Goodnight Vienna

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For 1932 film, see Goodnight, Vienna.
Goodnight Vienna
Studio album by Ringo Starr
Released 15 November 1974 (UK)
18 November 1974 (US)
Recorded August 1974 at Sunset Sound, Producer's Workshop Studios, Los Angeles
Genre Rock and roll, pop
Length 33:40
Label Apple
Producer Richard Perry
Ringo Starr chronology
Goodnight Vienna
Blast from Your Past
Singles from Goodnight Vienna
  1. "Only You (And You Alone)"
    Released: 11 November 1974 (US); 15 November 1974 (UK)
  2. "No No Song"
    Released: 27 January 1975 (US only)
  3. "Snookeroo"
    Released: 21 February 1975 (UK only)
  4. "(It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna"
    Released: 2 June 1975 (US only)

Goodnight Vienna is the fourth studio album by Ringo Starr. It was recorded in the summer of 1974 in Los Angeles, and released later that year. Goodnight Vienna followed the commercially successful predecessor Ringo, and Starr used many of the same players, including Billy Preston, Klaus Voormann, Robbie Robertson, Harry Nilsson, and producer Richard Perry. The title is a Liverpool slang phrase meaning "it's all over".

Background and recording[edit]

While all three other former Beatles had contributed to Ringo (1973),[1] only John Lennon contributed to Goodnight Vienna as Paul McCartney was busy with his band Wings promoting the album Band on the Run and George Harrison was recording Dark Horse.[2]

On 17 June 1974, Starr called Lennon, who was about to record his Walls and Bridges album, and asked him to write a song he could include on his next album.[3] Lennon wrote what became the title track, "Goodnight Vienna".[nb 1][4] A demo of "(It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna" was recorded by Lennon on 28 June,[5] with the session musicians from Walls & Bridges and sent to Starr in advance of the sessions. Besides writing and playing piano on the title track,[6] Lennon suggested Starr cover The Platters' hit "Only You (And You Alone)"[7] playing acoustic guitar and providing a guide vocal for Starr to follow.[3] Starr's versions of both "Only You (And You Alone)" and "(It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna" were recorded at a session produced by Lennon.[5][nb 2] Elton John also contributed a track, "Snookeroo", co-written with Bernie Taupin.[2] Harry Nilsson gave Starr the track "Easy for Me", which he later recorded his own version of for his Duit on Mon Dei album.[8]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[9]
Billboard (favourable)[10]
Robert Christgau B–[11]
The Essential Rock Discography 5/10[12]
MusicHound 2/5[13]
Rolling Stone (favourable)[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[15]

"Only You (And You Alone)", backed with "Call Me", was issued as an advance single from the album in the US on 11 November 1974, before the album was released.[nb 3][5] In the US the song reaching number 8 on the US charts.[17] Goodnight Vienna was released on the same day as the "Only You (And You Alone)" single in the UK on 15 November.[nb 4][5] The album reached only number 30 in the UK, and would be Starr's last chart album in his homeland until 1998. The album was released in the US on 18 November,[nb 5][19] and peaked at number 8, ultimately going gold, and its reviews were generally favourable. It was also originally released in quadrophonic. A promo film for "Only You (And You Alone)" was aired on Top of the Pops on 19 December.[5] On 27 January 1975, "No No Song", backed with "Snookeroo", was released in the US, reaching number 3.[nb 6][21] Nearly a month later, on 21 February, "Snookeroo" was released as a single in the UK, backed with "Oo-Wee".[21]

On 2 June, a special edit of "(It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna" and "Goodnight Vienna (Reprise)" was released as a single, backed with "Oo-Wee", in the US.[21] The cover artwork for Goodnight Vienna was based on a still from the classic science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still, with Starr's head replacing that of actor Michael Rennie.[22] Rennie's character was the alien Klaatu.[22] A television commercial, which featured a voiceover from Lennon, depicted the cover's flying saucer (with Starr) over Los Angeles—landing on the roof of the Capitol Records building in Hollywood.[3] The commercial was produced by Vidtronics Company Inc.[3] Starr returned the favour and did the voiceover for the commercial for Lennon's Walls and Bridges album.[3] Immediately after filming the commercial, on 14 November 1974, the promo film for "Only You (And You Alone)" was filmed.[3] During the video Starr and Nilsson mimed to the song, on top of the Capitol Records building.[3] The video aired on BBC TV's Top of the Pops show, on 19 December.[3]

Goodnight Vienna was reissued in the US, this time by Capitol in February 1981.[nb 7][17] The album was remastered and reissued on CD on 30 November 1992 in the UK,[nb 8][23] and on 23 March 1993 in the US,[nb 9][23] with three bonus tracks:[23] 1972 hit single "Back Off Boogaloo", its B-Side "Blindman" and an extended version of the McCartney-penned "Six O'Clock", a shorter version of which had earlier appeared on the LP version of Ringo.[2]

