Local Hype

Ringo Rama Is Ringo-licious

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Ringo Starr has released his best collection of songs since 1973’s “Ringo” album. “Ringo Rama” probably won’t win any new fans, but long time followers will be pleased with the effort. The last few years have been the most productive period for Ringo since the Beatles, releasing three albums of new material, a live album, a box set, touring every summer and making several appearances on television.

What I like most about Ringo’s recent albums is that he embraces his Beatles’ past. Many of the songs make references to and sound like The Beatles. I only wish Paul McCartney would do this more often.

The first single, “Never Without You,” is a warm tribute to George Harrison with Eric Clapton guest-starring on guitars. One of my favorite tracks’ is “Elizabeth Reigns,” a fun, psychedelic song about queen Elizabeth and the royal family with a hilarious one-liner spoken by Ringo at the end. Another stand-out is “Write One For Me,” a catchy, country-sounding, duet with Willie Nelson. “English Garden” is a Beatley song that melds into Paul’s “Someone’s Knockin’ on the door” with a surprise melody played by Ringo.

The only detractor is that no other Beatles are on it, which is hard to do now that two of them are gone. Ringo’s albums in the past have usually included contributions by the other Beatles. His last album, “Vertical Man,” included a couple guitar solos by George and backing vocals by Paul. In the early 70s, “Ringo,” was the closest Beatles reunion that occurred when John Lennon was alive. John contributed, “I’m the Greatest,” and sang backing vocals. Paul included “Six O’ Clock,” and sang backing vocals. George collaborated with Ringo on several tracks and played on most of them.

With that said, Ringo Rama is a great album that captures the sound and fun of The Beatles. Ringo Starr will be touring this summer, including a stop in Los Angeles at the Universal Amphitheater.

By Clint Romag

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