The idea, back in 1980, was to resurrect Ringo Starr's recording career by the same method that it had been launched with the Ringo album in 1973 -- by having his fellow Beatles and other well-known friends help out. John Lennon was working on a song called "Nobody Told Me," and George Harrison had one ready to go. Then Lennon was murdered in December. His Ringo song languished (his own version would be released in 1984), while Harrison took his tune back and rewrote the lyrics for what became his own hit, "All Those Years Ago." Then Ringo's label, Portrait, lacked enthusiasm for the album, and he moved on to Boardwalk. Finally released as Boardwalk 33246, Stop and Smell the Roses was Ringo's strongest and most effervescent album since Goodnight Vienna, containing two good songs by Paul McCartney and one by George Harrison -- "Wrack My Brain," which became Ringo's final Top 40 hit -- along with music by Harry Nilsson, Ron Wood, and Stephen Stills. Long out of print, Stop and Smell the Roses reappeared on Capitol's The Right Stuff reissue label on September 6, 1994, with six bonus tracks, reflecting the changes made in the album from its original, unreleased version, that increased the album's length by nearly 70 percent and demonstrated that the later song selection was better.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann