On this day in 2008, Liverpool 8 was released.
Liverpool 8 is the 15th studio album by Ringo Starr, released worldwide on 14 January 2008. Received with mixed reviews, it marks Starr’s return to EMI for the first time since leaving the label in 1975, following the end of The Beatles’ recording contract with the company.
The album was originally planned for release in June 2007, and began as another production by the collaborative team of Mark Hudson and Starr (the two had previously co-produced Vertical Man, I Wanna Be Santa Claus, VH1 Storytellers, Ringo Rama, and Choose Love). However, the release date was pushed back to the beginning of 2008 when Hudson was replaced by Dave Stewart after a falling out with Starr. The album’s production credits read, “Produced by Ringo Starr and Mark Hudson; Re-Produced by Ringo Starr and David Stewart.”
All of the songs but one were written with the Roundheads, although Stewart also has several co-writing credits. Starr’s attorney Bruce Grakal told journalist Peter Palmiere that the partnership between Hudson and Ringo was over and they would never work together again. This happened after Hudson dropped out of Starr’s 2006 tour as musical director to do the TV show The One: Making a Music Star. According to Palmiere, Hudson claimed that the split was over Ringo’s insistence on using synthesized sounds, for which Stewart is known, whereas Hudson wanted real guitars, pianos, strings etc. However, concerning the parting of ways with Hudson, Starr commented, “The separation between Mark Hudson and myself was a question of trust and friendship and had nothing to do with synthesizers.”
Liverpool 8 was released worldwide by Capitol Records. The title refers to the postal district of the Toxteth area of Liverpool in which Starr was born. The album was released on CD, MP3, and USB Wristband. It was available as a free audio stream at www.vh1classic.com before its release date. “Liverpool 8” was released on CD and digital download as the first single from the album on 7 January 2008. Liverpool 8 entered the UK Album Chart at number 91, and reached a peak of number 94 in the US. The album sold 7,000 copies within the first week of release and as of January 2010, 31,000 copies have been sold.
A few weeks later after the album release, readers of the New York Daily News were offered a non-album track called “It’s Love”.
Liverpool 8 has a 59 percent “mixed or average” rating from Metacritic. Billboard gave the album a positive review, calling it “full of nostalgia for the good ol’ days”. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic writes that “it’s nothing too flashy and it has not one tune that calls attention to itself”.In a particularly unfavourable review for The Times, Pete Paphides wrote that “it’s hard not to boggle at Liverpool’s susceptibility to flattery”, and “Just because [the album] was fun to make, it doesn’t follow that you might enjoy listening to it”
All songs written by Richard Starkey, Mark Hudson, Gary Burr and Steve Dudas, except where noted
“Liverpool 8” (Starkey, Dave Stewart) – 4:51
“Think About You” – 3:40
“For Love” (Starkey, Hudson) – 3:49
“Now That She’s Gone Away” (Starkey, Hudson, Burr) – 3:02
“Gone Are the Days” (Starkey, Hudson, Stewart) – 2:49
“Give It a Try” (Starkey, Hudson, Dudas) – 3:26
“Tuff Love” – 4:33
“Harry’s Song” – 4:00
“Pasodobles” (Starkey, Hudson, Burr, Dudas, Dean Grakal) – 4:17
“If It’s Love That You Want” – 3:06
“Love Is” – 3:52
“R U Ready?” – 3:59