Synopsis of Pop Music
"Got to pay your dues,
If you want to sing the blues,
And you know it don't come easy..."
After you’ve been the drummer in the world’s most successful band, what do you do for an encore? This was the question that faced Ringo Starr at the beginning of his solo career. Just the same, the veteran rocker managed to make the most of this situation. He racked up several hits in the seventies as a solo artist and also began a successful side-career as an actor.
Ringo was a veteran English drummer by the time he hooked up with the Beatles in 1962. His rock-steady drumming gave the group a solid grounding for even their most ambitious works, and his unique wit resulted in more than one song title (“A Hard Day’s Night,” for example). He actually began his solo career before the Beatles even broke up. His first album was Sentimental Journey, on which he tackled non-rock standards. When asked why he recorded this, he replied, “I did it for me mum!” He took a shot at country music with his next album, Beaucoup of Blues.
However, Ringo Starr found his biggest success in 1973 with Ringo, an album that featured all his fellow Beatles as both performers and songwriters. Ringo worked with producer Richard Perry, who had crafted hits for Carly Simon, and created a lush album that covered many different musical styles and moods. It spawned two #1 hits: “Photograph,” a grandiose ballad written by George Harrison, and “You’re Sixteen,” a remake of a 50’s rocker with Harry Nilsson and John Lennon doo-wopping in the background. “Oh My My,” a saucy, gospel-style rocker, also went Top-10.
Starr followed this success up with Goodnight Vienna, another successful album produced by Perry that also featured his Beatles bandmates. It produced two hits in “The No No Song,” a catchy anti-drug tune punctuated with horns, and a mellow, crooned version of the Platters classic, “Only You.” He had also begun a successful acting career by this time, appearing in films like 200 Motels and That’ll Be The Day.
Starr released his next album, Ringo’s Rotogravure, in 1976, and produced a Top-30 single in “A Dose Of Rock ‘N’ Roll.” He continued to release albums through 1978, also lending his voice to a feature-length animated film, Scouse The Mouse, in 1978. Health problems slowed him down at the end of the 70’s, but he bounced back in 1981 with a new film and a new album. The film, Caveman, became a cult favorite and also introduced him to his future wife, Barbara Bach. The album, Stop and Smell the Roses, was a success and had a Top-40 hit in “Wrack My Brain.”
Ringo Starr continued to act and record throughout the 80’s. One of his more unusual credits during this time was playing the Mock Turtle in a TV production of Alice In Wonderland. In 1989 he put together The All-Starr Band, a touring group featuring himself and a revolving cast of other classic-rockers like Joe Walsh, Todd Rundgren and Dr. John. The All-Starr Band became a hit on the international tour circuit and eventually released three live CD’s.
Starr continues to stay active today. He reunited with Paul McCartney and George Harrison in 1994 to produce the first new Beatles songs in over two decades. More recently, he did a “Storytellers” retrospective concert for VH-1 in 1997 and released a new album, Vertical Man, in 1998. He also continues to tour with The All-Starr Band. This consistent stream of activities shows that the ‘lovable Beatle’ still has plenty to offer his fans.
Artist Release History04/24/70 - Sentimental Journey
09/28/70 - Beaucoups of Blues
11/02/73 - Ringo
11/18/74 - Goodnight Vienna
11/20/75 - Blast From The Past
09/27/76 - Ringo’s Rotogravure
09/26/77 - Ringo The 4th
04/17/78 - Bad Boy
10/26/81 - Stop And Smell The Roses
06/24/83 - Old Wave
03/01/89 - Starr Struck: Best Of Ringo Starr, Vol. 2
10/16/90 - Ringo Starr And His All-Starr Band
05/22/92 - Time Takes Time
10/01/93 - Ringo Starr And His All-Starr Band: Live From Montreux
08/12/97 - Ringo Starr And His Third All-Starr Band (Volume 1)
06/16/98 - Vertical Man
10/20/98 - VH-1 Storytellers
10/19/99 - I Wanna Be Santa Claus
Pop Sub Categoriespop
Essential Music AlbumsBlast from Your Past (Capitol)