Paul McCartney
Ram


5.0
classic

Review

by FlamingPie USER (1 Reviews)
October 30th, 2010 | 11 replies


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Just Ram On Paul, Ram On

This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest albums ever released ever. The album just oozes everything from happiness, to simple family life, transcending everything about Paul McCartney's life at the time. During the recording, he had of course, a year before left the Beatles, fed up with John and George, even Ringo. McCartney had worked hard with George Martin making the Beatles' final recorded album Abbey Road, putting his own solo album 'McCartney' on the back-burner. The result, McCartney suffered, he recorded it secretly and quickly out of leftovers that the Beatles had rejected, and all the other Beatles trashed it, partly due to McCartney's quite-rightful insistence that it would be released on the date he chose, after McCartney and its apparently failure, he took a similar approach involving a homespun style, and merged it with Abbey Road, creating an album so painfully simple at times, yet incredibly overblown at others.

The album opens with the superb 'Too Many People', a full rocking track that showed McCartney still had it, Lennon even took offence to its lyrics, 'you had your lucky break and you broke it in two', writing How Do You Sleep? as a rebuttal.

Next comes along '3Legs' a charming little blues spoof, 'my dog he got three legs, and he can't run', once again Lennon took offence to this oddly. 3 Legs literally feels like it was recorded in a field somewhere at the height of summer. Following this is the title track, 'Ram On', a delightfully sweet ukulele number with lovely little lyrics, this pops back up later too.

Following 'Ram On' comes Dear Boy, a nice big piano track with effects, this is where the rustic charm starts to merge with AOR flourishes. The album then diverges into full production territory with the massive American hit Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, with sombre lyrics about an Uncle all alone, complete with sound effects swiftly orchestrating its why into a nonsense rhyme about an Admiral and gypsies. The orchestrations are fantastical. This fades into the rollickingly distorted rock piece 'Smile Away', complete with a great dirty solo and Linda backing vocals, ending the first side.

The second side opens with 'Heart of the Country', returning to the rustic feel after the previous diversions. Heart of the Country is the single piece that defines the album 'I look high, I look low, I'm looking everywhere I go, looking for a home in the heart of the country', it tells the tale of a man searching for his dreams in the country leaving the city for where the 'holy people grow' in the heart of the country. Lyrically, the second half is brilliant as is it musically, as summed up by the next track 'Monkberry Moon Delight', quite what McCartney was on when he wrote this is unknown, but whatever it was, what can I say?

Monkberry Moon Delight is a twisted little nonsense rocker that sounds like Lennon wrote the lyrics. It tells of a man sat in the attic, a piano up his nose, with numerous other bizarre words and hooks. The song was inspired by a drink Linda made for the children called 'Monkberry Moon Delight'. This song goes hand in hand with its successor, 'Eat at Home', a double entendre-laden sex song, that... well, you can probably guess what it means.

As the album changes gear and enters its final phase, you go into 'Long Haired Lady', a long love song that seems over blown when first heard, but by the second listen, it's brilliant, as it gradually builds up into a great coda sung by Paul and Linda. Somehow, this carries on the feel of the previous two songs, rustic yet rocking at the same time.

Now for the second and final helping of Ram On in this penultimate track, this version with its long fade in culminates in a rollicking taster of a ukulele version of 'Big Barn Bed', a song which would appear in electric guitar form as the opening to Wings' album 'Red Rose Speedway'.

Now for the finale, the genuinely beautiful song 'Back Seat of My Car', a piece of brilliance that would've been the centrepiece of any Beatles album, and in fact it nearly was, the song began its life in the latter Get Back and Abbey Road sessions as a Beach Boys tribute, but transformed into this. The harmonies and lyrics are tremendous, a real piece for McCartney to be proud of.

And there you have it, Ram is an album of pure brilliance from McCartney, and despite reaching No. 1 in the UK in '71, the rock press hated it, they still resented McCartney for apparently breaking up the Beatles. But, today, we can listen with fresh ears and hear this album for what it really is, simply stunning, and it's one of those rare albums where its ramshackle cover really matches the innards.

Enjoy listening.


user ratings (123)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
AggravatedYeti
October 30th 2010


7685 Comments


fuck yes this album.

SCREAMorphine
October 30th 2010


1752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Never heard this but great review (pos)

Jethro42
October 30th 2010


12438 Comments


Out of his solo works I only own 'Flaming Pie' wich I like very much. I guess I need this one too.

AggravatedYeti
October 30th 2010


7685 Comments


Ram is by and large his best solo record.

SCREAMorphine
January 8th 2012


1752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Need to hear this!

Transistor910
May 28th 2012


54 Comments


FINALLY got the remaster of this and it's just fantastic. Was trying to get my hands on a copy of this for years (been out of print/hard to find for quite some time). Too much good stuff to pick from.

MiniatureHorse
December 19th 2012


908 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This definitely deserves its 5. Pos'd

Chrisjon89
December 21st 2012


3625 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first listen through and this was really great. my favourite Beatles solo album is still All Things Must Pass but this is solid.

SCREAMorphine
April 6th 2014


1752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I got the remastered version awhile ago just for the inclusion of a remastered version of Just Another Day.

Paul and Lindas harmonies are some of the most beautiful.

Chrisjon89
April 6th 2014


3625 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah that's a great song. I love Ram On, Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey and The Back Seat Of My Car. should listen to this again.

Chrisjon89
August 21st 2014


3625 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaands across the water

sweet album



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