As I write this review, I hope it won't be entirely lost amongst all the other reviews.
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'.
The most interesting thing about 'Ram', one of my favourite McCartney records since the 70s, is how at the time he was pilloried for making 'pop' music or, as Lennon alleged, 'muzak', in the era of po-faced grand political statements from his peers, including at least two of his erstwhile Beatle colleagues. The re-assessment of 'Ram' in the modern age is, therefore, satisfying in relation to what now seems like bandwagon-jumping right-on-ness from John L ('Some time in NYC'... discuss) and worthiness without much musical flair from George H ('Bangla Desh'). 'Ram' is just a fun listen, full of melody and inventiveness, if at times an early indication that PM's lyrical palette has its distint limits. Still. 'Heart of the country' and 'Back seat of my car' for two are amongst his best songs, the latter with absolutely the best false ending of any song ever.
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.