Ringo Starr – It Don’t Come Easy (Midnight Beat MB CDM 001)

It Don’t Come Easy (Midnight Beat MB CDM 001)

(9:41):  It Don’t Come Easy, It Don’t Come Easy, Goodnight Vienna

And now for something completely different  .. a shaped bootleg EP. in 1997 Midnight Beat in the throes of a great boom of industry – indeed there were 2 box sets & 3 Beatles / related CDs from them this year & not many other companies can claim for THAT to happen. The singular most important thing about this release is the fact that it was released as a shaped CD ( again, very few companies seem to have taken the path for such a novelty idea but it would seem that as Midnight Beat were given Beatles tapes to work with but then to waste the chance by not releasing them would have been too big a cross to bear. 

The most important thing first – the music. the CD features 2 rough mono mixes of Ringo’s biggest & best known song “It Don’t Come Easy” ( written by Ringo with a little help from George Harrison who remains uncredited &  also produced by George ) from the “Ringo” album, both prepared between Feb – March 1970 & a version of “Goodnight Vienna” ( written by John Lennon ) from Ringo’s “Goodnight Vienna” album

The 2 rough mixes of “IDCE” vary slightly with the first version missing the brass overdub featured on the album, missing some of Ringo’s vocal but includes some of Gary Wrights piano dub that is not heard on the second version. it goes without saying that as these are from Midnight Beat’s tape bounty from this year then they’re a perfect mono rather than an after the fact dub from a cassette passed between music business moguls or staff. It’s also ascertained that these could be after the fact mixes prepared by either Midnight Beat or the person who supplied the tapes to them which mean that if the original tapes do still reside in a bootleggers stash we may hear more from these mixing sessions. A demo exists of the track with vocal by George but unfortunately it wasn’t included on this CD but can be found on “John, Paul, George & Ringo” on the Yellow Dog / Orange label.

The version here of “Goodnight Vienna” is another rough mix with Ringo’s final vocal in place & a small amount of chatter preceding the track. it’s as close to the released version as is noticeable anyway so this may just be another small ‘after the fact’ mix. 

The packaging, as noted, is a shaped ‘apple’ CD with the Midnight Beat logo to the middle right & the rest of the package is complete in a CD single case with a thin cover adorned with 4 profile pictures of Ringo ( not all from the same era .. ) The whole thing has been bootlegged to make it a little more obtainable & worthy of the money that you’d pay most famously by Vigotone on their Reproman label who copied pretty much all of Midnight Beat’s Beatles produce as most of it was seized upon entering the U.S. but as Vigotone themselves were busted in 2001 it’s down to more of the smaller companies to bootleg these artifacts & make them more readily available. 

This CD is a small & almost insignificant addition to your collection ( unless you’re a big Ringo fan ) but it is a nice little collectable if you can find it.  

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