When the Beatles broke up in 1970, it was assumed that John, Paul, and George would have successful solo careers. John's first solo album of popular music was released in 1969. McCartney's album was released the month that the Beatles broke up in April 1970. Harrison's album, Wonderwall Music, was released in 1968. It was uncertain if Ringo Starr would be successful as a solo artist.
No one would question his drumming capabilities, or his acting abilities, but as a songwriter and vocalist, he was different than the other Beatles. First, his voice was much more of a baritone and didn't fit the pop mold. Second, he didn't write many songs as a Beatle. Sure he penned lines here and there. It has been said that he wrote the line "writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear" as well as "darning his socks" from the song Eleanor Rigby, but this does not constitute a classic like "Here Comes the Sun." Most of the songs that Starr did while in the Beatles were Lennon/McCartney songs that were written especially for his vocal range.
Flash-forward over 35 years and not only did Ringo Starr have a solo career, but also one that has a best-of album with 20 songs. Even a couple of number one hits. In fact, with the release of his 1973 album Ringo, Starr was the most successful ex-Beatle at the time. Photograph: The Very Best Of Ringo is that best of album. While I won't go into every song — there are none that are bad on the album — these are a few of my favorites.
"Photograph" is one of the classic signature Ringo songs. Written by Ringo and George Harrison, it hit number one on the U.S. charts in October 1973. At the concert for George, after his death, Starr commented to the crowd that the lines "All I got is a photograph…" now have a different meaning.
"It Don't Come Easy" reached number four on the U.S. charts in 1971. One of the things that made Ringo so successful was that he surrounded him self with talent. This song was no exception. Playing on the track was George Harrison, Stephen Stills, Gary Wright (Spooky Tooth and Solo career), and Pete Ham (Badfinger).
"You're Sixteen (You're Beautiful And You're Mine)" was his second number one hit from the Ringo album and what made him more successful than the other three Beatles at the time. This tune included Paul McCartney, Nicky Hopkins (one of the most important session musician in the 60's and 70's), and Harry Nilsson (Grammy winning singer/songwriter).