Ram is the second solo studio album by ex Beatle Paul McCartney, not counting the soundtrack album The Family Way. Released under the artist name Paul And Linda McCartney as the only album, though his wife, Linda, participated on other albums as well. It was recorded from 16 October 1970 to 1 March 1971, partly at the Columbia and A&M studios in New York and the Sound studio in Los Angeles. Released today 50 years ago in the US and a bit later in UK at 21 May.
While Sir McCartney played all instruments on his first solo album, just named McCartney, he held an audition for more additional musicians for this second album, other than Linda. (see the list below) And that might have been a very good idea, since this second album turned out much better than his debut album, in my opinion. Maybe even his best solo album? Never the less, not a favorite album of mine, but absolutely acceptable music and I also have a copy of it, seldom played though.
As it was the case with the debut, also this album resulted in some conflict with the other former Beatles members. This time in such a manner that it had to be solved in High Court. The critics was also very harsh and the album received a very bad start, though the criticism and reviews got better during the years. According to RateYourMusic it’s one of the best rated Ex-Beatle albums today. But just read this critical quote from Jon Landau in RollingStone magazine from shortly after release. Earlier this year we celebrated Self Portrait with Dylan, and that can’t be the best album to be compared with at all:
Ram represents the nadir in the decomposition of Sixties rock thus far. For some, including myself, Self-Portrait had been secure in that position, but at least Self-Portrait was an album that you could hate, a record you could feel something over, even if it were nothing but regret. Ram is so incredibly inconsequential and so monumentally irrelevant you can’t even do that with it: it is difficult to concentrate on, let alone dislike or even hate.
Paul McCartney – lead vocals, bass, piano, keyboards, guitars, ukulele
Linda McCartney – harmony and backing vocals; co-lead vocals
David Spinozza – guitar
Hugh McCracken – guitar
Denny Seiwell – drums
Heather McCartney – backing vocals
Marvin Stamm – flugelhorn
New York Philharmonic