Old Wave is the ninth studio album by the Beatles' former drummer, Ringo Starr. It was originally released in June 1983, on the label Bellaphon, and is the two-year follow-up to his 1981 album Stop and Smell the Roses.

Old Wave
Old Wave (Ringo Starr album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by
Released16 June 1983
Recorded23 July 1978
February, 6–16 April, May–July 1982
StudioSweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen
Startling Studios, Ascot
LabelBellaphon (Germany)
RCA Records (Canada)
Ringo Starr chronology
Stop and Smell the Roses
Old Wave
Starr Struck: Best of Ringo Starr, Vol. 2
Singles from Old Wave
  1. "In My Car"
    Released: 16 June 1983 (Germany only)
  2. "I Keep Forgettin'"
    Released: 1984 (Mexico only)
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music1/5 stars[2]
The Essential Rock Discography3/10[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[5]

The title is a play on new wave music.

Background and recordingEdit

After John Lennon's murder in December 1980, Starr returned home to England to live at Tittenhurst Park, which Starr had purchased from Lennon in 1973.[6] In early 1982, Starr was eager to move on to his next solo project. Deciding that he needed more consistency this time around, he would work with only one producer, Joe Walsh,[1] a former member of the recently disbanded Eagles.[7] Walsh and Starr had known each other since the mid-1970s, having met and befriended each other in Los Angeles. Walsh immediately agreed to work with Starr and they met at Tittenhurst in February to begin writing material.[8] Recording shortly afterwards begun and instrumental backing tracks for seven songs were recorded at Startling Studios,[9] after Starr had previously converted Lennon's recording studio.[7] Engineering duties were handled by Jim Nipor.[8] These sessions were mainly done with a team consisting of Starr on drums and percussion, Walsh on guitar and backing vocals, Mo Foster on bass and keyboardists Gary Brooker and Chris Stainton.[9]

Sessions came to a halt when Walsh and Nipor went to California on 19 March.[9] Sessions recommenced on 6 April[7] for a few days until 16 April.[6] On 15 April, Rolling Stone broke the news that Starr was "in London working on a new album with Joe Walsh acting as the producer."[6] Lead vocals were laid down from 19 to 23 April.[9] Sometime in May, Starr requested permission to build a new building on his Tittenhurst Park land, which he would use for video and recording purposes, from Windsor and Maidenhead District Council.[6] Sessions resumed from 31 May until 10 June; the next day, taking the masters recorded up to that point with him, Starr and his wife Barbara Bach fly from London to Los Angeles, and return on 14 June.[6] The album was finished with a third batch of sessions from 24 June into early July.[6]

"Everybody's in a Hurry But Me" came about from a jam session between the Who's former bassist, John Entwistle, drummer and percussionist Ray Cooper and also Cream's former guitarist, Eric Clapton.[10] "As Far as We Can Go", was originally recorded at Sweet Silence Studios, in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 23 July 1978. From that original rendition, only the vocal was used. Walsh re-recorded an entirely new track utilizing one of the latest technology synthesizers.[11]

Release and aftermathEdit

The album was originally titled It Beats Sleep.[6][12] The portrait on the album cover was shot in a booth in northern England.[8] As Starr's RCA contract had been cancelled, he needed to find a new label for Old Wave. Though it was just over a decade after the Beatles' dissolution, no major UK or US record company was interested in signing him. Starr would not accept that and was determined to have Old Wave released any way he could. The album was due to be released on the Boardwalk label, but never appeared due to the death of the label's head, Neil Bogart.[1][13] RCA Canada ended up distributing the album in June 1983 in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Brazil;[1] while in Germany, the album and lone single pulled from it, both released on 16 June,[14] appeared on the Bellaphon label.[nb 1][15] The Canadian release of the album occurred on 24 June.[nb 2][14] However, Old Wave failed to achieve success in any of these territories, and would be Starr's last studio album until 1992's Time Takes Time. Two singles were pulled from the album: one in Germany, "In My Car", backed with "As Far as We Can Go",[nb 3][16] and the other in Mexico ("I Keep Forgettin'" b/w "She's About a Mover").

Walsh's 1987 album Got Any Gum? included a cover of "In My Car", which was released as a single and became a moderate hit. Four tracks from the album appear on Starr's US compilation Starr Struck: Best of Ringo Starr, Vol. 2 in 1989.[6] The album was reissued on CD, on the same day as Stop and Smell the Roses (1981), in the US by The Right Stuff on 22 August 1994.[nb 4][18] A further release, on 6 September, as both CD and cassette deluxe editions, included a bonus track,[18] the original 1978 version of "As Far as We Can Go".[12] "In My Car" was re-released, this time on yellow vinyl, with "She's About a Mover" as the B-side, on The Right Stuff on 1 November 1994. A promotional CD was released in 1994 by Capitol, featuring three songs from both Old Wave and Stop and Smell the Roses.[nb 5][9]

Track listingEdit

1."In My Car"3:13
  • Starkey
  • Walsh
  • Starkey
  • Walsh
4."Be My Baby"Walsh3:44
5."She's About a Mover"Doug Sahm3:52
Side two
1."I Keep Forgettin'"4:18
2."Picture Show Life"
3."As Far as We Can Go"Russ Ballard3:52
4."Everybody's in a Hurry But Me"2:35
5."Going Down"
  • Starkey
  • Walsh
Bonus track on the 1994 re-issue
11."As Far as We Can Go" (original version)Ballard5:33


Track numbering refers to CD and digital releases of the album.



  1. ^ Germany Bellaphon 260.16.029[15]
  2. ^ Canada RCA DXL 1–3233[15]
  3. ^ Germany Bellephon 100.16.012[16]
  4. ^ US The Right Stuff T2-29675[17]
  5. ^ The Old Wave tracks were: "Be My Baby", "In My Car" and "She's About a Mover".[9]


  1. ^ a b c d Ruhlmann, William. "Old Wave – Ringo Starr : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th edn). London: Omnibus Press. p. 1984. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  3. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 1028. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h 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.
  7. ^ a b c Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  8. ^ a b c Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 260. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 261. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  10. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  11. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  12. ^ a b Calkin, Graham. "Old Wave". Jpgr.co.uk. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  13. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  14. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  15. ^ a b c Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  16. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  17. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.
  18. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-7535-0843-5.