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When Ringo Starr’s breakout single got some help from an old Beatle friend

In early 1970, when the Beatles were about to split, Ringo Starr visited Paul McCartney’s house at the request of his three band mates at Apple headquarters. Would Paul delay the release of his debut solo album until after the arrival of the? let it be Album and film?

In short, Paul’s answer to Ringo was “no”. But it didn’t stop there. In addition to his blanket refusal to accept Ringo’s request, Paul threw Ringo off his property and threatened to “do it”. Needless to say, Ringo and Paul would not drink tea and cut plates together so quickly.

Ringo, however, had solid relationships with John Lennon and George Harrison. In John̵

7;s heavyweight solo debut in 1970, Ringo sits on the drummer’s seat. In the same year, Ringo played on tracks for George’s triple-disc blockbusters. All things have to go.

When it was time for Ringo to test the water with his own solo work, George was more than willing to help. And the song he produced in 1970 and helped Ringo write became a breakout hit for the former Beatles drummer the following year.

George Harrison produced and wrote Ringo’s “It Don’t Come Easy”.

Ringo Starr and George Harrison perform at the Bangladesh concert in 1971.
George Harrison on guitar and Ringo Starr on drums at the 1971 concert in Bangladesh Thomas Monaster / NY Daily news on Getty Images

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In March 1970, music fans got their first impression of Ringo’s solo work Sentimental journey, an album with pop standards that sold pretty well. Later that year, viewers heard his first Post-Beatles work with the Nashville single “Beaucoup of Blues” (and the album of the same name).

This release didn’t set the charts on fire. (The album reached 65th on the Billboard 200 at the end of 1970.) But Ringo could easily exceed these efforts with his next single “It Don’t Come Easy”. With George Harrison as a producer and uncredited co-author, the track started Ringo’s solo career.

Although the single only aired in April ’71, recording started during the Sentimental journey Meetings in the previous year. Then George Ringo helped write and arrange the track. The opening notes indicate that it is a track on which it could have appeared All things have to go.

The guitarist’s (George) identity did not need to be investigated, and old friend Klaus Voormann played bass, with Stephen Stills contributing a piano part. After the first 30 seconds it had what it took to be a hit, and George’s guitar solo overdid it.

“It’s not easy” hit 4th place on both sides of the Atlantic

Ringo Starr and George Harrison in 1967
Ringo Starr and George Harrison pose for the “All You Need Is Love” session. | Cummings Archives / Redferns

It’s hard to hear “It Don’t Come Easy” and downplay the influence of George Harrison. His stamp is on every aspect of the track, but he made sure that the best came out in Ringo. Music fans around the world agreed, and Ringo achieved his greatest success to date.

“It Don’t Come Easy” reached # 1 in Canada and # 4 in both the US and the UK. It has now had the same success in Europe, Africa and Australia. In short, Ringo arrived with this track as a solo artist. And he kept going with “Back Off Boogaloo” (also written with George) the following year.

Why didn’t George take out a songwriting loan? A convincing theory is that George wanted to give his friend’s solo career a boost, so he actually donated it to him. In the late 90s, a few years before George’s death, Ringo introduced “It Don’t Come Easy” by revealing that he actually wrote it with his old Beatle buddy.

RELATED: When Ringo Starr felt like an equal member of the Beatles

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