Record of the month November 2019
by Paul and Linda McCartney
RAM is an album we come to time and time again as a family.
It is one of those albums where when no one can come up with a consensus on what to listen to, our instinct is to simply just put on RAM. There seems to be something for all of us on this record. There are sing along moments that our kids love to join in on. I love Paul’s voice, and he gives you a little bit of everything; soft swooning Paul, also coarse growly club singer Paul. Linda is there as well and invites you into each song.
It’s one of those albums that just seems to sneak up on you and becomes one of your favourites before you even know it. The history of the album is well documented, but here is the short of it.
The 1970 breakup of the world’s most famous band The Beatles eventually morphed into a bitter lawsuit between members to dissolve their business relationship. As the meetings in London escalated, Paul and Linda McCartney decided to boycott the meetings and flee to their Stone farmhouse in Kintyre, Scotland.
Escaping to the anonymity of Scotland, the McCartney’s were able to go about a more simple life. Engaging in shearing sheep, riding horses and even building modest furniture for their sparsely furnished home.
Most importantly it was their time together as a family, turning away from the pressures of business and reevaluating life.
The idea of RAM was about pushing forward, leaving the past behind. The beautiful and simple ukulele title track Ram On drifts through both A and B sides of the record, and sums up the spirit of the album. The absolutely wonderful Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey meanders through a dream like opening sequence leading to a beautiful two minute melodic orchestral arrangement and finishes with the anthemic chant "hands across the water”.
Side B opens with a charming song Heart of the Country, reflecting the bucolic idyll of their country life and their simple craving for a simple life and a good nights sleep. Each song moves smoothly throughout the album expressing many different ranges of emotions and doesn’t ever stay in one place too long.
The album closes on the bitter sweet The back seat of my car which is an homage to daydreams of American teenagers and is in part inspired by Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. It was originally written for The Beatles, but it seems fitting to be the concluding song on RAM and lingers in a very pleasing way leaving us with the repeating phrase “We believe that we can't be wrong”.
L31 x W31 x H0.3cm