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|Audio CD, 3 Sep 1999||
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Technically, it was Paul and Linda McCartney, since this album was very much a collaboration between them. Some of the material was of the standard we expected ("Monkberry Moon Delight," "The Backseat of My Car," "Uncle Albert/AdmiralHalsey"), but somehow it all seemed entirely too whimsical, as if they'd spent a bit too long isolated on the farm. It was the expectations that were the problem, of course. Paul was simply making a lighthearted album, and we wanted earth-shaking pronouncements. Take Ram on its own terms (i.e., fun), and it's throughly enjoyable. --Chris Nickson
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Paul McCartney means many things to many different people. The 'Paul McCartney' that I like most is the one who sounds like he is having fun; when his sense of humour shows; when his creativity is not confined; when he is not meeting expectations to make a big-selling commercial blockbuster or big production job; like the track 'Mumbo' on 'Wild Life' by Wings; like on 'Ram'.
I love 'Ram'. From 1982 onwards, I bought the cassette, the vinyl album, the original AAD CD, the 1993 Remaster, the 1995 'Thrillington' instrumental version, and now the 2012 remastered 1CD edition (43:15), which improves on the sound of the 1993 CD but loses the 2 bonus tracks (the February 1971 single 'Another Day' / 'Oh Woman Oh Why')
The opening song 'Too Many People' appears to contain digs at John Lennon after the Beatles break-up, such as ''you took your lucky break, and broke it in two...''. The song '3 Legs' may refer to the other 3 Beatles after the split. 'Ram On' seems like a reference to an early stage name used by McCartney, 'Paul Ramon'.
Paul's sense of humour is apparent on the tracks 'Smile Away' & 'Monkberry Moon Delight', where his hoarse/raspy vocal style is used to great effect from his range of vocal styles. Many singers only have one style ! The different voice used for 'Ram On' & 'Heart Of The Country' offers a contrast. Linda McCartney's voice is also used effectively throughout.
The good-humoured 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey' was released as a single in the USA (not in the UK), but may be the albums best-known song after being compiled on 'Wings Greatest' and 'Wingspan', or used in the comedy 'Only Fools & Horses'.
The 2005 double vinyl LP of remixes 'Twin Freaks' featured a good remix of 'Long Haired Lady', which for me was the stand-out track on that album. In it's original form on 'Ram', this pleasant song has a lengthy coda.
This classic 1971 analogue recording is likely to be a 'keeper', a mainstay in your collection (like the 1970 'McCartney' album) The fact that it is a true solo album (apart from Linda) with Paul playing all the instruments on his own compositions, makes it more remarkable, and gives it a kind of 'purity'. It is an album which keeps on giving, and is one for 'The Ages'.
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