“You and Me (Babe)” is a song by English musician Ringo Starr, released as the final track on his 1973 album Ringo. Starr’s fellow ex-Beatle George Harrison wrote the song along with Mal Evans, the Beatles’ longtime aide and a personal assistant to Starr during the making of Ringo. The track serves as a farewell from Starr to his audience in the manner of a show-closing finale, by lyrically referring to the completion of the album. During the extended fadeout, Starr delivers a spoken message in which he thanks the musicians and studio personnel who helped with the recording of Ringo – among them, Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and his producer, Richard Perry.
The recording of “You and Me (Babe)” features a series of well-regarded guitar solos from Harrison, and backing from musicians such as Nicky Hopkins and Klaus Voormann. Jack Nitzsche and Tom Scott contributed the song’s musical arrangements.
“Wings” is a song by Ringo Starr, originally recorded for and released as a single from the album Ringo the 4th. It was co-written with Vini Poncia in 1977. Starr later re-recorded it, produced by Starr and Bruce Sugar, and released it as a single from his 2012 studio album, Ringo 2012.
“Wings” was re-recorded for Ringo 2012. Starr on the 2012 re-recording: “This is a song I first recorded on Ringo the 4th back when an album meant vinyl. These are different days, and it’s one of those songs I always wanted to revisit. I wrote “Wings” with Vinnie Poncia in New York, and he doesn’t know I’ve done this yet. I’m going to surprise Vinnie and send it to him…For the last two years, I’ve been listening to a lot of reggae, so this album has a reggae feel to it. What can I tell you? I’m a product of my environment. I always loved the sentiment of this song, and I’m glad we finally got it right.” A live version by Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, recorded live in Atlanta, was released on the Hurricane Sandy charity compilation Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook for Sandy Relief.
Starr gave filmmakers the chance to do an official promo video for “Wings”; the winning video was chosen by Starr himself. Starr called it “a great little video”.
The original version was released as a single in the US on 26 August 1977, backed with “Just a Dream”.[nb 1]
In a review for Ultimate Classic Rock, Billy Dukes calls the re-make “less passionate, border-line lifeless vocal performance” when compared to the original.
“Weight of the World” is a song performed by Ringo Starr, released on his 1992 album, Time Takes Time. Written by Brian O’Doherty and Fred Velez, the song was released as a lead single backed with “After All These Years”, and “Don’t Be Cruel” (the latter was only on the CD single). The single reached 74 in the UK charts. It was released on 28 April 1992 in the US,[nb 1] and on 18 May in the UK.[nb 2]
“Walk with You” is a song by Ringo Starr, released as a single from his 2010 studio album Y Not. It features fellow former Beatle Paul McCartney on backing vocals. The track was not originally conceived as a collaboration with McCartney, who originally only planned to play bass on “Peace Dream.”
The song was also used as Starr’s entry on the iTunes exclusive 4-track Beatles EP 4: John Paul George Ringo, released in 2014.
“Sunshine Life for Me (Sail Away Raymond)” is a song by English musician Ringo Starr from his 1973 solo album Ringo. It was written by George Harrison, his former bandmate in the Beatles, and was one of several contributions Harrison made to Ringo. Recording for the song took place in Los Angeles in March 1973, with Richard Perry producing the session. In addition to Starr and Harrison, the musicians on the track include Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson of the Band, and multi-instrumentalist David Bromberg.
Harrison wrote “Sunshine Life for Me” in Ireland while staying with Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan. In a contrast with the reconciliatory mood among the four ex-Beatles when the song was recorded, the visit occurred shortly after the British High Court’s ruling on the dissolution of the band in March 1971. The composition reflects the influence of Irish folk music, as well as aspects of country, hootenanny and the sea shanty tradition. In his lyrics, Harrison espouses an escape from modern life for the tranquility of nature. The “Raymond” named in the song title was a lawyer hired by Allen Klein, the manager of Harrison, Starr and John Lennon, to represent the three former Beatles and Apple Corps in the High Court action initiated by Paul McCartney.
On release, “Sunshine Life for Me” received a varied response from music critics, some of whom dismissed it as an inauspicious track. More recently, several reviewers have admired its lightheartedness and consider the song to be a worthy example of Starr’s work in the country genre. Author Simon Leng describes it as “musically an homage to the spirit of the Band’s ‘Rag Mama Rag'”.
