What’s My Name
Every other Ringo Starr album is “the best thing he’s done in 30 years” – no one checks to see what album came out 30 years ago when they say that, they just assume it’s the requisite amount of distance. The alternate ones are dogshit and best forgotten, say people that never ever listened to them.
Well, rich Ringo actually. Very rich Richard Starkey.
I should hope to be breaking no new ground when I say this, but before Ringo Starr started making solo albums (around 1970) he was in a band. And they were quite good. Had some hits and a golden run and that band’s continued success has allowed the world’s oldest uncool-cool person to do whatever he fucking well likes, as is utterly and absolutely fair enough.
If Ringo Starr wants to make a record of himself shitting in your mouth then I’m listening!
If it’s of him shitting in my mouth I probably won’t listen (though I’d likely still buy it).
So…that’s where I’m at with Mr. Starr.
And so of course it was an absolute stretch to get through the first song on his latest ordeal. Where he and brother-in-law Joe Walsh tell us off for using Twitter and offer all manner of bubblegum-wrapper, er, rapping. As someone who loved the last Joe Walsh album and would buy the next – whatever it is, and whenever it arrives – I enjoyed the test of loyalty that is the 4.20 running time of Gotta Get Up To Get Down. Ringo and Joe co-wrote it too. Brothers-in-law/brothers-in-war.
Things improve though. Quite quickly. And there’s the masterstroke of having Sir Paul of McCartney joining on bvs and magic-bass to assist on one of the last/lost John Lennon songs, Grow Old With Me. Not “lost” in an Anthology-way, more lost in a “This’ll do for the marketing” approach. It’s kinda lovely though. Certainly sweet.
I don’t need a cover of Money, but I’m getting one anyway. And so are you if you agree to take on this album. So, open wide…
But outside of being linked to Motown and The Beatles’ covers from back in the day it’s also a song that was played in Ringo’s first-first-first band. So, you know…
Things get dicey again – and quickly – but Steve Lukather and Colin Hay are on board to assist with the writing. Or maybe that’s why things get dicey again – and quickly…
The title song is the type of embarrassment Ringo has served up on every album once or twice. It makes Gotta Get Up To Get Down seem like a hip thing.
A lot of this album is more of a hip-replacement thing.
And that’s just fine – because whatever keeps the All-Starr Band touring for another 28 years is fine by me. I don’t have to go. You don’t have to either. But Ringo Starr long ago earned the right to be Ringo Starr forever. And his daft peace-signs and his all-day-bender sunglasses and his survival from booze and being fourth-fiddler and narrating trains and whatever else is all at the very least allowed. And sometimes it’s admirable. And sometimes it’s quite remarkable. And that’s the same running order of quality-control with almost any of his albums. And this one happens to be the very best solo album released by a Beatle in 2019. So. There.
You can support Off The Tracks via PressPatron