VARIOUS ARTISTS – Ram On: The 50th Anniversary Tribute to Paul & Linda McCartney’s Ram

Spirit Of Unicorn Music 2021

VARIOUS ARTISTS –
Ram On:
The 50th Anniversary Tribute to
Paul & Linda McCartney’s Ram

Eternally acclaimed platter gets an ultimate accolade from plethora of talented fans.

Five decades down the line since its release, “Ram” still stands out amidst the multitude of McCartney records. If the soon-to-be-ex-Beatle’s solo debut was for the most part stark statement of his actual separation from the fold and staunch ability to stand his own ground, Paul’s second album emerged as his bold experiment in juggling a variety of styles without the safety net previously provided by former friends – only with a little help from wife Linda and a few of her fellow Americans. Three of them are here, on a homage to that platter as devised by the Fabs’ aficionado, guitarist Fernando Perdomo, whose "Zebra Crossing" signaled a full-blown foray into the ’60s sensibility and who treats such tributes as a labor of love, and drummer Denny Seiwell. But while the original demonstrated a tight unit at work, these playing producers applied a different approach to the pop gems.

Quite possibly extracting both inspiration and irony from the record’s almost orchestral opener “Too Many People” and removing the piece’s sarcasm, the project’s masterminds involved in it no less than 100 more musicians, but this staggering number doesn’t make it feel crowded in there because, with the artists’ roles properly allocated, they never get in the way of each other and perform for the sake of a song rather than hustle for a prominent spot, which is why having no apparent superstar in the line-up proves beneficial. Not that the present Macca admirers aren’t brilliant. Dan Rothchild’s vocals caressing the melodies of “Heart Of The Country” and the album’s first track – one rendered instrumentally at the end, after a couple of contemporary sides have been covered, for “Slight Return” – and Timmy Sean roaring impressively through the Joey Santiago-aided “Monkberry Moon Delight” and the Davey Johnstone-abetted “Smile Away” may signpost the extremities of the disc’s dynamic scope, yet, save for occasional guitar passage or arrangement liberty, the classic cuts sound close to their prototypes.

However, neither Marvin Stamm’s reprising his flugelhorn spots on “Admiral Halsey” that BEBOPALULA take for arresting, although ever-faithful, spin, nor Dave Spinozza’s return on “Another Day” that Gordon Michaels lead into nostalgia, nor Seiwell’s infectious beat throughout cannot spread patina over the familiar tunes, and the old record’s family warmth is revived on “Eat At Home” by DEAD ROCK WEST and on “Long Haired Lady” by Carrie Wilson and Rob Bonfiglio – two delicately rocking duos – whereas “Backseat Of My Car” is inhabited with magnificent panache by Brentley Gore. And appropriating Paul McCartney’s tunes, for all their allure and deceptive simplicity, always was a no mean feat – but the artists featured here rose to the challenge with gusto and reverence, turning “Ram On” into a great addition for a Beatlemaniac and uninitiated alike.

****3/4

July 12, 2021

Category(s): Reviews
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  1. […] Spirit Of Unicorn Music 2021 Eternally acclaimed platter gets an ultimate accolade from plethora of talented fans. Five decades down the line since its release, “Ram” still stands out amidst the multitude of records. If the soon-to-be-ex-Beatle’s solo debut was … Continue reading → […]

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