Nov 18, 1973: Ringo Goes #1 With ‘Photograph’

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ringo_photographIt was the first single from his Ringo album, a #1 U.S. chart hit and earned a million-seller gold record for the former drummer for The Beatles. And the result of the only recorded official songwriting collaboration between onetime bandmates Ringo Starr and George Harrsion (although Ringo readily admits that Harrison also contributed to his previous 1972 hit “Back Off Boogaloo”).

Starr and Harrison wrote the song on a yacht on the Mediterranean off the South of France. They recorded an initial version of the song that ruminates on lost love after seeing a photo during the sessions for Harrisons’s Living in the Material World album.

The recording of “Photograph” that became a hit was tracked in Los Angeles with producer Richard Perry. Harrison played acoustic 12-string guitar on the song and sang background vocals. The string and choral arrangements were by Jack Nitzsche, known for his work with the likes of Phil Spector. On November 18, 1973, it became the first of his two solo singles to reach #1 in the U.S.

Related: Our feature story on Ringo

The single wouldn’t be the only creative endeavor by Starr – an avid photographer – that used “Photograph” as its title. It was also the name of a 2007 Ringo “best of” album. And the title of a 2,500 copy signed limited edition book of Starr’s photography first published in 2013, which was re-published in a general consumer issue in 2015.

Watch Ringo sing his big hit

Ringo enjoyed a second #1 hit with his very next single, “You’re Sixteen.” He would ultimately earn eight Top 10 singles in the U.S. (though just four in the U.K.).

Related: Recap of opening night of Ringo and his All-Starr Band’s 2017 tour

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Best Classic Bands Staff

The BCB team brings you the latest Breaking News, Contests, On This Day rock history stories, Classic Videos, retro-Charts and more.
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