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Ringo... a horrible drummer?
25 November 2017
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meanmistermustard
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Phil Collins interview with 'Hitmen' from 1986

HITMEN: You've recorded a version of `Tomorrow Never Knows ' from The Beatles Revolver album. I've always felt that Ringo did some of the best, most creative drumming on that album. How much effect did his drumming have on your own style?

COLLINS: An enormous amount. When I'm playing a song I'll often think about how another drummer might play it, and try to be that player in my per-formance of the song. Often I'll think, `How would Keith Moon play this?' And I'll don my Keith Moon hat. For another song I'll think about John Bonham, or even on occasion Stewart Copeland, but more often than any other drummer I think about Ringo. `That's All,' from Genesis, is a Ringo Starr drum part. `Through These Walls,' from Hello, I Must be Going, is a Ringo drum part.

When I recorded `Tomorrow Never Knows ' I went after a Ringo drum sound, which I've always felt, thanks to George Martin, was one of the great drum sounds of all time. I've had the pleasure of getting to know him and have told him, `The things you did with four track were incredible. I wish things were that way today.' And he said, `No, it's really much better now. Back then you had to live with those limita-tions and with a very compressed drum sound, because with four tracks that's the only way you could record drums.' Yet that's just the sound I wanted to get, so we went with maximum com-pression, for that real Ringo sound.

You know Ringo has stated that he could never properly play a roll. Yet when you listen to `Ticket To Ride ' and Tomorrow Never Knows ,' he's playing these very intricate things throughout. He played some great rolls all through `Ticket To Ride ' and some unbelievably individualistic fills. That's the magic of his playing: he just does it; there's no self-consciousness about it whatsoever. The fills he played on `Strawberry Fields Forever ' are classic rock fills; the drags and his way of phrasing just slightly after the beat on the toms all make for an incredible drum part.

And here is 'Tomorrow Never Knows ', which is actually pretty decent.

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26 November 2017
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Billy Rhythm
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Phil Collins and Ringo Starr share a lot in common, in fact...  both are left-handed (although Ringo doesn't set his kit up like the conventional leftie)...  they appear to prefer to play alongside another drummer in tandem...  the pair also don't get enough credit for their skillsets either, in my opinion...

I knew about Phil playing percussion on the 'All Things Must Pass ' album but only learned recently about this story where George "thanks" him during the final year of his storied life:

http://www.rollingstone.com/mu.....s-20160401

Nice to see that George kept his keen sense of humour right up until the end...  I seem to remember George poking a little fun at Ringo during one of the 'Anthology' extra videos where The Threatles were listening to the original 'Tomorrow Never Knows ' tracks...  he said something about "it's Phil Collins on the drums"...:-)

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Linde said
I still don't believe those White Album rumours. Paul did drum on some tracks, and maybe they misinterpreted that. Where do those rumours even come from?  

Paul drums on Back In The USSR , Dear Prudence doesn't he? Iit's a little shaky, it's not Ringo's style. I don't think Paul re-did any though that Ringo actually had played on, we'd be able tell if it was Ringo or not.

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The Paul recording overtop of Ringo's drumming "rumours" likely started after Peter Brown's book was released...  Brown claims that Paul had been critical of Ringo's drumming to the point that he had re-recorded some of his work after everybody had gone home...  It's hard for anybody to know what really happened when it's been The Beatles' policy all along to take the high road when discussing their inner conflicts...  I can see there being some truth to these "rumours", not because I think that Paul is a jerk or anything, but because of his relentless pursuit in achieving the vision that he had for his songs...  We do know that something happened in late August 1968 to spark Rings to split from the group, something likely bigger than his "I wasn't happy with my playing" (there's "the high road" for you) explanation from the 'Anthology', and these "rumours" would seem to fit in a little better...  Ringo's wife Maureen had said in an interview somewhere that when he came home from work after quitting the band, he was clearly angry with Paul...  She didn't say anything about Ringo not being happy with his own drumming...