Track listing and Featured Personnel[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Featured Personnel Length
1. "(It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna" John Lennon Lennon on opening count-in and piano and Billy Preston on clavinet 2:35
2. "Occapella" (Lee Dorsey cover) Allen Toussaint Dr. John on piano and backing vocals 2:55
3. "Oo-Wee" Dr. John on piano 3:45
4. "Husbands and Wives" (Roger Miller cover) Carl Fortina on accordion 3:34
5. "Snookeroo" Elton John on piano and Robbie Robertson on guitar 3:27
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Personnel Length
6. "All by Myself"
  • Poncia
  • Starr
Lennon on guitar 3:21
7. "Call Me" Starkey Klaus Voormann on bass guitar, Steve Cropper on electric guitar, and David Foster on piano 4:07
8. "No No Song"
Harry Nilsson on backing vocals and Nicky Hopkins on electric piano 2:33
9. "Only You" (The Platters cover)
Lennon on guitar, Cropper on guitar, Preston on electric piano, and Nilsson on backing vocals 3:26
10. "Easy for Me" Nilsson Lincoln Mayorga on piano 2:20
11. "Goodnight Vienna (Reprise)" Lennon Lennon's intro, 'OK, with gusto, boys, with gusto! 1:20




  1. ^ The title was, as Starr commented, "a Northern Expression [...] which means 'I'm getting out of here'."[4]
  2. ^ Lennon's versions of "Goodnight Vienna" and "Only You" appear on the 1998 box set John Lennon Anthology.
  3. ^ US Apple 1876[16]
  4. ^ Album: UK Apple PCS 7168;[18] Single: UK Apple R 6000[16]
  5. ^ US Apple SW-3417[19]
  6. ^ US Apple 1880[20]
  7. ^ US Capitol SN-16219[17]
  8. ^ UK Parlophone CDEMS 1467[18]
  9. ^ US Capitol CDP 7 80378 2[19]
  1. ^ Rodriguez, Robert (2010). Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles' Solo Years, 1970–1980 (illustrated ed.). New York: Backbeat Books. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-87930-968-8. 
  2. ^ a b c Rodriguez, Robert (2010). Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles' Solo Years, 1970–1980 (illustrated ed.). New York: Backbeat Books. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-87930-968-8. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Miles, Barry; Badman, Keith, eds. (2001). The Beatles Diary After the Break-Up: 1970–2001 (reprint ed.). London: Music Sales Group. ISBN 978-0-7119-8307-6. 
  4. ^ a b "A Space Odyssey". NME. NME Originals. 2 (3): 91. 2005. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5. 
  6. ^ Blaney, John (2005). John Lennon: Listen to This Book (illustrated ed.). [S.l.]: Paper Jukebox. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-9544528-1-0. 
  7. ^ Rodriguez, Robert (2010). Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles' Solo Years, 1970–1980 (illustrated ed.). New York: Backbeat Books. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-87930-968-8. 
  8. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Bob Kirsch (ed.), "Top Album Picks", Billboard, 23 November 1974, p. 80 (retrieved 22 November 2014).
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Ringo Starr". Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 1028. ISBN 978-184195-827-9. 
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Nolan, Tom (24 April 1975). "Ringo Starr: Goodnight Vienna". Rolling Stone. p. 62. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Brackett, Nathan, with Hoard, Christian (eds) (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Fireside. p. 777. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  16. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 262. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5. 
  17. ^ a b c Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5. 
  18. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5. 
  19. ^ a b c Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5. 
  20. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5. 
  21. ^ a b c Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5. 
  22. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5. 
  23. ^ a b c Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5. 
  24. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
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  26. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 July 2012
  27. ^ Billboard -11 January- 1975. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  28. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Ringo STARR" (in French). Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  29. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1974" (in Italian). Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  30. ^ a-ビートルズ "- Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) - Albums Chart Daijiten - The Beatles" Check |url= value (help) (in Japanese). Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  31. ^ " Ringo Starr - Goodnight Vienna" (ASP). VG-lista. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  32. ^ "Chart Stats Ringo Starr - Goodnight Vienna". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original (PHP) on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  33. ^ "allmusic ((( Goodnight Vienna > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  34. ^ "Album Search: Ringo Starr: Goodnight Vienna" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  35. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1975". RPM. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  36. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1975 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  37. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1975". Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  38. ^ "British album certifications – Ringo Starr – Goodnight Vienna". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2 July 2012.  Enter Goodnight Vienna in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  39. ^ "American album certifications – Ringo Starr – Goodnight Vienna". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2 July 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]