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The Beatles were primarily a rock and pop band, but they still showed appreciation for soul music. Ringo Starr revealed he was a big fan of an Al Green song because of its incredible drumming. That tune appeared on an album that had an unusual impact on the American pop chart. On the other hand, the album was completely ignored by the public in the United Kingdom.

Ringo Starr loved the hi-hat in an Al Green song

During a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, a reporter asked Ringo if “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles was an influence on his drumming style. “No, I know the song really well,” he said. “I listened to the records, but I wasn’t, like, big on listening to the drums.” Ringo’s comments are surprising since Paul McCartney praised him for being able to recreate the feel of “What’d I Say.”

Ringo named some songs with percussion that impressed him. “You know, in Al Green’s ‘I’m a Ram,’ the drummer uses the hi-hat as a part,” he said. “Well, it blew me away. I love that. And the only drum solo I talk about is Cozy Cole’s ‘Topsy’ from all those years ago. That’s the only one I liked. But John Bonham did quite a good one one time.” Ringo didn’t get specific about which of Bonham’s drum solos he admired.

Ringo Starr revealed how he tried to incorporate his drumming into songs

Ringo also discussed his approach to drumming. “I love the depth of toms, so there’s a lot of tom-toms in my fills, and I try and be part of the song,” he explained. “And I don’t really play when the guy is singing. 

“I’ve always played with the singer,” Ringo added. “That’s been the most important thing, and if I do a fill, it comes emotionally where I just feel it’s needed. And many times, in take two that fill may be a little different.”


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How Al Green’s ‘I’m a Ram’ performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

Green’s “I’m a Ram” was never a single, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune appeared on the record Al Green Gets Next to You. That album climbed to No. 58 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 43 weeks. That’s a long run on the Billboard 200 for an album that never even hit the top 40! Al Green Gets Next to You stayed in the public consciousness far longer than some of the singer’s albums that charted higher in the United States.

According to The Official Charts Company, “I’m a Ram” did not chart in the United Kingdom either. Neither did Al Green Gets Next to You. It’s unclear why Green was far more successful in the U.S. than he was in the U.K. Regardless, he is still one of the most respected soul singers in the history of recorded music. 

Green made some great music and Ringo had some high praise for “I’m a Ram.”