This Is Paul McCartney’s Brilliant Album “RAM!”
And This Is Paul McCartney’s Brilliant Followup, “RAM 2!”
If you haven’t heard “RAM 2”, then you have missed one of Paul McCartney’s greatest solo achievements!
Wait, you didn’t know there was a Macca album called “RAM 2”? Well, here’s a look at how “Red Rose Speedway” began as part of Macca’s “RAM” sessions!
Paul’s second solo album “RAM” was credited to Paul and Linda McCartney. If you want to know why, check out my story on the book that dives into the financial world of post-Beatles legal battles…
That is a great book about The Beatles and their tough legal battle after they broke up…
As the book makes very clear, Paul was in tough economic shape after the breakup of the group, so adding Linda to the album credits released half of the money they made – while his was being held up! As tough as this time was, Paul wasn’t going to let it slow him down, and he decided to shake it all off and start a new band!
So he created another group known as Wings, and they released the shaggy, funky and melancholy “Wild Life.” Terrible reviews and dismal sales resulted in the band flying to Los Angeles to begin recording a more commercial followup – an album that came to be known as “Red Rose Speedway”.
Paul’s Pair Of “RAM” Songs!
The album was initially planned as a double album, and McCartney wanted to include some unreleased songs that had originally been recorded during the RAM sessions: yes, “Red Rose includes two RAM songs: “Get on the Right Thing” and “Little Lamb Dragonfly”.
And “RAM 2” Was Born!
So “Red Rose” has two “RAM” songs on the album. In addition, let’s not forget how the song “Ram On” ends:
“Who’s That Coming Round That Corner? Who’s That Coming Round That Bend?”
Yes, the very first lyrics from “Red Rose” are from “RAM!” Here is a great mashup of both of the “Ram On” songs that are from “RAM”:
Thanks to “Jakestardust2” on youtube for creating that…of course, those lyrics are the first lines from the song “Big Barn Bed”, which is the leadoff song from “Red Rose Speedway!”
So “RAM” carries right over onto “Red Rose”…
And Here Is “Big Barn Bed!”
The first song on “Red Rose” is “Big Barn Bed” – and it signals that the album is going to be a funky collection of catchy songs. This is a great video from the “James Paul McCartney” TV special from 1973 – the opening of the show, when the band Wings kicks into a feisty live version of “Bed”:
McCartney’s Mega Hit “My Love”!
The album contains what many consider to be Paul’s greatest love song, “My Love.” Most importantly, it put Paul right back at the top of the charts, where he would stay for the rest of the 70’s. Here is the video for his iconic love letter to Linda:
“Red Rose Speedway” is full of catchy songs, and is a worthy followup to “RAM”. In particular, I’m a huge fan of “Get On The Right Thing” which I can’t find any performance video of, but here is the audio – a great song:
What takes it to the next level is the addition of the band, giving the songs a bigger level of fullness – a richness that his solo music didn’t have at the time – but there is still the unmistakable sound of Paul, like on “Single Pigeon” and “When The Night.”
“Abbey Road 2!”
Finally, in a nod to another brilliant piece of musicianship, “Red Rose Speedway” is closed by an 11-minute medley of songs “Hold Me Tight”/”Lazy Dynamite”/”Hands of Love”/”Power Cut”, in a similar style to most of “Abbey Road” side two.
“Power Cut” has an anthemic style, ending with a terrific singalong chorus, and sums up a terrific album from Paul McCartney & Wings.
“Red Rose Speedway” went straight to the top of the charts and was the beginning of a decade-long string of hits for McCartney and Wings…and of course, Paul also recording THIS song at the same time!
The Greatest 007 Theme Song Ever!
Yes, Paul also recorded “Live And Let Die” during the same recording sessions, and it has always been, to me, the best 007 song ever! Here is a look at the best – and WORST – James Bond songs ever!
Another of my favorite James Bond theme songs is from THIS guy:
Alice Cooper’s “Censored” 007!
You didn’t know that Alice Cooper wrote and recorded a James Bond theme song – only to have it rejected? Read all about that here!
Controversy is nothing new for Bond songs – and nothing new for Macca either…let’s not forget the HUGE and very nasty battle between McCartney and John Lennon at the time of the original “RAM” release!
Yes, “Red Rose” is a worthy sequel to “RAM”, which is a brilliant album, but it was also the cause of a major battle between Paul and John….read all about it here:
Obviously, we all wish that The Beatles had stayed together – imagine what incredible music would have resulted….
Oh wait, someone did! This fascinating book takes a look at all of the solo music from the 70’s and reimagines it as Beatles music! Read about it here:
Beatles fans love to talk about what could have been…but let’s not forget what was – a “RAM 2!”
Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Art, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Classic Rock, Cult Movies, documentary films, Great Films, Independent Cinema, London, Memoirs, Movies, Music, Obscure Movies, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, The Beatles, TV Show, Uncategorized