It was while watching Martin Scorsese's take on the life of George Harrison the other night, that a right nice George tune came to mind; a song originally performed by Cilla Black and then turning up on Ringo's Rotogravure.
And as I haven't got any Cilla, thought I'd dig out the aforementioned Ringo; the only Ringo record I own.
Listening to the album now, the Harrison track, 'I'll Still Love You', really stands out.
Ringo of course brings his jovial but rather limited vocal ability to it, but it still shines.
George, poignantly, just so happens to be one of the only artists associated with Ringo who is absent on this recording; it seems to feature pretty much everybody else from the mid-seventies' rock canon; including, in no particular order: John Lennon, Paul & Linda McCartney, Randy & Michael Brecker, Harry Nilsson, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Jim Keltner, Sneaky Pete, Melissa Manchester, Klaus Voorman, Van Dyke Parkes, and many, many others.
Friends and acquaintances readily wrote for Ringo, and as well as Harrison's tune being covered, both Lennon and McCartney hand over some goods.
John Lennon's 'Cookin'', probably the next best song on the album, features Lennon on piano, the last time he'd be recorded until his Double Fantasy sessions.
Paul's song ('Pure Gold'), well, just typically Paul, really, but obviously written for Ringo to sing; and the same can be said of Clapton's very light and breezy number ('This Be Called a Song'), which even features some extremely exuberant steel drums (he must have been off the smack by then).
(I've included the writers in my track listing - someone may be interested, I guess....)
From the ashes of the Beatles, Ringo always seemed to be the guy having the most fun.
He didn't have to be 'heavy' or serious, and because he didn't have a great weight of expectation burdening him, he could do pretty much what he liked; and Ringo liked having fun; and that's what this album represents: a rich, successful man having fun with his mates.
Because of who he is, his fun is made public; but being who he is doesn't guarantee new success. This album flopped on release, and is, to my surprise, long deleted.
You wouldn't have thought Ringo albums featuring Clapton, Lennon, McCartney et al. would get deleted, would you?
Listening to it again now, after many years since I last played it, it's really not that bad.
And it does, for my money, just pass the audition.
Ringo Starr - Rotogravure (1976)
A Dose of Rock n Roll (Grossman)
Hey Baby (Cobb/Channel)
Pure Gold (McCartney)
You Don't Know Me At All (Jordan)
I'll Still Love You (Harrison)
This Be Called a Song (Clapton)
Las Brisas (Andrews/Starkey)
Lady Gaye (Poncia/Starkey/T.Ward)
Spooky Weirdness - outro
Excellent vinyl rip @320kbs
Join the Ringo set here