70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where has this album been all my life?
There was a time when I blithely assumed that John & Yoko was where it was really at. In terms of the Beatles, Paul was just the old sweet-toothed loverboy with a penchant for writing saccharine songs while John provided the real meat. Everything I once thought I knew was consigned to the bin when I heard this album. Because, while John & Yoko were ploughing their lonely...
Published on 13 Jan 2004
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad sound
First of all to make one point clear: this is my McCartney album ever! I love this album extremely.
As a big fan, I have of course the first Uk pressing (mint) and the first Japanese version on red vinyl.
So I am entitled to say something for the new 2012 version. I played the record yesterday and I was really upset.
This does not sound like the original...
Published 18 months ago by R. Van Rossum
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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where has this album been all my life?,
By A Customer
There was a time when I blithely assumed that John & Yoko was where it was really at. In terms of the Beatles, Paul was just the old sweet-toothed loverboy with a penchant for writing saccharine songs while John provided the real meat. Everything I once thought I knew was consigned to the bin when I heard this album. Because, while John & Yoko were ploughing their lonely furrow of po-faced holier-than-thou realpolitik, Paul and Linda were down on the farm making one of the most beautiful albums of the 70's. I cannot believe that I never heard this album before. It is exquisite. It rocks, it's boisterous, it's funny, it's tender, it's deeply funky: it has everything. Two very wealthy young people making music that is brimming with simple, unassuming, confident love and putting a big cheesy smile on my face. If you only buy one Macca album this has got to be the one. You can even give Band On The Run a miss if you like. I listen to this album and I think - I'll have what they're having. It's beautiful. It's amazing. Buy it and get drunk on it. Maybe the 70's weren't so naff after all...
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ram on,
By A Customer
This is my favourite McCartney album, it should not be compared to Beatles albums, because it is not the Beatles! The album opens up with 'Too many people' this is a great song with the hooks Paul is king of, this song has a few hidden messages towards John eg "Too many people preaching fantasies". 'Three Legs' is an exellent blues workout. Ram On is has a beautiful melody and sound, and a reprise apears later on the album. 'Dear Boy' is fantastic. 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Hansley, is an experimental track that has severals songs in one, and is arguably the highlight of the album. Smile away is the rocker of the album and is quite bluesy. 'Heart of the country' is a bouncey country number reminiscent of Johns 'Crippled Inside' written a year later. 'Monkberry Moonlight' is a fun song and has an exellent vocal from Paul. 'Eat at home' is in the same vain as ' Too many people' and is just as good. 'Long haired Lady' is a fantastic tribute to Linda. 'Back seat of my car' is a fantastic prodution number and is right next to 'Uncle Albert..' That is the original album in full, but now it contains the coinciding single, the beautiful 'Another day' with the B side ' Oh woman why' which is a weak track, and is the only song on this exellent album that is not brilliant. If you expect a slick produced album, then you will be suprised. This not an album full of 'Let it be' and 'Yeserday' type songs, this is a raw sounding album, full of Pauls versitality as an artist, this represents his life at the time. If you buy it with an open mind for music, you are in for a treat.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undervalued classic,
I bought this album when I was 16 or so and when I first heard it I didn't like it. Then I listened to it a second time and came under its spell- hynpotised by its romantic and melodic splendour. I cannot understand why this album was slammed and Band on the Run venerated so much more. Or why Back Seat of My Car is singled out as the strongest track when to me it has always been the weakest and slightly contrived. The album oozes precocious but real talent and those critics who were paid to write that they thought this album was rubbish ought to count on their fingers how many pop stars today write tunes so well crafted and performed. Indeed, if you trawl through the archives of Rolling Stone magazine and see how many classic albums they have slammed and bad ones praised you can see that no one should be paid to write reviews. Ok, taste is subjective but I think as time goes by this album will still sell because it is well worth buying when others that are 'subjectively' good have long fallen by the wayside. The lyrics also deserve praise. McCartney was seldom as mature or as sincere as Lennon but he writes impressionistic lyrics that are often overlooked for how clever they are in an abstract way. Check out 3 legs.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul McCartney's Greatest Post-Beatles Opus.,
It's easy to forget how wonderfully witty & quirky Paul McCartney once was.
This is such a fluent & confident album.
It's deeply romantic, all about finding the right person to love & hiding away from the world together, which is exactly what was happening in this man's life at the time.
Some people were critical about it at the time, but this album is an absolute gem.
On some of the songs, this man, sings like a bell (check out 'Dear Boy')...so sweet, so tuneful, like no one before or since.
Not all the songs are sweet & melodic, there's also the wonderful, raunchy 'Monkberry Moon Delight' & yes, there are a few clangers that, after a time, you will want to skip...but the good, vastly out-weighs the bad.
I have a vast record collection & this was the very first LP I ever owned & it's still one of my all-time favourites.
To anyone who loves The Beatles & is now looking around to discover stuff the did after the great party was over, this will not disappoint.
