Best Song Ever! Vol. Five "Photograph", By Ringo Starr
it reminds me of the places we used to go."
I have always had something of a thing for what I call "happy sad songs". That is to say, song that sound fun and uplifting, but are actually kind of sad if you take the time to listen to the lyrics and not just bob your head to the music. "Brown-Eyed Girl" is something of a good example, but I truly prefer the Everclear remake of the song because it brings out MORE of the sadness. I digress.
"Photograph" is among my favorite songs in general, if not on top of the list of favorite happy sad songs. Written by former Beatles, Ringo Starr & George Harrison, this song is often overlooked whenever people are talking about the great songs of our time.
Among the things I like about this song is the simple beauty of its construction and execution. It is a melodic song with easy to remember lyrics in a vocal range most anyone can hit. If you're fans of either George Harrison or Ringo's work, you can see the collaborative effort working so beautifully. Harrison always had a brilliant way of taking the simplest of thoughts and giving them epic meaning. Ringo has always been an easy-going man with a flair for music with a simple message, occasionally played with an epic quality ("Back Door Boogaloo" anyone?). Together they made a truly beautiful masterpiece, illustrating the loss of a lover and how a single photo can spark myriad memories and thoughts.
Of course, as much as I like the song overall, for me, THE ONLY VERSION OF THIS SONG worth playing , especially over & over as I tend to do with my favorite songs, is from the VH1 Storytellers: Ringo Starr album. You simply will not get a better rendition of this song anywhere.
Everything from this performance, from the vocals to the musicianship, and the technical stuff like the sound mixing are stellar. It doesn't hurt that the great Joe Walsh is playing on this CD either.
Ringo Starr and the music he has made over the years are often considered to be something of a joke. It is sad to think that of someone who was a part of something so special and revered in rock music and, essentially, history. He is a funny man with an odd sense of humor that only years of rock living and excess can bring about. That being said, I defy anyone to listen to the VH1 version of "Photograph" and not be moved.
I was fortunate enough to get to see one of the incarnations of Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band a few years back. I am more than hopeful to check it out again because the program is always fantastic. Ringo, surrounded by many other musicians, all playing the songs for which they are best known. Not a bad night out. Even though it was no surprise, when they played "Photograph" on stage, I was nearly in tears I was so happy. It really is the Best Song Ever!
Photograph sample on Amazon.
Best Song Ever! Vol. Two: "A Life of Illusion", by Joe Walsh
Best Song Ever! Vol. Three: "Asshole", By Denis Leary
Best Song Ever! Vol. Four: "Just a Closer Walk with Thee", By Venice Beach Boys
Labels: Best Song Ever