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#askNat – concerning Beatles songs without Ringo Starr

This week on #askNat I have another question in from Norberto Gabriel Pizzi from Argentina. Norberto’s last question, covered in November (2013) concerned Beatles songs that John Lennon did not contribute to (see here). This is what Norberto has for me this time:

Dear Nat,

Please tell me in how many Beatles songs Ringo Starr didn’t play (of course, “The Ballad of John and Yoko” and “Dear Prudence too).

Thank you for your great work!!


Norberto is asking ‘how many’ but I have a feeling what he is really after is a list of what specific Beatles songs do not include Ringo. Thanks for your interest Norberto and, of course, for writing in again.


Ringo Starr, in Rishikesh, India, 1968

Ringo Starr, in Rishikesh, India, 1968


I have come up with forty-six officially released Beatles songs that do not include Ringo. Please read on to check out my list.

Songs by The Beatles without Ringo Starr

Keeping in mind that Ringo did not join the group until August 1962, I’ll begin with songs that have been released from before his tenure began. All songs listed are composed by Lennon-McCartney unless otherwise noted.

There are three recordings from 1960 that appear on The Beatles Anthology 1 CD set:

1) “Cayenne” (McCartney)
2) “Hallelujah, I Love Her So” (Charles)
3) “You’ll Be Mine”

Note: “That’ll Be The Day” (Holly/Allison) and “In Spite Of All The Danger” (McCartney/Harrison) also appear on The Beatles Anthology 1 but are not listed since these songs were credited to The Quarrymen and not The Beatles.


Seven songs were recorded in sessions with Tony Sheridan in June 1961 during drummer Pete Best’s tenure. These have seen release on several compilations over the years with the latest being Polydor’s 2011 2-CD set First Recordings:

4) “My Bonnie (Lies Over The Ocean)” (Woods/Fuller)
5) “The Saints (When The Saints Go Marching In)” (traditional)
6) “Why (Can’t You Love Me Again)” (Sheridan/Crompton)
7) “Cry For A Shadow” (Lennon/Harrison)
8) “Ain’t She Sweet” (Yellen/Ager)
9) “Take Out Some Insurance On Me Baby” (aka “If You Love Me Baby”) (Singleton/Hall)
10) “Nobody’s Child” (Foree/Coben)


The Beatles, still with Pete Best on drums, auditioned for Decca Records on New Years Day 1962, performing 15 songs. 14 of these have been released officially, excluding the Lennon/McCartney composition “Love Of The Loved.”

11) “Like Dreamer’s Do”
12) “Money (That’s What I Want)” (Bradford/Gordy)
13) “Till There Was You” (Wilson)
14) “The Sheik Of Araby” (Smith/Wheeler/Snyder)
15) “To Know Her Is To Love Her” (Spector)
16) “Take Good Care Of My Baby” (King/Goffin)
17) “Memphis, Tennessee” (Berry)
18) “Sure To Fall (In Love With You)” (Cantrell/Claunch/Perkins)
19) “Hello Little Girl”
20) “Three Cool Cats” (Leiber/Stoller)
21) “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” (Holly)
22) “September In The Rain” (Warren)
23) “Besame Mucho” (Velazquez/Skylar)
24) “Searchin’” (Leiber/Stoller)

Note: Tracks 11, 14, 19, 20 and 24 were released on The Beatles Anthology 1 CD set. Others were released on the LP The Complete Silver Beatles in 1982 (currently out of print).


In May 1962, The Beatles recorded a final backing track for Tony Sheridan. Pete Best was still their drummer.

25) “Sweet Georgia Brown” (Bernie/Pinkard/Casey)


On June 6th, 1962 The Beatles auditioned for George Martin at EMI for the first time. Pete Best was still on drums. Both of these tracks are included on The Beatles Anthology 1 CD set.

