Thursday, 13 August 2015


Ringo and George began writing "Photograph" on a luxury yacht in the South of France in May 1971. Ringo had hired the yacht, the SS Marala, for the duration of the Cannes Film Festival, after attending Mick Jagger's wedding in St Tropez with his wife, Maureen Starkey. The Starkeys were then joined in France by George and the latter's wife, Pattie Boyd, for the Monaco Grand Prix. This period coincided with Starr's first success as a solo artist, with the Harrison-produced single "It Don't Come Easy", although he would continue to focus on his career as a film actor,beginning with a role in Blindman (1971).

Another guest on the Marala was Cilla Black, who recalls Ringo and George playing "Photograph" during an evening get-together, with "everyone on board" contributing ideas for the lyrics. As with Ringo's two singles over 1971–72, "It Don't Come Easy" and "Back Off Boogaloo", George helped write the melody, although "Photograph" would mark the first time that he was credited as a co-writer with Ringo. In her autobiography, Step Inside Love, Black says she had hoped to record the song for a single later in 1971, only to be told by Ringo: "No, it's too bloody good for you. I'm having it myself".

"Photograph" was written on this trip—originally intended for Black to record—but Ringo decided to record it himself. 

George also wrote two songs for Cilla Black: "The Light that has Lighted the World" and "I'll Still Love You (When Every Song is Sung)". The latter she recorded during 1974 with her then producer David Mackay, but it was not heard publicly until 2003 when it was included on a retrospective collection entitled Cilla: The Best of 1963–78.


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"I'll Still Love You" is a song written by George and first released by Ringo on his 1976 album Ringo's Rotogravure. The song had a long recording history beforehand, however, having originally been written in 1970, as "Whatever", after which it was soon retitled "When Every Song Is Sung". 
George intended the song for Shirley Bassey, but recorded it himself for his All Things Must Pass triple album that year, before producing versions in 1971−72 by first Ronnie Spector and then fellow Liverpudlian Cilla Black. Mary Hopkin and Leon & Mary Russell also attempted to do the track, but of all of these, only a later version by Black − this time titled "I'll Still Love You (When Every Song Is Sung)" − has ever been issued officially.

Listen: CILLA BLACK - I`ll Still Love You (When Every Song Is Sung)

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The various problems associated with his Bangladesh relief project meant that George was out of music production for much of 1971 and the following year. In early August 1972 he returned to the producer's chair with a session for a new Cilla Black single, the A-side of which was to be "When Every Song Is Sung". The recording took place at Apple Studio in London, shortly after the Concert for Bangladesh film had finally been given a UK release. Among the support musicians were Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Klaus Voormann, and Black also recalls that another "fabulous" guitarist was present that Sunday. It is thought that another rare George composition, "You Got to Stay With Me", was also attempted during the session, but as with the Spector venture, the Cilla Black project was not completed. The B-side that George started out to write for her likewise took an alternative route, winding up as the decidedly autobiographical "The Light That Has Lighted the World", later released on his 1973 album Living in the Material World. Former Apple artist Mary Hopkin is also said to have recorded a version of "When Every Song Is Sung" around this time; in the meantime, Black still thought the tune was "super" and tried to redo it herself in 1974−75, with producer David Mackay. "[But] even then," she said later, "it didn't have the magic it deserved. It should have had a 'Yesterday'-type arrangement." This later version was eventually released in May 2003, on Black's 3-CD compilation Cilla: The Best of 1963−1978.

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