Ringo Starr: Blast From Your Past (1975)

Kronomyth 5.0: FIVE GOLDEN RINGOS. Every time I think of this album, I see red. Not because of the music; you couldn’t find a friendlier collection. It’s that red Apple label. It’s just… unnatural. Anyway, nuff bout that. This is the first official greatest hits album from Ringo, released around the same time as Shaved Fish and followed by The Best of George Harrison and, later, Wings Greatest. If memory serves, all of these were released around the holidays (jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way to the bank). Ringo’s roundup includes “Back Off Boogaloo” and both sides of the “It Don’t Come Easy” single, so collectors should be happy. And, of course, there are the real honest-to-goodness hits: “Photograph,” “Oh My My,” “No No Song,” “You’re Sixteen.” Probably all of the Ringo Starr you’ll ever need. If you demand more, there’s “Only You” and “Beaucoups of Blues.” Apple even thought enough to toss in a great album track, “I’m The Greatest,” from a certain feller named John. Is ten songs a little chintzy? Maybe. But what a wonderful world we live in where you can ask if Ringo’s oeuvre is underrepresented. (Oeuvre, under, get it? Of course you do.) To date, none of the other compilations (and pity Starr Struck for getting stuck with what came after) hold a candle to this Blast. In fact, I’d even give this the nod over Shaved Fish (take that, “Cold Turkey”) and The Best of George (as if I needed someone to remind me). Could it clip Wings Greatest? Well, let’s not get carried away. After all, we’d need to sweep “Back Off Boogaloo,” “Early 1970” and “Beaucoups of Blues” under the carpet first. But this record is more than Ringo’s best, it’s what best about Ringo. The limited voice, the lovable oldies, the laudable originals, Ringo was the real dark horse of the group. If you haven’t heard these songs in a while, giddyup and get ‘em here.

Original LP Version
A1. You’re Sixteen (Richard Sherman/Robert Sherman) (2:50)
A2. No No Song (Hoyt Axton/David Jackson) (2:30)
A3. It Don’t Come Easy (Richard Starkey) (3:00)
A4. Photograph (Richard Starkey/George Harrison) (3:58)
A5. Back Off Boogaloo (Richard Starkey) (3:21)
B1. Only You (And You Alone) (Buck Ram/Ande Rand) (3:16)
B2. Beaucoups of Blues (Buzz Rabin) (2:33)
B3. Oh My My (Vini Poncia/Richard Starkey) (4:17)
B4. Early 1970 (Richard Starkey) (2:19)
B5. I’m The Greatest (John Lennon) (3:23)

The Pictures
Art direction by Roy Kohara. Photography by Emerson/Loew. Photo special effects by Daniel Catherine.

The Plastic
Released on elpee and cassette on November 25, 1975 in the US (Apple, SW/4XW 3422), on December 12, 1975 in the UK and Barbados (Apple, PCS 7170), and in 1975 in Australia (Apple, PCTC-7170), Brazil (Apple, 1037), Italy (Apple, 3C 064-06008) and Spain (Apple, 1J 064-06008) with lyrics innersleeve; reached #30 on the US charts. Also released on elpee in 1976 in Japan (Apple, EAS-80403).

  1. Re-issued on elpee and cassette in the US (Capitol, SN/4N-16236).
  2. Re-issued on elpee in November 1981 in the UK (Music for Pleasure, MFP 50524) with unique cover.
  3. Re-issued on compact disc in 1987 in the US (Capitol, CDP 7 46663 2) and Japan (EMI, CP32-5462).

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