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Ringo Starr Says New Beatles Remix Turned Obscure Album Track Into A Favorite

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The new remix of the Beatles’ 1968 double album, the “White Album,” has forced Ringo Starr to re-access the legendary collection. Producer Giles Martin is receiving raves for his work compiling and revamping the group’s 50th anniversary seven-disc “Super Deluxe Edition” of the “White Album.”

Ringo has long maintained that his favorite piece on the “White Album” is the bare-bones two guitars, bass, and drums recording of John Lennon’s “Yer Blues”: “‘Yer Blues’ is my favorite, only because we were in a 10-foot room, not that huge room at EMI (Studios). And we were like a band again, y’know — like a little club band. . . we’re all monsters because there’s no separation. As you can hear, John’s singing loud again, and you can hear the old voice coming through my mic or one of the amp mics. There’s no separation.”

It’s taken the fine tuning of Giles Martin and remix engineer Sam Okell to blow Ringo’s mind on what arguably could be called the double album’s sleeper cut, the George Harrison ballad, “Long, Long, Long” which closes out side three of the vinyl album: “But ‘Long, Long, Long’ . . . I was talking to (George’s widow) Olivia (Harrison) about this. Before (the remix), ‘Long, Long, Long’ was actually just part of the album. But with the remaster, it is sensational. So beautiful — it’s very moving. And I didn’t think we got that a hundred years ago, when we made it.”

When his playing was described as being part of a conversation between him and Harrison, Ringo said: “Yeah, that’s how I played really. Y’know what I mean? I played with the singer — that’s how I’ve always played. If he’s singing, I sort of just hold it together. But if there’s some emotional move I’ve got, it just comes out, usually though when they’re not singing. So it can stand up beautiful. And we have to thank Giles.”

Mark Rivera of the Billy Joel band has served as Ringo’s longtime musical director for his All Starr Band, and told us that Ringo’s drumming technique is as brilliant as it is authentic: “The bottom line is that Ringo swings. And that will never — no matter. . . you could put the hi-hat behind him; it’s just the way it is. It’s in his DNA. It’s just this looseness. . . It’s that’s who he is. He just plays that way. (Laughs) He’s just that guy.”

Photo Courtesy of Apple Corps

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