| Ringo Starr|
| 15 November 1974 (UK)
18 November 1974 (US)|
August 1974 at Sunset Sound, Producer's Workshop Studios, Los Angeles
Blast from Your Past
Rock music, Rock and roll, Pop music
Ringo Starr albums, Rock and roll albums
Goodnight Vienna is the fourth studio album by Ringo Starr. It was recorded in the summer of 1974 in Los Angeles, and released later that year. Goodnight Vienna followed the commercially successful predecessor Ringo, and Starr used many of the same players, including Billy Preston, Klaus Voormann, Robbie Robertson, Harry Nilsson, and producer Richard Perry. The title is a Liverpool slang phrase meaning "it's all over".
While all three other former Beatles had contributed to Ringo (1973), only John Lennon contributed to Goodnight Vienna as Paul McCartney was busy with his band Wings promoting the album Band on the Run and George Harrison was recording Dark Horse.
On 17 June 1974, Starr called Lennon, who was about to record his Walls and Bridges album, and asked him to write a song he could include on his next album. Lennon wrote what became the title track, "Goodnight Vienna". A demo of "(It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna" was recorded by Lennon on 28 June, with the session musicians from Walls & Bridges and sent to Starr in advance of the sessions. Besides writing and playing piano on the title track, Lennon suggested Starr cover The Platters' hit "Only You (And You Alone)" playing acoustic guitar and providing a guide vocal for Starr to follow. Starr's versions of both "Only You (And You Alone)" and "(It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna" were recorded at a session produced by Lennon. Elton John also contributed a track, "Snookeroo", co-written with Bernie Taupin. Harry Nilsson gave Starr the track "Easy for Me", which he later recorded his own version of for his Duit on Mon Dei album.
"Only You (And You Alone)", backed with "Call Me", was issued as an advance single from the album in the US on 11 November 1974, before the album was released. In the US the song reaching number 8 on the US charts. Goodnight Vienna was released on the same day as the "Only You (And You Alone)" single in the UK on 15 November. The album reached only number 30 in the UK, and would be Starr's last chart album in his homeland until 1998. The album was released in the US on 18 November, and peaked at number 8, ultimately going gold, and its reviews were generally favourable. It was also originally released in quadrophonic. A promo film for "Only You (And You Alone)" was aired on Top of the Pops on 19 December. On 27 January 1975, "No No Song", backed with "Snookeroo", was released in the US, reaching number 3. Nearly a month later, on 21 February, "Snookeroo" was released as a single in the UK, backed with "Oo-Wee".
On 2 June, a special edit of "(It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna" and "Goodnight Vienna (Reprise)" was released as a single, backed with "Oo-Wee", in the US. The cover artwork for Goodnight Vienna was based on a still from the classic science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still, with Starr's head replacing that of actor Michael Rennie. Rennie's character was the alien Klaatu. A television commercial, which featured a voiceover from Lennon, depicted the cover's flying saucer (with Starr) over Los Angeles—landing on the roof of the Capitol Records building in Hollywood. The commercial was produced by Vidtronics Company Inc. Starr returned the favour and did the voiceover for the commercial for Lennon's Walls and Bridges album. Immediately after filming the commercial, on 14 November 1974, the promo film for "Only You (And You Alone)" was filmed. During the video Starr and Nilsson mimed to the song, on top of the Capitol Records building. The video aired on BBC TV's Top of the Pops show, on 19 December.
Goodnight Vienna was reissued in the US, this time by Capitol in February 1981. The album was remastered and reissued on CD on 30 November 1992 in the UK, and on 23 March 1993 in the US, with three bonus tracks: 1972 hit single "Back Off Boogaloo", its B-Side "Blindman" and an extended version of the McCartney-penned "Six O'Clock", a shorter version of which had earlier appeared on the LP version of Ringo.Ringo Starr - Drums, Percussion and Lead Vocals
John Lennon - Guitar, Piano and Background Vocals
Madeline Bell, Lesley Duncan, Jean Gilbert, Jim Gilstrap, Joe Greene, Ira Hawkins, Clydie King, Linda Lawrence, Harry Nilsson, May Pang, Masst Alberts, Derrek Van Eaton, Cynthia Webb - Background Vocals
Richard Bennett, Dennis Coffey, Steve Cropper, Jesse Ed Davis, Vini Poncia, Robbie Robertson, Alvin Robinson, Lon Van Eaton - Guitars
David Foster, Tom Hensley, Nicky Hopkins, James Newton Howard, Elton John, Lincoln Mayorga, Billy Preston, Gary Wright - Keyboards, Pianos and Synthesizers
Klaus Voormann and Richard Perry - Bass and Background Vocals
Jim Keltner - Drums
Chuck Findley, Bobby Keys, Trevor Lawrence, Steve Madaio, Lew McCreary - Horns and Woodwinds
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