First Hit #1: November 24, 1973
Ringo Starr is a promising country singer sidetracked by being a Beatle. Sure, you can’t complain about being part of one of the most influential pop groups that have ever recorded, but his solo career has suffered from this. The reason is possibly due to being afraid to embrace his inner country singer, both because his country album Beaucoup of Blues failed, and because he knows what people expect from a Beatles member.
Photograph is a country song, even with the ambitious pop orchestration and the attempts to hide it. Starr’s vocals have about as much twang as you can possibly expect from a British man, and his range is well within the country template. The lyrics themselves, like all the good old country songs of the day, are about a love gone wrong with a heaping side of nostalgia. It might build steadily as it goes, but the song would work even better with a steel guitar and maybe some fiddle. As country songs incognito go, this is a pretty great one, and proof enough that brief period where people cared about Ringo’s solo career wasn’t just some fluke. I still wish he would’ve gone full bore country on it, however.