“Snookeroo” was Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s contribution to Ringo Starr’s 1974 album Goodnight Vienna.
The song, which concerns a happy-go-lucky lout from northern England, was written about Starr himself. Bernie Taupin backs this up by calling it “a simple biographical thing”. Ringo, when he approached Elton to write a song for him, told Elton to “make it nice and commercial”. Elton said “Bernie wrote really simple lyrics, very Ringo type lyrics and I tried to write a simple sort of melody to it”. Elton also plays piano on the track.
The title refers to the billiards game snooker. Charting as a double A-side with “No No Song” in the US, it reached number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
The UK version of the single, released on 21 February 1975, with “Oo-Wee” on the B-side,[nb 1] both tracks were taken from the album Goodnight Vienna. The record failed to chart in the UK.
“Oh My My” is a song by English musician Ringo Starr from his 1973 album Ringo. It was also issued as the third single from the album, becoming a top-five hit in the United States and Canada. The recording was produced by Richard Perry and includes backing vocals by Merry Clayton and Martha Reeves.
“Oh My My” was co-written by Starr (credited by his real name, “Richard Starkey”) and Vini Poncia, a frequent collaborator of Starr’s during the 1970s. Billy Preston plays keyboards on the track. Both Starr and Jim Keltner play drums, while Klaus Voormann plays bass. Tom Scott plays the saxophone solo.
The song was first released as the opening track on side two of the Ringo LP, in November 1973. Issued as a single on 18 February 1974 in the US,[nb 1] “Oh My My” peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 3 in Canada and number 24 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, making it one of the most successful songs of Starr’s career. The song was released on a UK single on 9 January 1976,[nb 2] backed with “No No Song”, to promote Starr’s Blast from Your Past compilation album.
Starr first performed “Oh My My” in 2008 with the tenth incarnation of his All-Starr Band.
Ringo Starr’s cover of Hoyt Axton’s and David Jackson’s “The No No Song” was included on his 1974 album Goodnight Vienna. The song was released in the US on 27 January 1975, backed with “Snookeroo”.[nb 1] It was a #1 hit in Canada and a #3 hit in the US. It describes progressive attempts to sell Colombian marijuana, Spanish cocaine, and Tennessean moonshine to a recovered addict who refuses it all. Harry Nilsson provides backing vocals.
Covers and in popular culture Brazilian rock musician Raul Seixas recorded a Brazilian Portuguese version called “Não Quero Mais Andar na Contra-mão” (“Don’t Want to Ride on the Wrong Way Anymore”) adapting the drugs mentioned in the lyrics to the Brazilian culture (respectively, Colombian marijuana, Bolivian cocaine, and Argentinian chloroethane spray). Seixas also released an album (and hit single) called A Pedra do Gênesis (“The Genesis’s Stone”).
Joe Dassin’s “Moi j’ai dit non” was a French adaptation of “The No No Song”.
Some reissues and later pressings of the Ringo Starr version credit the song as “No No Song/Skokiaan”. This is presumably due to a copyright claim by the publishers of the latter song, although details are lacking.
“Never Without You” is a tribute song from Ringo Starr to his former Beatles bandmate George Harrison who died on 29 November 2001. The recording appeared on Starr’s 2003 album Ringo Rama, and was also released as a single.
“Never Without You” was co-written by Starr, Mark Hudson and Gary Nicholson. Starr commented: “Gary Nicholson started that song, and Mark brought it over and we realized we could tailor it. George was really on my mind then.” In a 2003 interview, Starr said that he had remained closest to Harrison of all the former Beatles following the group’s break-up in 1970, and that the song conveyed “how I miss him in my heart and in music”.
The recording includes a lead guitar part by Harrison’s friend Eric Clapton. Starr said of Clapton’s contribution: “Eric’s on two tracks on the album [Ringo Rama], but I really wanted him on this song because George loved Eric and Eric loved George.”
