Music

Ringo Starr’s latest gives hope to classic rock fans

Since the deaths of John Lennon in 1980 and George Harrison in 2001, The Beatles don’t usually come up in current news. But when they do, it is a treat for fans everywhere.

Last Sunday, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr recorded together in the studio, just like in the good old days of The Beatles. The news broke when Starr tweeted a picture of the two, thanking McCartney for coming over and “playing great bass.”

The two former Beatles worked on Starr’s upcoming solo album, a follow-up to his 2015 album, “Postcards from Paradise.” The last time they collaborated was in 2010 on another one of Starr’s solo albums, “Y Not.” McCartney was on bass for one track and sang back-up vocals on another. The two also performed together at the 2014 Grammys.

Along with McCartney, Starr also worked with Peter Frampton, guitarist Joe Walsh of the Eagles, and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He’s been photographed in the studio with each of them, the images all tweeted.

This is all very exciting for many fans of classic rock. Starr isn’t exactly the most worshipped of The Beatles — most only remember he was in the band because of his unconventional name — but working with all of these other rock icons definitely improves his image. Many fans who love Ringo are just glad he’s still alive — he is the oldest Beatle at 76 — and should be excited to hear what he has in store. If nothing else, the album will feature guitar and bass at its best, with Walsh and McCartney being some of the best players of their respective instruments.

It is nice that the two surviving members of the Fab Four are still recording music. McCartney is as much of a household name as John Lennon was, and still is. Starr usually gets overlooked, but he is one of the most skilled drummers rock has ever seen. His beats and techniques were simple, but he had an ear for the music his bandmates would play and could drum the perfect beat to complement it.

His singing, however, is nothing special. His voice is appreciated more for its laughable uniqueness than anything else, but certainly not its beauty. Out of 275 songs on The Beatles discography, Starr performed lead vocals on a whopping total of 11.

With this in mind, it’s hard to get excited about his solo albums. On his 2010 album, though, McCartney provided vocals for one of the tracks. Starr has been hyping up his album since this past summer, so we can only hope that this means McCartney has provided vocals on more than just one track this time.

Even if his music isn’t anything spectacular, we can appreciate Starr for his general persona. His Twitter page is filled with wishes of “peace and love,” and he seems to always send out a tweet on the gloomiest of days. There is never a bad time for a barely-coherent onslaught of emojis, with an occasional peace-sign selfie thrown in the mix. We can only hope to one day see the world the way Ringo Starr does, but we can aspire to it if nothing else.

Jenny Bourque is a freshman English and textual studies major. Her column appears weekly in Pulp. You can email her at jabourqu@syr.edu.

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