Thursday, April 24, 2014

"Wrack My Brain" by Ringo Starr

Song#:  0813
Date:  11/07/1981
Debut:  79
Peak:  38
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  By the time the 70s arrived, the Beatles were splintering and each were recording their own solo projects. All would have numerous hits, including Starr, but his solo work seems to have been overshadowed by the other Beatles leaving the impression that he was not a successful solo act. However, even though he had the lowest amount of chart hits of the solo Beatles with fourteen, between 1971 and 1975 he had seven consecutive Top 10 hits, including the #1's "Photograph" and "You're Sixteen." By comparison, George Harrison only had five Top 10's during his entire solo career (Lennon had eight, McCartney currently has twenty-two). But the hits disappeared quickly and after a couple of late-70s LPs that bombed, Starr regrouped after Lennon's murder and issued "Stop and Smell the Roses." Featuring contributions from Harrison and McCartney, as well as Harry Nilsson, the album seemed like a sure hit. However, this lead-off single written by Harrison barely reached the Top 40 and the LP fizzled at a lowly #98. Its failure caused his label to drop him and this single would be his last to reach the chart. It would take eleven years before Starr would get a proper album released in the US.

ReduxReview:  I was never a Starr fan. I don't think he's a good singer and his writing contributions to the Beatles catalog are among my least favorites. Yet I do believe he was an essential part of the group. On his own, not so much. I remember just hating this song when it came out. Listening now, I can tell is is a very Harrison song and it works well for Starr. I still wouldn't call it a terrific single, but it's not as bad as I remembered. I always thought Starr was more the vaudevillian of the Beatles, so the songs he recorded with Nilsson seem to work better.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Starr was on the Portrait label when these songs were recorded and the original title of the album was "Can't Fight Lightning." But disagreements with CBS caused him to leave the label for Boardwalk. Once with them, the title track was eliminated with the other tracks getting shuffled around. It was then titled after the Nilsson co-penned track and released.  2) Lennon wrote two songs and demoed them for Starr as contenders for the album. The two set a recording date in January, 1981, to do "Nobody Told Me" and "Life Begins at 40." Unfortunately, the session never took place due to Lennon's murder in December, 1980. Starr couldn't bring himself to record the songs on his own. Lennon's demo version of "Nobody Told Me" would be finished off after his death and issued as a single. It reached #5 in 1984.


No comments:

Post a Comment