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4.7 4
by Ringo Starr

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Like Old Man River, Ringo Starr just keeps rolling along, spreading sunny vibes and keeping the wry spirit of Merseymania alive and well on this side of the millennial wall. He makes no bones about his past, kicking things into gear on "Eye to Eye" by querying, "Remember when I said, 'It don't come easy'?" and lifting a snippet of "Yesterday" for "Write One for Me."


Like Old Man River, Ringo Starr just keeps rolling along, spreading sunny vibes and keeping the wry spirit of Merseymania alive and well on this side of the millennial wall. He makes no bones about his past, kicking things into gear on "Eye to Eye" by querying, "Remember when I said, 'It don't come easy'?" and lifting a snippet of "Yesterday" for "Write One for Me." Although it's not technically an All-Starr Band project, Ringorama does have its share of guest stars. The aforementioned "Write One for Me" features vocals from Willie Nelson; Pink Floyd's David Gilmour tosses off some surprisingly kinetic guitar work on "I Think, Therefore I Rock 'n' Roll"; and Shawn Colvin provides sweet counterpoint on "Trippin' on My Own Tears." The most moving cameo, however, comes courtesy of Eric Clapton, who lends a poignant solo to "Never Without You," a tribute to the late George Harrison. The album is not without its missteps -- the Van Dyke Parks collaboration "Elizabeth Reigns" is a bit too rarefied for Starr's persona -- but when he keeps it loose and lively, as on the just-corny-enough "Missouri Loves Company," Ringo is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's hard to judge Ringo Rama, Ringo Starr's twelfth proper studio album, by most standard critical criteria. Even comparing the record to his previous solo work doesn't quite work, since so many of his albums are so driven by his persona - a combination of his actual personality and what his team of collaborators (always including a bevy of guest stars, of course) perceive his persona to be. Apart from 1973's towering Ringo and its good followup Goodnight Vienna, Starr was never consistent, partially because of his decadence in the '70s, but also because he never relaxed - he was always shooting for the charts, shifting his collaborators seemingly haphazardly. It wasn't until the '90s, after he settled into his regular All-Starr summer tours and after he had made a well-received comeback with 1992's Time Makes Time, that he relaxed with a regular band and set of collaborators, led by producer Mark Hudson, who all return for 2003's Ringo Rama. Prior to the record's release, Hudson stated that he wanted the record to have a harder edge than its predecessor Vertical Man, which it often does, at least in that it has very bright, rock-oriented productions, given a hard surface sheen via Pro Tools. Not exactly the intended edge, but it does mean that it's brassier than recent Ringo efforts, which isn't necessarily a plus. What is a plus is that it's likeable, particularly because everybody concerned - from Ringo's regular band the Roundheads, to such guests as Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Timothy B. Schmit and Willie Nelson - seems to be having a good time. In another set of hands, such songs as "I Think Therefore I Rock N Roll" would be too silly, but here, it's easy to accept, as are his frequent dips into self-references, since it's just Ringo being Ringo. Which brings us back to the point that his albums are sold as much on who Ringo Starr is and what his mood is. Though there is more care, consideration on Ringo Rama than on Ringo the 4th, the lynchpin in the whole affair is his persona, and whether he has a comfortable, suitable platform that or not - and, even if he does, it's likely not to play outside of those that really, really love Ringo. Fortunately, he's relaxed enough now not to care about the wider audience, so he's now making records that are fun and relaxed, even if the production doesn't quite work or if the songs are a little silly. So, Ringo Rama winds up as a good, enjoyable Ringo Starr album - not as warm or rich as Time Takes Time, a little more uneven than Vertical Man, but still good, which means this is first string of three good records in a row since the early '70s. And that does count for something.
Rolling Stone - Parke Puterbaugh
Hard-core Beatles fans will no doubt be verklempt over this goody bag.

Product Details

Release Date:
Koch Records


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ringo Starr   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Drums,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar
Willie Nelson   Vocals
Shawn Colvin   Vocals
Roy Orbison   Trumpet
Van Dyke Parks   Accordion
Mickey Raphael   Harmonica,Bass Harmonica
Gary Burr   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Jack Blades   Background Vocals
Eric Clapton   Guitar,Soloist
Jim Cox   Piano,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Cliff Downs   Acoustic Guitar
Steve Dudas   Bass,Electric Guitar,Soloist
Grant Geissman   Dobro
David Gilmour   Guitar,Soloist
Gary Grant   Trumpet,Piccolo Trumpet
Charlie Haden   Upright Bass
Dan Higgins   Clarinet,Flute,Saxophone
Mark Hudson   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Mellotron,Wurlitzer
Jay Dee Maness   Pedal Steel Guitar
Gary Nicholson   12-string Guitar
Herb Pedersen   Banjo
Victoria Shaw   Background Vocals
Barbara Starkey   Background Music
Ada Ray   Background Vocals
Timothy L. Schmidt   Background Vocals
Paul Santo   Bass,Electric Guitar
Sarah Hudson   Background Vocals
Christina Rumbley   Background Vocals
Dean Grakal   Acoustic Guitar
Mercy Growl   Trumpet
Nicole Renee Harris   Background Vocals
Mark O'Shea   Background Vocals
John O'Shea   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Ringo Starr   Producer
Jim Cox   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Steve Dudas   Engineer
Mark Hudson   Producer,Cover Illustration
Bruce Sugar   Engineer
Paul Santo   Engineer
Tim LeBlanc   Engineer
Tyrone Drake   Art Direction

