Ringo the 4th

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Ringo the 4th
Studio album by Ringo Starr
Released 20 September 1977 (UK)
30 September 1977 (US)
Recorded February and June 1977,
Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles;
Atlantic Studios, New York
Genre Disco, rock and roll, pop, rock
Length 38:05
Label Polydor (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Producer Arif Mardin
Ringo Starr chronology
Ringo's Rotogravure
(1976)
Ringo the 4th
(1977)
Scouse the Mouse
(1977)
Singles from Ringo the 4th
  1. "Wings"
    Released: 25 August 1977 (US only)
  2. "Drowning in the Sea of Love"
    Released: 16 September 1977 (UK); 18 October 1977 (US)
  3. "Sneaking Sally Through the Alley"
    Released: 1977 (Australia only)
  4. "Tango All Night"
    Released: 1978 (Spain only)

Ringo the 4th is the sixth album by Ringo Starr, released in 1977. Its title refers to the fact that it is his fourth rock album. Ringo the 4th has a more dance-oriented context.

Background and recording[edit]

After the commercial disappointment of Ringo's Rotogravure (1976), Starr decided to shift his formula of using his well-known musician friends (notably his fellow ex-Beatles) to write songs and appear on his albums. Instead, he intensified his partnership with Vini Poncia, with whom he wrote several of the songs featured here, while using the input of different musicians. Sessions started on 5 February 1977, at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, produced by Arif Mardin.[1] The first songs recorded were two unreleased tracks, "Lover Please" and "Wild Shining Stars".[1] Near the end of the month, Starr records "Out on the Streets", "It's No Secret" and "Gypsies in Flight".[1] In June, recording sessions are held Atlantic Studios in New York.[1] Here, the tracks that ended up on the album were recorded, in addition, B-side "Just a Dream", and an unreleased track, "By Your Side", was also recorded.[1] Moving back to Cherokee Studios for some more sessions towards the end of the month, a few more unreleased tracks are recorded: "Birmingham", "This Party", and a different version of "Just a Dream".[1] David Foster played keyboards on a couple of songs, while Melissa Manchester and Bette Midler occasionally appeared on backing vocals.

Release[edit]

"Wings", backed with "Just a Dream", was released as a single only in the US on 25 August 1977.[2][1] On 5 September Starr promoted the single by having an interview with Los Angeles DJ Dave Herman.[2][1] On 16 September, "Drowning in the Sea of Love", backed with "Just a Dream" was released in the UK.[nb 1][2][1] Ringo the 4th was released on 20 September in the UK,[nb 2] and 10 days later in the US.[nb 3][6] The album was a failure upon its release, both commercially and critically. Never touching the UK charts, the album managed to make it to number 162 in the US.[1] The "Drowning in the Sea of Love" single, originally planned as the first US single,[3] was released in the US on 18 October.[nb 4][2][1] Shortly thereafter, Atlantic dropped Starr from their roster. In the UK, Polydor fulfilled its three-album contractual requirement by following up with a children's album, Scouse the Mouse (1977)[1] which featured Starr, in the lead role, performing the around half of the material.[7]

Neither of the two singles pulled from Ringo the 4th, "Wings" and "Drowning in the Sea of Love" charted in the US.[3] In foreign countries, other songs were released as singles: "Sneaking Sally Through the Alley", backed with "Tango All Night" (Australia) and "Tango All Night", backed with "It's No Secret" (Spain). The cover photos were by Starr's fiancee, Nancy Lee Andrews. Ringo the 4th was reissued on CD, on the same day as Ringo's Rotogravure, in the US on 16 August 1992,[8] by Atlantic. The song "Wings" was re-recorded years later,[9] and released on Ringo's Ringo 2012 album and again as a lead single in 2012.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[10]
Robert Christgau D[11]
MusicHound 2/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[13]

Journalist Peter Palmiere states in his front cover story on Starr for DISCoveries magazine in January 2003 that "The music critics and the record buying public took the album as a joke for Ringo's voice was not suitable for the disco flavored music on Ringo the 4th". Palmiere went on to claim that Ringo the 4th destroyed Starr's career and that he never commercially recovered from it.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Richard Starkey and Vini Poncia, except where indicated.

Side one
  1. "Drowning in the Sea of Love" (Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff) – 5:09
  2. "Tango All Night" (Steve Hague, Tom Seufert) – 2:58
  3. "Wings" – 3:26
  4. "Gave It All Up" – 4:41
  5. "Out on the Streets" – 4:29
Side two
  1. "Can She Do It Like She Dances" (Steve Duboff, Gerry Robinson) – 3:12
  2. "Sneaking Sally Through the Alley" (Allen Toussaint) – 4:17
  3. "It's No Secret" – 3:42
  4. "Gypsies in Flight" – 3:02
  5. "Simple Love Song" – 2:57

On the UK cassette version of the album, distributed by Polydor, the track listing is altered slightly. Simple Love Song is the 4th track on Side One and Gave It All Up is the 5th track on Side Two

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ UK Polydor 2001 734[3]
  2. ^ UK Polydor Super 2310 556[4]
  3. ^ US Atlantic SD 19108[5]
  4. ^ US Atlantic 3412[3]
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Miles, Barry; Badman, Keith, ed. (2001). The Beatles Diary After the Break-Up: 1970–2001 (reprint ed.). London: Music Sales Group. ISBN 9780711983076. 
  2. ^ a b c d Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 123. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  3. ^ a b c d Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 190. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  4. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 184. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  5. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 185. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  6. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. pp. 184, 185. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  7. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 124. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  8. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. pp. 144–145. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  9. ^ http://thebeatles.com/#/news/Wings_-_The_New_Single_From/
  10. ^ Ringo the 4th at AllMusic
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Ringo Starr". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Gary Graff & Daniel Durcholz (eds), MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press (Farmington Hills, MI, 1999; ISBN 1-57859-061-2), p. 1083.
  13. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]