Written By Braddon S. Williams

Ringo Starr: Ringo

Ringo, by Ringo Starr, was released in 1973. Besides being a big success, tremendous fun, and sporting a fantastic roster of guest musicians, Ringo managed to reunite The Beatles! Well, it contains songs written by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison (along with musical contributions from the drummer’s ex-bandmates).

Four of the 5 members of The Band all played on various songs, as well as Marc Bolan, Harry Nilsson, Billy Preston, Nicky Hopkins, Steve Cropper, and many others.

Ringo himself plays his unmistakable drum style on all tracks and sings lead vocals on all songs.

The songs Photograph, You’re Sixteen, and Oh My My all scored big on the charts.

I remember owning this one on vinyl and being fascinated with the album cover art (and the booklet of lyrics and artwork to accompany each song).

Ringo was obviously overshadowed in writing and singing by the other members of The Beatles, but he was always charming and lovable, and played perfectly for the songs.

Ringo is a testament to how many stars wanted to play with THE Starr. With a little help from my friends indeed!

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

George Harrison: All Things Must Pass

Confession: George Harrison was my favorite Beatle. He released his first proper solo album, All Things Must Pass, in 1970.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it was a Triple album. During the career of The Beatles, Harrison typically got a song or two at most allotted to each of the Fab Four’s releases.

Lennon and McCartney were the focus, but “the quiet Beatle” was stockpiling songs all along the way, and All Things Must Pass was the sound of the floodgates opening.

With Phil Spector producing, the album incorporated his famed “wall of sound” style, and featured an impressive cast of contributing musicians, including Eric Clapton, Gary Wright, Bobby Whitlock, Klaus Voorman, Ringo Starr, Peter Frampton, Ginger Baker, Billy Preston, Carl Radle, Jim Gordon, Jim Price, Bobby Keys, Alan, White, Dave Mason, and some songwriting assistance from Bob Dylan.

Many critics have declared this massive project as the finest of all the solo works from the collective former Beatles.

That says a lot, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is the quietest ones who have the most interesting things to say.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Paul McCartney: Band On The Run

Band On The Run (1973) is the album where Paul McCartney reclaimed his mojo. Credited to Paul McCartney And Wings, Band On The Run was actually just Paul, wife Linda, and guitarist Denny Laine, with Paul playing the lion’s share of the instruments, including drums, bass, keyboards, lead guitar, and of course, lead vocals.

The song Band On The Run was a gigantic hit, and both Jet and Helen Wheels found success on the charts as well.

Other great tunes included Mamunia, Bluebird, Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me), and Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five. McCartney has probably thrown away more memorable melodies than most musicians create in their entire careers, but when he really focuses that gift, he shines like few other songwriters. Band On The Run shines.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

John Lennon: Imagine

Proving there was plenty of songwriting left in the tank after the breakup of The Beatles, John Lennon released the Imagine album in 1971 and left the world with one of his most powerful compositions ever in the title song of the same name.

Imagine has served as Lennon’s signature song ever since, but the Imagine album has lots more to offer.

George Harrison provided some ultra tasty lead guitar work on the politically charged Gimme Some Truth and I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier, and also on the direct attack on ex band mate Paul McCartney on How Do You Sleep?

Jealous Guy is another Lennon classic, and the songs Crippled Inside and It’s So Hard are reminders of Lennon’s early love affair with rock ‘n roll.

Although the four members of The Beatles undoubtedly became something much bigger than the individual parts, those individual parts were pretty magnificent on their own.


Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams


Earlier in this series of my 365 influential albums, I covered the Red & Blue compilation albums by The Beatles, but now it is time to talk about my absolute favorite by the Fab Four, the self titled The Beatles (or The White Album).

This double album contains so much iconic and brilliant work by a band that had begun the process of unraveling, but even in this state of dysfunction, The Beatles were simply supernaturally talented. Being a double album, even George Harrison was allowed more songs than he was usually represented by on their single records, and he was emerging as a songwriter that could hold his own with the mighty Lennon and McCartney.

Harrison brought his best friend, Eric Clapton, to play lead guitar on his song, While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Legend has it that the band were on their best behavior during that session! I have read that basically each member used the other 3 as their sidemen and the group chemistry was pretty much non-existent during the recording sessions, and yet they came out with this genius collection of material.

Favorites of mine would include Blackbird, I’m So Tired, Helter Skelter, Back In The U.S.S.R., Mother Nature’s Son, Dear Prudence, Sexy Sadie, Rocky Raccoon, Yer Blues, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Revolution 9 is pretty interesting, too. Honestly, I don’t think there is much filler at all on this one.

Even though Charles Manson took some pretty radical inspiration from this album, most people just soaked in the beauty and love that were associated with one of the most beloved bands of all time.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

I was maybe 11 or 12 years old when my parents gave me these two comprehensive collections of Beatles music…truly life changing gifts. I immersed myself in their music and began a lifelong love affair with rock music in the process. In the decade that grew with The Beatles, the entire world changed drastically. Having it broken into 2 distinct 4 year periods was an awesome time capsule/history lesson. I love the innocence of the early years, but once the Liverpool lads stopped performing live and concentrated all their efforts on the studio, that is where things got revolutionary. Every song on both these collections is essential listening, but some of my personal favorites are Strawberry Fields Forever, I Am The Walrus, Something, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Eleanor Rigby. The Beatles paved the way for everything I have listened to since being introduced to the magic they created together.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind