Ram

Timeline See what happened in May 1971
UK release date:
May 17, 1971
US release date:
May 17, 1971

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Track list

Disc 1


1.

Too Many People

Written by Paul McCartney

4:15 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell:
Cow bell, Drums, Percussion, Shaker
Hugh McCracken:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer

Recording:
Nov 10, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
January 1971
Studio:
A&R Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
March, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


2.

3 Legs

Written by Paul McCartney

2:52 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell:
Drums
Dave Spinoza:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mixing

Recording:
Oct 16, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York. Then Sound Recorders Studios, Los Angeles for overdubs

Overdubs:
March-April, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


3.

Ram On

Written by Paul McCartney

2:32 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Drums, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Ukulele, Vocals, Wurlitzer electric piano
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Producer
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer

Recording:
Feb 22, 1971
Studio:
A&R Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
March, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


4.

Dear Boy

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

2:17 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell:
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer
Paul Beaver:
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio:
Backing vocals

Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Mixed:
March 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


5.

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

4:55 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Producer
George Martin:
Orchestration
Denny Seiwell:
Drums
Hugh McCracken:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer
Marvin Stamm:
Brass
Mel Davis:
Brass
Ray Crisara:
Brass
Snooky Young:
Brass
David Nadien:
Violin
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra:
Strings
Paul Beaver:
Synthesizer

Recording:
Nov 06, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
January 3rd and 11th, 1971
Studio:
A&R Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
March 1st, 9th, 10th, 12th, April 7th, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


6.

Smile Away

Written by Paul McCartney

3:57 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell:
Drums
Hugh McCracken:
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer

Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
Jan 29, 1971
Studio:
A&R Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
March-April, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


7.

Heart Of The Country

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

2:27 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Producer
Denny Seiwell:
Brushes
Hugh McCracken:
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer

Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York City

Mixed:
March, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


8.

Monkberry Moon Delight

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

5:28 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell:
Drums, Tambourine
Hugh McCracken:
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer
Heather McCartney:
Backing vocals

Recording:
October? and Nov 5th, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
March-April, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


9.

Eat at Home

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

3:25 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Producer, Vocals
Denny Seiwell:
Drums
Dave Spinoza:
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer

Recording:
Oct 16, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
March-April, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


10.

Long Haired Lady

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

6:05 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Producer, Vocals
Denny Seiwell:
Drums
Hugh McCracken:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer
Marvin Stamm:
Brass
Mel Davis:
Brass
Ray Crisara:
Brass
Snooky Young:
Brass
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra:
Horns, Strings

Recording:
Oct 27, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
Jan 11, 1971
Studio:
A&R Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
March-April, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


11.

Ram On

Written by Paul McCartney

1:00 • Studio versionA

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


12.

The Back Seat Of My Car

Written by Paul McCartney

4:30 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell:
Drums
Hugh McCracken:
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer
Marvin Stamm:
Horns
Mel Davis:
Horns
Ray Crisara:
Horns
Snooky Young:
Horns
Ron Carter:
Double bass
David Nadien:
Violin
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra:
Horns, Strings

Recording:
Oct 22, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
Jan 11, 1971
Studio:
A&R Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
March-April, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon

About

From Wikipedia:

Ram is the second studio album by Paul McCartney, released in May 1971 on Apple Records along with Linda McCartney. The album was recorded amid Paul McCartney’s legal action in Britain’s High Court to dissolve the Beatles’ partnership, following their break-up the year before. This is the only album credited to the couple. He and Linda recorded it in New York with guitarists David Spinozza and Hugh McCracken, and future Wings drummer Denny Seiwell. Its release coincided with a period of bitter acrimony between McCartney and his former bandmate John Lennon, who perceived verbal slights in the lyrics to songs such as “Too Many People“.

On release, the album was received negatively by the majority of music critics, although opinion has become more favourable in subsequent decades. A commercial success nonetheless, Ram topped the national albums charts in Britain, the Netherlands and Canada. Three singles were issued from Ram: “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey“, which became McCartney’s first number 1 hit in America, “The Back Seat of My Car” and “Eat at Home“. The album was reissued in May 2012.

