Ringo Starr

Complete Works

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For all their fame in rock lore as the band in which Ringo Starr drummed before joining the Beatles, Rory Storm & the Hurricanes released just five tracks on record. All of them (none of them recorded with Starr in the lineup) are on this five-song CD, whose package doesn't exactly inspire confidence as to its authorized nature, though it claims to be on the Street label in Chicago. Three of them (covers of "I Can Tell," "Dr. Feelgood," and "Beautiful Dreamer") appeared on the two volumes of the compilation LPs This Is Merseybeat; the others, covers of "America" (from the musical West Side Story) and the Everly Brothers' "Since You Broke My Heart," appeared on their sole major-label 45 in 1964. While Storm is often hailed as a great performer in tales of the Merseybeat scene, he and the Hurricanes don't come through as anything other than an average early British rock band on these cuts, in large part because they didn't write any of their songs. Too, Storm doesn't even sing on a couple numbers, with bassist Lu Walters handling lead on "Beautiful Dreamer" and "Since You Broke My Heart." At least the package, as gray-area as it is, does include comprehensive if rambling liner notes. There's no way the legend can live up to the fairly forgettable second-division Merseybeat contents, however, leaving this CD as a footnote of interest mostly to serious Beatles collectors.