This joyous pop album features the contributions of many younger musicians and was Starr’s strongest solo showing since his hit albums of the early ’70s.
Enlisting the aid of Roger Manning and Andy Sturmer, members of psychedelic popsters Jellyfish, Starr ended up recording their irresistible “I Don’t Believe You.” The duo’s Beatlesque harmonies are a highlight, as are their appearances on “Weight Of The World” and “Don’t Know A Thing About Love,” where they’re joined by The Knack’s Doug Fieger and Berton Averre. Starr astutely covers the Posies’ “Golden Blunders,” and his impressive co-writing prowess produces “Don’t Go Where The Road Don’t Go” and “Runaways,” proving Ringo to be much more than just the “Funny Beatle.”
ORIGINAL ROLLING STONE REVIEW
It was during the heady days of punk and New Wave, as 1979 was dissolving into 1980, that Joe Strummer of the Clash spat out the line “Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust” in “London Calling,” his band’s anthem to the new insurgence. That sentiment proved to be as comically unprophetic as Jimi Hendrix’s grand psychedelic pronouncement “You’ll never hear surf music again.” Fast-forward to 1992: Capitol releases a fifteen-CD box of the Beatles’ British EPs. Ringo Starr awakens from his not-so-golden slumbers and puts out a charming, unpretentious pop album, doing what he did best as a Beatle. And George Harrison issues a live double CD culled from his concert tour of the Far East; nearly half the songs date from Beatles days.
Not that all of these events provide cause for celebration. The Beatles’ Compact Disc EP Collection is just the sort of superfluous, pricey recycling project that makes Strummer’s exasperation understandable. This little black box contains a batch of EPs – shorthand for “extended play,” a format that, in the old days, usually meant four-song, seven-inch, 33-rpm vinyl discs – presented on individual CDs as they were originally configured for the British market in the Sixties, right down to the artwork and liner notes. Filling in a niche between albums and singles, EPs were popular overseas but never caught on with American consumers. Except for serving as yet another way to repackage the Beatles’ catalog, these EPs are today no more appropriate on these shores than they were twenty-odd years ago.
Bearing a retail price of around $100, the set is no bargain. Collectively, the music on these fifteen CDs – all but two of which run for eleven minutes or less – would fit onto two full-length discs (especially considering that six songs from Magical Mystery Tour are included in both mono and stereo). There are no revelations in the sleeve notes. And for the record, these EPs have never gone out of print in England; collectors would probably wish to own them in their original vinyl form anyway. The real question is when Capitol will turn loose all the true Beatles rarities: the Sessions LP, the live BBC tapes, the multitude of versions and outtakes that have been circulating in the Ultra Rare Trax and Unsurpassed Masters bootleg series.
More positively, hats off to Ringo, who has bounced back from his bout with the bottle on the modest, likable Time Takes Time. He gets by with a little help from his friends – among them musicians like Tom Petty and Brian Wilson (who provide cameos) and a phalanx of notable West Coast sessionmen. Some of the hottest producers in the business, past and present – Don Was, Jeff Lynne, Peter Asher and Phil Ramone – pitched in enthusiastically. The result is the drummer’s most consistent, wide-awake album since Ringo, from 1973.
“Weight of the World” opens the album in a bright sunburst of twelve-string guitar, defining Ringo’s melodic agenda and setting a thematic tone in these lines: “You either kiss the future or the past goodbye/We could fly so high.” Throughout, Ringo sings in that wonderfully plain-spoken style of his, and his drumming is artful simplicity itself. He conveys avuncular concern without being preachy, and while the album is not without bland spots and pat tunes, it stands as heartening proof that Mr. Starkey still has something to offer at fifty-two.
One could infer that George Harrison, the most reluctant Beatle, really wasn’t eager to undertake last year’s tour, his first since 1974. “I’d like to thank the band and Eric for making me come to Japan,” he says. Still, though the act of public performance might have gone down like bad medicine, it’s good that Clapton had the gumption to prod Harrison onstage, because this tour souvenir allows him to make his peace with the Fabs by having a go at some of the old songs. What’s more, he seems to relish the opportunity despite himself.
He still sounds angry at the government on “Taxman,” and he effectively salts “Piggies.” On the more meditative side, Harrison puts across “My Sweet Lord” with a believer’s conviction. But by and large this is a rocking, extroverted performance, and that is where Clapton and band, providing a solid foundation, helped firm up Harrison’s repertoire and resolve. From the sprung rhythms and tart slide licks of “Old Brown Shoe” to the crunching satire of “Devil’s Radio,” it is a pleasure to hear a pair of past masters bring out the best in each other. (RS 636)
~ PARKE PUTERBAUGH (August 6, 1992)
1 Weight of the World (Brian O’Doherty, Fred Velez) 3:54
2 Don’t Know a Thing About Love (R. Feldman, S. Lynch) 3:49
3 Don’t Go Where the Road Don’t Go (R. Starkey, J. Warman, Gary Grainger) 3:20
4 Golden Blunders (Jonathan Auer, Kenneth Stringfellow) 4:06
5 All in the Name of Love (Jerry Lynn Williams) 3:42
6 After All These Years (Starkey, Warman) 3:10
7 I Don’t Believe You (Andy Sturmer, Roger Manning) 2:48
8 Runaways (Starkey, Warman) 4:51
9 In a Heartbeat (Diane Warren) 4:29
10 What Goes Around (Rick Suchow) 5:50
11 Don’t Be Cruel (Otis Blackwell, Elvis Presley) 2:08 *
DO YOU REMEMBER?
Billboard #1 HOT 100 (This Week in 1965)
The Beatles: Ticket to Ride
ON THIS DATE (48 YEARS AGO)
May 21, 1964 – The Beatles (Die Beatles): “Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You)” b/w “I’ll Get You” (Swan S-4182) 45 single is released in the US.
“Sie Liebt Dich” is the German language version of “She Loves You.” The lyrics were translated to German language by Camillo Felgen, a Luxembourger singer, lyricist and television/radio presenter, upon request by EMI’s German producer Otto Demler. Demler also asked Felgen to fly to Paris, where the Beatles were on tour, to teach them phonetically the new lyrics of their songs during a recording session. Felgen used “Jean Nicolas” as alias for his songwriting credit—his full name was Camillo Jean Nicolas Felgen. One other non-Beatle is credited, one “Montogue”. It appears that “Jean Montague” (incorrectly spelled on the credits as “Montogue”) was an additional pseudonym employed by Felgen as a tax dodge.
The German sub-label of EMI, Odeon Records, persuaded George Martin and Brian Epstein, insisting that the Beatles “should record their biggest songs in German so that they could sell more records there.” Martin agreed to the proposal, and convinced the Beatles to comply. “Sie Liebt Dich” was released as a single in the United States on 21 May 1964, by Swan Records. The single also contained the original “She Loves You” B-side, “I’ll Get You”. Swan Records had released “She Loves You” in September 1963, and claimed the rights to issue “Sie Liebt Dich” as well. The single peaked at #97 in the Billboard Hot 100.