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Old Apr 01, 2010, 07:26 PM   #1
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Default AOL Radio Blog's Top 10 Ringo Starr Songs

Posted by Matthew Wilkening 1 CommentsForty years ago, when the Beatles split up, some people may have doubted there would ever be a list of the best Ringo Starr songs. Although widely praised for his creative drumming on some of rock's most enduring tracks, Ringo was usually considered the least talented member of the Fab Four. Then again, when your competition is John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, that's hardly an insult. Indeed, Ringo quickly established himself as a successful solo artist in the early '70s with a series of hit singles and albums, and continues to record and tour to this day. As voted by AOL Radio listeners, here are the 10 Best Ringo Starr songs.

10) 'Fading in and Fading Out'

Even as they were sniping at each other post-breakup, the original peace and love mantra of the Beatles has been an important and oft-repeated message in each member's solo music. Ringo spells out his philosophy as plainly as possible on this track from 2005's 'Choose Love' album, declaring himself content with the up-and-down nature of his popularity in modern culture, because, after all, "all we really need is love."

9) ' Walk With You'

Co-written with frequent Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks, the first single from 2010's 'Y Not' received an unexpected boost from Ringo's Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney. Paul was going to play bass on a different track, but when he heard Ringo working on 'Walk With You' he quickly asked for a pair of headphones and added his own counterpoint to the chorus.

8) 'Back Off Boogaloo'

Ringo recorded this 1972 single -- one of his biggest-ever hits in England -- while still largely focused on his movie career, never intending it to be on any album. It's one of the few songs Ringo wrote entirely by himself. It features both some of his most forceful drumming and direct lyrics that certainly seem to be criticizing somebody. Still, Ringo denies all rumors that 'Boogaloo' was aimed at former bandmate Paul McCartney. He instead claims that his dinner companion Marc Bolan (of T. Rex) kept repeating the word one night, causing Ringo to wake up in the middle of the night, unable to get this song idea out of his head.

7) 'La De Da'

Ringo hadn't released a solo album in over six years, but the massive publicity wave from the 'Beatles Anthology' campaign inspired him to call in many of his friends to record 1998's 'Vertical Man.' We're not kidding when we say many friends; besides featuring Joe Walsh on guitar, this track -- the lead track from the album -- featured Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, and FORTY-THREE other singers.

6) 'Oh My My'

The first of three songs on our list of best Ringo Starr songs that are also featured on Ringo's 1973 platinum-selling 'Ringo,' this horn-fueled romp features "fifth Beatle" Billy Preston on piano, with backing vocals from both Martha Reeves (from Martha and the Vandellas) and Merry Clayton, Mick Jagger's duet partner from 'Gimme Shelter.' Despite being one of Ringo's best songs and a huge hit upon release, it took him 34 years to give in to his fans' repeated demands to add it to his live setlist, finally performing it during his 2008 tour.

5) 'Never Without You'

Ringo has composed and performed numerous tributes to his fallen friend George Harrison since his 2001 passing, but perhaps none as touching as this song, featuring lead guitar by George's close personal friend Eric Clapton, from 2003's 'Ringo Rama.' Ringo also works the titles of two of his friend's most famous songs, 'Within You Without You' and 'All Things Must Pass,' into his own song's lyrics

4) 'No No Song'

A hugely popular cover of a Hoyt Axton song, Ringo's version is featured on 1974's 'Goodnight Vienna.' Ringo's been very open about his substance abuse struggles over the years, never more so than here, as he firmly rejects offers of marijuana, cocaine ("no thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze") and alcohol, staying on the straight and narrow path, with help from, of all people, John Lennon's noted "lost weekend" partner-in-crime, Harry Nilsson.

3) 'You're Sixteen, You're Beautiful, (and You're Mine)'

A No. 1 smash hit from 1973's 'Ringo,' this cover of the 1960 rockabilly hit from Johnny Burnette is noted as the only No. 1 hit single featuring a kazoo solo, performed by, naturally, Paul McCartney. When Ringo created a video for this song for his 1978 television special, he cast none other than Princess Leia (a.k.a. Carrie Fisher) as his love interest. Must be nice to be a Beatle, huh?

2) 'Photograph'

This wistful song from 1973's 'Ringo' casts Ringo as a regretful loser in love, haunted by the places he and his beloved used to go to together. The song took on extra poignancy when its co-author, George Harrison, passed away. Ringo's performance of the song at the tribute concert for his buddy reportedly brought many in the crowd to tears.

1) 'It Don't Come Easy'

A pretty clear choice for the best Ringo Starr song ever, this 1971 stand-alone single is another Starr / Harrison composition, and features Stephen Stills on piano. On first listen you may think it's another "it's hard to be in a band" song, but as usual, Ringo has deeper issues such as love, trust, and of course, peace on his mind: "Open up your heart, let's come together. Use a little love and we will make it work out better."

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