Ringo Starr: Ringo Starr And His All-Starr Band (1990)

Kronomyth 12.0: NIGHT OF A HUNDRED STARRS. In 1989, Ringo hit the road as the head of an oldies revue featuring friends and acquaintances that included Joe Walsh, Jim Keltner, Dr. John, Billy Preston, Rick Danko and Levon Helm from The Band and Clarence Clemons and Nils Lofgren from the E Street Band. It’s a neat idea that enabled Ringo to tour throughout the 90s (the band would change over time), since hearing Ringo sing over the course of an entire evening might be, well, taxing for most people. In this venue, Ringo is the emcee and the main attraction, getting about one-third of the stage time with his various hits from the 70s and Beatles songs on which he handled the original lead vocals  (e.g., “Yellow Submarine,” “With A Little Help From My Friends,” “Honey Don’t.”) Although an ad-hoc band like this is a little sprawling (think those Rock and Roll Hall of Fame get-togethers at the end), they generated plenty of energy on stage. No doubt everyone had their eye on their own heroes, whether it was Joe Walsh appropriating a track from the Eagles (“Life In The Fast Lane” made it onto the first CD) or Levon Helm singing classics from The Band like “The Weight.” It may look like county fair fare on the surface, but Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band is really part ‘70s celebration and part testament to Ringo’s enduring star power. At the heart of Ringo’s music, in the studio and on stage, is the help he gets from his friends. Thus, this “night of a hundred stars” approach is in many ways the most natural setting for Ringo Starr. Note that the original CD was also optionally packaged with an extra CDEP featuring four tracks (including “Act Naturally” and Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way”). Unfortunately, no one has thought to reissue this disc as an expanded 2CD set that captured their typical 20+ song setlist.

The Songs
1. It Don’t Come Easy (Richard Starkey) (3:03)
2. The No-No Song (Hoyt Axton/David Jackson) (3:18)
3. Iko Iko (Rosa Lee Hawkins/Barbara Hawkins/Joan Johnson/James Crawford) (6:05)
4. The Weight (Robbie Robertson) (5:48)
5. Shine Silently (Nils Lofgren/Dick Wagner) (6:39)
6. Honey Don’t (Carl Perkins) (2:30)
7. You’re Sixteen (Richard Sherman/Robert Sherman) (2:57)
8. Quarter To Three (Frank Guida/Joseph Royster/Gary Anderson/Eugene Barge) (3:50)
9. Raining In My Heart (Buddy Holly) (5:14)
10. Will It Go Round In Circles (Billy Preston/Bruce Fisher) (4:02)
11. Life In The Fast Lane (Glenn Frey/Don Henley/Joe Walsh) (6:13)
12. Photograph (Richard Starkey/George Harrison) (4:20)

Bonus CDEP track listing
B1. It Don’t Come Easy (3:17)
B2. The Weight (5:58)
B3. Rocky Mountain Way (8:11)
B4. Act Naturally (2:33)

The Players
Ringo Starr (vocals, drums), Clarence Clemons (saxophone, percussion, vocals), Rick Danko (bass, vocals), Dr. John (keyboards, vocals), Levon Helm (drums, vocals), Jim Keltner (drums), Nils Lofgren (guitar, vocals), Billy Preston (keyboards, vocals), Joe Walsh (guitar, vocals) with Zak Starkey (drums). Produced by Joe Walsh and Jim Nipar; executive producers Ringo Starr and David Fishof; engineered and mixed by Jim Nipar.

Did You Know?

  • Other songs that the band played during the 1989 tour included “Back Off Boogaloo, “Being Angry Is A Full Time Job,” “Boys,” “Candy Place,” “Desperado,” “Nothing From Nothing,” “Right Place, Wrong Time,” “Such A Night,” “That’s The Way God Planned It,” “The Shape You’re In,” “Up On Cripple Creek,” “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “You’re A Friend of Mine.”
  • Bruce Springsteen joined the band on stage at the Lake Compounce Amusement Park in Bristol, CT on August 2, 1989, performing on several songs including “Get Back” and “Long Tall Sally.”
  • The All-Starr Band was the idea of David Fishof, former sports agent, frequent tour producer and founder of the Rock ‘N Roll Fantasy Camp.

The Plastic
Released on elpee, CD and cassette on October 9, 1990 in the US (Rykodisc, RALP/RCD/RACS-10190) and Japan (EMI, TOCP-6255). Also released on expanded 2CD (with bonus four-track CDEP) on October 9, 1990 in the US (Rykodisc, RCD-90190).

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