Wrack My Brain

Album: Stop And Smell The Roses (1981)
Charted: 38
Play Video


  • George Harrison wrote this song to express his frustrations about writing the kind of pop songs his record company (Warner Brothers) wanted, and about the music scene in general. He later decided to back off and gave it to Ringo, who loved the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ken - Louisville, KY
  • Harrison produced this track, played guitar on it and sang backup.
  • That's Al Kooper of Blood Sweat & Tears fame on keyboards. Kooper played on this track and "You Belong To Me" at a session at George Harrison's home in England. Kooper relates in his memoir Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards that he was a little surprised to be invited to play with two former Beatles. A mutual friend, Herbie Flowers (bass and guitar player for Elton John, David Bowie, and others), hooked them up. Kooper thought it was Flowers playing a prank on him when the call came in at 9:30PM the night before the session, but it was George Harrison asking what kind of keyboard instrument Kooper preferred - from his choice of a Hammond B3 organ, a Fender Rhodes, a Wurlitzer piano, and an Arp Omni.

Comments: 4

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 1st 1981, "Wrack My Brain" by Ringo Starr entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #79; and five weeks later on December 6th, 1981 it peaked at #38 {for 1 week} and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #10 in Switzerland...
    "Wrack My Brain" was his twelfth and last record* to make the Top 100; seven of the twelve records made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "Photograph" for 1 week in 1973 and "You're Sixteen" for 1 week in 1974...
    Ringo, born Richard Starkey, Jr., will celebrate his 75th birthday come next July 7th {2015}...
    * Interestingly, his debut record, "Beaucoups of Blues", entered the Top 100 exactly eleven years earlier on November 1st, 1970; it peaked at #87.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyAnd yes, that IS Barbara Bach in the video playing the woman in the straight jacket. Ringo said that after this was shot, they took the jacket home. He slyly said "What fun!"
  • Kevin from Reading , PaThis is one of Ringo's best, from the "Stop and Smell the Roses" album. The album also featured two pretty good McCartney songs, "Attention" and "Private Property." In fact, these songs were better than some of the material McCartney was producing for himself at the time, namely the "Back to the Egg" album. I think I'm correct in saying that this was Ringo's last Top 40 chart entry.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThis was also the "sustitue" song for Ringo who was first offered an early version of "All Those Years Ago", written by George specifically for Ringo (before John Lennon's murder). Ringo felt he had already covered the same ground in "I'm The Greatest" so he asked George if he had another song, and George dug this out. This was recorded a few weeks before John's death. Ironicaly, John had a song of his own waiting for Ringo called "Nobody Told Me".
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New York

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkSong Writing

Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.

Guy Clark

Guy ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.

Music Video Director David Hogan

Music Video Director David HoganSong Writing

David talks about videos he made for Prince, Alabama, Big & Rich, Sheryl Crow, DMB, Melissa Etheridge and Sisters of Mercy.

Harry Shearer

Harry ShearerSongwriter Interviews

Harry is Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, Mark Shubb in The Folksmen, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.

Dennis DeYoung

Dennis DeYoungSongwriter Interviews

Dennis DeYoung explains why "Mr. Roboto" is the defining Styx song, and what the "gathering of angels" represents in "Come Sail Away."

Cheerleaders In Music Videos

Cheerleaders In Music VideosSong Writing

It started with a bouncy MTV classic. Nirvana and MCR made them scary, then Gwen, Avril and Madonna put on the pom poms.