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Ringorama 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent cd! Great tunes and Ringo seems to pick up the pace on his drumming a bit. Although an excellent back beat drummer I can't help but notice he deviates a bit to add a little pizazz to his drumming technique which I think fits beautifully with the songs he's done. My favorites are (love them all!) Within you without you, Eye to Eye, Instant Amnesia,Elizabeth Reigns...I should write them all down. Excellent cd! A must for all Ringo fans and any who have any doutbs about his abilities should give this one a whirl!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This studio endeavor continues the fine tradition of the Ringo album (73), Time Takes Time (92) and Vertical Man (99), but goes considerably further. In one breath, it is Beatlesque. In another, it features Ringo breaking new musical high ground (Instant Amnesia and Eye to Eye), as well resting comfortably in his zone of charming malapropisms (Missouri Loves Company -- a great travelogue if the Missouri Dept. of Tourism is interested). There is a little sappiness and silliness on RingoRama, and of course the age-old rap on Ringo's limited vocal range. But those actually work for Ringo because of his affability and natural wit. Something else that works: Ringo's drumming may be the best, most vibrant and certainly robust skin-pounding play on ANY rock album released in 2003 (excluding head-banging garage garbage). Yet, Ringo proves he is more than just the backbeat's timekeeper; the album features an added bonus: There are actually 14 tracks on this CD (not 13). The last track (I Really Love Her) is not credited anywhere, but features Ringo playing ALL the instruments -- including slide guitar and bass. Remember Ringo's Early 1970 tune, where he sang as homage to his three former bandmates: "I don't play bass, that's too hard for me; I play the piano if it's in C; and I play guitar -- a, c, e." Well, apparently the bass is no longer too hard for rock's classic drummer prototype. With RingoRama, Ringo proves that Vertical Man and 1973's critcically acclaimed album by his own name were not flukes. And he can now add this latest magical mystery tour to a body of work that has much to prop itself upon. It erases the memory of clunkers such as Ringo the 4th and Bad Boy, and underscores the venerable staying power of nearly forgotten gems such as Rotogravure, Goodnight Vienna, Old Wave, Stop & Smell the Roses, and Time Takes Time. RingoRama is a worthy addition to any collector's CD shelf. And that's not limited to Beatle fans. Buy it for the Beatlesque nature; or for its new ground-breaking Ringo sound; or for new drum lines; or for its all-starr cast (Charlie Hayden, Eric Clapton, Shawn Colvin, Willie Nelson, Timothy B. Schmidt, David Gilmour); or for its companion DVD; or for its tribute to George and other references to a past that is gone but certainly never forgotten. Ringo has told us over and over again that it don't come easy, but after listening to the effort put forward here, Ringo may no longer have to pay his dues to play the blues. He can back of the boogaloo because drumming is his madness. The NY Times, in effusive and deserved praised, summed RingoRama with the expressed wish that Ringo next tour with this band of studio musicians (the Roundheads) instead of the rotating All-Starrs. That won't happen this summer, but maybe soon. In the meantime, RingoRama punctuates why Ringo Starr can, after a 33-year solo career, still claim, "I'm the Greatest!"
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great album.A must have for anybody who truly loves great music!It has something for everybody.You're really missing out if you don't buy this cd.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How good is “Ringorama”? Simply put, Ringo Starr’s latest album is his best studio album in 30 years, matching the skill and musical depth he displayed across 1973’s “Ringo.” His sonic ode to George Harrison, “Never Without You,” recaptures the joyful sonic melancholy of “Photograph,” and chronicles the depth of the friendship between the two former Beatles. Starr not only provides great drumming on the track, but also handles keyboards. And Eric Clapton’s contribution on the memorable track recalls the guitar virtuoso’s classic work on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and his own “Slowhand.” Across the 14-song disc (yes, there is a hidden track, so keep listening after “English Garden” comes to a close), Starr explores the musical genres that are closest to his heart. “I Think Therefore I Rock N Roll” conjures up the spirit of R&B-influenced rock, while “Write One For Me” has Starr and country music icon Willie Nelson blending voices in an especially-infectious song that is equal parts pop and country. Starr’s skills as drummer and bandleader have made for delightful concerts throughout his freewheeling All-Starr Band tours. “Ringo Rama” delivers similarly fun moments. Like Paul McCartney, Starr celebrates his seminal role as a member of rock’s most talented and significant band by continuing to explore his place in the world and his relationship with those around him whom he loves.