Ringo Starr is joined by his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney for a duet on "Y Not," the drummer's forthcoming solo album due out Jan. 12, 2010 on Hip-O Records/UMe. The album also includes vocal turns by Joss Stone, Ben Harper and Richard Marx as well as musical and songwriting contributions from the Eagles' Joe Walsh, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard and Van Dyke Parks, among others.
But despite the star-studded guest list, Starr is handling the production duties himself for the first time in his storied career.
"I was the least involved in the production of the Beatle records," Starr said in a statement. "And then with my solo records, I worked with some other great producers like Richard Perry, Arif Mardin, and Don Was. So it just seemed like that's the way that it goes. Then suddenly, it's another point in your life, and you say, 'I'm going do this now.' So I'll be producing anything I make from now on."
McCartney's contributions to the album include playing bass on the song "Peace Dream," as well as lead vocal duties on "Walk With You," a song composed by Starr and Van Dyke Parks.
Other songs on "Y Not" include the album's opening track, "Fill In The Blanks," a rocker written, played and sung only by Starr and Walsh; and "The Other Side Of Liverpool," an autobiographical song exploring Starr's pre-Beatle days encountering poverty and violence in his hometown.
"So I'll be producing anything I make from now on," Starr said. "That's the good news. It's a confidence thing, I suppose. And 'Y Not' is really another way of me saying, 'Yes, I can.'"