Ringo Starr announced on his 77th birthday (July 7) that his next album, “Give More Love,” will be released by Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) on CD and digital formats on Sept. 15. The title track is available now to those who pre-order the album. “Give More Love,” which was recorded at his home studio, will also be released on vinyl Sept. 22. The album includes help from many of his friends, among them: Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Peter Frampton, Benmont Tench, Nathan East, Dave Stewart, Don Was, Gary Nicholson and Timothy B. Schmit and current Ringo All-Starr Steve Lukather.
“In many ways, you have to get lucky,” the former Beatles drummer told writer David Wild in discussing the new album. “But in a lot of ways, I’ve been playing a long time, I know some really great players, and that really helps. And I do have more energy than I had 25 years ago anyway. Now I make my albums at home. We do it in the guesthouse. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to get each time, but this one seemed to have its own great energy from the start.”
That energy includes from his fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, who, along with Walsh, Winter and Lukather, is heard on “We’re On the Road Again.”
“I go in that room there — a bedroom with two drum kits — and I just play what I think is right,” Starr told Wild. “Usually there’s not more than two takes for me. That’s when it’s emotionally more powerful than when I learn it properly. The point is that I’m still learning, still playing and still loving it. That’s what keeps me making new music here and now, and that’s what keeps me ‘On the Road Again,’ to quote the song that gets the album going. I’m happy to say that like the song says, I still have ‘a lot going on and a lot to do.’ And I’m still ‘counting the hours’til we get to play for you.’”
Ringo says he’s found a recording process that works for him. “We go a lot with what happens in the room and in the moment. I’m not going to tell Steve Lukather what to play on guitar or Paul McCartney on bass. I remember I once asked Benmont Tench, ‘How do you play exactly what I want you to play?’ And Benmont said, ‘I just watch you dance.’ And it’s true – I dance and cheer them on because I love what they do. We have a rapport with all the players and none of us have attitude, and none of us are afraid to just rock.”
Starr says “Give More Love” was originally planned as a country album. “Dave Stewart and I were going to go down to Nashville and do a country album there. So we thought we should write a few country songs for when we get there. The first one we wrote here in the house was called ‘So Wrong for So Long.’ Then I got offered another tour with the All-Starr Band, and it was an offer I couldn’t resist. That’s how I ended up making another album at home and writing all kinds of songs with all kinds of friends – everybody giving more love, and just letting the music flow.”
Besides the 10 tracks, “Give Me Love” includes four bonus tracks — “Back Off Boogaloo,” “You Can’t Fight Lightning,” “Photograph” and “Don’t Pass Me By” – that are new versions of old songs. His new take on “Back Off Booglaloo” is based on the original recording Starr made, which he discovered during a recent move. The other three are newly recorded collaborations based on performances from Starr’s 2016 “Peace & Love” birthday event. Alberta Cross and Starr perform “You Can’t Fight Lightning” while Vandaveer does Photographand Don’t Pass Me By.
In what’s become an annual tradition, Starr publicly celebrated his birthday at the Capitol Records tower in Los Angeles with friends including brother-in-law Joe Walsh, filmmaker David Lynch, singer Jenny Lewis, Ringo All-Starr band drummer Gregg Bissonette and former Ringo All-Starr Band member Edgar Winter. Starr thanked the crowd for coming and repeated his “peace and love” mantra over several times. Other celebrations were held around the world.