From the Vault...


Ringo Starr
"Stop And Smell The Roses"

© The Right Stuff Records

Year of Release: 1994

track listing
  • Private Property
  • Wrack My Brain
  • Drumming Is My Madness
  • Attention
  • Stop And Take The Time
    To Smell The Roses
  • Dead Giveaway
  • You Belong To Me
  • Sure To Fall
  • You've Got A Nice Way
  • Back Off Boogaloo
  • Wake Up
  • Red And Black Blues
  • Brandy
  • Stop And Take The Time
    To Smell The Roses
    Vocal Version)
  • You Can't Fight Lightning
  • Hand Gun Promos

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    Ringo Starr
    "Stop And Smell The Roses"

    Ringo Starr returns this week, with one of his later released albums, Stop And Smell The Roses (1994). The highlight of this album was the album's hit single, "Wrack My Brain". Another great fact to mention album this album, is that the surviving members of the Beatles were part of this album. Not only did both Paul McCartney and George Harrison wrote/co-wrote songs from this album (as did Ringo), likewise produced, they also participated as musicians on various tracks. Other well-known participants on the album were other well-known rock stars, such as Harry Nilsson, Stephen Stills, Linda McCartney, Al Kooper, Ray Cooper, Ron Wood, Joe Sample, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Keith Richards, and Ringo's wife, Barbara Bach.

    George Harrison wrote "Wrack My Brain," as it easily fitted for Ringo. Basically, whoever wrote/co-wrote each song were pretty much the producers, mixers, engineers, etc. of each track. Not only that, they also performed musically, on their preferred instruments they were famous for. Like McCartney on bass/piano, Ringo on drums, George on guitar, etc.

    Paul McCartney penned the following tunes: The happy-go-lucky opening track, "Private Property," and the broadway inspired "Attention." Ringo co-wrote "Stop ANd Take The Time To Smell The Roses," another broadway-type where you can easily see Ringo as the showman while singing this tune. (Also to mention, there is a bonus track (rough mix) of this song (six bonus tracks total for this 1994 re-issue). Also penned by Ringo, is "Dead Giveaway," co-written with the Rolling Stones' Ron Wood. This particular track gets just an "ok" in my review, likewise the "ok" vote gets other tracks, such as the Carl Perkins county-ish "Sure To Fall," and Stephen Stills' "You've Got A Nice Way," and "Red And Black Blues" (penned by T. Tietgen; bonus track).

    Winding up the remaining three original tracks are "Drumming Is My Business," penned by Harry Nilsson. This song is definitely for Ringo, yet it's style of the song sounds more like it may have been written by Ringo's fellow Beatle bandmate, the late John Lennon. The classic 1950s song "You Belong To Me" is in the "Ringo style," and it gives a warm feeling, in how Ringo sings it, just as he performed and sings on his past well-known hits and other familiar Ringo tunes. And speaking of past hits, Ringo's "Back Off Boogaloo" gets a remake, as it starts out just like another one of hits, "It Don't Come Easy." It then kicks in as its title states, but in all honesty, the original version is much better.

    Three more bonus tracks: "Wake Up" (written by Ringo) is quite different -- Ringo sings in a much lower voice. "Brandy" is a slower sounding tune, yet it is quite good. Then there's the odd-sounding "You Can't Fight Lightning." It's easy to see these three were bonus tracks; songs that were made, and yet to be decided to be included on the original album.

    The last bonus track (and last track on this reissue is a radio spot promo, regarding hand guns. Ringo keeps the tapes rolling, as there is more than one promo for the mentioning of handguns.

    Ringo may have had his best years behind him, yet Stop And Smell The Roses has its good moments. "Wrack My Brain" and the title track are the true highlights. The other tracks as you hear them, you know they are Ringo, and he has always recorded songs in his own novelty way. As mentioned, he received a little help from his friends, such as Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Harry Nilsson, and others. Of course, we all know now that both George and Harry are no longer with us: George passed away from cancer in 2001, and Harry passed away of heart failure in 1994. Yet Ringo is still recording and performing live shows with his All-Starr Band.

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    Previous Review: #1614
    Vicki Lawrence--The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia: The Complete Bell Recordings
    Next Review: #1616
    Barbfra Streisand--Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway