Release Date: May 22, 2012
Record label: Hear Music
After the breakup, Beatles fans expected major statements from the three chief songwriters in the Fab Four. John and George fulfilled those expectations -- Lennon with his lacerating, confessional John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Harrison with his triple-LP All Things Must Pass -- but Paul McCartney certainly didn't, turning toward the modest charms of McCartney, and then crediting his wife Linda as a full-fledged collaborator on its 1971 follow-up, Ram. Where McCartney was homemade, sounding deliberately ragged in parts, Ram had a fuller production yet retained that ramshackle feel, sounding as if it were recorded in a shack out back, not far from the farm where the cover photo of Paul holding the ram by the horns was taken.
After his homespun solo debut, Macca shot for the moon on the follow-up – a grand psychedelic ramble full of divine melodies and orchestral frippery. This box set adds B sides, artifacts and a lounge-y instrumental version of the LP. Ram sounds ahead of its time – how many indie rockers could pull off such a daffy masterpiece? Related• Photos: Paul McCartney: Best of the Solo Years .
Flipping through the booklet to Paul McCartney's Ram reissue, you'll find no scholarly liner-notes essay. This is odd. Usually the reissue-packaging gods demand the positioning of an eager critic between you and the product, dispensing wisdom on how you might experience the music they're standing in front of. What you find instead is a McCartney family-photo scrapbook: Paul draping himself playfully around monkey bars with his infant Stella.
Paul and Linda McCartneyRam[Reissue][Hear Music; 1971 / 2012]By Henry Hauser; August 20, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetRam, Paul McCartney’s ’71 collaboration with his late wife Linda, has the former Beatle seamlessly oscillating between electrified blues, psychedelic flourishes, and catchy pop vistas reminiscent of Phil Specter’s wall of sound. Deftly remastered to highlight the subtle intricacies of the LP’s mesmerizing, melodic verve and crafty time signature shifts, the 2012 reissue plainly warrants a revisit to this cult classic. And for the fanatics blessed with deep pockets, there’s a “Special Edition” release featuring eight bonus cuts, as well as a “Deluxe Edition Box Set,” which contains four CDs, a DVD, a hundred-plus page booklet, prints, facsimiles lyric sheets, a photograph book, and download link to all of the material.
Sir James Paul McCartney. For some, he's the thumbs-up toting Beatle; the driving force behind kid-friendly songs such as ‘The Frog Song’, ‘Yellow Submarine’, ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’, ‘All Together Now’… I could go on. Then there’s ‘Mull Of Kintyre’. Y’know… it’s not ‘Borstal Breakout’, is it? But then there’s the fact that he was the one who provided the tape loops for ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’.
Originally released in 1971, Ram was met with decidedly mixed reviews. It was McCartney’s second post-Beatles album and the only LP co-credited to his wife Linda. The album ratcheted up the production methods considerably from his previous outing and showcased the preciousness McCartney was always accused of during his tenure in arguably the most popular band of all time.
Ripe for re-evaluation, Ram is far from the disaster some critics painted it as. Chris Roberts 2012 Lennon loathed it – especially the arresting opening Too Many People, with its mild digs at John and Yoko – and even easy-going Ringo told Melody Maker: "I don’t think there’s one good tune on that one… He seems to be going strange." Despite reaching No. 1 in the UK and No.
1971 was a god awful time for music. Acoustic guitars weren’t so much machines to kill nazis as instruments utilised by entrepreneurs hiding behind beards. The pervasive sound of sunshine folk was a prefab sunshine used to power a malignant, corporate agenda, duplicitously simulating a naive hippy dream the protagonists knew had died a death at the end of the 60s.