Give More Love – Ringo Starr
The 77-year old former Beatle follows his 2015 album Postcards from Paradise with his nineteenth studio album, which was recorded in his home studio in Los Angeles. The album was originally planned to be a country album recorded in Nashville with Dave Stewart. They recorded one song – “So Wrong for So Long” – before the album took a different shape. In addition to ten new songs, there are four bonus tracks, which are new versions of old songs. Starr self-produced the album, assisted by engineer Bruce Sugar. The album features a number of guests, including former band-mate Paul McCartney, brother-in law, guitarist Joe Walsh, and fellow Eagles singer-bassist Timothy B. Schmit, Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, saxophonist Edgar Winter, guitarist-producer Jeff Lynne, guitarist Dave Stewart, bassists Nathan East and Don Was, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz.
Below are a few comments on each song:
We’re on the Road Again – The album starts off on a high note with this energetic rocker written by Toto’s Steve Lukather and Starr. It features backing vocals from Richard Marx, Edgar Winter, Georgia Middleman, Gary Burr, Gary Nicholson, Joe Walsh, Paul McCartney (who also plays bass and add screams), Lukather and Starr. It’s a song about the joys of being on the road and playing live. A highlight.
Laughable – Starr shows he can address social and political issues in this song with Peter Frampton. It addresses the turbulent events of the world as he sings “It would be laughable if it wasn’t sad.”
Show Me the Way – This is a tribute to Barbara Bach, Starr’s wife of 36 years. It is written with Lukather and features bass from McCartney. Backing vocals are provided by Amy Keys, Richard Page and Timothy B. Schmidt. He sings “After all this time we’ve had to share/The better life I’ve had ’cause your still there/I need to show you just how much I care/There were times It wasn’t always easy, but we got through”.
Speed of Sound – This song is written by Richard Marx and Starr and features some nice Talkbox guitar work from Peter Frampton. Backing vocals are provided by Amy Keys, Windy Wagner and Marx.
Standing Still – This song is written by Gary Burr and Starr. Greg Leisz’s dobro gives it a country feel. Backing vocals are provided by Georgia Middleman and Burr. Like “Laughable”, this song makes reference to the difficult conditions in today’s world and the importance of being optimistic. Starr has said that the upbeat song is about even when you’re at the bottom of the hill, you’ve got to get up and take that first step.
King of the Kingdom – This reggae-flavored song was written with Van Dyke Parks. It features saxophone from Edgar Winter and backing vocals from Amy Keys and Windy Wagner. The song mentions Haile Selassie and Bob Marley.
Electricity – This song was written by Glen Ballard and Starr. It takes us back to Liverpool and Starr’s time with Rory and the Hurricanes. Backing vocals are provided by Amy Keys, Windy Wagner and Ballard. Joe Walsh plays guitar and Don Was bass.
So Wrong for So Long – This catchy, laid-back country song was written by Dave Stewart and Starr for what was planned to be a country album. Backing vocals are provided by Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr. Starr has previously recorded a country album, 1970’s Beaucoups of Blues his second solo album.
Shake It Up – This rockabilly toe-tapper is written by Gary Nicholson and Starr. Backing vocals are provided by Amy Keys and Windy Wagner. Edgar Winter adds some excellent piano and Steve Dudas guitar. The song has an early-Beatles, “Honey Don’t” sound. One of my favorites.
Give More Love – This song is written by Gary Nicholson and Ringo. Backing vocals are provided by Amy Keys, Richard Page and Timothy B. Schmidt. Ringo sings that we need to give more love, it’s what we know we need more of.
The remaining four songs are bonus cuts for the CD and digital versions of the album:
Back Off Boogaloo – This is a re-recording of Starr’s hit that he wrote and George originally produced. Jeff Lynn and Joe Walsh add new guitars over Starr’s original demo recently found in a box of tapes.
Don’t Pass Me By – This song, included on the Beatles 1968 “White Album”, was the first Starr written song recorded by the Beatles. Starr gives the song a country-folk remake with American band Vandaveer.
You Can’t Fight Lightning – This song was included on Starr’s 1981 Stop and Smell the Roses album is and is remade with the Swedish band Alberta Cross.
Photograph – This is a re-recording of Starr’s hit song that he wrote with George Harrison. Starr gives the song a country-folk update with American band Vandaveer.
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- The True Story of Pain and Hope Behind “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. Justin Taylor writes “On Christmas day, 1863, Longfellow—a 57-year-old widowed father of six children, the oldest of which had been nearly paralyzed as his country fought a war against itself—wrote a poem seeking to capture the dynamic and dissonance in his own heart and the world he observes around him.”
Part of the Plan. Listen to the new Eagles lineup, featuring Glen Frey’s son Deacon, and Vince Gill, covering Dan Fogelberg’s “Plan of the Plan”.
- Broke. Check out the new video for Lecrae’s song “Broke” from his album All Things Work Together.
- New Gettys Music. Keith and Kristyn Getty recently released Sing: Live at the Getty Worship Conference, recorded in September. The recording features several special guests.
- Go Tell It On the Mountain. Watch this video of Crowder performing “Go Tell It On the Mountain”, one of my favorite Christmas songs.
- Top Eight Historically Incorrect Christmas Songs. Ted Olsen writes “But there are other songs that are just plain wrong—and many of them are among the most popular of the season. Here, for your interrupting pleasure during your family singing, your Christmas Eve neighborhood caroling, or similar opportunities, are the best songs to cluck at.”
- 50 Best Albums of 2017. In Rolling Stonemagazine’s list of the top 50 albums of 2017, Triplicate by Bob Dylan comes in at 35 and Songs of Experience by U2 comes in at 3.
- Newsboys United. Former members Peter Furler and Phil Joel will join the current Newsboys lineup on a Newboys United Tour. Check out the promo video for this unexpected tour.
- It is what it is, but it’s not what it seems
This screwed up stuff is the stuff of dreams
I got just enough low self-esteem
To get me where I wanna go oh – U2, from the song “The Showman”
- Don’t let the lies you believed yesterday rob you of the truth you learn today. Tedashii
Shake it Up by Ringo Starr
This week’s song of the week is “Shake it Up” by Ringo Starr from his new album Give More Love. This is just the type of song that Ringo excels at, and reminds me a bit of his Beatles song “Honey Don’t”. Listen to it here.