Welcome to The Beatles Rarity of the Week. After a very successful start with his solo career in the early seventies, Ringo Starr’s first 3 LP releases after the shutdown of Apple Records in 1975 were not even close to commercial successes. The first of these, Ringo’s Rotogravure, released in September 1976, had a very short-lived chart presence in America, peaking at number 28 on Billboard’s Top 200. The follow-up album released a year later, titled Ringo the 4th (actually his 7th LP since The Beatles), proved that “going disco” was not in his best interest. The LP peaked at number 162 on Billboard and was very quickly forgotten. In April 1978, Ringo set out to reverse the trend of his rapidly descending solo career by releasing his follow-up album Bad Boy. It was promoted with a prime time television special called Ringo airing the same month, as well as other television appearances on talk shows such as Donahue. Despite the added effort, Bad Boy was received poorly, peaking at number 129 on Billboard this time around. Furthermore, none of these three releases charted at all in Ringo’s home country.
During July 1978, at a time when Ringo still had high hopes for success with his Bad Boy release, he went into the studio to record a few more for his next album. Ringo had three new songs recorded before the despondency set in. Struggling with alcoholism and the failure of his last three records drove Ringo to calling it quits. He discontinued his sessions and did not set foot in a recording studio again for two years.
As depressing as this all might sound, I should quickly digress and say that we have the luxury of hind-site and know now that Ringo got himself together and everything worked out fine. In the years to come, Ringo would star in the highly successful Caveman film and meet his future wife Barbara Bach, with whom he is still very happily married. Despite the loss of a best friend on December 8th,1980, he kicked his alcohol problem and by the late eighties had launched the highly successful series of All-Starr Band concert tours with a respectable list of successful rock and roll musicians accompanying him that is way too long to try to list here. I’m not sure if the “charts” are still the most representative meter for Ringo’s successes, but I have to say that his last few solo albums sound fantastic to me. Ringo 2012 is one of my personal favorites. To be 73 years old (as of this writing) and able to put out music as vibrant as he is still doing, keeps his legend looming high in my mind, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
In those July 1978 sessions before Ringo took his much needed break, he recorded a song called “As Far As We Can Go” which later was redone for his 1983 album Old Wave. He also recorded two songs that were never released – “She’s So In Love” and the one I’m sharing for this week’s BROW. See what you think of this mid-tempo Ringo-obscurity titled “One Way Love Affair.”
Ringo Starr - One Way Love Affair
Extra info: Not much is known about “She’s So In Love” and “One Way Love Affair” other than the fact that they were recorded on July 22-23, 1978. It’s a mystery to me who actually composed them or plays on them besides Ringo himself. If anyone has this info, I’d love to hear from you.
Here are some Amazon links to read more on, or purchase, some music and media related to this post:
1) Ringo 2012 [Amazon.com Exclusive CD+DVD Version] – Ringo’s latest album (as of this writing). Great tunes, featuring brother-in-law Joe Walsh and there’s a bonus DVD.
2) Photograph: The Very Best of Ringo a great 2007 CD compilation of Ringo’s hits – all the good ones on one CD.
3) Bad Boy – 1991 CD remaster of original 1978 LP featuring Ringo’s hit “Heart On My Sleeve,” “Lipstick Traces” and “Hard Times.”
4) Old Wave – Ringo, once again with the assistance of Joe Walsh, in this 1994 remaster of the original 1983 LP. Contains an updated account as well as the original version of “As Far As We Can Go” from the same sessions that produced “One Way Love Affair.”