26) “Besame Mucho” (Velazquez/Skylar)
27) “Love Me Do”


A June 3, 1964 demo of George Harrison’s previously unissued second composition was included on The Beatles Anthology 1 CD set. It’s possible that Ringo is the tambourine player here but it is most likely George playing all instruments. Note: George’s first composition was “Don’t Bother Me.”

28) “You Know What To Do” (Harrison)


From the LP/CD Help!:

29) “Yesterday”


From the LP/CD Revolver:

30) “Eleanor Rigby”


From the LP/CD Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:

31) “Within You, Without You” (Harrison)
32) “She’s Leaving Home”


From the b-side to the “Lady Madonna” single, 1968 (now on Past Masters 2-LP/2-CD set)

33) “The Inner Light” (Harrison)


Paul McCartney’s 1968 demo of “Junk” (aka “Jubilee”) was included on The Beatles Anthology 3 CD set.

34) “Junk” (McCartney)


From the double-LP/2-CD set The Beatles (aka The White Album):

35) “Revolution 9″
36) “Blackbird”
37) “Mother Nature’s Son”
38) “Wild Honey Pie”
39) “Back In The USSR”
40) “Dear Prudence”
41) “Martha My Dear”
42) “Julia”


The Beatles Anthology 3 CD set includes this White Album out-take with no participation from Ringo:

43) “What’s The New Mary Jane”


Released as a single in the Spring of 1969, “The Ballad Of John And Yoko” was recorded with only John Lennon and Paul McCartney at the session (now on the Past Masters 2-LP/2-CD set).

44) “The Ballad Of John And Yoko”


From the LP/CD Abbey Road:

45) “Her Majesty”


Included with The Beatles Anthology 3 CD set is a demo recording for Badfinger of “Come And Get It,” a song Paul McCartney wrote and gave to them for a single release. I’ve included it here though some may credit it as a Paul McCartney recording instead of a Beatles recording. Paul plays all instruments.

46) “Come And Get It” (McCartney)


Well, Norberto, that is all I have on this one. Thanks for a great topic and thanks also to everyone for reading. If you have anything you note that I may have omitted or that you want to add, please speak up in the comments section below.

Thank you to everyone who has sent in their questions! Keep #askNat going by sending your questions to me in any of the following ways:

1) There is a contact form that you fill out right on the website where you can give your name, location, email address and submit your question. The form is right here and is the same form used to submit requests for BROWs (Beatles Rarity Of The Weeks).

2) If you are a Facebook user, you can submit your question right on TheBeatlesRarity FB page at www.facebook.com/beatlesrarity. If you think about it, try to remember to flag your question with “#askNat”.

3) Similarly, if you are a Google+ user, you can submit your question on TheBeatlesRarity Google+ page at www.gplus.to/beatlesrarity. Google+ supports hashtag searchability so it will be helpful if you preface your question with “#askNat” here too.

4) For you Twitter users, www.twitter.com/beatlesrarity gets you to the right place. Post your question and be sure to add “#askNat” somewhere in the tweet.

Don’t forget that Beatles music, literature and influences make great holiday gifts. Here are some Amazon links to read more on, or purchase music related to this post:

1) Past Masters 2009 2-CD (or double-vinyl) remaster of original 1988 collection that compiles all of The Beatles’ non-album tracks.

2) The White Album 2009 2-CD remaster of original 1968 stereo double LP.

3) The Beatles Anthology 1 1995 2-CD (or triple-vinyl) compilation of Beatles out-takes and extras recorded between 1958 and 1965.

4) The Beatles Anthology 3 1996 2-CD (or triple-vinyl) compilation of Beatles out-takes and extras recorded between 1968 and 1969.

5) The Beatles With Tony Sheridan: First Recordings 50th Anniversary Edition – 2011 2-CD compilation of recordings The Beatles made in 1961-62 with Tony Sheridan in Hamburg Germany before their contract with EMI. Includes “My Bonnie.”

6) Beatles/Beatles-related Music: The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

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