Ringo Starr - Beaucoups of Blues

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Angie Spray's picture
Posted on Fri, 01/22/2016 - 10:37am
by Angie Spray

Member since: Sat, 01/03/2015
 

Release Type

Studio Album

Release Year

1970

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Total votes: 158
 
 
 

Label

Apple Records

 

Album Overview

Beaucoups of Blues is the second studio album by former Beatles member Ringo Starr, and also his second full-length release in 1970, coming after his debut Sentimental Journey. However, Beaucoups of Blues is very far removed in style from its pop-based predecessor, relying on country and western influences. Still, like its predecessor, the album proved a moderate commercial success, reaching Billboard's number 35 slot on the Country Albums chart and number 65 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Tracks

TrackTitleDuration
1Beaucoups Of Blues2:33
Notes

Written-By: Buzz Rabin

2Love Don't Last Long2:44
Notes

Written-By: Chuck Howard

3Fastest Growing Heartache In The West2:33
Notes

Written-By: Frank Dycus
Written-By: Larry Kingston

4Without Her2:34
Notes

Written-By: Sorrells Pickard

5Women Of The Night2:21
Notes

Written-By: Sorrells Pickard

6I'd Be Talking All The Time2:10
Notes

Written-By: Chuck Howard
Written-By: Larry Kingston

7$15 Draw3:27
Notes

Written-By: Sorrells Pickard

8Wine, Women And Loud Happy Songs2:17
Notes

Written-By: Larry Kingston

9I Wouldn't Have You Any Other Way2:57
Notes

Written-By: Chuck Howard

10Loser's Lounge2:23
Notes

Written-By: Bobby Pierce

11Waiting2:54
Notes

Written-By: Chuck Howard

12Silent Homecoming3:53
Notes

Written-By: Sorrells Pickard

Background

During Ringo Starr's tenure with the Beatles he had dabbled with in country music: the band covered the country song "Act Naturally", and Starr co-wrote the country-influenced track "What Goes On" and wrote the country song "Don't Pass Me By". While playing on sessions for George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, Starr – a long-time country and western fan – met Pete Drake, in May 1970. Starr had to pick up Drake from the airport so that the pair could record with Harrison; Drake noticed the amount of country albums Starr had in his vehicle. Realising Drake's deep connection to country, Starr asked him if they could collaborate on an album together. Drake told Starr his musician friends could compose more than an album's worth of material in a week, which Starr thought was "impossible". Starr was very keen and agreed. Starr promptly flew to Nashville on 22 June.

Recording

Starr's original idea was to have the sessions take place in England and send the master tapes of the finished tracks to Drake. However, Drake convinced him to have the sessions take place in Nashville instead. While most of the tracks were cut in two days, on 30 June and 1 July, at Music City Recorders, Drake had produced some earlier sessions with The Jordanaires on backing vocals so that Starr could add his lead on top. Sessions were engineered by Scotty Moore. All the material for the album was written purposely for Starr. Guitarist Charlie Daniels recalled the sessions as "pretty typical Nashville sessions. You know, three songs in three hours. It was go in, sit down and work. Here's the songs, here's the chords, let's get it done. It was not a Beatles-type leisurely session. It was work."

Starr sang a duet with Jeannie Kendall on the track "I Wouldn't Have You Any Other Way". Also recorded during the sessions was the B-side to the title track, "Coochy Coochy", which originally ran to 28 minutes in length. The sessions went exceedingly well, according to Starr, who has said that they recorded "a few other tracks that we didn't put out" and ended the sessions with two long jam sessions, one lasting 18 minutes and the other 20 minutes. Session drummer D. J. Fontana recalled that Starr "never varied from that tempo. He had the greatest conception of tempo I've ever heard in my life. I have never heard anybody play that steady in my life, and that's a long time." Acetate discs of the album, which were titled Ringo in Nashville, were sold at an auction in August 1992, featured a different track order and included songs not featured on the released version of the album. It was clear to all that Starr's vocals were much more suited to the genre of country than the old standards that characterised Sentimental Journey. For Starr, making Beaucoups of Blues had fulfilled a lifelong ambition.

Release

Beaucoups of Blues was released on 25 September 1970 in the UK and on 28 September in the US. The title track was released as a single only in the US, backed with the non-album track "Coochy Coochy" on 5 October 1970. As with Sentimental Journey, the fan base was bemused by Starr's abrupt change in style. Beaucoups of Blues did not perform nearly as well as its predecessor, missing the UK charts and reaching only number 65 in the US. The album fared better in other countries, peaking at number 34 in Canada, number 33 in Australia, and number 21 in Norway.

The front cover of Beaucoups of Blues, according to Sorrells Pickard, was taken outside musician Tracey Nelson's smokehouse in Nashville by Marshall Fallwell, Jr. The back cover featured a photo of a large majority of the musicians that appeared on the album. In light of the tepid commercial reaction, Starr would refrain from further album releases for the time being, preferring to concentrate on his second vocation, film acting. On 18 October, Apple announced that a second album of the Nashville recordings would be released; however, the album never materialised. Beaucoups of Blues was remastered and reissued on CD in 1995, on 1 May in the UK, and on 1 August in the US. This edition came with two bonus tracks: "Coochy Coochy" and a jam with all the musicians titled "Nashville Jam."

Reception and Aftermath

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." 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."

In Melody Maker, Richard 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."

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." 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." Mojo editor Paul Du Noyer admired the "stellar cast of country players" on the recordings and added that "the groove is loose and fluent."

Personnel

  • Ringo Starr – vocals, drums, acoustic guitar
  • Jim Buchanan – fiddle
  • Charlie Daniels – guitar
  • Pete Drake – pedal steel guitar
  • D.J. Fontana – drums
  • Buddy Harman – bass guitar
  • Chuck Howard – guitar
  • Roy Huskey Jnr – upright bass
  • The Jordanaires – backing vocals
  • Ben Keith – pedal steel guitar
  • Jeannie Kendal – backing vocals on "I Wouldn't Have You Any Other Way"
  • Jerry Kennedy – guitar
  • Dave Kirby – guitar
  • Grover Lavernder – fiddle
  • Charlie McCoy – harmonica
  • Sorrells Pickard – guitar
  • Jerry Reed – guitar
  • George Richey – fiddle
  • Jerry Shook – guitar

Credits

  • Design: John Kosh
  • Engineer: Scotty Moore
  • Mastered By: Sam Feldman
  • Photography By: Marshall Fallwell
  • Producer: Pete Drake
 

Attribution

Beaucoups of Blues - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaucoups_of_Blues https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/