The world's most famous drummer welcomes the era of cheese
Kieran Macadie
11:13 19th March 2021

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In the years during the aftermath of The Beatles' dramatic breakup in 1970, John, Paul and George all immediately and successfully began solo careers. For the drummer, a band breakup is inevitably going to be tough – and Ringo’s early solo material didn’t really find success. It wasn’t until Ringo’s self-titled third record in 1973 (which features all of the other Beatles members) where things finally began to take off. 

In a 1975 interview with Bob Harris, John Lennon said about his fellow ex-Beatles: “I’m pleased everyone’s doing well. I’m more pleased Ringo’s doing well and that he’s got himself a good niche because I knew Paul would be alright, but with the drummer you can’t be sure.” 

46 years later and Ringo’s solo career is still flying high with his new EP Zoom In, recorded throughout lockdowns last year.

The EP begins with the single ‘Here’s To The Nights’, a catchy yet rather cheesy party song featuring the likes of Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl on backing vocals. Cheese - and it being the weakest track on the EP - aside, it has a great sentiment, though is overproduced to the point that famous names on backing vocals are very difficult to hear clearly. 

‘Zoom In Zoom Out’ succeeds the opening lead single, and it’s a cool blues rock track that could be seen as a throwback to its popularity during the mid-20th century. Not only is it catchy, but it also features great heavy and sliding guitar riffs. I can’t help but think that the lyrics are - again - cheesy, but if Ringo has decided that’s his niche for the 2020s then he’s embraced it well.

In the middle of the five track EP, Ringo brings in some pop rock with ‘Teach Me To Tango’. It’s another catchy one and I’d argue it should’ve been the lead single as it’s perfect for radio play. Not to mention, it has another really high-toned and classy guitar riff throughout. 

Track four is where things get really interesting. Starr takes on a new persona which I like to call Reggae Ringo – because ‘Waiting For The Tide To Turn’ is an ambitious and truly brilliant reggae track. It’s undoubtedly the strongest track on the album because of the pure ambition and effort it contains. Featuring a classic reggae beat and blaring trumpets, it’s a joy to hear Ringo experimenting with various genres. 

The EP closes with another catchy pop track, echoing Ringo’s lifelong message of peace and love across the world. It brings back the cheese from earlier in the EP, but it seems like Starr is having a truly great time with it. 

Overall, Zoom In is an ambitious and mostly well-crafted effort from the most underappreciated member of the famous fab-four. Instead of creating a full album of mediocre songs, Ringo utilises the EP format to put the most effort in each song and it shows. The genre experimentation is really interesting to see and demonstrates that Ringo’s extraordinary musical talent is still thriving at the age of 80. 

Zoom In is out now. 

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Photo: Press