“Liverpool 8″ is a song by Ringo Starr and is the lead track on his 2008 album of the same name. The song was also released in early December 2007 as a download-single. It was later released in physical formats (7″ single and CD single) on 7 January 2008, a week before the release of the album. The B-side for the 7” is the third track from the album, “For Love”. Despite the physical single being available for only 99 pence in the UK, it only reached number 99 there. It is an autobiography of Starr put to song, with emphasis on his time with The Beatles. The title refers to the postal district of the Toxteth area of Liverpool in which Starr was born. The single was produced by Mark Hudson and Starr, and “overproduced” by Dave Stewart and Starr.
A promo video has been made which features Starr and Stewart.
“It Don’t Come Easy” is a song by Ringo Starr released as an Apple Records single in April 1971, reaching number 1 in Canada and number 4 in both the US and UK singles charts. It was Starr’s first solo single in the UK, but his second in the US (the first was “Beaucoups of Blues”), following the break-up of the Beatles.
Although Ringo Starr received sole writing credit for “It Don’t Come Easy”, author Bruce Spizer writes that he had “substantial, but uncredited, assistance from Harrison”. Starr subsequently acknowledged that Harrison had helped write it. In an episode of VH1 Storytellers (Season 3, Episode 4) in 1998, right before performing the song, Starr said: “I wrote this song with the one and only George Harrison.” He went on to say that Harrison suggested the last verse be about God. When Starr protested, Harrison suggested Hare Krishna. Starr protested again, and Harrison suggested “peace” as a topic, and they settled on that.
“I’m the Greatest” is a song written by English musician John Lennon that was released as the opening track of the 1973 album Ringo by Ringo Starr. With Starr, Lennon and George Harrison appearing on the track, it marks the only time that three former Beatles recorded together between the band’s break-up in 1970 and Lennon’s death in 1980. Lennon wrote the song in December 1970 as a wry comment on his rise to fame, and later tailored the composition for Starr to sing. Named after one of Muhammad Ali’s catchphrases, the song partly evokes the stage-show concept of the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Recording for “I’m the Greatest” took place in Los Angeles in March 1973, during a period when tensions among all the former Beatles had eased. News of Starr, Lennon and Harrison working together led to heightened speculation in the press that the band might re-form. The presence on the recording of bassist Klaus Voormann, as a supposed stand-in for Paul McCartney, created a line-up that the press had dubbed the Ladders since 1971. The song was produced by Richard Perry and also includes musical contributions from Billy Preston, a keyboard player who had long been associated with the Beatles.
Some commentators consider “I’m the Greatest” to be one of Starr’s signature tunes. In his contemporary review for Rolling Stone, Ben Gerson praised it as a song on which “a stunning alchemy occurs”; author Peter Doggett likens the track to a “lost gem” from the Beatles’ Abbey Road album. “I’m the Greatest” was later included on Starr’s compilations Blast from Your Past (1975) and Photograph: The Very Best of Ringo Starr (2007). Starr has often performed it in concert with his All-Starr Band, whose second album, Live from Montreux (1993), opens with the song. A version from the 1973 recording session with Lennon on lead vocals appeared on the 1998 box set John Lennon Anthology.
“(It’s All Down to) Goodnight Vienna”, an up-tempo John Lennon composition, is the title track to Ringo Starr’s 1974 album Goodnight Vienna. The final song on the album is “Goodnight Vienna (reprise)”. Also released as a single, the single version is a medley combination of “(It’s All Down to) Goodnight Vienna” and “Goodnight Vienna (reprise)”. The single was released in the US on 2 June 1975.[nb 1]
The title song features John Lennon on opening count-in and piano, and Billy Preston on clavinet; and the Reprise song features Lennon’s intro, ‘OK, with gusto, boys, with gusto!’.
“Early 1970” is a song by English musician Ringo Starr, released in April 1971 as the B-side to his hit single “It Don’t Come Easy”. It was inspired by the break-up of the Beatles and documents Starr’s relationship with his former bandmates, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. The lyrics to the verses comment in turn on each of the ex-Beatles’ personal lives and the likelihood of each of them making music with Starr again; in the final verse, Starr acknowledges his musical limitations before expressing the hope that all the former Beatles will play together in the future. Commentators have variously described “Early 1970” as “a rough draft of a peace treaty” and “a disarming open letter” from Starr to Lennon, McCartney and Harrison.
Starr recorded the song, under its working title “When Four Knights Come to Town”, in London in October 1970, midway through the sessions for Lennon’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album. The recording features musical contributions from Harrison and German bass player Klaus Voormann, and some Beatles biographers suggest that Lennon might have participated also.
