558 598-2 Vertical Man
Produced by Mark Hudson & Ringo Starr
Released on June 16, 1998
Find it at GEMM
558 598-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

A s much of a fuss as people made of Paul McCartney’s Flaming Pie, Ringo’s Vertical Man stands equally tall in my eyes. Fast as I can say “It’s a return to...” someone will answer: “I thought that’s what Time Takes Time was all about.” And they’d be right, sorta. Time Takes Time is someone else’s vision of The Beatles, with Ringo in the middle. Vertical Man is Ringo being Ringo being nostalgic, which is a good place to be. The songs are written by Ringo and Mark Hudson, Dean Grakal and Steve Dudas; not the Fab Four exactly, and as for Ringo’s part in all this... well, he was probably in the room at the time they were written. (Only kidding.) But the best Ringo Starr albums are never really about Ringo. He’s just the host of the party and he’ll sing if you egg him on, but it’s always with a self-effacing shrug. If it’s a good song, he’ll pull it off. If it’s not a good song, you don’t hold it against him. He gets a lot of good songs on Vertical Man. “One,” “Vertical Man” and “La De Da” are some of the best songs he’s sung since the golden age of Ringo. What golden age? It was kinda short (1973-1974), so maybe you were napping. If you enjoy starr-gazing, you’ll spot Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler playing harmonica on a straight cover of “Love Me Do,” Joe Walsh adding a dark guitar solo to “Mindfield,” Alanis Morissette’s voice spicing up “I Was Walkin’,” and a couple of lads name Paul and George popping in from time to time. As a very funny man once said (in a very unfunny movie), it’s good to be the king. If you really enjoyed Ringo and Goodnight Vienna, Vertical Man’ll be right up your alley. A little something from everyone, with a lot of somebodies from everywhere, which nobody does better than Ringo.

558 598-2 picture sleeve 558 598-2 picture sleeve cont'd
558 598-2 picture sleeve 558 598-2 picture sleeve cont'd


  1. ONE    (Richard Starkey/Mark Hudson/Dean Grakal/Steve Dudas)    3:02
  2. WHAT IN THE...WORLD    (Richard Starkey/Mark Hudson/Dean Grakal/Steve Dudas)    3:29
  3. MINDFIELD    (Richard Starkey/Mark Hudson/Dean Grakal/Steve Dudas)    4:07
  4. KING OF BROKEN HEARTS    (Richard Starkey/Mark Hudson/Dean Grakal/Steve Dudas)    4:44
  5. LOVE ME DO    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)    3:45
  6. VERTICAL MAN    (Richard Starkey/Mark Hudson/Dean Grakal/Steve Dudas)    4:42
  7. DRIFT AWAY    (Mentor Williams)    4:10
  8. I WAS WALKIN'    (Richard Starkey/Mark Hudson/Dean Grakal)    3:21
  9. LA DE DA    (Richard Starkey/Mark Hudson/Dean Grakal/Steve Dudas)    5:41
  10. WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING    (Richard Starkey/Mark Hudson/Steve Dudas)    4:22
  11. I'LL BE FINE ANYWHERE    (Richard Starkey/Mark Hudson/Dean Grakal/Steve Dudas)    3:41
  12. PUPPET    (Richard Starkey/Mark Hudson/Dean Grakal/Steve Dudas)    3:21
  13. I'M YOURS    (Richard Starkey/Mark Hudson/Mark Nevin)    3:23

