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“RAM is so incredibly inconsequential and so monumentally irrelevant you can’t even do that with it: it is difficult to concentrate on, let alone dislike or even hate”, wrote John Landau in 1971 in his scathing review of Paul McCartney’s second solo effort after the Beatles disbanded. Despite bad reviews, the album was a huge commercial success, loved by fans all over the world and influenced many musicians in the following decades. Since the 90s at the latest, RAM has been regarded as one of the first great indie pop albums in music history.

Reason enough to celebrate the 50th anniversary of RAM this year with a tribute album. The idea was born in 2020 from a discussion between Denny Seiwell, the original drummer with Paul McCartney & Wings, who performed on Ram, and the instrumentalist and producer Fernando Perdomo, who is not only a very talented musician, but also an avid Beatles and McCartney fan, who in 2018 fulfilled his dream of recording his album “Zebra Crossing” at the legendary Abbey Road Studio 2.

Despite the difficult Corona situation and with Sir Paul McCartney’s blessing, the two tackled the project and won over 100 musicians (!) to collaborate on “RAM ON: The 50th Anniversary Tribute to Paul & Linda McCartney’s RAM”.

RAM ON is the work of real fans, musicians who have loved RAM since their youth and draw their inspiration from it.

The result is a generation-spanning labour of love: original guitarist David Spinozza returns to reprise his parts on the album along with Marvin Stamm who played flugelhorn on “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. They are joined by their musical contemporaries Davey Johnstone (Elton John Band) and Will Lee (The Fab Faux). A second generation of musicians, including Brian Wilson’s daughter Carnie Wilson (Wilson Phillips), Dan Rothchild (Heart, Sheryl Crow) Pat Sansone (Wilco), Joey Santiago (Pixies), Eric Dover (Jellyfish) and Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd, Blue Pearl) also contributed. Many others joined in.

Finally, RAM ON includes re-recordings of all the original tracks on RAM plus two non-album tracks from the Ram sessions: McCartney’s first single after his departure from The Beatles, “Another Day”, was a huge global hit in 1971 and the single’s B-side “Oh Woman Oh Why”, is also included. The tribute closes with a reprise of the opening track “Too Many People (Slight Return)”.

From the beginning, Perdomo’s goal was not to produce a “typical” tribute album – and he succeeded. With unbelievable meticulousness, great musicality and a feeling for the subtleties of the original, an album has been created that more than deserves to be called a re-recording. If it weren’t for the vocal contributions of the various singers, one would hardly be able to distinguish the purely instrumental pieces from the original – especially if one hasn’t heard the original for a while. Every note is spot on. RAM ON is the work of real fans, musicians who have loved RAM since their youth and draw their inspiration from it.

Old and new McCartney fans alike will love this “atypical” homage. The album seems to be aimed at them in particular. Those who expect new, contemporary interpretations of the well-known songs that transform McCartney’s work for the 21st century – as the grand master himself recently attempted with “McCartney III Imagined” – will perhaps be disappointed. Everyone else will enjoy the great contributions and the love for this music. And maybe one or the other will go in search of the original and (re)discover this great, varied McCartney album, which is one of his best.