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"Now hear this...song of mine...now hear this!",
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This review is from: RAM (Deluxe Book Edition) (Audio CD)I still remember starting my McCartney record collection when I was 16, and the fevered hunt I went on trying to track them all down on vinyl. For some reason, RAM seemed to be the one I had the most difficulty finding, which made it all the more satisfying when I came across it at an old record store one summer afternoon.
I believe it was that thrill of the hunt that so drastically affected my devotion to this album, as it has ever since , been one of my all time favorites. Now, the first and only album to be credited as "Paul and Linda McCartney" is getting the Archive Edition treatment, and I for one, couldn't be happier.
The tracks on this album are only slightly more polished than those on his first solo record, McCARTNEY, but he is backed up by band here, rather than playing all the instruments himself. These songs provide a good indication as to what the early Wings albums would be like, raw, rocking, and a lot of fun. I hear a lot of contemporary sound here, it's hard to believe this album is more than 40 years old, when you can easily pick up echoes of Against Me! or The Black Keys.
The remastering on this collection really brings this record to life, and to me, it has never really sounded better. The Archive Collection treatment on this release is a bit more elaborate than previous releases. Included are 2 great booklets chronicling the making of the album, several high quality photos of Paul and family on their farm, and reproductions of handwritten lyric sheets. Quite a nice collection for those of us who like substantial collector's editions. Along with a disc of bonus tracks comprised of B-Sides and the like, also included is THRILLINGTON, the 1977 instrumental version of RAM, released under the name Percy Thrillington, a great album in its own right.
About the only thing I feel that could have been better is the DVD, which contains a vintage promotional videos for a few of the songs, and a very brief "behind the scenes" movie narrated by Paul. I really would have enjoyed a deeper dive into this landmark album, and the one video of very early live Wings footage has only whetted my appetite for future releases in the catalogue.
But it's all about the music, and in that regard, RAM stands the test of time. Even after all this time, this album can still thrill me like it did when I first discovered it as a teenager.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 22, 2012 9:21:04 AM PDT
Bill Z says:
You're correct about the influence on newer groups. When I saw the Black Keys a couple months ago, they had Monkberry Moon Delight played over the PA before the show began.
In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 5:26:53 AM PDT
I knew there was a reason I liked them.
Posted on May 23, 2012 10:23:18 PM PDT
rain cloud says:
Not to take anything away from your joy at finding this thing used in a bin but it really is possibly his greatest solo album. I'm not saying it is, just that you could argue that. It's a king kong killer of an album. I was in college when it came out and have a million memories of it. Just to describe one, I was standing in hot summer day at the local public swimming pool and "smile away" came thundering out of the giant pa speakers. that opening guitar lick which I could only describe as anarchic (anarchy) tears down the strings and I remember thinking, a) My god, that's good rock and b) Only HE could have come up with that guitar lick the likes of which i'd never heard before--it's totally original and doesn't sound like anyone else. great memories of hippy days of old. Best wishes children of rock.
In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 4:43:17 AM PDT
I would certainly stand by your assessment of this possibly being his greatest solo album. There's a bit more polish here than on McCartney, but he hasn't gone into full blown production mode as he would with Band on The Run. He sounds like he's stretching out a bit, leaving some history behind, creating a new one, and trying to find what works.
I still remember being somewhat surprised by the rawness of this record, I had only known "Uncle Albert, Admiral Halsey" from his All The Best Collection, and at the time, that was really how I knew McCartney, as the pop music master craftsman.
Man, "Smile Away" really is a great summer tune. That's a great story. Thanks.
Posted on May 25, 2012 3:47:30 PM PDT
Cal Liedtke says:
In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 5:25:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012 5:46:26 PM PDT
Psst. Paragraph #3
But now that I see you've posted the same thing on 3 reviews, I can file you under "irrelevant"
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