    JPN CD bonus tracks


RINGO STARR -- vocals, drums, percussion, bongos, mellotron, synthesizer strings, rhythmatic guitar, keyboard, plastic guitar solo, artwork
JIM COX -- B3 organ, cello synth, Wurlitzer, piano, sax synth
STEVE DUDAS -- bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, guitar solo
MARK HUDSON -- electric guitar, keyboards, background vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion, bass, synthesizer, mellotron, piano, synthesizer strings, string arrangement, banjo, celeste, additional engineering
Keith Allison -- background vocals (9)
Lisa Banks -- background vocals
Astrid Barber -- background vocals (9)
James Barber -- background vocals (9)
Jeff "Skunk" Baxter -- pedal steel guitar (1)
John Bergamo -- tabla
Blake V. Brown -- background vocals (9)
Scott Brown -- background vocals (9)
Vincent Brown -- background vocals (9)
Joie Calio -- background vocals (9)
Steve Cropper -- electric guitar, electric guitar solo
Jim Cushinery -- background vocals (9)
Doug Fieger -- background vocals (9)
Eric Gardner -- background vocals (9)
Dave Gibbs -- background vocals (12)
John Goodwin -- background vocals
Scott Gordon -- engineer, percussion, harmonica, background vocals****
Bruce Grakal -- background vocals (9)
Christopher Grakal -- background vocals
Dean Grakal -- handclaps, background vocals
Ronni Grakal -- background vocals (9)
Little David Greedy -- tambourine (7)
Eric Greedy -- tambourine, background vocals, addiional engineering
Steve Greenberg -- background vocals (9)
Michael Gurley -- background vocals (9)
George Harrison -- slide guitar solo, electric guitar solo, additional engineering
Kay Harrison -- background vocals (9)
Tommy Harrison -- background vocals (9)
Dawn Hoenie -- background vocals (9)
Sarah Hudson -- background vocals
Daniel Lanois -- background vocals (9)
Phil Leavitt -- background vocals (9)
Stuart Lerner, M.D. -- background vocals (9)
Nils Lofgren -- background vocals (9)
George Martin -- string arrangement (13)
Paul McCartney -- bass, background vocals
Howard McCrary -- background vocals
James McCrary -- background vocals (10)
Leon McCrary -- background vocals (10)
Alanis Morissette -- background vocals
Mark Nevin -- acoustic guitar (13)
Ozzy Osbourne -- background vocals (6)
Gabriella Paglia -- background vocals (9)
Van Dyke & Sally & Elizabeth Parks -- background vocals (9)
Carolyn Perry -- background vocals (10)
Darlene Perry -- background vocals (10)
Sharon Perry -- background vocals (10)
Joel Peskin -- sax (12)
Tom Petty -- vocals (7)
Nina Piaseckyi -- cello (6)
Graham Preskett -- string arrangements (4)
Christian Phillippe-Quilici -- opera vocal (10)
Christina Rasch -- background vocals
Lady Marjorie Rufus-Isaacs -- background vocals (9)
Jean Schmit -- background vocals (9)
Timothy B. Schmit -- background vocals
Alfie Silas-Durio -- background vocals (10)
Barbara Bach Starkey -- background vocals, artwork
Lee Starkey -- background vocals (9)
Tina Stem -- background vocals (9)
Rose Stone -- background vocals
Jennifer Sylvor -- background vocals (9)
Steven Tyler -- background vocals, harmonica, drums****
Barbara Vander Linde -- background vocals
Tatiana Von Furstenberg -- background vocals (9)
Joe Walsh -- electric guitar, electric guitar solo, slide guitar solo, background vocals
Scott Wieland -- background vocals
Brian Wilson -- background vocals (10)
Ollie Woodson -- background vocals
Geoff Emerick -- mixing, additional engineering
Susanne Marie Edgren -- associate producer
Andrew Sheps -- additional engineering
Paul Wright -- additional engineering
Rupert Coulson -- additional engineering
Adam Weiner -- poster photography
Henry Diltz -- vertical man photo of Ringo
Margery Greenspan -- art direction
Sandra Monteparo -- design and layout

US 1998 Mercury CDLE 558 400  
US/BRA/CAN/GER June 16, 1998 Mercury CD/CS 558 598 lyric sleeve
JPN July 1998 Mercury CDX PHCR-1640 w. bonus tracks
JPN 2005 Universal CDX UICY-94393 SHMCD remaster w. bonus tracks


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