Ringo Steps into the Spotlight
In the early Beatles days, the spotlight wasn’t on John, Paul, George, and Ringo from the start. Originally, Pete Best held the rhythm, but Ringo took the stage later, stealing the hearts of fans. Despite initial doubts, Ringo became a crucial part of the band, earning the privilege of singing lead on 11 Beatles classics.
Boys – A Rush to Stardom
Ringo’s debut as lead vocalist came with “Boys” on the 1963 album “Please Please Me.” Rushed in a single day, the album showcased Ringo’s energetic rendition of a song originally sung by Pete Best. Despite doubts from producer George Martin, Ringo’s familiarity with the track from his previous gigs made it a perfect fit, giving fans a glimpse of the early Beatles stage act.
I Wanna Be Your Man – A Rolling Start
“I Wanna Be Your Man” replaced an overplayed “Boys.” Written by Lennon and McCartney, it was initially meant for Ringo, but fate took a turn. The Rolling Stones snagged it, making it a hit for both bands. Ringo’s version, part of the Beatles’ second album, “With The Beatles,” added another feather to his singing cap.
Matchbox – Rockabilly Rhythms
Ringo’s reputation as a rockabilly singer solidified with “Matchbox.” Although John Lennon admitted they didn’t give him anything great, Ringo’s rendition of Carl Perkins’ 1957 hit became a U.S. single. The recording session had a surprise visitor, Carl Perkins himself, witnessing Ringo carry the rockabilly torch.
Honey Don’t – A Familiar Tune
Continuing the rockabilly trend, “Honey Don’t” from the 1964 album “Beatles For Sale” showcased Ringo’s comfort with the genre. Having performed it with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Ringo found the recording session straightforward. Both “Honey Don’t” and “Matchbox” later echoed in John Lennon’s solo work, reflecting their lasting influence.
Act Naturally – Ringo Takes Charge
As the band moved to the “Help!” album in 1965, Ringo aimed for more influence in song choice. Discovering “Act Naturally” on a Buck Owens record, he convinced the band it was the right fit. This marked a shift, as it was the first cover The Beatles hadn’t perfected live. Ringo’s sweet and buoyant style found a perfect match in this country tune.
What Goes On – The Final Touch
Though not a Lennon-McCartney original, “What Goes On” marked a significant moment. Included in the “Rubber Soul” album, it showcased Ringo’s growing role in shaping the band’s sound. Co-written by Lennon, McCartney, and Starr, the song represented a collaborative effort, emphasizing Ringo’s evolving influence within The Beatles.
Ringo Starr’s journey as the lead vocalist added unique flavors to the Beatles’ discography. Each song tells a story of collaboration, influence, and the band’s willingness to let Ringo shine in the spotlight. These 11 tracks not only showcase Ringo’s vocal talents but also underline the unity that made The Beatles an iconic force in music history.