Forget the Paul McCartney of 2002 & slide back to his glory days of 1971, when Paul was giving true love it's rightful chance & expressing it through his music.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paulie’s Pinnacle — Smile Away,
From way back in 1971. I think this was Pau’ls second album post Beatles.
On the surface a simple album of simple melodies and ditties. I think I dismissed it at the time after one listening. Fortunately got re-aquainted after taping a friends copy. Happy now to have on my second CD, first one was stolen. Their is a highly enjoyable naive/childlike ambience about the whole proceedings. You can imagine Paul and Linda making this up to keep a bunch of kids entertained. A vast amount of it just makes you want to sing along. It kinda sounds very off the cuff and refuses to take itself too seriously.
Despite critical slaggings off this album higjhlights in fact a very happy songwriter on the top of his form. It is a sheer Monkberry Moon Delight from start to finish. Like the best Beatles albums the flow from track to track is absolutely perfect, seemingly a natural progression.
There is a huge variety of musical styles from pop ballads, rockers, blues, country, almost the lot.
It is also a lot better and more genuine than the later pomp of Wings when they went mega (Band On The Run excepted).
This album stands up alongside the best of The Beatles. I am sure not many will agree with me but there you have it. Buy, absorb and be amazed. Not sure if we need the bonus tracks though, they often detract from the overall canvas of an album.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul gets it off his chest differently,
This is just a fabulous album. Although a lot of people may think that the short pieces are inconsequential, they obviously needed to be there for Paul (and Linda). However, all of the songs work almost like a tapestry. It's amazing how a lot of people write off Paul as the lesser of the Lennon/McCartney partnership. Wherehas John was happy to just get the ideas down, Paul seemed to fret over perfection in all aspects of the material.
The first track, Too Many People, is a great opener with a strong rhythmic backing and, as with all the songs here, a fantastic sound production wise! Because of what Paul was going through at the time with the ex-Beatles, it seems to me to have an hidden message speaking of an inner depression he was most likely feeling at the time. 3 Legs is an absolutely cool song, just try it as a straight vocal and acoustic guitar and you'll see. Again there's an under current of his state of mind. I don't think like others that it's a jibe at John, but almost a jibe at himself! Ram On is just beautiful with it's (I think) ukulele and almost earthy tone. It would have worked perfectly on The White Album if it had been written back then.
Dear Boy is a touchingly honest look at how he was sorry for the court procedings I think? To me it seems like he's saying that he just couldn't carry on as the business of The Beatles was depressing him (even though they had already split!) Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey is a very well conceived song for someone who was down at the time. It must have been almost therapeutic for him to just throw himself into songwriting. The influence of Linda can be spotted if you know what to look for as well (the style change and the almost nursery rhyme styled ending). Smile Away is a good rocking tune for the whole band to go wild on. A purposely funny set of lyrics too!
Heart of the Country is a great acoutic number. Monkberry Moon Delight, mmm, am I the only one who can see the drug metaphor in this? Still, a great song, and one I've admittedly learnt too! Eat At Home, a straight no messing song about something mundane and normal. It works though! Long Haired Lady is a nice multi-styled piece. It's almost as though it started out as two or three different musical pieces expertly placed together. Still a nice filler. The return to Ram On is good, but almost feels like a copy of the trick pulled on Sgt Pepper (with the reprise). Still nice, and I would say a different take that is more full than the first version. Back Seat Of My Car is a great finish to the album. I first had a copy of this album on vinyl, and this just seemed like a perfect ending to a perfect album!
While John was busy with flogging himself and everyone around him in his songs, Paul was showing that he had the ability to deliver when necessary some great songs that were not all the same (shame the following album, Wild Life, let him down though)!
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ram (Deluxe Edition Boxed Set),
This review is from: Ram (Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
With this new edition of Ram, Paul McCartney has continued to reissue his albums, following on from McCartney, McCartney II and the Grammy winning Band on the Run with several versions of the only album credited to Paul and Linda McCartney. There is a standard edition re-mastered CD, a 2CD edition with a bonus CD, vinyl versions in mono and stereo, download versions and this, the Deluxe Edition Box Set.
So, what does this set give you for the money? There are 4 CD's and 1 DVD. This includes the re-mastered Ram album, the bonus Audio CD (with eight tracks), the re-mastered Mono album, the Thrillington CD (an instrumental version of Ram, released in 1977 under a pseudonym ), a DVD, a 112 page book, 5 prints, 8 full size facsimiles of Paul's original handwritten lyric sheets and a book of outtakes from the original album cover photo shoot.
