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Beatles Rarity Of The Week – “You Never Know” (Curly Sue closer, 1991)

Posted by on January 21, 2013 at 6:00 am.

Welcome back for another The Beatles Rarity of the Week. This time around I’m honoring a request sent to me back in November for a certain Ringo Starr track that played over the closing credits of the late 1991 John Hughes comedy film Curly Sue starring James Belushi, Kelly Lynch and Alisan Porter. The song, called “You Never Know” was written specifically for inclusion in the film. It was co-written by American lyricist John Bettis, who got his start writing for The Carpenters in 1969 and has since written for an impressively long list of other artists to include Madonna, Michael Jackson, The Pointer Sisters, Diana Ross, Jennifer Warnes, George Strait, Ronnie Milsap, Barbara Mandrell and Whitney Houston. John has been inducted in both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The song’s producer Steve Dorff, also has a co-writer credit on the song. Steve has mainly been a writer of country music for artists such as George Strait, Clay Walker and others, and during the course of his career has been nominated for three Grammys and five Emmys.

Whether you are a fan of Ringo’s post-Beatles work or not, it can’t be denied that he has a very warm and distinctive vocal style and “You Never Know” was customized to accommodate it perfectly. Ringo, the supporting piano medley and dual lead guitar breaks (played by uncredited studio musicians) are enough to keep this song humming in your head for hours after hearing it. The song was recorded on September 14, 1991, only a month prior to the film’s box office debut and was included on the soundtrack CD/LP which was first released on November 26th, 1991 in the U.S. (January 6th, 1992 in the U.K.). It has now been out of print for quite some time. A very limited one-track CD single of the song was also released and that too is out of print and very difficult to find. Since it hasn’t seen any subsequent release over the years, “You Never Know” qualifies as just the type of rare oddity that I like to feature for BROW. Take it away Ringo!

Ringo Starr - You Never Know

Cover art for VHS/Laserdisc copies of 1991 John Hughes film Curly Sue.

Cover art for VHS/Laserdisc copies of 1991 John Hughes film Curly Sue featuring exclusive music by Ringo Starr.

 

Extra info: This week’s BROW was requested by Duane in Racine Wisconsin. Thank you Duane!

Here are some Amazon links to read more on, or purchase, some music related to this post:

1) Curly Sue Original Soundtrack – Contain’s Ringo Starr’s “You Never Know” as featured here. Some new and used copies are available from private sellers through Amazon (new copies will command a high price as this is now out of print).

2) 12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief (2 CDs) – 2013 2-CD footage of the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief, includes Paul McCartney’s performances of “Helter Skelter.”

3) More Amazon links for any of your favorite Beatles-related music: The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

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14 Comments

  • Duane says:

    Thanks so much Nat! Info for this tune is very scarce, so I appreciate it mucho. Such a great song and never included on any of his official releases for god only knows what reason.. Thanks for the link too! I got lucky and didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for the soundtrack. Cheers and thanks again Nat–you ROCK!!

    -Duane-

  • Elliott Marx says:

    It seems that a Ringo rarities boxset is in order. Unfortunately he was on several labels and it is probably difficult to do a proper career compilation. I must admit this tune was a tad schmaltzy, but still charming.

    I’ve been thinking about how both Ringo and Roger Daltrey and acting ambitions in the early 1970s. I would love to see either of them in a new, good quality film. Wouldn’t that be fun?

  • Rich says:

    This has been my favorite Ringo track ever since the soundtrack was released. Really. There isn’t a Ringo vocal recorded before or since that I like better.

    • Duane says:

      Amen Rich! Me too! Let’s face it, great Ringo songs are few and far between though he’s got some in his catalog, but this one is a treasure.

      • Happy Nat says:

        Great Ringo songs are few and far between? I disagree completely! There are plenty! I know this to be true because I have them all. The late 70′s were not his best period (something he’s likely to agree with himself) but listen to any of his last few albums – especially since Verical Man (1998) and you will find lots of good stuff.

        • Rich says:

          Nat, I have to agree with Duane. True Beatles fans like us are willing to make allowances for a certain amount of mediocrity in the individual members’ solo output, but I think Ringo has done more than his share, owing largely to the fact that he simply isn’t a good singer. I’ve heard every album of his except his Christmas album, and for me, it’s mostly just….there. I thought Vertical Man was pretty weak as well. Which only goes to show how subjective this all is, since that’s among your favorites. “You Never Know” stands out not only because it is stylistically different from most of his recordings, but because it’s one of his best vocals; that said, I don’t think even this performance will make Tony Bennett nervous.

          Having said that, I should also say that Ringo was an indispensable part of the Beatles, and I LOVE his left-handed-drummer-playing-right-handed style.

          • Happy Nat says:

            There’s plenty of songs that Ringo’s vocals were the best choice. He isn’t a great singer and never pretended to be but his voice has the best style for songs like “With A Little Help From My Friends” or “Photograph.” Also there are plenty of Ringo fans here on the site that will disagree that he was the “mediocre” Beatle.

  • Rich says:

    I wasn’t suggesting that Ringo was the “mediocre” Beatle, simply that he is the worst singer of the four. All four former Beatles have released mediocre material.

    • Happy Nat says:

      Depending on the song, Ringo may be the “best” singer (my point). But – fair enough – I do know what you mean too as far as his vocal range ability (or lack thereof). Mediocrity is in the ear of the listener. Most, including me, will agree that all 4 have had some mediocre -or downright bad- material, however they could very well disagree on which ones fit that description. Some that I think are not so hot are adored by others. So, who is right and who is wrong? The answer is neither.

  • Chip says:

    Ah, Ringo. How would you like to be called the “least talented” member of the most successful rock band ever? Some say he can’t sing, others say he can’t drum. Personally, I think they’re wrong in both cases. His range isn’t that of other singers, but so what. (Have you been to a Bob Dylan concert lately?) As for his drumming – he was (is) flat-out fantastic!

    John, Paul, George, or Ringo. Together or separately. In front, or behind the music, keep them coming, Nat.

    • Rich says:

      I’ve never had a problem with Ringo’s range; it’s his inability to stay on pitch that bothers me. As a drummer, I love him. No one else plays quite like he does. And the Beatles would not have been the Beatles without Ringo.

  • Elliott Marx says:

    It took a long tome for this thread to get going, but not it is here.
    Duane states that great Ringo songs are few and far between. Happy Nat disagrees, he insists that there are many great Ringo songs. Then the whole thing falls apart because Rich returns to his original premise, that Ringo doesn’t always present the best vocally.

    I agree with Nat that Ringo does indeed have many great songs. They are strewn about on various releases. A great song should be able to stand up to any arrangement. If you could replace the vocal melody with something exotic say an erhu (which famously wavers in and out of pitch) and the song remained memorable – well then that’s a good song (in structure at least.) The quality of Ringo’s voice is just an instrument and has little to do with whether the song it performs is good.

    I also agree with Rich, sometimes the quirkiness of Ringo’s voice can distract a listener and lay to waste what could have been perceived as a good song. Other times it is that very quirkiness that makes the record. For instance The No No Song and Drumming is my Madness come to mind. Only a quirky voice could pull those off convincingly. A crooner would not succeed with I’m the Greatest. Ringo can; he also can nail crooner material, Only You and You’re Sixteen come to mind.

    Stop And Take The Time To Smell The Roses and Harry’s Song from Liverpool 8 fall into both categories – great songs and perfectly suited to Ringo’s distinctive voice.

    I occasionally have problems with production issues on some Ringo releases. I was dismayed when I detected auto-tune on a recent project. To me that is definitely a “no no” song.

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