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Review: McCartney’s RAM remastered: A turning point for Paul

RAM may be considered Paul McCartney’s second solo album after the breakup of The Beatles, but it should really be considered his first album as “Paul McCartney, the ex-Beatle”. RAM was originally released 41 years ago on May 17, 1971 and today is being released as a remastered edition in several different formats.

In the summer of 1970, after the success of “McCartney”, Paul and Linda retreated to Mull of Kintyre in Scotland, where they wrote songs for the album. It was a turning point for Paul. This was the album where Paul made Linda part of his musical legacy, and openly criticized John Lennon.

RAM is credited to Paul and Linda McCartney as a pair, with Linda having co-written six of the tracks. In the bonus video segment called “Ramming” available on the Deluxe Edition Box Set, McCartney explains that he asked Linda if she wanted to join the new band he was putting together. Linda replied, “Yeah.”

This would be the first time Paul worked closely with female harmonies. Linda would serve as his backing vocalist for many years to come. On the deluxe release, you can hear just plain and simple that Linda McCartney had a good singing voice. Just watch the bonus video for “Hey Diddle” and you’ll hear Linda harmonizing with Paul while he plays acoustic guitar outside sitting on the grass.

RAM gave Paul McCartney his first number one US hit single post-Beatles with “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. The album also contained the song “Too Many People” which McCartney admits was a jab at former bandmate John Lennon.

“I did feel he [John] was preaching a little bit about what everyone should do, how they should live their lives,” Paul explains on the ‘Ramming’ video segment. “I felt some of it was a bit hypocritical.”

Reacting to John’s musical response of “How Do You Sleep” released on the Imagine album five months later, McCartney replies, “I nearly did a song ‘Quite Well, Thank You.'”

Other highlights from the original album include “Smile Away”, “Heart of the Country”, “Monkberry Moon Delight” and “The Back Seat Of My Car”. Music videos for “Heart of the Country” and “3 Legs” are also included on the bonus DVD from the Deluxe edition.

While the standard CD features the original tracks on the album remastered, the special edition CD contains a bonus disc which contains the single “Another Day/Oh Woman, Oh Why” as well as lesser known songs “Little Woman Love”, “Hey Diddle” and “Rode All Night”.

The Deluxe edition contains 4 CDs, 1 DVD, 112-page book, photo prints, handwritten lyrics and notes. This set includes two additional CDs of the remastered mono version of the original RAM album and the remastered “Thrillington” album from 1977 which was an instrumental version of RAM produced by Paul, a.k.a. Percy “Thrills” Thrillington.

The remastered edition of RAM also comes in digital and vinyl formats.

As Paul McCartney explains, RAM symbolized “pushing forward”. RAM was definitely the start to the second career of Paul McCartney, the performer who some people were surprised to know was in a band before Wings.

–Trina Yannicos

Enter our contest to win a copy of the standard CD edition of RAM…contest open now through Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday !!

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