Ringo Starr – It Don’t Come Easy

Maybe Ringo’s best solo song. Ringo is the only songwriter credited on this, but he had a lot of help from George Harrison, who was very generous in giving him full writing credit. The track (less Ringo’s vocal and horn parts) was already completed when Harrison gave it to him, and it included a scratch vocal by George (youtube video at the bottom).

The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada and  #4 in the UK in 1971.

Pete Ham and Tom Evans from Badfinger are on this track.

From Songfacts.

If you listen carefully during the guitar solo, the backup singers throw in a “Hare Krishna,” which was mixed way down. This is a nod to George Harrison’s 1970 hit “My Sweet Lord,” where he sings the mantra. 

This was Ringo’s first big hit as a solo artist (his cover of “Beaucoups of Blues” made #87 US a year earlier). From 1971-1975 he had a string of hits, including two #1s: “Photograph” and “You’re Sixteen.”

Peter Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger sang on the intro to this song (“It don’t come easy, ya know it don’t come easy”). Badfinger was signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records, and helped out George Harrison’s first solo album. 

This song served Ringo well throughout his career. When he assembled his first “All Starr Band” in 1989 (featuring Dr. John, Clarence Clemmons, Joe Walsh and Billy Preston), this was the opening number on their tour. Throughout several subsequent incarnations of the band, “It Don’t Come Easy” typically remained at the top of setlist when they performed live.

Ringo performed this song with his good friend, musical cohort, and brother-in-law Joe Walsh when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

Here is the George Harrison version

It Don’t Come Easy

One, two,
One, two, three, four!

It don’t come easy
You know it don’t come easy
It don’t come easy
You know it don’t come easy

Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don’t come easy
You don’t have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy

Open up your heart, let’s come together
Use a little love
And we will make it work out better

I don’t ask for much, I only want your trust
And you know it don’t come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it don’t come easy

Peace, remember peace is how we make it
Here within your reach
If you’re big enough to take it

Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don’t come easy
You don’t have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy

Peace, remember peace is how we make it
Here within your reach
If you’re big enough to take it

I don’t ask for much, I only want your trust
And you know it don’t come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it don’t come easy

“What’s my name?” Ringo!
“What’s my name?” Ringo!

“Just in case anybody forgot”

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

7 thoughts on “Ringo Starr – It Don’t Come Easy”

      1. I know…it was good of George to give him a hand in this. I will never forget the interview of John on the Tom Snyder show saying he was most worried about Ringo after the breakup…until he started to turn out hits.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I read back when Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis broke up- everyone was worried about Dean-and I think its safe to say he did as well or even better than Jerry. Everyone liked Dean and rallied to help him out.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes and I’m glad you brought them up. I still need to get that book about them. I know nothing about the two and would like to know more.
        Yes Dean did very well for himself.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pretty good tune for sure, I think I’d pick “Photograph” as my favorite by him but this one’s good. It had a very “beatlesque” feel to it, which is easier to figure out with Harrison’s heavy involvement in it.

    Like

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