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Ringo Starr’s Beaucoups of Blues

by Zoot Rollo

April 4, 2019

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Ringo Starr Beaucoups of Blues Front Cover Exterior

I bought this when it came out, 1970-71ish, and I’ve owned it ever since, I always heard Ringo had made it for his mother, who loved country music. 

Ringo Starr Beaucoups of Blues Ringo Starr Beaucoups of Blues

A few reviews lifted shamelessly from Wikipedia:

Writing for Rolling Stone, Charles Burton remarked: “If Beaucoups of Blues reminds one of any record, it’s Nashville Skyline, only instead of being lovable, spaced-out Bobby Dylan in front of those luxurious Nashville backups, it’s lovable Richard Starkey who is crooning his heart out.”[27] In an interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone on 8 December 1970, John Lennon called the album “a good record”, but qualified that comment by saying he “didn’t feel as embarrassed as I did about [Starr’s] first record”.[29]

Ringo Starr Beaucoups of Blues disc side 2 Ringo Starr Beaucoups of Blues disc side 1

In Melody MakerRichard Williams remarked on Starr’s limitations as a vocalist but found that his “conviction and charm” were such that Beaucoups of Blues “forces one to abdicate from any hip posture and admit, just this once, to sheer uncomplicated enjoyment”. Williams acknowledged the key roles played by Drake and guitarist Chuck Howard, before concluding: “One can imagine … that Ringo had a ball making this album. I had a ball listening to it.”[30]

Ringo Starr Beaucoups of Blues Gatefold Exterior Ringo Starr Beaucoups of Blues Gatefold Exterior

In his combined review of all the former Beatles’ 1970 solo releases, Geoffrey Cannon of The Guardian rated Beaucoups of Blues as his favourite, saying: “The result is superb. Not because Ringo is a good singer, but because, this time, he’s let himself be used well. People who work with men like Pete Drake and Charlie McCoy don’t go wrong.”[31]

Ringo Starr Beaucoups of Blues Gatefold Interior Ringo Starr Beaucoups of Blues Gatefold Interior

Although it was only moderately successful at the time, some critics have since stated that Beaucoups of Blues is one of Starr’s best albums. Bob Woffinden wrote in his 1981 book The Beatles Apart: “Ringo took his chance well and his homely lugubrious voice suited those typically maudlin country songs like a charm. It’s one of the best Beatle solo albums.”[32]

Ringo Starr Beaucoups of Blues Rear Cover Exterior Ringo Starr Beaucoups of Blues Rear Cover Exterior

Among reviews of the 1995 reissue, Q magazine described it as “always likable and original” and “a collection of contemporary country songs, delivered by Ringo Starr in a languidly melancholic style curiously reminiscent of Michael Nesmith“.[26] Mojo editor Paul Du Noyer admired the “stellar cast of country players” on the recordings and added that “the groove is loose and fluent.”[33]

it hasn’t been played very much at all, stored for years, and still has the original loose plastic sleeve protector it was sold with. I’d rate it very good, if not near mint, no appreciable cover wear, corners good, vinyl is near mint, very little played. One owner since 1970. Always kept in plastic lined inner sleeve. Small notch in spine.

Apple Records  SMAS 3368  Distributed in Canada by Capitol Records.

As always Wikipedia has a complete rundown on these sessions at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaucoups_of_Blues

Book Excerpt:

Ringo Starr Realizes a Dream With His 1970 Country

Album

Read an excerpt from ‘Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles’ Solo Careers’




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