Ringo the 4th
|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|
|Ringo Starr chronology|
|Singles from Ringo the 4th|
Background and recording
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 began on 5 February 1977, at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, produced by Arif Mardin. The first songs recorded were two unreleased tracks, "Lover Please" and "Wild Shining Stars". Near the end of the month, Starr recorded "Out on the Streets", "It's No Secret" and "Gypsies in Flight". In June, recording sessions were held at Atlantic Studios in New York. where the tracks that ended up on the album were recorded. In addition, the B-side "Just a Dream", as well as an unreleased track, "By Your Side", were recorded. Starr moved back to Cherokee Studios, where he held more sessions towards the end of the month, where a few more unreleased tracks were recorded: "Birmingham", "This Party", and a different version of "Just a Dream". David Foster played keyboards on a couple of songs, while Melissa Manchester and Bette Midler occasionally appeared on backing vocals.
"Wings", backed with "Just a Dream", was released as a single in the US on 25 August 1977. On 5 September Starr promoted the single by having an interview with Los Angeles DJ Dave Herman. On 16 September, "Drowning in the Sea of Love", backed with "Just a Dream" was released in the UK.[nb 1] Ringo the 4th was released on 20 September in the UK,[nb 2] and 10 days later in the US.[nb 3] 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. The "Drowning in the Sea of Love" single, originally planned as the first US single, was released in the US on 18 October.[nb 4] 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) which featured Starr, in the lead role, performing around half of the material.
Neither of the two singles pulled from Ringo the 4th, "Wings" and "Drowning in the Sea of Love" charted in the US. 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, by Atlantic. The song "Wings" was re-recorded years later, and released on Ringo's Ringo 2012 album and again as a lead single in 2012.
|Rolling Stone||(not rated)|
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.
- Side one
- "Drowning in the Sea of Love" (Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff) – 5:09
- "Tango All Night" (Steve Hague, Tom Seufert) – 2:58
- "Wings" – 3:26
- "Gave It All Up" – 4:41
- "Out on the Streets" – 4:29
- Side two
- "Can She Do It Like She Dances" (Steve Duboff, Gerry Robinson) – 3:12
- "Sneaking Sally Through the Alley" (Allen Toussaint) – 4:17
- "It's No Secret" – 3:42
- "Gypsies in Flight" – 3:02
- "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.
- Ringo Starr – drums, vocals
- David Spinozza, John Tropea, Jeff Mironov, Cornell Dupree, Lon Van Eaton, Dick Fegy, Danny Kortchmar, David Bromberg – guitar
- Tony Levin, Chuck Rainey, Hugh McDonald – bass
- Don Grolnick, David Foster, Richard Tee, Jeff Gutcheon – keyboards
- Ken Bichel – synthesizer
- Steve Gadd – drums
- Michael Brecker – saxophone
- Randy Brecker – trumpet
- Don Brooks – harmonica
- Arnold McCuller, Brie Howard, David Lasley, Debra Gray, Duitch Helmer, Jimmy Gilstrap, Joe Bean, Luther Vandross, Lynn Pitney, Marietta Waters, Maxine Anderson, Melissa Manchester, Rebecca Louis, Robin Clark, Vini Poncia, Bette Midler – backing vocals
- Miles, Barry; Badman, Keith, ed. (2001). The Beatles Diary After the Break-Up: 1970–2001 (reprint ed.). London: Music Sales Group. ISBN 9780711983076.
- Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 123. ISBN 9780753508435.
- Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 190. ISBN 9780753508435.
- Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 184. ISBN 9780753508435.
- Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 185. ISBN 9780753508435.
- Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. pp. 184, 185. ISBN 9780753508435.
- Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 124. ISBN 9780753508435.
- Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. pp. 144–145. ISBN 9780753508435.
- Ringo the 4th at AllMusic
- Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Ringo Starr". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- Gary Graff & Daniel Durchholz (eds), MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press (Farmington Hills, MI, 1999; ISBN 1-57859-061-2), p. 1083.
- [dead link]