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Author Topic: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?  (Read 5146 times)

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I_Will

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2010, 05:05:00 PM »

But not everybody does, me included too sometimes. I criticise  both John and George's solo efforts, and to me Paul isn't above it either. I agree with AMDOS that Paul's work can sometimes come across lazy and unfinished, which is weird for a man who seemed to be aspiring (and damn near reaching) songwriting and production perfection from 66 to 69. John has made thinly produced, depressing repetitive material and George could be downright boring. Paul can be annoyingly lazy and trite.
My take is that none of them are as good on their own. The Beatles were  unique (as far as I can work out) in having two magnificent songwriters 9rather than a partnership like Jagger/Richards or one dominating the other like Waters/Gilmour.


I'm not saying that Paul is above critisicm, I'm just pointing out that I don't particularly dislike what ADOS what saying, and I know there are lots of other people who feel the same way. I completely agree with everything else in your post, that obviously in the case of The Beatles, the whole is better than the parts.
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Yarvelling

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2010, 05:19:39 PM »

In a way, the question could almost be reversed.... Listening to The Beatles from the White Album onwards, a large part of the sound was very McCartney-ish; obviously, as those songs were all written by him! However, that seems to have been the style and sound for which he was striving, so it's only natural that many of the songs off his first couple of solo LP's would have had that 'feel' too; with the only real differences being that J, G, and R, weren't playing too!
Paul had been doing the 'whimsy' songs since Pepper, and were almost 'unique' to him; no-one else in the Beatles wrote that style, so it has naturally become a sort of trademark sound for him. We know that at least one song; 'Junk' was written and demo'd during the White Album period (a song which I adore), and would, in my opinion, have fitted on to that album perfectly. That he saved, and refined it for later use on the 'McCartney' LP indicates that his style hadn't changed too far beyond that of 1968 yet.
I think that by 'Ram', he was evolving newwer directions, but the overall sound is still very much what we'd become used to over the later Beatles albums, and 'Ram' is no worse for that!  I love it!  I think that most of the songs from it compare favourably with, and exceed many of his Beatles songs, especially those from the White Album, although there are fair-few gems there too!
Overall, I think that both 'McCartney' and 'Ram' are comparable to, certainly, the last few Beatles LP's.
Steve.
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AngeloMysterioso

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2010, 05:22:41 PM »

In a way, the question could almost be reversed.... Listening to The Beatles from the White Album onwards, a large part of the sound was very McCartney-ish; obviously, as those songs were all written by him! However, that seems to have been the style and sound for which he was striving, so it's only natural that many of the songs off his first couple of solo LP's would have had that 'feel' too; with the only real differences being that J, G, and R, weren't playing too!
Paul had been doing the 'whimsy' songs since Pepper, and were almost 'unique' to him; no-one else in the Beatles wrote that style, so it has naturally become a sort of trademark sound for him. We know that at least one song; 'Junk' was written and demo'd during the White Album period (a song which I adore), and would, in my opinion, have fitted on to that album perfectly. That he saved, and refined it for later use on the 'McCartney' LP indicates that his style hadn't changed too far beyond that of 1968 yet.
I think that by 'Ram', he was evolving newwer directions, but the overall sound is still very much what we'd become used to over the later Beatles albums, and 'Ram' is no worse for that!  I love it!  I think that most of the songs from it compare favourably with, and exceed many of his Beatles songs, especially those from the White Album, although there are fair-few gems there too!
Overall, I think that both 'McCartney' and 'Ram' are comparable to, certainly, the last few Beatles LP's.
Steve.
Well put, Yarvelling.
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tkitna

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2010, 07:58:31 PM »

I agree that theres portions of Pauls solo work that comes across as lazy and kind of unfinished, but your going to have that with anybody. This whole discussion seems to be leaning towards the old subject of Paul being a weak lyricist more than anything else. I dont think anybody is really arguing that point, but i'll say it again, i'd much rather listen to music that takes me into directions that John and George were unable to replicate rather than listening to a songs that relay thoughts and feelings about depression and soul searching, but thats just me.

One thing I would like to touch upon is the the subject of piecing two or more different songs together to make one. ADOS has mentioned a couple times that he hates when Paul or other artists do this and i'm trying to understand why. I always referred to these types of songs as having different stages and not being completely different songs within each other. So, if i'm understanding this correctly, ADOS would rather listen to a lazy, repetitive song like 'We Can Work It Out' (a song that doesnt stray too far away during the middle eight section) rather than listening to an adventurous song that moves in totally different directions like 'Uncle Albert', 'Beautiful Night', 'Band On The Run', or even 'Stairway To Heaven'? I still dont really understand that since a lot of the argument rests on Paul being a lazy songwriter. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.

DaveRam

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2010, 08:08:11 PM »

It could have been worse. I'll accept the music that came from the drug use.

Care to site some examples?