 

I believe that 'Back In The U.S.S.R.' was the song that they were working on before Ringo split, a song that Paul plays drums on...  It's not the same scenario where Ringo wasn't around for the bed tracks to 'Dear Prudence ' and Paul had to fill-in, there was most certainly a problem between the two of them for 'Back In The U.S.S.R.'...  now, whether this is because Paul took it upon himself to cover up Ringo's tracks while he was out?...  we'll probably never know...  I've posted the original drum track of Paul playing on 'Dear Prudence ' here before and the tremendous fills towards the end are absent and were clearly done afterwards...  You say, Ludwig, that "we'd be able to tell if it was Ringo or not" and I absolutely agree with this...  there's no paper trail for the overdub, but we do know that it happened and we can tell who's playing on it...  Perhaps there's no paper trail here because Ringo gave Paul a taste of his own medicine and laid it down after he went home to bed...:-)

 

  

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tkj said
Okay please dont kill me for the title, I just wanted to go a little bit over the line so people would click on this thread.

But.. I was sitting on the bus back from school today, listening to Rubber Soul and Revolver in stereo on my headset. And I can hear Ringos drumming clearly at the left earplug.. and I must say, it sounds really bad at some songs.

Like for example: "Got To Get You Into My Life "..

Is it just the recording that are bad, or is Ringo.. kinda bad?
BUT, one thing though: The drumming on RAIN is absolutely killer fantastic! Its probably the part I focus the most on (on that particular song) cause its so good.  

The reason that John, Paul, and George wanted Ringo to replace Pete was because they believed that he was more talented. He was also named the fifth best drummer in the world. I’m just saying that your post is merely opinion.

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50yearslate

Reporter: Beethoven figures in one of your songs. What do you think of Beethoven?
Ringo Starr: He’s great. Especially his poetry.

12 December 2018
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Fifth best?!? FIFTH BEST?!? yeah sorry no i don't accept that.

Best. He is the best.

This is nonnegotiable.

A note to @silverhammerYT : I'm not denouncing at you, I'm denouncing whoever named him the fifth best. I don't want my comment to come across the wrong way a-hard-days-night-paul-7

heartahdn_ringo_09

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50yearslate said
Fifth best?!? FIFTH BEST?!? yeah sorry no i don't accept that.

Best. He is the best.

This is nonnegotiable.

A note to @silverhammerYT : I'm not denouncing at you, I'm denouncing whoever named him the fifth best. I don't want my comment to come across the wrong way a-hard-days-night-paul-7

heartahdn_ringo_09  

Indeed he is the best heart. But the Drummer Hall of Fame thought that people like Neil Peart put up some competition, but for me, no drummer is better than Ringo a-hard-days-night-ringo-11

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50yearslate

Reporter: Beethoven figures in one of your songs. What do you think of Beethoven?
Ringo Starr: He’s great. Especially his poetry.

13 December 2018
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silverhammerYT said

Indeed he is the best heart. But the Drummer Hall of Fame thought that people like Neil Peart put up some competition, but for me, no drummer is better than Ringo a-hard-days-night-ringo-11  

You speak nothing but the truth! heart

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13 December 2018
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Von Bontee
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Since this would appear to be the right thread for it, I'd just like to note that the tempo for Take 18 of "Revolution 1 " decreases fairly significantly over its  ten-minute length. So I guess all the "omg HORRIBLE DRUMMER!!" trolls can use that fact to help their case, maybe. 

Discuss?

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13 December 2018
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50yearslate
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Huh, I never noticed that, but I believe you. Still... the exception doesn't prove the rule.

Apparently some people gathered up all the failed takes of the Beatles in the studio and listened to them all and counted the number of times a tape was messed up because of Ringo. In all those hundreds of messups, only a very tiny number of mistakes were Ringo's fault-- like three or something, I don't know the exact number. Ringo has an incredibly steady beat and that is one of the most important qualities a drummer can have.

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13 December 2018
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Yeah, Ringo had a lot of precision generally...I guess it's hard to maintain a completely steady tempo for such a long period of time. The speed goes up and down a bit especially in the coda of the song...it's a bit of a wobbly, slightly loose & laid-back performance from all concerned, not just Ringo. Anyways, it's not the sort of thing that I personally would even notice if I were just letting the song play in real time - only by clicking the scroll bar to instantly scrub ahead or behind by minutes at a time. 

Anyway, I didn't bring this up to bash Ringo in any way! Just something I discovered a coupla weeks ago and found interesting...

GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions, Marvin Gaye. PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty. 

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13 February 2019
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Billy Rhythm
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I just have to say btw that this thread was not meant as "Ringo sucks!", but a thread where his drumming is open to debate. What is good, what is bad about it... etc?tkj said

Getting back to the original poster's mindframe here, I thought that I'd ask myself this "what is bad about it"? question and honestly was hard pressed to find anything "bad about it"...  My only real complaint is that he doesn't play anymore without the backing of atleast one other drummer...  I can't remember the last time that I've seen him play without somebody else there, it's not only been years but decades...  It's at the point where the other drummer(s) even look like they're working harder than him and he just kinda sits there and smiles a lot...  playing along instead of dictating the flow which was, I believe, the chief reason that The Beatles employed him in the first place over Pete Best...  Ringo was always in the driver's seat with The Beatles and not just a passenger like Pete was...

There could be reasons for this and the obvious one would be his age, but I don't think that that's it...  anyone who sees him nowadays almost always remarks on how fit he looks...  he really is an anomaly at his age, and it's not just his looks...  his energy is that of someone half his age...  I think that it's more about his confidence...  whether it's because a sizable chunk of drummers today don't seem to acknowledge his skillset and pass him off as too simplistic, I'm sure he's heard the talk over the years...  he's also observed how the world of drumming has changed over the years, whether it's the double-kick speed metal, progressive rock inventiveness or technological advances, etc., and doesn't feel as though he's kept up...  I remember a George Harrison interview from the 80's where he confessed that "Ringo Never Practices"...  The Beatles were ALWAYS working so he didn't need to practice...

I feel as though that when he drums live now he's almost become this "prop" (for lack of a better word) that's just brought onstage for people to see, not hear (something that he'd previously complained about when The Beatles played live in Stadiums)...  when he's singing he sounds as good as he always has...  but whether he's drumming or singing now, it's very clear that he still genuinely enjoys himself...  the smiles are as authentic as his legendary recorded works with The Beatles and beyond...:-) 

25 February 2020
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Vera Chuck and Dave
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One listen to She Said She Said proves he's a great drummer.

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William Shears Campbell
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Vera Chuck and Dave said
One listen to She Said She Said proves he's a great drummer.

  

Or Rain

Here | There | Everywhere

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Ringo was a timekeeper. That's not talent, that's a gift. I think that is a lot more valuable. 

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22 March 2020
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Late to the party like I've already said in thread "Is Paul the best bassist?" and I'll use the same kind of analysis.

I play drums myself since 2014 BTW and Ringo is a master for me because:

1 Timekeeping: Ringo is a living metronome. No click tracks back then on stage or in studio. Ringo was the click track! Being able to play decently without hearing the music (Beatles live without monitoring and decent sound reinforcements, screeching audience yelling! ) just following the body movements of his three friends. Try it and hope to be able to run one song without loosing face. Playing simple, slowly like he did on a lot of Beatles tunes and not loosing time and feel, good luck! I can myself play some funky beats... alone in my basement, with so so timekeeping and without a band. I've played drums in our last year school show (elementary music teacher) and had to simplify my playing and listening carefully to the kids.

2 Style and feel: he developed his is own playing with a strong melodic (yes, even if drums are percussive!) feeling and never overplayed. You can easily recognize the Ringo style. Some plays intricate and complicated rhythmic patterns but it could detract from the final goal that is doing a good song. I try to develop my own personal style without too much thinkering about technique.

3 Technically: there is a bunch of better drummers in jazz, progressive, funk, etc... To name a few: Phil Collins in his Genesis days (with Peter Gabriel) and with the supergroup Brand X. Phil is one of the best, seriously. Bill Bruford with Yes and King Crimson. Danny Seraphine in Chicago. Joe Morello with Dave Brubeck and a zillion of jazz drummers... But keeping it interesting, sometimes simple and sometimes quite complicated (it just looks easy, try to replicate it), listening to the song with the right feel, Ringo mastered it. Not that he is the only one but he got it in spades.

4 Musicianship: playing in a band and glue with the others in this organic way without overplaying, really hard to do. Kudos Ringo.

 

As I said for Paul, he changed the way people listen to a pop/rock drummer. He paved the way for a lot of folks learning drums.

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