Recording and structure

Paul McCartney and his family flew to New York City in October 1970 to begin working on the follow-up to McCartney. While McCartney had featured him on every instrument, for Ram Paul decided to hold auditions for musicians, bringing some in under the guise of a session to record a commercial jingle. Auditions were held in an attic on 45th Street for three days, where David Spinozza was tapped for guitar duties, after being asked by Linda, before auditions moved to a basement, where Denny Seiwell was recruited on drums.[nb 1] McCartney later claimed to have found Seiwell “lying on a mattress one day in The Bronx”. Midway through the sessions, Spinozza was replaced by Hugh McCracken when Spinozza became unavailable.

The basic tracks for the album were taped at Columbia’s Studio B from 12 October to 20 November 1970 before the McCartneys returned to their Scottish farm for the Christmas holidays. Work continued at Studio B and A&R Recording Studios, New York, from the second week of January 1971 through to February. Playing guitar or piano and singing at the same time, Paul chose to overdub his bass later on. Although it was a collaborative project, Linda’s vocal duties were mostly limited to singing harmonies and backing Paul, who sang almost all of the lead parts; however, Linda sang co-lead vocals on “Long Haired Lady“. The New York Philharmonic was brought in by McCartney to play on “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey“, “Long Haired Lady” and “The Back Seat of My Car“, as well as the McCartneys’ forthcoming, non-album single “Another Day“. Paul and Linda’s daughter, Heather, sang backing vocals on “Monkberry Moon Delight“.

In July 1971, Northern Songs and Maclen Music sued Paul and Linda McCartney for violating an exclusive rights agreement by collaborating on the song “Another Day“, released three months before Ram. Although six of the eleven songs on Ram were also co-written with Linda, both parties agreed the issue of royalties for the album could be decided at a later date. In June 1972, ATV announced that “all differences between them have been amicably settled” and Paul and Linda signed a new seven-year co-publishing contract between ATV and McCartney Music. The sessions also produced songs such as “Dear Friend”, released on Wings’ debut album, Wild Life (1971), “Little Woman Love“, as well as tracks featured on Wings’ 1973 album Red Rose Speedway: “Get on the Right Thing“, “Little Lamb Dragonfly” and “Big Barn Bed“. It has recently surfaced that “I Lie Around”, issued as the B-side to Wings’ 1973 single “Live and Let Die”, was taped during the sessions. Also recorded was the first incarnation of “Seaside Woman“.

The album was mixed at Sound Recorders in Los Angeles. By early 1971, the project was completed, along with “Another Day” and its B-side, “Oh Woman, Oh Why”. In addition to the songs released on Ram and the first two Wings albums, McCartney recorded the following tracks during these sessions: “Hey Diddle”, “A Love for You”, “Great Cock and Seagull Race”, “Now Hear This Song of Mine”, “Rode All Night”, “Sunshine Sometime” and “When the Wind Is Blowing”.

Songs

The song “Ram On”, from the album’s first side, was reprised on the second side, before the album’s final track “The Back Seat of My Car”. “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is in a similar vein to the Abbey Road medley, as the song consisted of several unfinished songs combined into one. Music videos were made for “3 Legs” and “Heart of the Country”, from footage that was filmed on 2 January 1971, and edited together 5 months later, by Ray Benson.

Feud

According to Peter Brown, John Lennon believed that a number of songs on Ram contained jibes aimed at him, particularly “Too Many People” and “Dear Boy“. Lennon thought the line “Too many people preaching practices” was directly referencing him and Yoko Ono. McCartney later claimed that only two lines in “Too Many People” were directed at Lennon. “In one song, I wrote, ‘Too many people preaching practices,’ I think is the line. I mean, that was a little dig at John and Yoko. There wasn’t anything else on [Ram] that was about them. Oh, there was ‘You took your lucky break and broke it in two.’” Brown also described the picture of two beetles copulating on the back cover as symbolic of how Paul McCartney felt the other Beatles were treating him. George Harrison and Ringo Starr were said to consider the track “3 Legs” as an attack on them and Lennon. Paul said that “Dear Boy” was directed at Linda’s ex-husband, and not Lennon. As well as conducting a war of words via Britain’s music press, Lennon’s response was the scathing “How Do You Sleep?”, and it has been considered too that “Crippled Inside”, also from his Imagine album, was directed at McCartney. Early editions of Imagine included a postcard of Lennon pulling the ears of a pig in a parody of Ram’s cover photograph of McCartney holding a ram by the horns.

