Released in 1971, RAM was Paul McCartney's second recording after leaving The Beatles, and quickly followed the McCartney album from 1970. Released actually as 'Paul & Linda McCartney', RAM remains 41 years later a fun collection of rock, pop and folk songs that has held up well over the years. Now fully remastered by the Abbey Road team, and available in a Special Edition with a second disc of singles and rarities and bonus DVD with a 28 minute film, RAM follows the deluxe re-release of Band On the Run and is without a doubt a worthwhile purchase.
Recorded before the McCartney's put together Wings, RAM is basically a Paul & Linda duo album with a few session musicians, including drummer Denny Seiwell who actually was a member of the first incarnation of Wings. Paul played a majority of the instruments, with Hugh McCracken lending some lead guitar and Marvin Stamm playing flugelhorn on the hit single " Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey". Among the standout tracks include a few hard rockers like "Smile Away" and "Too Many People", which feature great lead vocals from Paul and nice backing vocals from Linda, while on the opposite end of the spectrum you have the folky pop of "Heart of the Country", "Ram On", and "3 Legs". Beatles fans will love the shimmering harmonies of "Dear Boy", and the clever pop of "Monkberry Moon Delight" showed a glimpse of what the husband & wife team would create shortly with Wings. "Eat at Home" is another gritty rocker with memorable hooks, and "Long Haired Lady" features Linda in a more prominent vocal role. A hidden gem here is "The Back Seat Of My Car", a McCartney long lost classic that successfully merges pop rock with orchestral themes, featuring catchy hooks, crisp guitar licks, tasty keyboards, horns, and strings. Fanstastic stuff.
Over on Disc 2 you get a host of singles, b-sides, and rarities from the original sessions. "Another Day" was a bit of a hit, and surprisingly left off the original album, but fans of McCartney will be familiar with this tune as it appeared on a few greatest hits sets over the years. "Oh Woman, Oh Why" is a bluesy hard rocker with some sizzling slide guitar and aggressive vocals from Paul, while "Little Woman Love" is a honky tonk piano led rocker featuring some fun vocals from the McCartneys. "A Love For You" is another catchy pop rock piece with some great piano & bass guitar from Paul, which then gives way to the folk number "Hey Diddle". Another bluesy rocker, "Great Cock And Seagull Race", is up next, complete with honky tonk piano and scorching guitar solos, Nice to hear a little instrumental jam included here, and it sounds like everyone was having fun on this one. "Rode All Night" is a near 14-minute hard rock jam, and probably 7-8 minutes too long. Though it has some cool funk rock guitar riffs, Paul's monotonous screaming gets grating after a few minutes. The bonus disc closes out with the lovely "Sunshine Sometime", a mostly acoustic instrumental that has some lush melodies and tasty picking.
The DVD portion of the set is a 28 minute documentary of sorts about the making of the album, and features Paul talking over footage of the couple having fun on the beach, horseback riding, and playing with their dog, as well as studio footage of the musicans putting the album together and some live clips. You can really tell by this footage how laid back and in love Paul and Linda were, clearly the crazy days of the Beatles behind them and the couple really enjoying life. As it turns out, just a few short years later the McCartyney's and Wings were on top of the world, selling millions of albums and touring the globe. RAM is a great look at a quieter time for the duo, an album that has a variety of styles and textures, proving that Paul McCartney still had plenty to say after leaving the biggest band in the world.
1. Too Many People (2012 Remaster) 4:10
2. 3 Legs (2012 Remaster) 2:47
3. Ram On (2012 Remaster) 2:29
4. Dear Boy (2012 Remaster) 2:13
5. Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey (2012 Remaster) 4:55
6. Smile Away (2012 Remaster) 3:52
7. Heart Of The Country (2012 Remaster) 2:23
8. Monkberry Moon Delight (2012 Remaster) 5:24
9. Eat At Home (2012 Remaster) 3:22
10. Long Haired Lady (2012 Remaster) 6:05
11. Ram On (2012 Remaster) 0:55
12. The Back Seat Of My Car (2012 Remaster) 4:30
1. Another Day (2012 Remaster) 3:42
2. Oh Woman, Oh Why (2012 Remaster) 4:34
3. Little Woman Love (2012 Remaster) 2:07
4. A Love For You (Jon Kelly Mix) 4:08
5. Hey Diddle (Dixon Van Winkle Mix) 3:48
6. Great Cock And Seagull Race (Dixon Van Winkle Mix) 2:35
7. Rode All Night 13:49
8. Sunshine Sometime (Earliest Mix) 3:22
DVD-28 minute bonus film