Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney: Ram
Featuring three discs in a deluxe re-release of Paul & Linda McCartney’s Ram album (technically Macca’s second solo outing here is credited to Paul and his then misses) one is reminded of how powerful a melodic songwriter Sir Paul is…if we ever really needed a reminder.
Disk one is a re-master of the original album (perfect sounding, really) opening with the hit “Too Many People,” with that great Paul vocal and yes, an amazing melody. There’s also great lead playing from Hugh McCracken and the greatly underrated drummer, Denny Seiwell, stomping out the end. “3 legs” is a fun old bluesy number featuring a great McCartney bass and Linda backing vocals (which is really what she contributes mostly here, musically). There’s the float-y half then into a music hall send-up of the famous 1971 American hit, “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” (and Marin Stamm’s flugelhorn during the “hands across the water” part). In this new mix we can actually hear McCartney inhaling during the end vocals!
“Heart of the Country” is sweet and soft and again we get the perfect ex-Beatle’s sense of melody, walking bass and amazing vocals. “Monkberry Moon Delight” is McCartney screaming with an oom pa pa-like Tom Waits. I quite like “Ram On,” under a minute that it is, with its weird keys and clapping, Seiwell’s bass drum and then the twists and turns (and at times Beach Boy sounding). The album ender, “The Back Seat of My Car,” sees Paul in perfect voice throughout this complex tune.
“Another Day,” with its perfect light melody, opens the bonus audio Disc Two, then B-side of “Oh Woman, Oh Why,” the basic little rocker with its slashy guitar and McCartney’s overdone screaming. (Both of these were recorded for Ram but were not originally included.) “A Love for You” is a poppy light running fun tune that basically goes nowhere. “Hey Diddle” has got a “Blackbird” feel to it. It’s a soft acoustic, bass and light vocal piece.
The instrumental “Great Cock and Seagull Race” with solid ivory-tickling from Paul and a cutting Henry McCullough lead, and the demo-like jam of the 8-minutes plus “Rode All Night” pretty much just shows-off Seiwell (not a bad thing to be sure). McCullough and Seiwell would soon become main pieces of Paul McCartney’s live band.
This disc ends with a truly tight instrumental, “Sunshine Sometime,” once again showcasing Mr. M’s ability on light touch on acoustic guitar.
The last disc is a “bonus film” called Ramming, then the videos (before there were videos) for “Heart of the Country,” “3 Legs,” “Hey Diddle” and “Eat At Home On Tour”.