I think from Flaming Pie on Paul's lyrics have been more focussed and more personal examples would be :

House Of Wax
The End Of The End
How Kind Of You
Riding To Vanity Fair
English Tea ( Although this one is very whimsical the lyric is very well constructed it flows lovely , shows he's still got the knack of doing these fun little songs )
Somedays
 

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DaveRam

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2010, 08:43:38 PM »

I think it was the much missed Geoff who said he thought Paul wrote like an impressionist painter , i like that anology of his work .
Think quite a lot of his solo work as that quality kind of free with his brush strokes ?
And his story songs are not easy to write , i've had a go mine end up more like short stories it's quite difficult to condense the narrative down , Bowie could do it on some of his early songs , but i can't think of anyone else who doe's it as well as Paul .
He can be very hit and miss with his lyrics a song like Golden Earth Girl as a beautiful melody and some wonderful lyrics then he spoils it for me with the Eggshell Seas lyric , John would have tieded that up and i'm sure Paul would do the same for John if he had a better idea for a lyric .
That quality control they had in The Beatles is sadly missing in some of their  solo work .
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 08:46:26 PM by DaveRam »
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tkitna

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2010, 09:19:38 PM »

I think from Flaming Pie on Paul's lyrics have been more focussed and more personal examples would be :

Eh, I dont see it. You cited a few songs and I could have cited just as many that are weak so we'll have to agree to disagree here.

'Driving Rain' was one of the weakest albums lyrically ever in my opinion.  '1 2 3 4 5,,,lets go for a drive. 6 7 8 9 10,,,lets go there and back again'. URGH!

DaveRam

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2010, 10:14:25 PM »

Eh, I dont see it. You cited a few songs and I could have cited just as many that are weak so we'll have to agree to disagree here.

'Driving Rain' was one of the weakest albums lyrically ever in my opinion.  '1 2 3 4 5,,,lets go for a drive. 6 7 8 9 10,,,lets go there and back again'. URGH!

LOL you got me there that ones a stinker  ha2ha
I was thinking more Flaming Pie ,Chaos & Creation and some of Memory Almost Full , for me  have sharper more personal lyrics .
On RAM i like the lyrics on Heart Of The Country , Too Many People ,Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey and 3 Legs .
Monkberry Moon Delight and Smile Away are just plain mad but they work for me because neither song takes themselves to serious , considering Paul said he had depression after the break-up of The Beatles he soon got his sense of humour back for RAM , which i've always felt comes across on the album , i can smile away all day to it , it's a great tonic for me .
When they put me in my box i want my stiff fingers clutching a copy of RAM   ;D
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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2010, 12:00:21 AM »

I agree that theres portions of Pauls solo work that comes across as lazy and kind of unfinished, but your going to have that with anybody. This whole discussion seems to be leaning towards the old subject of Paul being a weak lyricist more than anything else. I dont think anybody is really arguing that point, but i'll say it again, i'd much rather listen to music that takes me into directions that John and George were unable to replicate rather than listening to a songs that relay thoughts and feelings about depression and soul searching, but thats just me.

One thing I would like to touch upon is the the subject of piecing two or more different songs together to make one. ADOS has mentioned a couple times that he hates when Paul or other artists do this and i'm trying to understand why. I always referred to these types of songs as having different stages and not being completely different songs within each other. So, if i'm understanding this correctly, ADOS would rather listen to a lazy, repetitive song like 'We Can Work It Out' (a song that doesnt stray too far away during the middle eight section) rather than listening to an adventurous song that moves in totally different directions like 'Uncle Albert', 'Beautiful Night', 'Band On The Run', or even 'Stairway To Heaven'? I still dont really understand that since a lot of the argument rests on Paul being a lazy songwriter. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.

Please don't put words in my mouth, especially since I've explained these points in my last post.

I like Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey. I just think the two halves of the song don't really mean anything on their own, and they also don't connect in any meaningful way, and it seems lazy TO ME PERSONALLY. He did the same thing to lesser effect on Red Rose Speedway with the last track, although at least in that case he called it a medley and not one song. I LOVE Band On The Run, the difference being that the three parts made sense together. Same goes for his Beatles song, "You Never Give Me Your Money". I love songs like that. I just think Paul relies too heavily on filling out his albums with unfinished songs. He can obviously write a good, complete song, even if he has to stitch together a few unfinished bits and fill in the gaps to make it complete, so why doesn't he? Because on Abbey Road, he realized he could get away with it. The thing is, Abbey Road has a very romantic (in terms of emotion, not musical genre) quality to it that is enhanced by having a string of short, intense, medleyed songs.

His solo albums don't have that sort of quality that makes unfinished songs a good thing that enhances the album more than finished songs would, but he does it anyway.
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DaveRam

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2010, 02:11:34 AM »

Is that not the point of the song Vincent they are two separate characters unrelated ?
But Paul connects them by the Hands across the water hands across the sky chorus and also sonically with the repeating Trumpet ( is it a trumpet ? )
Paul also knows both of them he's going to give uncle Albert a ring and Admiral Halsey notifies him that he as to have a berth or he could'nt get to sea , it's almost like Paul and Linda are on a day trip visiting people they know .
It's a travalling song thats how i read it ?
I do understand what you mean about stitching fragments of songs together though , it's a device he uses a lot sometimes it works and sometimes it does'nt , on this occasion i think he pulls it off  yes you can see the joint in the songs  but i think your meant too see this dovetail joint ?
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tkitna

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2010, 02:40:40 AM »

Please don't put words in my mouth, especially since I've explained these points in my last post.

