Ringo the 4th

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Ringo the 4th
Ringostarralbum - Ringothe4th.jpg
Studio album by
Released20 September 1977
RecordedFebruary and June 1977
StudioCherokee Studios, Los Angeles;
Atlantic Studios, New York
LabelPolydor (UK)
Atlantic (US)
ProducerArif Mardin
Ringo Starr chronology
Ringo's Rotogravure
Ringo the 4th
Bad Boy
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 studio album by English musician 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 began 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 recorded "Out on the Streets", "It's No Secret" and "Gypsies in Flight".[1] In June, recording sessions were held at Atlantic Studios in New York.[1] 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.[1] 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".[1] 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.[1][2] On 5 September Starr promoted the single by having an interview with Los Angeles DJ Dave Herman.[1][2] On 16 September, "Drowning in the Sea of Love", backed with "Just a Dream" was released in the UK.[nb 1][1][2] 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][1][2] 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 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 fiancée, 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.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[10]
Robert ChristgauD[11]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music2/5 stars[12]
The Essential Rock Discography4/10[13]
Rolling Stone(not rated)[15]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[16]

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]

Side one
1."Drowning in the Sea of Love"5:09
2."Tango All Night"
  • Steve Hague
  • Tom Seufert
4."Gave It All Up"
  • Starkey
  • Poncia
5."Out on the Streets"
  • Starkey
  • Poncia
Side two
6."Can She Do It Like She Dances"
  • Steve Duboff
  • Gerry Robinson
7."Sneaking Sally Through the Alley"Allen Toussaint4:17
8."It's No Secret"
  • Starkey
  • Poncia
9."Gypsies in Flight"
  • Starkey
  • Poncia
10."Simple Love Song"
  • Starkey
  • Poncia




  1. ^ UK Polydor 2001 734[3]
  2. ^ UK Polydor Super 2310 556[4]
  3. ^ US Atlantic SD 19108[5]
  4. ^ US Atlantic 3412[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l 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.
  2. ^ a b c d Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  3. ^ a b c d Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  4. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  5. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  6. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. pp. 184, 185. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  7. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  8. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. pp. 144–145. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  9. ^ "The Beatles - Eight Days A Week: The Band You Know, The Story You Don't". Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  10. ^ Ringo the 4th at AllMusic
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Ringo Starr". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  12. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th edn). London: Omnibus Press. p. 1984. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  13. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 1028. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ [1] Archived 2 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ 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.

External links[edit]