Ringo proves an old Beatle can learn new tricks
Daily Mail review by Adrian Thrills
The importance of Ringo Starr to The Beatles was reiterated by the 50th anniversary re-issue of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in May.
Remixed by Giles Martin, the son of the band’s original producer George, this new version placed greater emphasis on Ringo’s bright, soulful drumming — and a classic album sounded even better as a result.
The legacy of the Fab Four looms large over the drummer’s latest solo offering, too.
Give More Love features two bass-playing cameos by Paul McCartney and fresh takes on two songs co-written with George Harrison.
Ringo, as usual, gets by with a little help from his friends.
As well as McCartney, those popping into his home studio in L.A. include Peter Frampton, Todd Rundgren, Dave Stewart, Jeff Lynne and two passing Eagles: Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit.
The upshot is an enjoyable album of homespun, if unadventurous, good ol’ boy rock numbers.
As a great-grandfather aged 77, Ringo isn’t going to start experimenting now, although he does find the time to collaborate with two younger American acts: Brooklyn rockers Alberta Cross and the Kentucky folk group Vandaveer.
This 19th solo effort ticks many of the boxes also checked on 2015’s Postcards From Paradise. There’s one song, Electricity, about his Liverpool roots and the obligatory sentimental ballad, Show Me The Way, about his 36-year marriage to actress Barbara Bach.
Less auspiciously, there’s also the token reggae track, the clunky King Of The Kingdom, on which he sings the praises of Bob Marley by borrowing extensively from the latter’s One Love.
The strongest tracks here keep things simple while making the most of Ringo’s relaxed, loose-swinging drumming.
We’re On The Road Again celebrates the joys of playing live with some driving bass runs from McCartney. Speed Of Sound finds Frampton revisiting the ‘talkbox’ effect that underpinned his 1976 hit Show Me The Way.
Give More Love closes with revamps of two early hits. Having found a demo recording of 1972’s Back Off Boogaloo during a recent house move, Ringo revisits the track by getting Jeff Lynne and Joe Walsh to layer new guitar parts over his original vocals.
Another song from the same era, 1973’s Photograph, gets a vibrant country-folk makeover with help from Vandaveer, showing that even an old Beatle can still learn new tricks.
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