Ringo Starr – It Don’t Come Easy

8th May 1971 · 1970s, 1971, Music
Ringo may have been the least talented Beatle (so they say) but his solo career produced my favourite ex-Beatle songs: Photograph, Back Off Boogaloo – and this.

I didn’t grow up with The Beatles in my life – they broke up around the time I started hearing music – so songs like this and My Sweet Lord and McCartney’s Another Day and some awful tripe by John and Yoko were my first taste of the band that everybody thought was the best of all time.
I can’t say the others’ solo efforts convinced me, but I did love this one, with its chiming guitar intro and lazy swing. I was probably surprised to find that the singer was actually a drummer by trade; one whose vocal contributions had previously been limited to some drug-addled nonsense about an octopus.
Despite being credited to Ringo, his old mucker George Harrison had a big hand in this – co-writing it, producing it at Abbey Road, playing the guitar, and inevitably inserting some ‘Hare Krishna’ stuff (sung by the boys in Badfinger) that is thankfully mixed down so you can barely hear it. I read that Ringo had to put the mockers on George’s attempt to include a whole verse about his beloved Hare Krishna.
Anyway, here it is. The guitar riff is just fantastic – and I always felt it was the inspiration, if not the template, for the equally great song Better Scream by Wah! Heat a few years later, though I once asked that song’s composer and guitarist, Pete Wylie, and he was loath to admit as much.