Relax, I didnt mean to offend you. I suppose I need to pay more attention to your posts.

Quote
I like Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey. I just think the two halves of the song don't really mean anything on their own, and they also don't connect in any meaningful way, and it seems lazy TO ME PERSONALLY. He did the same thing to lesser effect on Red Rose Speedway with the last track, although at least in that case he called it a medley and not one song. I LOVE Band On The Run, the difference being that the three parts made sense together. Same goes for his Beatles song, "You Never Give Me Your Money". I love songs like that. I just think Paul relies too heavily on filling out his albums with unfinished songs. He can obviously write a good, complete song, even if he has to stitch together a few unfinished bits and fill in the gaps to make it complete, so why doesn't he? Because on Abbey Road, he realized he could get away with it. The thing is, Abbey Road has a very romantic (in terms of emotion, not musical genre) quality to it that is enhanced by having a string of short, intense, medleyed songs.

His solo albums don't have that sort of quality that makes unfinished songs a good thing that enhances the album more than finished songs would, but he does it anyway.

I understand what your trying to say now. Songs that go in a complete different direction are ok then as long as the the other parts keep the subject matter in line. Whatever, its really not that important to me. As for Abbey Road, songs were being stitched together before that album. I mean, songs like 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun' and 'Revolution #9' must have driven you mad, although I realize what your saying as to how the incomplete songs (medley) works for Abbey Road. I just dont feel that Paul thinks it ok to put unfinished songs together because it worked on Abbey Road. In my opinion some of those 'stitched together tunes or medleys' are a creative knack that John nor George really had.

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2010, 03:16:30 AM »

Fair enough. I had never really listened to UA/AH that way. I still think the medley on Red Rose Speedway is the weakest track on the album, the ONLY weak track, in my opinion, although that too may of course change.

As for HIAWG, they're at least tied together as a sort of description of the undercurrents in society that people try to pretend aren't there, namely illicit sexuality (rape or voyeurism, obviously it's a little vague, but there's really only one reason why a man would put mirrors on his boots) in the first part leading up to the guitar solo, drugs in the Mother Superior part (the "need a fix" part seems to be connecting the first and second parts), and of course violence in the last part.

Revolution 9 isn't actually a bunch of unfinished songs stitched together. It's the very abstracted sound of a violent revolution taking place, as John hinted with a pun (the obvious thing one would take from his comment would be an artistic revolution, but he meant it literally as well, I think). If you listen to the individual sounds and words and such, it seems like just a collage of random sounds that's interesting but not particularly meaningful, but if you listen to it "from a distance" so to speak, it's sort of like one of those pictures that are made up of lots of tiny little pictures, where if you just generally soak it in without picking it apart, you can hear a revolution forming from the words of two person having a discussion, starting to spread the word, gaining followers underground, the violent uprising, and the new order finally settling in and being accepted by the people.
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Ovi

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2010, 07:57:53 PM »

A few days weeks ago I started to listen to Paul's post-Beatles stuff. I already fell in love with "Ram". I love all songs from it. I think that "The Back Seat Of My Car" is a masterpiece. It just became one of my all-time favourite songs. I love the entire album.The next album I am going to listen to is "Band On The Run", but after I finish listening "Ram" for about 1000 times xD.  ;D
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Gary910

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2010, 01:06:13 AM »

Let me throw a cat amongst the pigeons... listen to it in mono. The rare mono mix is another listen...
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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2010, 11:06:01 PM »

i think ram is great,-better than a good few beatles albums in my opinion.paul was still very much on top of his game here,some of the songwriting really is top drawer,and also the voice is very,very good.check out the singing on 'monkberry moon delight'.one of macca's very best performances.i like the whole period for paul,from 68' till 72'.i really cannot argue with a lot of his output from that time.although i totally understand that a lot of folks are going to put beatle work above solo work.one of those things,isn't it?
personal highlights from ram.......uncle albert,smile away(top song!!),i also really like eat at home.as a whole the album is very strong-dare i say it,paul wouldn't write as well as this, collectively,again.
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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2010, 09:09:22 AM »

dare i say it,paul wouldn't write as well as this, collectively,again.

You would be right

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Re: Ram: As good as a Beatles album?
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2010, 02:56:12 PM »

I've always thought so, it's got such a large number of great songs, and it's production sounds just like George Martin (especially "Uncle Albert").

What do you folks think?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_%28album%29

Paul & Linda McCartney; Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

Paul McCartney - Monkberry Moon Delight


not at all, only McCartney I was good as a Beatles Album-

Paul McCartney - The Back Seat Of My Car (1971 - Ram Album)

etc. !
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