Too Many People
A lot of critics have the opinion that Ram is uncomparable with McCartney. I don’t fully subscribe that opinion. There are some songs on Ram that has that Do It Yourself-feeling that McCartney has all around. Too Many People is not the best example, although Pauls (?) guitar solo still sounds amateuristic. I am very glad that Paul used a professional drummer for this album. He planned to use three different drummers, but as Denny Seiwell did that well in the first week, Paul decided to stick with him. It shows: the drumming on Ram is of a much higher level than it was ever on McCartney. Paul also used the guitarist Dave Spinoza and Hugh McCracken on the recordings, plus the New York Philharmonic.
What is Paul singing in the intro of Too Many People? p*ss off cake? The guitar sound shows tension and that’s why I like it. Nice drum pattern by Denny here. Linda’s harmonies come in a bit loud on ‘peace of cake’ and ‘lucky break’. Double tracked voice on ‘that was your first mistake’. Is that a brass sound coming in at 0.52 or just plain keyboards? Either way, it sounds good. Paul lets his voice go loose somewhat at 1.28 to go back directly into the bridge. I don’t hear an edit, so that’s pretty well controlling the vocals here. The guitar solo (1.58) sounds like Paul’s style to me. I has always sounded a bit out of tune to my ears. Me no like. The cowbell is effective here. The guitar licks coming with the third verse (Too May People Preaching Practices – a clear dig at John and Yoko) sounds much better to me. The solo guitar returns at 3.05 and still sounds a bit amateurish to me. Paul is yelling and making sounds like he did in Hey Bulldog. Is it to support the lead guitarist? Some extra drumming on the floortom (?) from 3.26 makes the song even heavier at this point. More percussion coming in. The coda of the song sounds Beatle-ish to my ears, reminiscing of Strawberry Fields. Good song, a pity about the leadguitar.3 Legs
Some speech and tapping before Paul starts singing. I really like this song, despite its silly lyrics. One of the few songs with harmonies by Linda that I like. I prefer the sound of Paul’s voice in the first verse compared with the second one, in which a lot of reverb is added. Drums added here too. Denny isn’t doing too much and that’s what I like about his drumming. Bass sounds great, just playing the simple usefull notes. Another change of style in the sound of Paul’s voice in the third verse. I still prefer the first style used tho, which returns in the ‘fly flies in’ part. The rhythm guitar overall is simply great, sounding great as well. It sounds like Paul is hestating to go on with the song at 1.59. Maybe it sounds like that because of the reverb. A change of rhythm with bells at 2.14 to work towards the end of the song. Well done.Ram On
Paul Ramon, the name Paul used on The Beatles tour through Scotland in early 1960, is relived here. Paul plays the ukulele and it sounds nice enough. Paul’s playing some piano before the take 1 is finally called (0.14), an OK from Paul start the song. Some piano, a false start on the ukelele and finally we’re off. Interesting little rhythm thingy at the start, likes he’s counting the off beat. Again some hesitating as Paul comes in with his voice. Linda’s joining him in the high octave. Bass, drums and piano joining in at 0.58. Bass like in I Will.
Aaah’s (who’s doing that?) from 1.06 give the song some tension and I always like that. Great acoustic guitar from 1.20, with the harmonies creating the later characteristic Wings-sound. At least, that’s what I hear. The I Will-bass still plodding on. Maybe should have been a proper bass. Are the high voices in the harmonies disappearing at 1.58? Paul’s whistling the song to the end. Not a special song, but great the give the album its title from a song like this (or vice versa) if you catch my drift.Dear Boy
What can I say? This is pure magic to my ears. Pauls dominant piano, Beach Boys-style backing vocals by Paul and Linda and Denny Seiwell’s extremely effective drumming. Great guitar sound from 1.39 onwards. I learned that this sound was created with Denny hitting the guitar strings with his sticks while Paul was playing the notes with a bottleneck. Great result. The only thing I can object is that it’s a bit short.Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
And another great song coming in. A song full of different parts and rhythms, but still it does feel as ONE song. The song starts immediately with Paul’s wonderful sung ‘We’re so sorry’. I have always loved his voice in the particular line. I love almost everything about this song anyway. Denny’s great drumming again. I have never realized that he appears to be a very effective drummer before, never doing too much and he dares to do nothing at all when it’s not necessary. A bit like Ringo. The shower at 0.27 is simply great, although it’s just a shower of course.
