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Ringo's latest album might just grow on you.

  • Dec 1, 2008
Indeed, it is very rare these days for me to purchase an album of brand new material.  I was always a Top 40 kind of guy and as such generally limit my purchases to the best available anthology of solo artists and groups from the 1940's through the 1980's.  Thus, I really did surprise myself when I picked up a copy of Ringo Starr's latest release "Liverpool 8".  At first I was not all that impressed.  But after having played this disc four or five times I am really starting to enjoy it.

The album kicks off with the title track which is an autobiographical piece about Ringo's relationship with his hometown of Liverpool "Liverpool 8" is one of only two tunes on the album that utilizes strings and I thought that the arrangement was superb.  If you are a big fan of country music I suspect you might recognize the riffs in "Think About You" as being very similiar to the ones you would have heard in the Forrester Sisters 1991 smash "Men".  Now way back in the day I seemed to have a knack for predicting what might become a hit record.  My ears tell me that "Give It A Try" would have been a big pop hit back in Ringo's heyday in the 1970's.  Perhaps my very favorite tune on "Liverpool 8" is a pleasant little ditty called "Harry's Song".  I love the way Ringo chose to conclude this song by simply whistling for the final 45 seconds or so.  Very nice!  Furthermore, I can't seem to get this tune out of my head!   Without a doubt, the most intriguing piece on this album is a song called "Pasodobles".  Now "Pasodobles" is a Spanish term referring to the type of music played at bullfights when the bullfighters are introduced.  The term also refers to a traditional Spanish ballroom dance much like the tango I suspect.  Although I still have not quite figured out just what this haunting tune is all about I thought that the guitar work by Gary Burr on acoustic and most notably Steve Dudas on classical guitar was quite exceptional.  See if you agree.  Meanwhile, I also thoroughly enjoyed a pair of tunes towards the end of the album "If It's Love That You Want" and "Love Is".  Finally, if you are a fan the mandolin you will likely love the albums final tune "R U Ready".  As another reviewer aptly noted this raucus closing number might just remind you of a hoedown.

I must confess that I was quite surprised to discover that Ringo wrote all 12 of the tunes on "Liverpool 8".  I had no idea that at this stage of his career he was still such a capable songwriter.  As I indicated earlier "Liverpool 8" has really grown on me during the past week.  It is considerably better than I expected.  Ringo does a workmanlike job on the vocals and drums while the backup band led by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame is simply outstanding throughout.  So as the song says "Give It A Try".   Recommended.
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March 09, 2009
For whatever reason I didn't even know this album was out. Sounds well worth checking into.
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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For a Beatle, Ringo Starr has had a relatively quiet latter-day solo career. After salvaging his tattered reputation in 1992 with Time Takes Time -- his first album in nearly a decade and his first in nearly 20 years to serve his legend well -- Starr settled into touring regularly with his ever-changing All-Starr Band, documenting almost every tour with a live album, then turning out a new studio album every three or four years. After Time Takes Time, all these albums were recorded in collaboration with Mark Hudson, best known as one of '70s popsters the Hudson Brothers but also an L.A. session man who slowly became Ringo's right-hand man. Starr's albums with Hudson never grabbed much attention outside the Beatles hardcore -- unlike Time Takes Time, they were rarely studded with stars and once he decamped from the majors to the indie Koch in 2003, they never received much of a marketing push, either, so they played solely to the devoted, who were always satisfied by the happily Beatlesque music Starr made with Hudson. This collaboration continued into 2007 as the duo embarked on what would become the Liverpool 8 album, but they had a falling out in the final stages of recording, with former Eurythmic David A. Stewart brought in at the last minute to polish up the album and collaborate on its title song. Stewart helps give Liverpool 8 the gloss the album needs as it's not only Ringo's first major-label album in five years, it's his homecoming to Capitol Records, the label that...

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Artist: Ringo Starr
Label: Capitol
Release Date: January 15, 2008

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