Ringo Starr

King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Ringo Starr

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For his 2001 All-Star Band outing -- his fourth captured on album -- Ringo Starr is joined by fellow old-timers like bassist Greg Lake, Ian Hunter on guitars, Sheila E., Howard Jones, and Supertramp's Roger Hodgson (who contributes three songs, with the rest relegated to a single track apiece). It's an eclectic group, but all deliver fine, if predictable, readings of their biggest hits, with Sheila E.'s ten-minute version of her "Glamorous Life" a concert and album highlight. Starr checks in with nine tunes, including such relative rarities as "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "Don't Go Where the Road Don't Go" from his Time Takes Time album. Starr is in particularly fine fettle on this evening, leading the Chicago crowd through singalongs of chestnuts "Yellow Submarine" and "With a Little Help From My Friends," sounding remarkably enthused by this band and his status as rock & roll's elder statesman. While the repertoire of Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Lucky Man," Mott the Hoople's "All the Young Dudes," and Jones' "No One Is to Blame" wouldn't seem to easily co-exist in the same set with a handful of Beatles and solo Ringo Starr hits, the band's enthusiasm and chops keep the show exciting and focused. That makes this a consistently entertaining, if far from essential, listen. With its crisp sound and lively performances from world-class musicians clearly having a grand time, it's the next best thing to being there.

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