ARTIST: Ringo Starr
TITLE: Photograph: The Very Best of
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: #130 US, #26 UK
SINGLES: Top 10: It Don’t Come Easy (#4 US, #4 UK), Back off Boogaloo (#9 US, #2 UK), Photograph (#1 US, #8 UK), You’re Sixteen (#1 US, #4 UK), Oh My My (#5 US), Only You (And You Alone) (#6 US, #28 UK), No No Song / Snookeroo (#3 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I’m the Greatest, (It’s All Down to) Goodnight Vienna
LINEUP: Ringo! Along with John, Paul, George, The Band, Klaus Voorman, Billy Preston, Steve Cropper, Jim Keltner (!), Martha Reeves, Merry Clayton, Peter Frampton, Dr. John, Nicky Hopkins, Melissa Manchester, Eric Clapton, Harry Nillson, and many many more. Everyone wanted to help Ringo.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Comprehensive comp of Ringo hits all of his high spots of his 70’s solo work (putting his other 70’s and 80’s work in the dustbin for the most part) and a few tracks from his career comeback.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Ringo, of all people, wrote and recorded three of the best post-breakup Beatles songs (“It Don’t Come Easy”, “Back Off Boogaloo”, and “Photograph” – the first and third co-written with George), and the most sentimental track of the breakup (“Early 1970”). He recorded a couple of fun, if top-heavy records, a country album (which I reviewed), and an album for his mum. Then, he careened off of a cliff – both personally and musically.
From 1975 to today, only “Wrack My Brain” hit the Top 40, and that may have been the best track from 1974-1991. Now, he’s recording some OK records and touring a lot with his All-Starr Band (basically whoever wants to have fun on stage with him for a while) and reveling in being Ringo. That’s perfectly OK – he’s got nothing to prove to anyone.
This is the best distillation of Starr’s recorded output for casual fans. Ringo devotees can check out his albums in full – but not many of the records on Polydor and Boardwalk are streaming, and one wasn’t even domestically released. There are good reasons for that.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The streaming and download version skipped the tracks from Ringo’s Rotogravure and one later track, replacing it with three tracks from his best two records. That’s just fine and dandy.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B+: Ringo’s always fun.