Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ringo Starr - Old Wave

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Old Wave, the ninth solo studio album by Ringo Starr. Starr worked with producer Joe Walsh on this 1983 album; Walsh was just coming off of the disbanding of the Eagles.

Besides Walsh on guitar, Starr was also joined by Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, John Entwistle of the Who, Eric Clapton, and Waddy Wachtel on some of the tracks.

Side one opens with “In My Car”, a straight-forward pop song with synth elements to fit the current music trends of the 80’s. It was released as a single in Germany.

“Hopeless” tells of a man who faces dead-end situations and thus decides to put his energy into other areas of focus.

“Alibi” has a bit of a country-rock guitar riff to it, a trademark of Walsh’s own music.

Things get a little bit funky with the guitars on “Be My Baby”, including the use of a wah-wah vocal distorter talkbox. This is my favorite of the first side tracks.

The bouncy “She’s About a Mover”, with its big and brassy horns, was released as a single in Mexico.

Side two starts with “I Keep Forgettin’”, a track written by the classic 60’s rock team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The interesting stand-out here is how Starr’s and Cooper’s percussion plays off one another.

“Picture Show Life” reflects upon living the Hollywood lifestyle and trying to find some personal space to just be one‘s self.

Next up is the gentle piano ballad “As Far As We Can Go”. Its lyrics take a resigned acceptance to a romance‘s conclusion.

The mostly instrumental “Everybody’s In a Hurry But Me”, with its “Born To Hand Jive” kind of rhythm, celebrates being laid back and relaxed. This one goes for just over two and a half minutes, but I would have liked to have seen it go longer.

The album closes with “Going Down”, another track where it is easy to pick out Walsh’s influences.

Old Wave is a pretty middle of the road kind of record. Ringo Starr was not doing anything groundbreaking here; he was just making good music with good friends. As the title suggests, this is a record that sticks to older, tried and true rock practices.

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