Recently, Ringo dispelled rumors of a Beatles reunion; after all, John and George left us many years ago. Yet, it’s still possible that Ringo and Paul can reunite in some kinetic interactive symbiosis of popish tune-smithing in very short order. *(Well, you know what me means by Beatling!) With the free and easy access of song digital downloading on itunes, being what it is nowadays, I mustered up my own creation of a new Beatles’ single (both A sides, of course), with Ringo’s Wings (from Ringo 2012) on one side and Paul’s My Valentine (from Kisses On The Bottom) on the other side.
The two new ex-Beatle songs are just like Yin and Yang Lovebirds that satisfy different emotional needs inside of us. Wings is more of a rocker, that lifts us up and propels us off the Potato Couch, and gets us cutting the rug to the pounding thump of Ringo’s drum kit. On the other hand, Paul’s is a wistful, introspective love ballad that makes us reflective and dreamy, longing for those earlier days when he and John penned so many classics that tear at your heartstrings.
A very encomiastical single from two antediluvian Mop-Top, Liverpudlian comrades. Ringo resurrected Wings from his 1977 release, Ringo The 4th. The song was co-written with Vinnie Poncia, and the original recording is much slower; a trodden(ly)-paced boogie-woogie with characteristic horns (as was common in the ’70s) punctuating the rhythm section. This time around, Ringo brings a fresh energy and drive to the song, as it’s more tinged with a reggae/rock motion flow.
Also, Ringo sings the well-written lyrics with more oomph and conviction (on this take), as if he really means the bit about flying past the cesspool-pit of problems percolating down in the earthly realms. “If I had the wings of an eagle, Over these broken dreams I will fly. If I could be shot like an arrow, Straight to you in your arms I will lie. Don’t you know I love you? Don’t you know I need you so?” And don’t you love the middle eight? The part ’bout ‘the music keeps going around in my ears!’
As quick as you can whistle dixie, you’ll want to flip the 45″ vinyl single over and settle in to Paul’s simple, yet melodic ballad, My Valentine, most fitting for the lovebird infested, rose-heart filled month of February. The arrangement is so parred down, with mainly just Eric Clapton’s acoustic guitar tweaking, Paul’s piano jangling, and a few strings thrown in for complementary color.
Yet Slowhand Eric Clapton’s solo after the third verse purloins the show, and his gentle, accompanying riffs to the final bookend of verse 1, could be (pleasantly) mistaken as George’s guitar in an early Beatle ballad (such as And I Love Her).
Seriously, the reviews I’ve read on Paul’s new trip down memory lane, his read on American jazz classics, have a propensity for being scathing put downs. Okay, so some critics are saying Sir Paul simply can’t sing jazz! But my humble opinion about this one original tune from his new album, Kisses From The Bottom, is that it ranks right up there with some of Paul’s best songs, such as Yesterday, Michelle, or And I Love Her.
It’s safe to say, Paul has garnered a great amount of inspiration from his new wife, Nancy Shevell. Moreover, by reflecting back on the American catalog (such as It’s Only A Paper Moon or Bye Bye Blackbird), and remembering how his dad (Jim) would play these favorites when he was young (and even John had loved these classics), Paul was able to write in a similar vein, then interpret it in a recording that gives it a loungy, uncluttered feel. It’s simplicity is what makes it work so well for me.
“What if it rained? We didn’t care. She said that someday soon the sun was gonna shine. And she was right, this love of mine, My Valentine.” Nice bridge follows after the second verse too. And having Eric around gives us a sense of old friends still doing what they like to do, which is make most beautiful music together. At one time, Eric and George were best of friends, but now that George is gone, he can pass on the baton of friendship to his old mate, Sir Paul, and the symbiosis is smoother still than all the silks of India!
Well, no more do we rotate this gentle ballad a few dozen times, then we need to flip it over again and listen to Joe Walsh wail on the solo when Ringo utters: ‘All right!’ Starr and McCartney work well together, even if they’re not really working together. Well, you know what I mean, it seems like they are. So, we’ll keep an eagle-eye look out for the quasi-reunion, and in the meantime, we’re still granted a gift of two new Beatle solo albums right at the very same time!