Release

“Another Day” / “Oh Woman, Oh Why” was released that February and became a worldwide Top 5 hit. In May, Ram was unveiled, on 17th in the US and on the 21st in the UK. “The Back Seat of My Car” was excerpted as a UK single that August, only reaching number 39, but the US release of the ambitious “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” proved much more successful, giving McCartney his first number 1 single since leaving The Beatles. The album reached number 1 in Britain and number 2 in the US, where it spent over five months in the Top 10 and went platinum. Despite the phasing-out of monaural albums by the late 1960s, Ram was pressed in mono (MAS 3375) with unique mixes that differ from the common stereo version (SMAS 3375). These were only made available to radio stations and are among the most valuable and sought-after of Paul McCartney’s solo records. The album has sold over 2 million copies.

Critical reception

Upon its release, Ram was poorly received by music critics. McCartney was particularly hurt by the harsh reviews − especially as he had attempted to address the points raised in criticism of his earlier album, McCartney, by adopting a more professional approach this time around. In his review for Rolling Stone, Jon Landau called Ram “incredibly inconsequential” and “monumentally irrelevant”, and criticised its lack of intensity and energy. He added that it exposes McCartney as having “benefited immensely from collaboration” with the Beatles, particularly John Lennon, who “held the reins in on McCartney’s cutsie-pie, florid attempts at pure rock muzak” and kept him from “going off the deep end that leads to an album as emotionally vacuous as Ram”. Playboy accused McCartney of “substituting facility for any real substance”, and compared it to “watching someone juggle five guitars: It’s fairly impressive, but you keep wondering why he bothers.” Robert Christgau, writing in The Village Voice, called it “a bad record, a classic form/content mismatch”, and felt that McCartney succumbed to “conspicuous consumption” by overworking himself and obscenely producing a style of music meant to be soft and whimsical. Writing four years later, Roy Carr and Tony Tyler from NME suggested that “it would be naive to have expected the McCartneys to produce anything other than a mediocre record … Grisly though this was, McCartney was to sink lower before rescuing his credibility late in 1973.”

His fellow ex-Beatles, all of whom were riding high in the critics’ favour with their recent releases, were likewise vocal in their negativity. Lennon hated the album, dismissing his former songwriting partner’s efforts as “muzak to my ears” in his song “How Do You Sleep?”. Starr told Britain’s Melody Maker: “I feel sad about Paul’s albums … I don’t think there’s one [good] tune on the last one, Ram … he seems to be going strange.”

Retrospect

Decades after Ram was released, critics have reviewed the album more favourably. Some prominent critics have even called it one of McCartney’s finest solo works. Mojo said that “today it sounds quintessentially McCartney”. AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote: “in retrospect it looks like nothing so much as the first indie pop album, a record that celebrates small pleasures with big melodies”. In a review of its 2012 reissue, Pitchfork Media’s Jayson Greene called Ram “a domestic-bliss album, one of the weirdest, earthiest, and most honest ever made”. Simon Vozick-Levinson of Rolling Stone dubbed it a “daffy masterpiece” and “a grand psychedelic ramble full of divine melodies and orchestral frippery”. David Quantick of Uncut felt that, although it is not as “legendary” as publicised, the album is “occasionally brilliant and historically fascinating” as “post-Beatles mish-mash”. Steven Hyden, writing for The A.V. Club, said that the “lightweight” style that was originally panned by critics is “actually (when heard with sympathetic ears) a big part of what makes it so appealing”. However, Q magazine still found Ram to be “frustratingly uneven”. In a retrospective review, Robert Christgau panned McCartney’s songs as pretentious “crotchets … so lightweight they float away even as Paulie layers them down with caprices”.

Last updated on March 14th, 2015

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Jason Childers

Jan 02, 2017 / 7am

Shouldn't there be a page for Ram within the "Paul McCartney Collection"? That version includes bonus tracks of "Another Day" and "Oh Woman, Oh Why".


The PaulMcCartney Project

Jan 02, 2017 / 4pm

Thanks Jason ! "Ram - Paul McCartney Collection" added at http://www.the-paulmccartney-project.com/album/ram-1993/ !