Tuesday, 17 November 2009
New Ringo album: Y Not?
The new studio album from Ringo Starr, entitled "Y Not" is due to be released on January 12th, and can currently be pre-ordered from Amazon. Ringo has left behind him his former studio band "The Roundheads", and his former producer, Mark Hudson. The new album is being produced by Ringo himself for the first time ever! How on earth did Starr finally locate the absolutely perfect producer to work with him? "Well, I looked in the mirror," Ringo says with a smile. "And I was looking real groovy that day."
Starr's decision to take a stronger role in the recording of his latest and greatest solo album was a significant and fortuitous one. "I didn't do it at the start," Starr says. "I was the least involved in the production of the Beatle records. And then with my solo records, I worked with some other great producers like Richard Perry, Arif Mardin, and Don Was. So it just seemed like that's the way that it goes. Then suddenly, it's another point in your life, and you say, 'I'm going do this now.' So I'll be producing anything I make from now on. That's the good news. It's a confidence thing, I suppose. And Y Not is really another way of me saying, 'Yes, I can.'"
Some of the guest musicians on the Y Not album are Joe Walsh and Paul McCartney. Even though Ringo re-signed with Capitol Records, who released the recent "best of" collection Photograph: The Very Best Of Ringo, the new studio album is on the Hip-O Records label.
Paul McCartney joined Starr for several tracks on the upcoming album, including the first single Walk With Me, where the pair trade singing duties. McCartney also played bass on the track Peace Dream, reports Billboard. Other musicians on the album includes Joe Walsh, Dave Stewart and longtime Roundheads member Steve Dudas on guitar, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on keyboards, Don Was and Mike Bradford on bass. The album also features Starr's engineer and co-producer Bruce Sugar on keyboards, as well as some special guests like Joss Stone, Ben Harper and Richard Marx on vocals, Ann Marie Calhoun on violin and Tina Sugandh aka Tina The Tabla Girl - on tabla and chanting. Starr's songwriting collaborators on Y Not also include familiar and new names like Joe Walsh, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Glen Ballard, Richard Marx, Van Dyke Parks, Gary Nicholson plus Gary Wright and his former Roundhead band member, Gary Burr.
“Paul was doing the Grammys, so he came over to the house and was playing bass on ‘Peace Dream.’ So I played him this other track and Paul said, ‘Give me the headphones. Give me a pair of cans.’ And he went to the mike and he just invented that part where he follows on my vocal. That was all Paul McCartney, and there could be nothing better,” Starr told Rolling Stone. Other noteworthy songs on the album are "Fill In The Blanks," the album's rocking opening track written, played and sung only by Starr and Walsh. Then there's "The Other Side Of Liverpool," a revealing autobiographical song that explores Starr's earliest and darkest days. "People believe I was born, was a Beatle and lived in a big house," Starr explains. "And where I come from was a very dark, damp, violent neighborhood. I wanted to write another little snapshot of my life, and I'm going to do this every album. It's better for me than doing it in a book. In two lines I can say what would take five pages. Like the song says, 'The other side of Liverpool is cold and damp/Only way out of there/drums, guitar and amp.'"
Starr was already particularly thrilled with one early review for the first album he produced that came from someone he helped produce too. "I just played it for my son Zak," Starr explains. "And Zak was so great. He said, 'Dad, it's great. This rocks! You should have been doing this forever.' It's nice coming from your boy, especially since he's a really good drummer."