Goodnight Vienna (1974)


 
1. (It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna 2. Occapella 3. Oo-Wee 4. Husbands and Wives 5. Snookeroo 6. All By Myself 7. Call Me 8. The No No Song 9. Only You (And You Alone) 10.Easy For Me 11.(It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna (Reprise) 12.Back of Boogaloo 13.Blind Man 14.Six O'Clock (Extended Version)

 

Fortunately, he's trying, to some extent, to replicate the success of last year's Ringo, at least in many of its aspects. No, it's not as good, but that's usually what happens when an artist tries to copy their own masterpiece. This album brings in a lot of outside writers and influences as the last record did - and most of the time it succeeds. Also, he does a fairly good job on his own songs here as well. None are quite as powerful, but they blend with the rest of the album.

Only one ex-Beatle is here - Lennon writes and performs on the title track . Overall it's a strong piece, but it's hampered by too much stops-and-starts with Ringo trying to be too cutesy. It's a bit of a shame because the melody is very strong and one wishes it wouldn't have been so herky-jerky. Other guest star highlights include the beautiful (but way too short) Harry Nilsson composition Easy for Me and the Elton John - Bernie Taupin track Snookeroo. Fortunately, Elton plays some killer piano on the track as well.

Only You (and You Alone) was the first single, and it did quite well. As far as old favorites go, it never resonated with me quite as much as I would like. Ringo has a lot of talents, but songs that require a strong singing voice (which this one does) ends up feeling like something is missing. Hoyt Axton's The No-No Song is what some might consider funny, but I've always had a problem with addiction songs when the singer actually has (in this case 'had') somewhat of a serious problem. Not too politically correct of a tune for today's standards.

Everything thing else is hit or miss. The production never seems as "grand" as the Ringo album, being somewhat more low key in the arrangements. That potentially made it not as strong. Still, one of the brighter spots of the catalog, and he was still riding high on the wave of his somewhat short-lived popularity during the time.


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