The Beatles songs that don’t feature Ringo Starr on drums

the beatles and Stephen Hawking

Ringo Starr took a little longer to join The Beatles and find his feet than the other members of the band. As a result, he didn’t play drums on many songs at first, but interestingly, this pattern persisted marginally even after he had officially joined the band. Various reasons, like lack of skill, feuds, and temporary departures, explain why Starr didn’t play drums on some Beatles’ hits. These factors contributed to the band’s dynamic.

Ringo was left out of the final version of ‘P.S. I Love You‘ when he first joined the band and the Fab Four began recording because he couldn’t get the tempo quite right. Instead, producer George Martin hired a session drummer to fine-tune the rhythm. “The other bloke played the drums and I was given the maracas,” Starr went on to say. The sight of a replacement sent shivers down his spine, his mind instantly jumping to the fate of Pete Best and dreading a similar end. “I thought, that’s it. They’re pulling a Pete on me.” Despite this, the song still lists Starr as the drummer.

Ringo ultimately found his feet inside the band and became a major component of their success. During the recording of ‘Back in the U.S.S.R,’ the band fully manifested this manifestation of their success. Ringo stormed out of the studio after an argument with Starr about a “fluffed tom-tom fill” during the song’s rehearsal.

In the drummer’s absence, McCartney took over behind the kit. John Lennon and George Harrison also contributed, blending together to create the final song. The song turned out well, but stepping in for Starr showed how much the band needed him.

Because of this reliance, when Starr temporarily left the band in 1968, Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison wasted no time. They put together a passionate letter pleading him to return. The White Album’s recording served as a crucible for this song, forged in the fires of personal challenges and studio deadlines. As a result, while they waited for Ringo to return, the three surviving members recorded ‘Dear Prudence’ without him.

On ‘Martha My Dear,’ McCartney decided to put himself to the test. He recorded all the musical sections of the song solo, save for the orchestra. This meant he took over Ringo’s drum responsibilities, with Lennon and Harrison also absent in this Beatles outlier.

The same thing happened with John Lennon and ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko,’ but out of wild excitement rather than a desire to push himself. He was so excited to record when he returned from his honeymoon that he left two bandmates out of the final mix. The rhythm section shifted as McCartney grabbed the sticks, with Harrison away and Starr busy with ‘The Magic Christian.’

It’s good the Beatles were adaptable; many favorite songs might not exist if someone couldn’t fill in for Starr.

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