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Ringo by Ringo Starr -Nov 1973. 

A great star studded album for Ringo and a big success, going to #2 on the charts. Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road kept it out of the top spot. The first great track "I'm The Greatest" is significant since it is the closest the Beatles came to reuniting while all four were still alive. John Lennon wrote it and sings harmony while George Harrison plays slide guitar. Next is a fun version of the ironic Randy Newman song "Have You Seen My Baby". The #1 smash "Photograph" which Ringo co wrote with George is next. A grand sweeping production with George on backing vocals. George also wrote "Sunshine Life For Me" a good song about country living with backing from The Band. "You're Sixteen" was remake of the old Johnny Burnette hit which became Ringo's second #1 single, it is a terrific catchy version which is better than the original. Side 2 opens with another hit single "Oh My My" cowrote by Ringo and Vini Poncia, Martha Reeves is among the back up singers on this entertaining track. "Step Lightly" is one of the weaker songs, written by Ringo alone, best part is the sound of Ringo tap dancing. Paul McCartney wrote "Six O'Clock" a nice ballad and he plays piano and synthesizer while providing backing vocals with wife Linda. "Devil Woman" is a thumping disco song written by Ringo and Poncia. "You And Me (Babe)" is an OK signing off song by George and Beatle roadie Mal Evans. Ringo thanks everyone on the record and says goodbye.

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Goodnight Vienna by Ringo Starr-Nov 1974

An entertaining record second of Ringo's albums to reach the top ten. The title cut, written by John Lennon, is the opener. John plays piano and counts in at the beginning, it is fun and raucous tune. "Occapella" is another fun song with some Mardi Gras flavor to it. "Oo-Wee" was written by Ringo and his now frequent writing partner Vini Poncia. It's basically an imitation of their last hit "Oh My My", it's not as good but OK. Ringo tries and fails on Roger Miller's "Husbands And Wives" a sad country ballad, Ringo struggles to get through it. Elton John and Bernie Taupin contribute "Snookeroo" a catchy, funny song with Elton on piano. Side two opens with a Ringo-Poncia song "All By Myself" but it's not very memorable. "Call Me" was written by Ringo alone and it is a tuneless, dull song, worst on the album. Hoyt Axton's funny "No No Song" is next, about turning down drugs and alcohol, it was a top ten hit for Ringo. He had another top ten song with his remake of the Platter's "Only You". with some acoustic guitar by Lennon. "Easy For Me" is another slow ballad misfire, written by Harry Nilsson.  It ends with raucous reprise of the title song.

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Dark Horse by George Harrison-Dec 1974

This album went to #4 on the charts but the critics savaged it. Listening to it again now, it is was quite good, though there were some weak songs on it. It begins with a forgettable instrumental "Hari's On Tour". "Simply Shady" is a pretty good one, George mentions Sexy Sadie in the lyrics. My favorite on the album is "So Sad", while the lyrics are so sad, George's singing and guitar playing (nice slide on this) are very good. Ringo drums along with Jim Keltner here. The worst track is the remake of The Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love", George rewrites the lyrics to talk about losing wife Patti to Eric Clapton, his voice sounds horrible on this. "Maya Love" has nice piano from Billy Preston but the song is easy to forget once it's over. Side 2 has the throwaway holiday song "Ding Dong Ding Dong". The title song is interesting, great acoustic guitar but George was battling laryngitis when he recorded this so he rasps and strains through it. "Far East Man" is a laid back, jazzy song with great help from Preston again on piano and Tom Scott on horns. "It Is He" closes the record, I liked the melody on the chorus which is a lot of chanting for Lord Krishna. 

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PETER FRAMPTON  Frampton Comes Alive! 

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It's been quite mild here in NJ, and it's getting to that time of year for LIVE albums - I do tend to listen to them outdoors or ducking from the heat or wishing for Summer to get here...! 

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This one is in rotation at Supercuts (the haircut place, though it would be a nice name for a streaming music service)  where you can have your eyebrows trimmed to the sounds of the 80s. 

