Bad Boy (Ringo Starr album)

Bad Boy is the seventh studio album by Ringo Starr, released in 1978 during a period where his musical career was sliding into freefall after several years of solo success. Although Bad Boy was meant to reverse this trend, Starr's fortunes dwindled further.

Bad Boy
Ringo Starr - Bad Boy.jpg
Studio album by
Released21 April 1978
RecordedNovember 1977
StudioElite, Bahamas; Can-Base, Vancouver
LabelPolydor (UK)
Portrait (US)
ProducerVini Poncia
Ringo Starr chronology
Ringo the 4th
Bad Boy
Stop and Smell the Roses
Singles from Bad Boy
  1. "Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)"
    Released: 18 April 1978 (US)
  2. "Heart on My Sleeve"
    Released: 6 July 1978 (US)
  3. "Tonight"
    Released: 21 July 1978 (UK)

Background and recordingEdit

After the critical and commercial disaster of Ringo the 4th (1977), Starr and his musical partner, Vini Poncia, decided to create a less campy album and streamline the sound to lose the disco qualities and excesses that marred the previous release.[1] With Poncia taking the production reins, Starr mostly relies on other people's songs, with no celebrity guests to be found.[1] In November 1977, the album was recorded, for tax purposes,[1] at Can-Base Studio[2] in Vancouver, Toronto,[1] and Elite Recording Studio in The Bahamas.[1][2] It was completed within ten days of sessions in November 1977, with the exception of some orchestral overdubs done on 8 March 1978 under the direction of James Newton Howard.[1]

Release and receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [4]
The Essential Rock Discography4/10[5]
Galeria Musical     [6]
Rolling Stone(not rated)[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [9]

Bad Boy was released on 21 April 1978 in the UK,[nb 1] while in the US it was released on 16 June.[nb 2][10] Bad Boy reached only number 129 in the US, despite the airing of a prime time TV special entitled Ringo,[11] on 26 April.[12] The special was recorded for 10 days from 11 February in Hollywood.[12] The special had an airing in the UK on 2 January 1983.[11][13] The album's inner sleeve featured photographs by his then-fiancée Nancy Andrews.[2][14] From the album, Starr played "Heart on My Sleeve", "Hard Times" and "A Man Like Me" on the TV special.[11] Polydor, after three consecutive non-charters in the UK, promptly dropped Starr, while his new US label, Portrait (who picked him up after Atlantic had dropped him)[2] would eventually cancel his contract in 1981 during the making of his next album (Stop and Smell the Roses).

"Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)" was released as a single by Portrait on 18 April 1978 in the US, backed with "Old Time Relovin'" as the B-side,[nb 3][11][12] preceding the album in the US.[12] A planned release of the single in the UK, for issue in June by Polydor, was shelved.[nb 4][11] "Heart on My Sleeve" was released, backed with "Who Needs a Heart", as a single in the US on 6 July.[nb 5][11][16] Out of the singles released from Bad Boy, neither "Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)"[15] nor "Heart on My Sleeve" charted.[16] In the UK, the lone single was "Tonight", backed with "Heart on My Sleeve", on 21 July[11] and that failed to chart.[nb 6] On the same day, production began on another special to promote the album,[12] directed by Christian Topps,[11] but the special was never completed.[12] "A Man Like Me" is simply Scouse the Mouse's "A Mouse Like Me" with all the words "Mouse" substituted by "Man". Bad Boy was reissued on CD in the US by Epic[2] on 26 March 1991.[nb 7][17]

Track listingEdit

Side one
1."Who Needs a Heart"3:48
2."Bad Boy"3:14
3."Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)"Naomi Neville3:14
4."Heart on My Sleeve"3:20
5."Where Did Our Love Go"3:15
Side two
1."Hard Times"Peter Skellern3:31
3."Monkey See – Monkey Do"Michael Franks3:36
4."Old Time Relovin'"
  • Starkey
  • Poncia
5."A Man Like Me"Ruan O'Lochlainn3:08




  1. ^ UK Polydor 2310 599[2]
  2. ^ US Portrait JR-353778[2]
  3. ^ US Portrait 6-70015[15]
  4. ^ UK Polydor 2001-782[11]
  5. ^ US Portrait 6-70018[16]
  6. ^ UK Polydor 2001 795[16]
  7. ^ US Epic EK 35378[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium (Chesterfield, MO: 44.1 Productions, 2000), p. 514.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  3. ^ Bad Boy at AllMusic
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th edn). London: Omnibus Press. p. 1984. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  5. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 1028. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9.
  6. ^ Galeria Musical review (in Portuguese).
  7. ^ Gary Graff & Daniel Durchholz (eds), MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press (Farmington Hills, MI, 1999; ISBN 1-57859-061-2), p. 1083.
  8. ^ Rolling Stone review
  9. ^ Brackett, Nathan, with Hoard, Christian (eds) (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Fireside. p. 777. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  10. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. pp. 184, 185. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Miles, Barry; Badman, Keith, eds. (2001). The Beatles Diary After the Break-Up: 1970–2001 (reprint ed.). London: Music Sales Group. ISBN 978-0-7119-8307-6.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  13. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  14. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  15. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 235. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  16. ^ a b c d Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  17. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.