With just two Beatles remaining, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's been just Sir Paul McCartney continuing the legacy of the world's (still) biggest band with a bob of the head and a plaintive lyric or two. Not so. Cursed with previously being the drummer hasn't actually done Richard Starkey any harm, although his familiarity to many members of the public may not have initially come from the music scene.
Back during the '70s, Ringo notched up a handful of hit albums, plus a few sizeable hits in the form of 'It Don't Come Easy', 'Back Off Boogaloo', 'Photograph' and the retro ditty, 'You're Sixteen'. He then went on to provide voiceovers for the popular TV series 'Thomas the Tank Engine', a gig that seemed to suit his easy-going nature down to the ground. Aside from an appearance on a Children in Need single in 2009, a number 1 has eluded him so far. The year 2012 might not change any of this, but 'Ringo 2012' just might put him back in the public eye for the first time since 2008's release, 'Liverpool 8'.
'Ringo 2012' is a 9-track album that fuses reworkings of earlier '70s work with brand new collaborations with established musicians such as producer and ex-Eurythmic Dave Stewart, Was Not Was frontman Don Was, ex-Beach Boy Van Dyke Parks, bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Joe Walsh. Those older songs, 'Wings' (the lead single) and 'Step Lightly', first appeared on 'Ringo the 4th' and 'Ringo', while other songs include 'Think It Over' (Buddy Holly) and a string of self-penned numbers.
Although aged 71, it remains to be seen whether Ringo Starr will tour this year, but meanwhile you can pick the album up in stores/online from Monday 30th January. A review for the album will follow in due course.