By Jeff Walker
May 3, 2015
I've given 'Postcards from Paradise' another several listens and I think it's one of Ringo's best solo records.
'Not Looking Back' is a great track. The lyrics are kind of filler-ish for the most part, but everything else works fine.
I see he's coming to Toronto this October, and I would hope he'll perform 'Rory and the Hurricanes'. Once again, he didn't work TOO hard on the lyrics but the song has a great feel, and I'm glad he's finally celebrating that prelude to the Beatles just as everyone celebrates the Quarry Men. Did you know that in the (rather weak) second verse, he's talking about a real visit to London and the reason the London girls were so uptight was that as soon as they heard that Liverpool inflection coming from the Hurricanes' mouths, they thought, 'uncouth savages from The North', I wouldn't be caught dead with one of this lot.'
I think the title track and all that Beatles-title name-checking works fine. He's done this kind of thing before, but this is the first time he does it in spades. Great production. On the whole album actually.
I think 'Right Side of the Road', 'Bamboula', 'Island in the Sun', 'Touch and Go' and 'Let Love Lead' are all a hoot and strong tracks to boot. Even the weaker ones 'You Bring the Party Down', 'Bridges' and 'Confirmation' are quite listenable. He gets some exquisitely raunchy guitar out of Steve Dudas and the others. He even gets a beautiful and utterly simple soaring lead from 'Joe Walsh' on 'Postcards' that could have been a George Harrison contribution.
Anyways, there's a lot to like here and from a glance at the CD's Amazon.com page it looks like fans are wildly enthusiastic, so don't knock it publically or you'll be tarred and feathered.
By the way, it's hard to believe that publishers wouldn't want to have him go into his pre and post-Beatles life. I think fans would be highly interested in his rise and fall, and then his resurrection with the All Starrs and the Roundheads, and then his tiff with Mark Hudson and a new direction. The very fact that he was the least of the four Beatles in most ways and has doubtless been reminded of this by others ever since makes his struggle rather unique. Someone will make a make a movie of his life one day and people will identify with him because they can more realistically imagine being in his shoes. It really is incredible that this chronically sick little Liverpool runt actually became THE iconic drummer of the 20th century. (I recall trying out Buddy Rich's records once, and it was all this completely unmemorable hot-dog drumming, a waste of talent I thought.)
Here's an excerpt from my book, Sex and the Beatles that "corrects" the second verse of 'Rory and the Hurricanes' on Postcards From Paradise
Three Years Later it would Be a Major Turn-On, Not Turn-Off
The Beatles made the Merseyside accent sexy. But when Ringo and his Hurricane pals took a holiday in the pre-Beatlemania London of 1960, they received a rude shock. They went to a dance at the Lyceum Ballroom and asked girls to dance, perhaps even expecting sex later on. The trouble was that just asking betrayed their Liverpool origins. Which prompted the classic London welcome: “Piss off.”