But it’s there at the right time and the right place. The New York Philharmonic did a great job as well (from 0.43). Is Paul singing both voices in the second verse? I guess he does. In the first few lines he’s quite low, reaching the tops of his register just a few seconds later (‘be sure to give a ring’). The prrr prrr is something I always sing along. It takes a while before the phone is finally answered tho. Great harmonies while Paul with a telephone voice sings the third verse. I like his pronounciation of ‘but we haven’t done a bloody thing all day’. The harp leading us into yet another little part is simply wonderful. The ‘Admiral Halsey’-part (2.15 onwards) is led in by a great littly trumpet solo, joined by whistling. ‘Hands across the water’ is great to sing along as well of course. I’m not too fond of Paul’s Oxford English in the verse here, but hey, that’s a detail. Live a little be a gypsy get around is another part of this song, which seems to consist of four or five different pieces. This part is my least favourite tho. Seems to be sung against the beat in the second part. I’m always happy when the trumpet comes in again to give us the ‘hands across the water’ towards the end. The crossfade into Smile Away is a bit out of place.Smile Away
Another count in leads to a classic rocker. Silly lyrics, but I do like them. The guitar solo by Hugh McCracken could be an example to Paul. The background vocals begin to annoy me after a while. The same goes for the fuzz on the bass. The song gets a new life for me at 2.45, when the bass starts pumping into the high notes and the background vocals change their pattern. Another effective guitar solo like it should be done.Heart Of The Country
A Paul song that one either likes or hates. I’m in the first section. It’s a song that Paul sings so damn easily, while it’s pretty hard to do when you try. Because of that, it sounds like he wrote it on the spot, but it’s a very well crafted song in my humble opinion. Paul’s scat during the solo on acoustic guitar is simply great for example. A little slip on the bass at 0.33.
I read that Denny replaced his basedrum for a plastic trash can and played brushes on a thin piece of sheet metal. The result is just great and fits the song well.Monkberry Moon Delight
A complete different atmosphere all of a sudden. A complete different singing voice as well: Paul is almost screaming his way through the song. Linda’s backing vocals annoy me from the start. I’ve had enough of the song at 3.00, but Paul decides to move on another two and a half minute. Linda’s backing gets more and more annoying. Another Hey Bulldog-like ending. Not one of my favourites of this album.Eat At Home
A pleasant little rocker. Great guitar work from Dave Spinoza and the drumming by Denny is good as ever on this album. Nothing more to add really. Long Haired Lady
When relistening this album, I realized I hardly knew or even recognized this song, even tho I have played Ram surely more than once. To me, it’s the most forgettable song on the album. Still, it’s not bad at all, it just never stuck in my memory. The horns are great, Linda’s backing voice annoying once again. I like Hugh’s guitar sound on this song. The guitar at the ‘who’s the lady’ part is great as well. The rhythm is playing a different melody and there’s another guitar more in the background. I must say I like the ‘Love Is Long’ part better, but I understand this was to little to fill a complete song. Fade out into the fade in ofRam On (Reprise)
Repeating the side 1 in the beginning. Paul sings ‘Who’s that coming round that corner’ in the second half, the first lines of Big Barn Bed, the opening song on Red Rose Speedway from 1973.The Back Seat Of My Car
I have always loved this song, that Paul already played during the Get Back Sessions in early 1969. I wished he had completed this instead of The Long And Winding Road to be a Beatles song. Sung great by Paul. The low harmony at 0.12 is simple but great. The solo played by the New York Philharmonic is wonderful (1.12 onwards), with the brass section. It just fits wonderful with the sound of Pauls voice. I miss the low harmony in ‘When we’ve finished driving’. Did Paul forget or was this an conciously made choice? The ‘back seat’ at 2.22 is sung with a spitting ‘b’. The change to the last segment at 2.49 is a but abrupt. The song seems to end at 4.07, but comes back once more for a Hello Goodbye-finale. That wasn’t necessary for me tho.
All in all, a great great album, with hardly anything negative to comment on. Opinions on certain songs may differ of course.
See Denny Seiwell drum along with Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey: