Thursdays “Middle of the Week” Classic Rock Albums: “RAM” by Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney's 'Ram' | Tim Cain's Blog | herald-review.com
(Released on the 28th of May 1971)

Of course, I was still a youngish teenager, but being a Beatles fan since I learned to speak English, I had to buy this album, and of course, I did. At first listening I must admit it sounded a bit strange. I mean I knew I was listening to Macca and he was, after all a Beatle, but he sounded so different. I searched for songs I would like and I did find a couple, then one more, then another until, finally, I just started listening to each side of the album over and over until all the pieces fell into place and I understood the artistry, the craftsmanship and the intention of this album which I now consider one of my faves and a great effort as well. After all a more prolific and artistic songwriter than Paul McCartney would be difficult to name, at least for me…

Prof. Frank McDonough en Twitter: "30 December 1970. Paul McCartney sued  the other three Beatles to officially dissolve the partnership. He won his  case in 1971 and Beatles assets were frozen until
(Paul and Linda in 1971)

Ram was published by Apple Records and it’s the only McCartney album attributed to Paul and Linda McCartney. This one was the second one he recorded before starting Wings. The Ram sessions, recorded in New York with guitarists David Spinozza and Hugh McCraken and with Denny Seiwell, the American (clarifying, born in the US) drummer who would become a member of Wings, were done during the time Paul was suing to dissolve The Beatles, about one year after the break-up of the band. Therefore, the record was released into an atmosphere where Beatle fans were rather a trifle unfriendly to him. I mean we all knew that the separation had not been a smooth, friendly process, especially between him and John Lennon. Actually John thought he heard some unkind references to him in some of the songs, especially in the song “Too Many People”.

Paul McCartney - Bip Bop (1971) - YouTube
(1971)

Now Ram is a cult favourite and recognised for the artistic approach with which Macca created it as well as the recording itself…

But even in 1971, barring negative reviews by the critics, the album sold quite well and topped the lists in many countries including Canada, Spain, Norway, The Low Countries, United Kingdom and Sweden. Whats more, the single “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” reached number one, becoming the first number one song for Macca in the Billboard 200, in the US.

It was interesting to me to find out that Lennon felt alluded to in Ram and that he would classify the album as “…muzak to my ears…” (from the song “How Do You Sleep?”. Actually Paul said that the only reference to John had been in “Too Many People” with the line “Too many people preaching practices.” and nothing more.

Now what really shocked me was what Ringo said. Apparently in an interview with Melody Maker…of the which I’ve seen the reference but not the actual interview…Ringo said he felt sad and possibly bad about Paul’s albums, (probably referring to McCartney and Ram) because he didn’t find a single melody that, in his opinion, was any good and that such a thing seemed strange. It was said that these harsh words affected Paul and it doesn’t surprise me. After all the first months, even years, after a separation are the worst time, it’s when emotions are very high and cruelty is the way things are done, of course later come the lamentations.

Paul McCartney - "Another Day" - YouTube
(Paul in 1971)

But music fans, including Elton John, had to re-vindicate this album. Elton John said it was one of his favourite albums, but much after the fact that at first everyone was willing to throw Paul under the bus…

Ram is platinum…as it well should be…in both Canada and United States.

In conclusion, if you are a Beatles fan, if you are a Macca fan, or simply a fan of great classic rock…or pop…this is an album that you are going to treasure as I do, as I have since I bought it, back in Miami in 1971 when I was starting High School, I think, or finishing Middle School, well, who cares…

Take a listen and you tell me what you think, deal?

CHEERS!

Paul McCartney - The Making Of "Ram" - 28 May 1971 - Videomuzic

22 comments

  1. spwilcen · March 25

    Completely unheard of until now. Understand I dropped out of Beatle-dom in the mid sixties for reasons of the era. Never really came back to appreciate the later works by the gents. Thanks for this exposure.

    • Greetings my good friend! I am glad I was able to present to you what I consider to be a great album by Macca. I never cared much for his work with Wings, but his solo career before and after has some amusing songs. RAM is one of the best albums he made during the breakup of The Beatles. Well, hope the middle of the week is going good for you. All well on the Spanish Mediterranean front, lovely sunny day and pretty warm too…All the best,
      FBC.

  2. Brad Osborne · March 25

    Well, how good the music is on this album is certainly subjective. I can see where longtime fans of the band did not get the “pop” music they were hoping for. But I agree with the artistry and musicianship of the album. For me, it just felt like Paul’s melodies and message were maturing past the cookie-cutter, three and a half minute long, pop chart single the band was mass producing. It certainly is a worthy recording, and though it may not be the brightest stone in the McCartney crown, it is still a jewel. Great post, Francisco!

    • Yes, I quite agree with you Brad. I had to get used to this LP but not for long, now I really admire the artistry Paul was developing, although besides Band on the Run, I was not a fan of Wings…thank you my friend and all the best to you,
      FBC.

  3. Lokesh Sastya · March 25

    Wow! Interesting story. Thank you for sharing.💐💐❤🙏

    • Thank you Lokesh, I am so glad you liked it. Hoping you’ve a lovely day, take good care and all the best to you,
      FBC.

  4. azurea20 · March 25

    Una información muy interesante. Buen día

  5. tiffanyarpdaleo · March 25

    I don’t remember hearing this before, but I quite like it, thanks for always sharing great content, Francisco!

  6. Felipe Adan Lerma · March 28

    Amazing musical history of a time of turmoil and changes, Francisco! I was just entering the US Air Force close to then, and was very saddened by the Beatles breakup, but had little to no experience of the group dynamics of creative folk, lol! Thanks so much! Tweeted! 😊

  7. Roser · March 28

    És una secció molt interessant, Francesc! Hauré d’escoltar aquest àlbum… Que acabis de tenir un bon dia! 😊☀️

    • Crec que t’agradarà Roser i moltes gràcies que tinguis un diumenge feliç,
      FBC

      • Roser · March 28

        Segur que sí. Igualment! 😁

  8. morishige · March 29

    Too bad I discovered the joy of listening to the Beatles too late, when I was in high school. It was quite a revelation, since I had spent my entire secondary school listening to melodic punk bands like Green Day, Blink 182, and Sum41. If I spent my youth in the 60s, I would have bought all of the Beatles’ LP. 😀 It surprised me when I noticed that each of the Beatles’ song is unique, even the most psychedelic ones. 😀

    Thanks for posting this, Francisco! 🙂

    • I grew up in the sixties and I did buy all the Beatles records, especially all their singles, I had to use my allowance for the albums. I had the entire collection in vinyls at one time, but lamentably not anymore, lent some to friends and relatives, never got them back…Thank you for visiting, I am a great Beatles fan, as you have noticed, and I appreciate your time and enthusiasm for what I consider the best pop/rock music ever made.
      Cheers!
      FBC.

  9. cincinnatibabyhead · March 30

    I really like his first two solo albums. Something that resonates with me. Wont try to explain. I just like the music.

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