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Album: Y NotReleased: 2010
This ode to friendship is the lead single from Ringo Starr's 16th studio album, Y Not
. It was penned by Starr and American composer Van Dyke Parks
, whose best known for his collaborations with Brian Wilson for The Beach Boys.
The song is a duet between Ringo and Paul McCartney, in which McCartney echoes Starr's vocals one beat behind. "I had this little idea for a harmony on one of them," McCartney told USA Today, "and I said, 'You probably don't want this, but let me show you this idea.' And he liked it, and so I ended up singing some harmonies. He's great to work with. He always was and always will be." It was the first song ever to feature the two former Beatles bandmates singing in a duet.
The track wasn't originally conceived as a potential collaboration with his Fab Four mate. McCartney, according to Starr, was originally slated just to play bass on "Peace Dream
." However Starr told Billboard
magazine that he listened to some of the other songs and ended up contributing a vocal to this one. "He heard that one and said, 'Gimme a pair of (headphones) and give me a track. I want to do something on that,'" Ringo recalled.
Y Not is the first of Starr's solo albums on which he served as primary producer. He began the album back in 2008 "sitting at home with nothing better to do in L.A." and playing around with ProTools and synthesizers he keeps there. "I was just sort of building up these tracks... just having fun and seeing what happened," he recalled to Billboard magazine. "When I finally got it where I felt, 'There's enough music now.' I started calling people in and played 'em two tracks and said, 'I'd like to write a song with you on one of these. You can pick whichever track.' That's how we started writing."