Thursday, January 15, 2009

Album of the Day #130: STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES - Ringo Starr

Title: Stop And Smell The Roses
Artist: Ringo Starr
Label: Boardwalk/RCA
Year: 1981
Songs: Private Property [Paul McCartney]*/Wrack My Brain [George Harrison]**/Drumming Is My Madness [Harry Nilsson]***/Attention [Paul McCartney]*/Stop And Take The Time To Smell The Roses [Harry Nilsson A.S.C.A.P. & Richard Starkey M.B.E.]***/Dead Giveaway [Richard Starkey & Ron Wood]^/You Belong To Me [Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart & Chilton Price]**/Sure To Fall [Carl Perkins, Quinton Claunch & William Cantrell]*/You've Got A Nice Way [Stephen Still & Michael Stergis]^^/Back Off Boogaloo [Richard Starkey]***
Produced by: *Paul McCartney, **George Harrison, ***Harry Nilsson, ^Richard Starkey, ^Ron Wood and ^^Stephen Stills
Thoughts: Considering his last album came out in 1978, he started out the new decade with an attempt to make RINGO 2. While most of the time, when Ringo tries to do this, it fails miserably (Ringo's Rotogravure, for instance), but here it kind of succeeds. The one trouble is that every song is produced by a different person, resulting in a collection of songs, rather than a cohesive album.
I mean, the Paul songs sound like Paul songs and the George songs sound like George songs. Even the Stephen Stills song (the awesome "You've Got A Nice Way") is unmistakably Stephen Stills.
Still, all the songs that were given to Ringo are actually pretty good. I like the opening "Private Property" and "Wrack My Brain" is a cool song (which incidentally was Ringo's last hit single and snuck into the top-40). My personal favorite is the Ron Wood collaboration, "Dead Giveaway". At 4:32, it is the LP's longest song and really feels like the only serious number. I love the guitar solo that comes in after the line "Somebody's knockin' on the door!". Harry Nilsson's tracks try a little too hard to be jokes and his closing ode to the Beatles, "Back Off Boogaloo", is really annoying.
Overall, this is a nice album that really should be regularly available, but isn't. I got a Japanese edition on EBay fairly for like $15, considering that I have actually seen auctions for the US version (which includes a couple of bonus tracks) go up to $200. (Which is still unbelievable, considering that the album itself is barely thirty minutes long.)
Also, John sent Ringo a few demo tapes of songs that would later land on his Milk And Honey. Ringo met John in New York and the two set up a session for January, 1981. Thankfully, Ringo was smart enough not to record the songs as his own dedication to John. The album is dedicated "To my Three Brothers". Nobody ever said Ringo lacked class.

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