 

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21 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

DarkHorseCover.jpg

Dark Horse by George Harrison-Dec 1974

This album went to #4 on the charts but the critics savaged it. Listening to it again now, it is was quite good, though there were some weak songs on it. It begins with a forgettable instrumental "Hari's On Tour". "Simply Shady" is a pretty good one, George mentions Sexy Sadie in the lyrics. My favorite on the album is "So Sad", while the lyrics are so sad, George's singing and guitar playing (nice slide on this) are very good. Ringo drums along with Jim Keltner here. The worst track is the remake of The Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love", George rewrites the lyrics to talk about losing wife Patti to Eric Clapton, his voice sounds horrible on this. "Maya Love" has nice piano from Billy Preston but the song is easy to forget once it's over. Side 2 has the throwaway holiday song "Ding Dong Ding Dong". The title song is interesting, great acoustic guitar but George was battling laryngitis when he recorded this so he rasps and strains through it. "Far East Man" is a laid back, jazzy song with great help from Preston again on piano and Tom Scott on horns. "It Is He" closes the record, I liked the melody on the chorus which is a lot of chanting for Lord Krishna. 

I never liked the way the album sounded.  I always thought it too thin. It is certainly different from the way "Material World" and "Extra Texture" sounded. I think that put me off on the album.

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Extra Texture by George Harrison -Sep 1975

This is George's worst album so far. The first song is probably the best, a top 20 single "You" which was an imitation of a Ronettes record and was supposed to be given to Ronnie Spector. George did it himself, his voice not up to it. "This Guitar (Can't Keep From Crying)" has similar sounding guitars to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" but is not as good as that one. "Ooh Baby" is dedicated to Smokey Robinson, but again George cannot handle it vocally. "Tired Of Midnight Blue" is an OK song, George said this was based on a depressing club he visited in LA, where he saw some grey haired "naughty people". The last song is "His Name Is Legs" , a tribute to eccentric comedian Larry "Legs" Smith, I was not familiar with him and George has said you really have to know Smith to find the song funny.

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Ringo's Rotogravure by Ringo Starr-Sep 1976

An OK album, reached only #28 in the US. "A Dose Of Rock 'N" Roll" is an energetic pop rocker to start the album. "Hey Baby" is a remake of Bruce Channel's 1962 hit, not as good or as popular other remakes Ringo did. Paul McCartney wrote a nice pop ballad for the album "Pure Gold" and he sings backup with wife Linda. "Cryin" is a Ringo original (with Vini Poncia) and it is a good country tune, it could have fit nicely on Beaucoups Of Blues. "You Don't Know Me At All" is a pretty good medium tempo pop song to end the first side. John Lennon wrote and plays piano on "Cookin" an OK pop rocker, significant since this is the only time John did any recording after 1975 and before his comeback in 1980. "I'll Still Love You" is a weak song, written by George Harrison but he did not play on it. Eric Clapton also provided a throwaway song "This Be Called A Song" and plays some guitar on it. The album ends strangely with "Spooky Weirdness" with some adlibbed drumming and piano and somebody doing a bad Bela Lugosi imitation.

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Thirty Three & 1/3 by George Harrison -Nov 1976

A good George album, much better than his last one. This has more upbeat and comedic songs. A few were leftovers from the Beatles days, as I discovered from George's book I Me Mine. The first song "Woman Don't You Cry For Me" was from the late 1960s, it could have been a B side for the Beatles. "Dear One" is nice spiritual song. "Beautiful Girl" is a good love song, George says he had this around since 1969 and finished it for his new love Olivia. "This Song" is a funny account of his legal troubles with "My Sweet Lord"/"He's So Fine", funniest moment is Monty Python member Eric Idle doing one of his shrill female voices in the middle. "See Yourself" is a good song, written in 1967 about Paul McCartney's trouble with the press when he admitted he had LSD. "True Love" is an OK version of a Cole Porter song, done in Harrison style. "Pure Smokey" is a nice tribute to Smokey Robinson, better than "Ooh Baby (You Know I Love You)" which George did on his last album. The best on the album is "Crackerbox Palace" a witty, catchy song inspired by comedian Lord Buckley. The record ends with "Learning How To Love You" , a soft pop song originally intended for Herb Alpert.

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