I Wanna Be Santa Claus is the twelfth studio album by Ringo Starr, a Christmas album, issued in 1999.
Ringo Starr and musical partner Mark Hudson composed “Dear Santa” and “Christmas Eve” in July 1998 at Starr’s Surrey residence. The pair of the songs were recorded a few months later, between 14 and 16 September in the UK. Follow-up sessions did not commence till 8 March 1999 at Whatinthewhatthe? Studios in Los Angeles, where the tracks “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “The Little Drummer Boy”, “Christmas Time (Is Here Again)” and further work on “Dear Santa”, were taped that day. Featured on these tracks were Starr, Hudson, Jim Cox and Steve Dudas. Recorded throughout 1999 between Starr and Hudson, I Wanna Be Santa Claus—which is composed of half-and-half traditional songs and new originals—was made in several studios in the US and UK, with their families joining in and including two notable celebrity guests, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Eagles member Timothy B. Schmit. Jeff Lynne also sings backing vocals on “Come on Christmas, Christmas Come On”, “I Wanna Be Santa Claus”, and “Christmas Time (Is Here Again)”. The final sessions for the album were held on 8 and 9 September at Whatinthewhatthe? Studios, with mixing taking place at A&M Studios, Los Angeles and Sterling Sound, New York.
“Beaucoups of Blues” is the title song from Ringo Starr’s 1970 country album. It was released as a single, on 5 October 1970 on Apple,[nb 1] in several countries, but not the UK, and entered the charts in both the US and Germany where it reached number 87 and number 43 respectively. The song was included on Starr’s greatest hits albums, Blast from Your Past and Photograph: The Very Best of Ringo Starr.
“Back Off Boogaloo” is a song by English musician Ringo Starr, released as a non-album single in March 1972. Starr’s former Beatles bandmate George Harrison produced the recording, which took place in London shortly after the two had appeared together at Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh shows in August 1971. The single was a follow-up to Starr’s 1971 hit song “It Don’t Come Easy” and continued his successful run as a solo artist. “Back Off Boogaloo” peaked at number 2 in Britain and Canada, and number 9 on America’s Billboard Hot 100. It remains Starr’s highest-charting single in the United Kingdom.
The title for the song was inspired by English singer-songwriter Marc Bolan. Some commentators have suggested that the lyrics were directed at Paul McCartney, reflecting Starr’s disdain for the music McCartney had made as a solo artist over the previous two years. “Back Off Boogaloo” demonstrates the influence of glam rock on Starr, who directed a documentary film, Born to Boogie (1972), about Bolan’s band T. Rex around this time. Described by one author as a “high-energy in-your-face rocker”, the song features a prominent slide guitar part by Harrison and contributions from musicians Gary Wright and Klaus Voormann.
Starr re-recorded “Back Off Boogaloo” for his 1981 album Stop and Smell the Roses, in a collaboration with American singer Harry Nilsson that incorporates lyrics from Beatles songs such as “With a Little Help from My Friends”, “Good Day Sunshine” and “Baby, You’re a Rich Man”. The original version has appeared on Starr’s compilation albums Blast from Your Past and Photograph: The Very Best of Ringo Starr, and as a bonus track on his remastered 1974 studio album Goodnight Vienna. Since his return to touring in 1989, Starr has performed “Back Off Boogaloo” regularly in concert with the various incarnations of his All-Starr Band.
“A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a popular rock and roll song written by Carl Groszman, who at the time was signed to Ring O’ Records.
Starr decided to do a cover of it for his 1976 album Ringo’s Rotogravure, becoming his first Atlantic hit. Released on 20 September 1976[nb 1] in advance of the album in the US, the single spent nine weeks on the Billboard charts, peaking at number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was released in the UK on 15 October.[nb 2]
The song samples the 1962 hit, “Hey! Baby” by Bruce Channel. Starr also covered the song and released it as a single, reaching number 74 on the U.S. Billboard (magazine) Hot 100 in February 1977.
A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll is also the title of a later book by Nancy Lee Andrews, a fashion model and photographer, who had previously been engaged to Ringo Starr, and whom she subsequently sued for palimony.