Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 293
Thurs, Nov 1, 2012

“Love Is”
Ringo Starr


“♫ The poet’s
say it’s so/ but
I’m not sure it’s
real/I only know
the answer is
inside me/And
everyone/ Love
is here

I believe you’re only a true Beatle fan if you can truly appreciate the solo stylings of Ringo Starr. And I’m not just talking about Starr’s Beatles’ output like “Don’t Pass Me By” or “Octopus’s Garden.” Ringo’s post Fab Four songs, as Richard Starkey himself, are highly underrated. Rolling Stones producer Don Was admitted, “Ringo’s drums are one of the greatest things you can have on a record. He puts the fills in the same place a guitarist would. He’s not sitting there counting. He’s playing to the vocal.”

I will admit, Ringo’s later and more modern solo stuff is more of a mix bag but if you dig deep enough you will find some gems like “Love Is” from 2008’s Liverpool 8. Co-written with collaborators Mark Hudson, Gary Burr and Steve Dudas, “Love Is” definitely one of the most exquisite solo songs Ringo has ever recorded. You won’t find many casual Ringo fans, most people love “Yellow Submarine” and “With A Little Help From My Friends,” but only die hard Fab Four connoisseurs truly value more recent of Ringo’s solo recordings.

Ringo has many admirers, Bruce Springteen’s E-Street Band drummer Max Weinberg said, “More than any other drummer, Ringo Starr changed my life. I can still see Ringo in the back moving that beat with his whole body, his right hand swinging off his sock cymbal while his left hand pounds the snare. He was fantastic, but I think what got to me the most was his smile. I knew he was having the time of his life.”

You can hear when Ringo’s revitalized singing, in “Love Is.” Although it has a very Beatlesque aura, “Love Is” 100% Ringo Starr singing about his favorite topic, love. Ringo’s song is a glimpsed inside the secret of his long lasting marriage with Barbara Bach, as Starr once shared, “The secret is love and understanding and getting through the hard days, because for 27 years, you’re going to have a bad day and you got to get through that. You cannot expect two human beings to go the 28 years we’ve been together without having an odd bad day. But the love underneath is still here. You know, I love Barbara. She loves me. And we’re together.”

There’s a common theme you’ll find in Ringo’s more current compositions, the subject of Peace and Love as Ringo explained when he said, “No, it’s never hard to keep that message up. It’s never hard to spend a couple seconds of your life doing the peace and love hand. I don’t find it hard at all. What I do find crazy is being shot down in certain articles for doing that. You think, “Well, I’m only saying ‘peace and love.'” It bothers some people. I’ve just got to get over that. My dream still is that one minute, one day, one month, one year, I don’t know when, that the whole world will put their hands up and go, “Peace and love!”

You may have doubts but just give “Love Is” a spin and you will fall for this undervalued Ringo number. Through out his illustrious career, Ringo has made many professional fans. Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman once said about Ringo Starr, “It’s hard for me to even know where to start because there’s hardly been anybody more musically in tune with what the song needed than Ringo Starr. Who knows how it must have been like to be in the Beatles, but the fact is he was the one in The Beatles. You look at the scoreboard and they won the game, you know what I mean?

Ringo Starr has spent his post Beatle days in search of the meaning, “Love Is.” You’ll discover on 2008’s Liverpool 8, “Love is” the most beautiful string laden number Ringo has ever written. The underrated songwriter that is Ringo Starr will surprise when you realize “Love Is” definitely one of the best Beatles solo recordings of Richard Starkey’s solo career.