|Studio album by|
|Released||2 November 1973|
|Recorded||5 March-26 July 1973|
|Ringo Starr chronology|
|Singles from Ringo|
Ringo is the third studio album by Ringo Starr, released in 1973 on Apple Records. It peaked at No. 7 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 2 on the Billboard 200, and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. In Canada, it reached No. 1 on the RPM national albums chart. The album is noted for the appearance of all four Beatles, and for its numerous guest stars, something which would become a signature for Starr on many of his subsequent albums and tours.
After releasing the standards tribute Sentimental Journey and the country and western Beaucoups of Blues, both in 1970, Starr issued two singles over 1971-72 - "It Don't Come Easy" and "Back Off Boogaloo" - produced by and co-written with his former Beatles bandmate George Harrison. While both of these singles were big successes and would ordinarily have inspired albums to support them, Starr declined to follow through, preferring to concentrate on acting during this period. In early 1973, Starr decided the time was right to begin his first rock solo album. Having already used Richard Perry to arrange one of the tracks on Sentimental Journey, Starr asked Perry to produce the sessions.
Recording started on 5 March 1973, upon Starr's arrival in Los Angeles at Sunset Sound Recorders. Sessions were produced by Richard Perry. When Starr sent word to all his musician friends to help him in his new venture, they all responded positively. Taking part in the sessions were Marc Bolan, four members of The Band (save Richard Manuel),Billy Preston, Klaus Voormann, Nicky Hopkins, Harry Nilsson and Jim Keltner. Additionally, all three of his former bandmates appeared on and composed material for Ringo.
"Photograph" had been written on 15 May 1971, while on a sailing holiday with his wife Maureen, Harrison and Harrison's wife Pattie Boyd, and Cilla Black; Starr and Harrison wrote the song with input from the others. The song was first recorded in late 1972, with Harrison as producer, during the sessions for Harrison's Living in the Material World album. The song was remade five months later, produced this time by Perry for its appearance on Ringo. While they were both sharing a living space in Los Angeles, Harrison and Mal Evans wrote "You and Me (Babe)" after Evans requested for Harrison to add music to a song he was working on.
- Richard Perry, recalling the session for "I'm the Greatest"
Harrison dropped by on the sessions on 10 March, to see what kind of material Starr had recorded up to that point. Harrison was impressed with the material, saying: "I'm knocked out by what you've done". George returned a couple of days later, on 12 March, and laid down backing vocals. Starr, John Lennon and Harrison appear together on the Lennon-penned song "I'm the Greatest", which was also recorded on 12 March.[nb 1] Ten takes of the song were recorded in a session lasting approximately 18 minutes. Both Lennon and Harrison were in Los Angeles for business matters with Capitol Records. Lennon returned to New York on 14 March.
Three days later, on 17 March, British music magazine Melody Maker reported the session to be a Beatles reunion: "Rumours flashed through Los Angeles this week that three of the Beatles have teamed up for recording purposes. John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are all in Los Angeles with Klaus Voormann, the bassist rumoured to replace Paul McCartney after his departure from the group." Also recorded during this month was Randy Newman's "Have You Seen My Baby?";[nb 2] it features overdubbed guitar by Bolan which was added at A&M Studios. This group of sessions lasted until 27 March. The next day, Starr and Perry flew to England. More work on the tracks was done at Burbank Studios, The Sound Lab, and Producers' Workshop. On 16 April, Starr went to Apple Studio, in London, to record "Six O'Clock", with Paul McCartney and his wife Linda, as McCartney couldn't enter the US due to drug arrests. McCartney played synthesizer and piano, and sang backing vocals on the track.
