Ringo Starr Y Not
CD Review by Lady Jane Rushmore




March 2010
T rack listing:

Fill In The Blanks
Peace Dream
The Other Side of
Walk With You
Everyone Wins
Mystery of the Night
Can't Do It Wrong
Y Not
Who's Your Daddy

Label: Hip-O Records
Release Date:
January 12, 2010

Enjoying Ringo Starr's vocal stylings is an acquired taste. I love his voice, because of its sincerity and because I love Ringo. I think that is required to enjoy his solo work.

At age 69 he has produced, literally, his best work, Y-Not.

Beatle fans 'get it' immediately; the youngsters who listen to it without that emotional attachment will no doubt hear a different recording.

It is with great affection I write that Ringo was the least Beatle - the drummer - but a Beatle none the less. Well, I guess that's not really true. Pete Best was the least Beatle.

I mean, what was up with Pete? When the Beatles gave him the pink slip not one group snatched him up to become their drummer, not even Herman's Hermits or Freddie and The Dreamers. So Pete Best was the least Beatle. Ringo was the least of the group when they made the big time. With the exception of "Help from My Friends" on Pepper, his tunes always left something to be desired. "Octopus's Garden" for example, a great tune for the Muppets, but for The Beatles? What were they smoking? Sorry, dumb question.

We love Ringo not for his singing, but because he sat up there with the amazing Beatles and well, kept the beat. The best of his solo stuff, "It Don't Come Easy," and "Photograph "are great records, and there were probably a few other things from his solo career that are worthwhile, but his new CD, "Y-Not" is great. It is his best solo album of all time and it contains songs that are better than most of the stuff he sang on Beatles albums. He got a lot of help from his friends, Gary Wright, Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Ben Harper, Richard Marx and others who all came together on this effort produced by Ringo himself. He was also involved in the writing of each tune.

Joe Walsh's driving guitar kicks off "Fill in the Blanks," a tune that would fit perfectly on a Walsh solo project or as cut six on an Eagles record, but the vocal by Ringo is powerful and rocks. Starr and Walsh wrote the tune and it makes you wonder what took so long. Their styles fit perfectly together and this rocker is a gem. Joe's slide guitar kicks this track up another notch. "No more distractions, thanks but no thanks, fill in the blanks.

"Peace Dream" was written by Ringo and Gary Wright and features ex-Beatle Paul McCartney on bass. How can you resist a song that contains the line "Just like John Lennon said in Amsterdam from his bed &.one day the world will wake up to see the reality?"

"The Other Side of Liverpool" is another slice of Richard Starkey's musical autobiography that he began on previous CDs. This haunting, yet rockin' track rips the cover off the myth of Liverpool as this magical happy little fishing village and talks about Ringo's bleak childhood.

The first single on the album is just a beautiful cut co-written by Ringo and Van Dyke Parks. The duet between Ringo and Paul McCartney is priceless. This is one of the best cuts either of the lads ever recorded. No gimmicks just an honest and touching recording that must be heard by any Beatles fan. It came to be when Paul was in to play bass on "Peace Dream." Ringo played him this cut and he improvised singing following Ringo's vocal just a beat or two later. "When I walk with you, when I talk with you, everything will be fine." This one is a keeper.

The tune "Y-Not" is musically the most interesting as we hear Indian influenced sounds meshing with Prince-style synth lines and Tina Sugandh on tabla and singing traditional Indian chants. His tip of the hat to George?

The album and the man are all about peace and love. What else? I wish the same for the best drummer The Beatles ever had.

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