Sunday, February 27, 2011
The rest, as the man says, is history. It just so happened that Ringo had a lovely singing voice. His croak and enthusiast blurts were there to remind us that these handsome superheroes were indeed human beings. "Boys" was his vocal debut, and it follows the early Beatles album template. Give Ringo an upbeat rocker, let him shake his mop and bang the toms and count the money. It's especially sweet that they handed him a girl group jam. The Shirelles sang about the power of boys' lips, but it was a warning. A view to the dangers and freedom of the teenage years. The Beatles use this song as a way to declare that they are BOYS, and they'll seduce the hell out of your ladybrain and they can't help it and neither can you.
Robert Bunter: Here, Ringo displays a vocal persona that he wouldn't really return tovery often - unapologetic rock and roll screaming. It's like, at this point, nobody had told him yet that he was the homely, droopy eyed, big nosed goof who gets trotted out once an LP to poke fun at his own haplessness on apologetic confections like "With A Little Help From My Friends" and "Act Naturally." He's really going for it. The others must have been snickering in the control booth while he laid down this track. "Look at him! He thinks he's got what it takes!"
But they weren't laughing when they got back the sales figures. Ringo's blustery take on "Boys" became the Beatles first number one single in the UK! That's completely false. But it illustrates a larger point: like the tortoise in Aesop's fable, slow-witted Ringo eventually won the Beatle race with his chart-topping LP "Ringo," released in 1973. Who's laughing now?
Richard Furnstein: Ringo?