What does it look like? It takes the form of a coffee table sized book shaped box, beige in colour, covered in cloth and which opens up to show the items snugly encased within it. On top is the book, which has loads of unseen photo's, info on the albums, song lyrics, etc. In my opinion, it was worth getting the deluxe set just for this. Next is an envelope with the photo prints. There is a card enabling you to get premium membership to Paul's website, with lots of extra features - such as advanced access to news, facts, advanced access to collections, etc. Another card offers free access to the High Resolution audio download of the re-mastered album and audio tracks from the website. There is "A Small Book of Sheep" (only Paul could think of that one!) with photos of Paul doing a spot of shearing. Another envelope contains the facsimiles of Paul's handwritten lyrics. Lastly, the CD's are neatly tucked away in a corner, each in a black paper cover.
Ram was Paul's second solo album and was heavily criticised at the time, with John Lennon parodying the cover and the dissolution of the Beatles overshadowing the music. Saying that, it reached number one in the UK and number two in the US and has since been reappraised by critics as the excellent album it is, while it has always been regarded fondly by fans.
Having recently been disappointed by the George Harrison album of supposedly unreleased outtakes, with little information or notes, it is excellent that Paul is releasing his albums the way us obsessive collectors long for - particularly good to have the mono version of the album, previously only available to record stations and a real sought after item among fans. The sheer amount of material in this collection is aimed to please - a new documentary, "Ramming" on the DVD, narrated by Paul, along with the music videos for "3 legs" and "Heart of the Country" , `Hey Diddle' and `Eat At Home on Tour' shows just how involved he was in creating this set and in the quality control in making sure this set is just how he, and we, want it to be. Re-mastered at Abbey Road by the same team who re-mastered the Beatles boxed set, it is a real bonus that Paul is now turning his attention to his solo work. I, for one, would be happy to buy every solo album released in this format and it is a fantastic addition to my collection.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my first and favourite vinyl record - still my favourite,
I bought RAM when I was eleven, attracted by the picture of the Ram on the front. 39 years later I still ADORE every track on this album. There's enough quirky lyrics to keep you amused (Admiral Halsey), enough gorgeous tunes to blow your mind (back seat of my car) and a bit of rock and roll to add variety (Smile away). It's simple songwriting at its McCartney best, and the song order works out perfectly. When I listen to the cd I still want to turn the record over after Smile Away. Buy this - you'll love it. The only other album that comes close is Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, which is also FAB.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ram?!?!? Rubbish album title,
OK so you get a bit worried when the best group in the world has just split up and its two main men are bickering like a couple of school girls. Not when you get delivered albums like this. This is inspiration on record.
The best description ive heard of this album is that its like a patchwork quilt. Many erratic, brilliant musical ideas all sewn up to make a highly cohesive piece of work.
Too Many People is the best song on the album in my opinion. An excellent, scathing, vocal from paul, wild guitar playing and drumming, oh and he starts howling like a dog. Aimed at John & Yoko, who were certainly beginning to like the sound of their own voices far too much during this period, it talks about people preaching practices and about lucky breaks and stuff.....you can understand John being peeved by it, he wrote How Do You Sleep as a response. This was a good tune though.
3 Legs appears to be another dig at his former band mates and its sung with a bit of a comedy edge. Ram On has a delightful piano intro, and youll never hear such a good / haunting song sung with a Ukelele.
Dear Boy was written about Lindas ex husband, and it cements the impression that Paul & Linda were becoming increasingly cut off, particularly from their past. They became a self relient family unit, and only the most hard hearted of people couldnt warm to this image of happy domesticity.
Unlce Albert sounds a little insane, but its a great track made up of 3 parts. All of which flow together seemlessly. It was a number 1 apparently in the US.
Smile Away is a great rocker that sees Paul cut lose with another raucous vocal. Heart Of The Country is a bit dull. It plods along and Monkberry Moon Delight is much more inviting as a result. Again, quite insane, the lyrics and vocals really do make for a fun song.
Eat At Home is a fantastic throwback tune that recalls Buddy Holly at his best. Long Haired Lady is a little ruined by Lindas vocals, and never really finds its feet. This is made up for by the beautiful Back Seat Of My Car. A good summation of how Paul and Lindas love for each other had bred a new lease of life in the pair. A song about young love really.
The poorly re-mastered version includes Another Day and Oh Woman Oh Why, the single and B-Side that preceeded the album. Why Paul insisted in leaving some of his best songs off his albums in the 70's continually gripes me. These are two great songs. Another Day being a nice character song with lovely harmonies and a breezy melody, and Oh Woman Oh Why being another slightly insane work, but with a great drive and melody to it.
This album is truly briliant. Not one to be played at all times, you have to be in the moood I find, but when you're into it its unbelievably good. Dont be put off by the lack of standout tracks, in their own way they all standout as a collective work. Excellent!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post Fabs fabness,
This has always been my favorite album Macca made after the Beatles. It's not as commercial as Band on the Run, but its far more real. In many ways it's like a diary entry and tells the story of what Paul did following the Beatles break up - and that was take to the country and become content in marital bliss. It's a happy album and although it'll take a few listens it will get you in the end. I love it and couldn't wait for the new remastered edition.
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