Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Remembering 'Ram'

When Ram was released in May 1971, I was thirteen years old. For some reason, I bought the cassette version. I suppose it was because cassettes were the new fangled thing and it seemed cool at the time. All I had to play it on was a crummy little player with one speaker.

Like most solo Beatles albums, I wondered why it didn't sound like The Beatles. And why my older brother, who was way into The Beatles, didn't seem the least interested? I guess it was because he thought, as did most people, that Paul's first solo record, that had been released about a year earlier, was lousy. And his single 'Another Day', which had come out a few months before, was pretty mediocre.

I gave Ram a listen and while I was disappointed, I immediately fell for 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey' and kept rewinding the tape and playing it and hoping my brother would notice and say, 'Hey, that one's pretty good'. But he never did.

The funny bit of the story is that Paul had decided not to pick a single from the album. Instead he waited for radio stations to decide which songs were the most popular, and three months later, 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey' came out as a 45. It was Paul's first #1. In retrospect, Paul could have just asked me which song to put out.

My other memory of the LP is that a buddy of mine had the actual album. We were listening to it one day and looking at the gatefold pics. There's a picture of Linda reclining on a couch, and she has a particular look on her face that I thought nothing about, but my buddy, he says, 'That's what a woman looks like after she's had good sex'. This was news to me. But I started to see Linda differently at that point.

I now consider Ram one of Paul's best. I've even given copies to people as a gift over the years, telling them 'This is a great album. You gotta have it!'. A new remastered version, with all kinds of extras and goodies is out today. I'm perfectly happy with my old CD and vinyl version, but I suppose I'll eventually break down and gobble up this special edition. And yes, I'll look at that picture of Linda and remember those innocent days when I was young and Ram was new.


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