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Ringo Starr - Liverpool 8

Capitol Records - Release: January 15, 2008

by Trent McMartin

Ringo Starr - Liverpool 8Ringo Starr never engaged in the scandal and scrutiny his former band mates and fellow sixties contemporaries regularly found themselves in. His marriage to actress Barbara Bach is in its 27 th year (a matrimonial length rarely seen with showbiz marriages) and to millions of children and young adolescents, Starr is known more for being the narrator on the British children's television series, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends . His latest solo release, Liverpool 8, only serves as a reminder of the refinement and decency the former Beatle has assumed for himself over the course of his five-decade long musical career. The album is a commemoration of the sixties -- the ideals of love and peace, of camaraderie, and youthful innocence. In the titletrack, Starr sings: "Went to Hamburg, the red lights were on/With George and Paul, and my friend John/We rocked all night, we all looked tough/We didn't have much, but we had enough," relating back to the Beatles Hamburg days in the early sixties before fame and success came calling. In another telling lyric, Starr proclaims, "In the U.S.A, when we played Shea/ We were number 1, and it was fun/ When I look back, it sure was cool/ For those 4 boys from Liverpool," referring to the Beatles famed concert at New York 's Shea stadium in the summer of '65. As with " Liverpool 8" (the song), the other eleven tracks are reflective pieces of celebratory nostalgia. Each revealing in their genuine candor and subtlety, never sounding contrived. Employing the songwriting and production talents of former Eurythmic Dave Stewart, it's as if Ringo, "the funny one," is proclaiming with this album: "THIS IS MY PAST AND I WILL EMBRACE IT; NOT RUN AWAY FROM IT," which, unfortunately, cannot be said for the other Beatles.