KSD 19108 Ringo The 4th
Produced by Arif Mardin
Released on September 20, 1977
Find it at GEMM
KSD 19108 cover
[high resolution photo]

R ingo’s recording career deserved to be taken seriously, but was the world ready to accept Ringo as a serious musical artist? This is the question that Ringo the 4th asked. (The answer, in case you’re wondering, is 162.) Gone are the boozy covers, the Beatles and the humble humor that made his previous albums so endearing. In their stead is a remarkably tight studio band, top-notch production from Arif Mardin and Ringo’s now-emphatic (if slightly grim) delivery. But where’s lovable old Ringo in all this? “Drowning In The Sea of Love” is dire, disco and definitely not what Ringo’s legions had come to expect from the author of “A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Oh My My.” Without a likeable single to latch on to, drown is exactly what Ringo the 4th did, becoming his first album not to enter the US Top 100. In its defense (and I can’t help myself), the album isn’t any worse than Rotogravure. There’s nothing on Ringo the 4th as infectious as “Cookin’ (In The Kitchen of Love),” nothing as bad as “I’ll Still Love You” (though the cover of “Can She Do It Like She Dances” is pretty awful). Meanwhile, Ringo the songwriter emerges strong, gaining credibility with a 60/40 split (in concert with Vini Poncia) that doesn’t account for the album’s lamest moments (“Wings” isn’t embarrassing at all, for example). But without a tasty morsel like “Photograph” or “A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll” to tease them, music listeners weren’t going to buy a Ringo Starr album that had nothing to do with The Beatles. Looking forward, Ringo the 4th set the groundwork for subsequent Yoko Ono albums like Seasons of Glass and It’s Alright. It’s certainly not one of his better albums, but if you bought into his various incarnations in the first place (standards singer, country artist, pop star), why not Ringo the disco singer on the fourth?

KSD 19108 back cover KSD 19108 picture sleeve
KSD 19108 back cover KSD 19108 picture sleeve


  1. DROWNING IN THE SEA OF LOVE    (Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff)    5:08
  2. TANGO ALL NIGHT    (Tom Seufert/Steve Hague)    2:55
  3. WINGS    (Richard Starkey/Vini Poncia)    3:24
  4. GAVE IT ALL UP    (Richard Starkey/Vini Poncia)    4:40
  5. OUT ON THE STREETS    (Richard Starkey/Vini Poncia)    4:25
  6. CAN SHE DO IT LIKE SHE DANCES    (Steve Duboff/Gerry Robinson)    3:12
  7. SNEAKING SALLY THROUGH THE ALLEY    (Allen R. Toussaint)    4:03
  8. IT'S NO SECRET    (Richard Starkey/Vini Poncia)    3:40
  9. GYPSIES IN FLIGHT    (Richard Starkey/Vini Poncia)    3:01
  10. SIMPLE LOVE SONG    (Richard Starkey/Vini Poncia)    2:57


RINGO STARR -- lead vocals & drums
STEVE (It's the good life) GADD -- drums
DON GROLNICK -- keyboards
TONY LEVIN -- bass
JEFF MIRONOV -- guitars
DAVID SPINOZZA -- lead guitar
JOHN TROPEA -- guitars
Maxine Anderson -- background vocals
Joe Bean -- background vocals
Ken Bischel -- synthesizer
Michael Brecker -- tenor solos
Randy Brecker -- brass & reeds leader, trumpet
David Bromberg -- electric guitar (9)
Don Brooks -- harmonica
Robin Clark -- background vocals
Cornell Dupree -- guitars (7)
Dick Fegy -- acoustic guitar (9)
David Foster -- clavinet, piano, keyboards
Jimmy Gilstrap -- background vocals
Debra Gray -- background vocals
Jeff Gutcheon -- electric piano (9)
Duitch Helmer -- background vocals
Brie Howard -- background vocals
Danny Kortchmar -- guitars (10)
David Lasley -- background vocals
Rebecca Louis -- background vocals
Melissa Manchester -- background vocals
Nick Marrero -- percussion (7)
Arnold McCuller -- background vocals
Hugh McDonald -- bass (9)
Bette Midler -- background vocals (2)
Gene Orloff -- concert master
Lynn Pitney -- background vocals
Vini Poncia -- background vocals
Chuck Rainey -- bass
Richard Tee -- electric piano and clavinet (7)
Luther Vandross -- background vocals
Lon Van Eaton -- guitars
Marietta Waters -- background vocals
Lew Hahn -- engineer, mixing, sleeve photography
Gene Paul -- additional engineer
Nancy Andrews -- cover & liner photography
Kosh -- design

WW September 20, 1977 Polydor LP 2310 556 picture sleeve
US September 26, 1977 Atlantic LP SD 19108 picture sleeve
CAN 1977 Atlantic LP KSD 19108 picture sleeve
JPN 1977 Polydor LP MPF-1104 insert
US August 18, 1992 Atlantic CD 82416  


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