Flashback: Paul and Linda McCartney Bring Domestic Bliss of ‘Ram’ to the Stage
Happy 50th birthday to Paul and Linda McCartney's Ram, an album so divisive that it's either despised or defended to the death - there's no in between. Rolling Stone described Macca's second solo LP as "incredibly inconsequential" and "monumentally irrelevant" while John Lennon called it "Muzak" and mocked the pastoral cover on a postcard up the sleeve of Imagine. But half a century on, it's now considered a quirky masterpiece that is often viewed as an influence across the indie pop genre, not to mention it ranks 450 on RS '500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. "Another day" indeed.
Ram was conceived at McCartney's High Park Farm in Campbeltown, Scotland, where he found seclusion after his chaotic breakup with the Beatles. "I was in the middle of that terrible Beatles breakup and it was like I was in quicksand," he recalled in the mini documentary Ramming. "And one day the lightbulb went out when we realized we could just run away and just go to Scotland where we knew we loved it and we could hang out."
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Most of the songs reflect this cozy, carefree feeling - from the shimmering “Ram On” to the downright stupid “Monkberry Moon Delight”. The sunny melodies play a big part even on tracks like "Too Many People" and "Three Legs" that were excavated from his former bandmates. (“He had done,“ How do you sleep? ”.” McCartney later said of Lennon, “And I almost did a song,“ Pretty good, thank you ”.")
Perhaps the happiest domestically ram song of all is "Eat at Home". McCartney deserves some credit for helping create the farm-to-table trend as he sings about the beauty of a homemade meal over a Buddy Holly-like reef. The track was released as a single in Europe and also kicked off Wings' 1972 overseas trek. You can take a look at this tour above, which saw McCartney and the band break "Eat at Home". Linda takes care of the backing vocals while Henry McCullough takes the lead on guitar. The video is from Macca's Bruce McMouse Show, a lost concert film that was interspersed with sequences of an animated family of mice.
McCartney released a deluxe edition of Ram in 2012 and is celebrating its 50th birthday today by releasing a limited edition LP at half speed. "This is an album that is part of my story," he said in 2012. "It reminds me of my hippie days and the free spirit with which it was created." Ram on.
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