Background and recording
They actually gave the Christmas album no support. We have now parted company due to their incompetence, they let me go. I'm hoping to record another studio album ... and I'm hoping it will be on any label other than Mercury.
– Ringo Starr, discussing his choice of leaving Mercury, 2000
As the follow-up to I Wanna Be Santa Claus (1999), it continues Starr's alliance with Mark Hudson as well as most of his collaborators from that last project. Not straying too far from his tried and tested formula, Starr engaged the services of some of his famous musician friends for Ringo Rama. Annoyed that Mercury had not put enough promotion towards I Wanna Be Santa Claus, Starr left the label in 2000. Contributors this time around include Willie Nelson, Charlie Haden, Van Dyke Parks, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Shawn Colvin, Timothy B. Schmit, and Eric Clapton. Gilmour and Clapton's availability was down to the fact of living close-by to Starr, as he commented, "People would ask, "So who's on the record?" and we'd say, "Just a couple of local guys. You know, like Eric Clapton and Dave Gilmour." Because they do both live just around the corner." Recording had taken place at Starr's recording studio in London, Rocca Bella, and Hudson's Whatinthewhatthe? Studios in Los Angeles, with the sessions being produced by Starr, Hudson and Gary Nicholson.