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Author Topic: Microscope: Ram  (Read 3957 times)

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Bobber

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Microscope: Ram
« on: September 19, 2011, 11:55:49 AM »

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. ;D  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. ;D  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 of

Ram 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.  ha2ha

See Denny Seiwell drum along with Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey:

Denny Seiwell - Uncle Albert Admiral Halsey

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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 06:17:49 PM »

I've never felt this was a great album. It's tuneful as Paul usually is, but the lyrics suck, and I'm a lyrics guy. I think that contemporaneous works by John and George were much stronger. Still, I think this may be Paul's best post-Beatles album after Band On The Run, which can give you my general opinion about Paul's post-Beatles career.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2011, 07:58:07 PM »

Monkberry Moon Delight - This is my second favorite song on this album following Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.  Cor, you'd be screaming too if you had a piano up your nose and a few glasses of Monkberry Moon Delight.  ;)

I've always felt the song was an homage to Screamin' Jay Hawkins who was noted for his 1956 recording of I Put A Spell On You...

Screamin' Jay Hawkins, I Put a Spell on You



It was covered by several artists including Creedence Clearwater Revival who also performed it at Woodstock...

Creedence Clearwater Revival (Live) At Woodstock Performing , I Put A Spell On You



Perhaps Screamin' Jay Hawkins acknowledged Paul's gesture when he covered Monkberry Moon Delight in 1973...

Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Monkberry Moon Delight (1973)







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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2011, 09:20:14 PM »

You just gotta love Screamin' Jay Hawkins...





Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You



 ;D
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 09:23:16 PM »

Screamin' Jay Hawkins never charted with I Put A Spell On You.  The world just wasn't ready for that in 1956.   


;)
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Kangaroo Kev

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 10:32:49 PM »

Thats a good review Cor  ;)

I cant really comment on the album much as I heard it when it came out about 40 years ago, I was a teenager and a girlfriend who was in love with Paul had it and kept playing it, I didnt like it but Ive never heard it since.

Ive heard the odd track of course on the radio like Uncle Albert, not keen on that at all, Paul being the twee version of Paul and I dont like Heart Of The Country which seemed to get played a lot, I think what puts me off a lot of his stuff in those days was the vocals by Linda which I never liked, sorry folks, as Ive said before Im not a fan of solo Paul.

Wasnt the first track about John ?
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Bobber

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2011, 06:57:11 AM »


Wasnt the first track about John ?

There's a few little digs here and there.
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Bobber

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 06:59:14 AM »

I'd rather listen to Ram than side 3 and 4 of The White Album. ;D
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2011, 07:21:50 PM »

Yeah

Reviews coming soon. All I can say is that this is as close to a Beatles album as anybodys ever going to get without all four of them being together, and I prefer this album to some Beatle albums.

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2011, 02:12:26 AM »

Heart Of The Country - Another favorite of mine on this album.  At the time it was released, I was living in The Catskill Mountains "country" and it expressed my feelings well.  I liked the jazzy feeling of this song also.  And I owned a horse at that time, as I do now.  I would sing this song to myself when I was out riding.
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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2011, 02:28:57 AM »

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey - My favorite on this album.  Look how masterfully Paul wove these different melodies and tempos into such a beautiful song.  At the time of its release, many of us were going around singing or humming parts of this song all day long.  Most often, for me, it was "Haaaaaaands across the warter, warter .... haaaaaaands across the sky!"



Wooooo, wooooo wooooo wooooo wooooo.....    ;)
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Toejam

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2011, 09:52:35 AM »

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey - My favorite on this album.  Look how masterfully Paul wove these different melodies and tempos into such a beautiful song.  At the time of its release, many of us were going around singing or humming parts of this song all day long.  Most often, for me, it was "Haaaaaaands across the warter, warter .... haaaaaaands across the sky!"



Wooooo, wooooo wooooo wooooo wooooo.....    ;)
btw it's 'heads across the sky'.
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2011, 04:41:52 PM »

Too Many People - A nice opener. It drives pretty decent even with the country flare. Nice to have a professional drummer instead of Pauls choppy style. Like the backgrounds (I like Lindas backgrounds for the most part though). Pauls voice is in top form. Love it around the 1:30 mark. The guitar solo’s are kind of amateurish, but I don’t know who’s doing them. Like the song.

3 Legs - Probably more bluesy than anything the Beatles ever did or close to it. Love Pauls voice again. Love the tempo change at 2:14. Decent song, but probably one of the weakest on this album and that isn’t capping on it at all.

Ram On - Love the piano opening that falls into the ukulele. Again, I have to mention Pauls fantastic voice. Love the keyboards or whatever at the 0:58 mark. Causes the song to sound full. Nice little ditty from Paul that I like. Kind of like ‘Single Pigeon’ in my opinion. Good stuff.

Dear Boy - Love this song. The harmonies are incredible. Love Linda here. This song to me is pure ear candy. I just feel Paul was very creative here. Song has a haunting quality to it while still being uplifting if that makes sense. I like it.

