Song of the Week: “Snookeroo” (Ringo Starr)

Now that we’re back from our Easter hiatus (hopefully everyone had a good holiday whether you celebrate Easter or just like candy), I (finally) have a new Tuesday Tunes coming up this week, so I thought I’d use this post as a tie-in. You’ll understand how that works in two days, so be sure to check back in with us.

“Snookeroo” was released as the b-side to “No No Song,” both from Ringo’s 1974 album Goodnight Vienna. It was written for him by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and if you know Elton John at all, you probably could tell right off that he was the one playing the piano here — no one else sounds quite like him. It’s a bit of a lesser-known track, which I find a bit odd, myself, because it’s actually a pretty good song.

For some reason it seems fitting that Ringo would sing a somewhat silly song about a down-on-his-luck guy who’s a bit of a delinquent, as it were. I don’t know why. I suppose it just feels like it fits well with his catalog — let’s not forget the aforementioned “No No Song” and “Back Off Boogaloo” (also from Goodnight Vienna). Ringo never takes himself too seriously; he just wants to have fun and enjoy making music. You can even see it back with “that other band [he] used to be in,” as the man himself would say. “Yellow Submarine” or “Octopus’s Garden,” anyone?

It’s true, there’s something distinctly “Ringo” about this song. Elton John recorded his own demo, and it just… doesn’t work. And he’s had plenty of fun, less serious songs himself — “Crocodile Rock” comes to mind, as do “Rocket Man” and “Bennie and the Jets,” though the former only because of its space themes, and the latter is probably actually a bit more serious than it sounds at first listen. And then there’s “The Bitch is Back,” of course.

I guess “Snookeroo” is just a bit too silly for anyone but Ringo.

At any rate, it’s quite a fun song, and really does deserve more attention than it gets. Check it out, I bet you’ll like it.

Tune in on Tuesday (pun definitely intended) for some more words about music written by me.

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