After finishing "Six O'Clock", Starr requested his chauffeur to buy some tap dancing shoes, which Starr would use on "Step Lightly". Also in London, Starr with Nilsson recorded "You're Sixteen" and "Step Lightly", the former on which McCartney also appears, on kazoo. This second block of recording sessions lasted until 30 April, from then on, overdubs were added at Sunset Sound Recorders throughout July. The album was mixed at Sunset Sound on 24 July. The experience of making Ringo was an enjoyable one for Starr and all involved.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Essential Rock Discography||7/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
According to a report in Billboard magazine in late September 1973, Ringos release was delayed while work was being completed on the album artwork. On 24 September, "Photograph" was released as the album's lead single in the US, backed by "Down and Out". Starr filmed a promo clip for the song at his Tittenhurst Park residence, although the film's only screening was on a single episode of BBC TV's Top of the Pops. The single was issued a month later in the UK, on 19 October.
Apple Records released Ringo on 2 November in the US,[nb 3] and on 9 November in the UK.[nb 4] Helped by the international success of "Photograph", and speculation regarding the former Beatles working together on the same project, the album reached No. 1 in Canada, No. 7 in the UK, and No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart, denied the top position by Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.Ringo peaked at No. 1 on America's other albums charts, however, in Cashbox and Record World. The album was certified gold in America on 8 November and in Britain a month after its release there.Ringo was critically well-received also. Loraine Alterman of The New York Times described it as an "instant knockout ... [a] sensational album". In his review for Rolling Stone, Ben Gerson said that, on one hand, Starr's limited artistry and the abundance of star guests made the album "rambling and inconsistent", yet in terms of "atmosphere", "Ringo is the most successful record by an ex-Beatle. It is not polemical and abrasive like Lennon's, harsh and self-pitying like Harrison's, or precious and flimsy like McCartney's, but balanced, airy and amiable."
"You're Sixteen" was released as the album's second single, backed with "Devil Woman", in the US on 3 December. In late December, on the 28th, "Photograph" went gold in the US. "You're Sixteen" acquired gold status in the US on 31 January 1974, and was released in the UK on 8 February, reaching No. 4. In the US, the singles from Ringo "Photograph" and Starr's cover of "You're Sixteen" both went to No. 1. On 18 February, "Oh My My" was released as a single only in the US, backed with "Step Lightly".[nb 5] After the singles became hits, Lennon sent Starr a telegram: "Congratulations. How dare you? And please write me a hit song."
The original cassette tape and 8-track versions of the album, as well as a small number of early promotional copies of the vinyl album, contained a longer version of "Six O'Clock". All of the stock copies of vinyl version of the LP, including both the original pressing and the 1981 LP re-release of the album, as well as reissues in various other formats over time, contained the shorter version of the song. The record label on the original stock pressing of the vinyl album incorrectly lists the running time of "Six O'Clock" as 5:26, which may have led some to mistakenly assume that the original pressing contained the long version of the song. The label on the reissued vinyl album correctly lists the running time as 4:06.  At the time of release, various reviews and press articles of the day stated that the longer version was "snuck" onto the tape duplicating masters at the last moment. Artwork for a quadrophonic version was produced, but was never released. Additionally, the original artwork list the second song, written by Randy Newman, as "Hold On" which was later corrected to "Have You Seen My Baby" in following pressings.
When Ringo was reissued for compact disc, the three bonus tracks included on it were all from singles: Starr's 1971 hit single "It Don't Come Easy" and its B-side "Early 1970", as well as the B-side to "Photograph", "Down and Out". The CD was released in the UK on 4 March 1991,[nb 6] and in the US by Capitol on 6 May.[nb 7] On the CD, "You and Me (Babe)" begins crossfaded over the end of "Devil Woman," even though the original album had these songs separated by silence. The longer version of "Six O'Clock" was oddly not added as a bonus track to the reissue of this album, but rather to the reissue of Goodnight Vienna.
1991 reissue bonus tracks
An instrumental version of the album was produced by David Hentschel and titled Sta*rtling Music.Sta*rtling Music was the first release on Starr's label, Ringo O'; released on 18 April 1975 in the UK,[nb 9] and four years later on 17 February 1979 in the US.[nb 10] Just prior to the album was a single, "Oh My My", backed with "Devil Woman", released on 17 February 1975 in the US,[nb 11] and on 21 March in the UK.[nb 12] The album, was re-released in the US on Capitol in October 1980.[nb 13] A budget edition was released in the UK on 27 November by Music for Pleasure.[nb 14]