Uncle Albert\Admiral Halsey - I think this might be one of the most underrated songs in popular music. I admit that I just might like it a little more than most people, but I think its an awesome tune and close to crossing over to that masterpiece area. The guitars, drums, bass, vocals, everything just has that feel that a lot of care was taken with this one. The rain in the background and so forth adds. I’m a sucker for strings too and they are welcome on this one for sure. Linda again,,,great. The anti-Yoko. Love the transition at 2:16 with the piano and trumpet. Bass line is cool too. Once again, thank God Paul used Denny on this album. Awesome, awesome song.

Smile Away - Paul sneaks a rocker in to remind people he’s very capable. Nice beat and just raunchy enough guitar. Harmonies are great as usual. 2:46 the song starts kicking again with the bass out front. The guitar solo’s are decent enough and really fit the song, but nothing earth shattering. Song lifts me up when I hear it and I like it.

Heart Of The Country - Love the bass in this song. Nice easy feeling song. Only negative thing I have to say about this song is I’m not nuts about Paul singing along to the guitar in parts. Besides that, it’s a winner with me. Nothing awesome, but a nice happy song.

Monkberry Moon Delight - Yeah the lyrics are stupid, but I don’t pay any attention to lyrics anyways. Love the plodding beat and Pauls Satchmo voice. Has a carnival atmosphere to it in my opinion and it’s a song I dig every time I hear it although a bit long. Fun song.

Eat At Home - Another fairly innocent rocker. A toe tapping tune that has a nice guitar tone and cool bass line. Pauls falsetto ‘Do’s’ even sound good here. Guitar solo isn’t great, but it fits well enough. Another I like, but don’t love.

Long Haired Lady - A sugar coated tune that’s nice pop to my ears. Smooth vocals from Paul and heavy doses of Linda in the chorus. Love the transition at 0:45. Denny does well here also. 2:26 love the chords and Lindas harmonization. I forgot how much I like this song. I wish it were half as long though. It’s a 6+ minute song. Absolutely love the chorus though. I also love the french horn or whatever it is at the 5:03 mark. Sounds like the horn on the Titanic. Its huge. Wonderful song.

Ram On (Reprise) - A revisit here to ‘Ram On’ in which Paul unveils a little snippet from ‘Red Rose Speedway’ at the end. Not sure it was needed on the album, but it ties everything together I suppose.

The Backseat Of My Car - A great, haunting song. Paul doing his best Brian Wilson. Fantastic vocals. Love the strings and orchestra around the 1:15 mark and they continue to solo a bit. This song needs and deserves that treatment. Piano is great as is the guitar and drums. Love the ‘Ohhh’s’ at 2:07. At 2:25 the song starts to speed upa bit and I like that. Keeps my interest. One of Pauls most beautiful songs during his solo career. Love it.


Well there we have it. I think this is hands down Paul’s finest solo effort. He was creative and it sounds inspired to me. I’d rather listen to this album than several Beatle albums and I feel Paul picked up where he left off with ’Abbey Road’. Melodic, interesting music. I don’t think there’s a bad song on the album. Great record.

Now to read Bobbers review and see how often we disagree.  ha2ha

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2011, 06:19:42 PM »

An album that as time goes by is gaining attention. It was slammed for a long time as being "McCartney Drivel". Now it is regarded as a great album. I admit, I feel the same way. I thought it was okay for a long time. Now it stands up against McCartney's other albums. I would even dare to put it above "Band On The Run". (Here we go... no comparing.)

If you ever get a chance listen to it in mono as well. It is a different mix.
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Bobber

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2011, 06:56:53 PM »


Now to read Bobbers review and see how often we disagree.  ha2ha

I think we're alright on this one, besides Monkberry Moon Delight.

Although there's not much response on these threads and despite costing a lot of time, I will try to continue. Wild Life next week.
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2011, 12:37:56 AM »

I think we're alright on this one, besides Monkberry Moon Delight.

Although there's not much response on these threads and despite costing a lot of time, I will try to continue. Wild Life next week.

Let me know if or when you need a break. I'll post some. This is the thread I most look forward to.

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2011, 12:55:09 AM »

Damn this review. 'Long Haired Lady' has a hold on me. I've listened to it three times today and it seems like its going to take another day or so before it plays itself out with me. Beautiful song.

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2011, 04:18:41 AM »

btw it's 'heads across the sky'.

Now I have to live the last 40 years all over again!
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Bobber

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2011, 08:33:25 AM »

Damn this review. 'Long Haired Lady' has a hold on me. I've listened to it three times today and it seems like its going to take another day or so before it plays itself out with me. Beautiful song.

'Love Is Long' was going through my brain when I briefly woke up last night.
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Bobber

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Re: Microscope: Ram
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2011, 08:33:47 AM »

Let me know if or when you need a break. I'll post some. This is the thread I most look forward to.

Thanks for the support. I'll keep you informed. ;D
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