Next project for Paul McCartney is a deluxe reissue of 1971's Ram

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The fourth reissue in his ongoing Paul McCartney Archive Collection series will focus on 1971’s pre-Wings album Ram, co-credited with the former Beatle’s late wife Linda McCartney. The album featured McCartney’s first solo U.S. charttopper in “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” and also earned him a Grammy.

“This is an album from a long, long time ago, when the world was different,” McCartney said recently. “It goes back to the wee hills of Scotland where it was formed. … It reminds me of my hippie days and the free attitude with which was created.”

Remastering was done at Abbey Road, using the same team that recently worked on the complete Beatles’ catalog. Included in the project is a 128-page linen-bound book; the expanded special edition reissue will also feature rarities, b-sides and the non-album hit single “Another Day.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: Henry McCullough talks about his time with Paul McCartney and Wings, Joe Cocker and the Grease Band — and how addiction almost cost him everything.]

Originally released in May of ’71, Ram shot to No. 1 in the UK and No. 2 in America. It is the only album credited to “Paul and Linda McCartney,” who appear with guitarists David Spinozza and Hugh McCracken, as well as future Wings drummer Denny Seiwell.

The deluxe edition will feature a special mono mix of the album, originally only available to radio stations. Also featured in that package is Thrillington, an instrumental interpretation of Ram released under the pseudonym Percy ‘Thrills’ Thrillington; a brand-new documentary called “Ramming,” narrated by McCartney, as well as the original music videos for “Heart Of The Country” and “3 Legs.” Ram will be available for download across a variation of digital configurations including mastered for iTunes and high resolution.

[ONE TRACK MIND: Laurence Juber discusses key songs from his tenure with Paul McCartney and Wings, along with favorite sides from his solo career and Al Stewart projects.]

This project follows the recent Paul McCartney Archive Collection reissues of McCartney, McCartney II, and Band on the Run, which earned a Grammy this year for best historical album.

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Paul McCartney. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

PAUL McCARTNEY – KISSES ON THE BOTTOM (2012): This is not just a love letter to a lost era of songmaking, but one of the most evocative, deeply ardent records that McCartney has ever issued. Working in a higher vocal range that remains largely untouched by age, or his rugged third-act touring schedule, the ex-Beatle stirs up a spectacular range of emotions: The hushed, crepuscular melancholy of Peter van Steeden’s “Home (When Shadows Fall)” is matched only by the stirring resolve found on Haywood Henry’s “Get Yourself Another Fool” from this now thrice-married soon-to-be-70-year-old. McCartney’s trembling rapture throughout Irving Berlin’s “Always” finds a balancing moment in his impish hat-tipping joy during Johnny Mercer’s “Ac-Cent-Thcu-Ate The Positive.”

PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS – BAND ON THE RUN (1973; 2010 reissue): A terrific reissue that reveals this anew as the most personal of McCartney recordings — though, even now, the album’s unifying theme of escape is more subtle (and thus more commercial) than the blunt confessional style of his former partner John Lennon. McCartney, instead, uses broader storytelling brushstrokes — skillfully weaving his own desire to break free of the Beatles with the age-old myths of ne’er-do-wells, hitchhikers and outsiders. No McCartney effort yet has taken so many chances, nor so successfully blended his interests in the melodic, the orchestral, the rocking and the episodic. In keeping, of the Beatles solo recordings, Band on the Run always sounded the most to me like something the old band might have put together.

PAUL McCARTNEY – McCARTNEY (1970)/McCARTNEY II (1980; 2011 reissues): Taken together, these albums show a willingness to strip down what had become a varnished sound. After all, Paul was coming off huge productions in the form of 1969’s Abbey Road with the Beatles and 1979’s Back to the Egg with Wings. But there is a broad disparity, more pronounced than ever, in how these recordings have aged. McCartney comes off as more organic, a simpler expression — like someone trying to work out his own sound. McCartney II was, truth be told, fatally hobbled from the first by Paul’s own poor mechanics with the synthesizers he chose to experiment with throughout.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS – BACK TO THE EGG (1979): It’s time to go back and reevaluate Paul McCartney and Wings’ unjustly ignored Back to the Egg. Released in May 1979, the album showcased a rebuilt Wings lineup, with lead guitarist Laurence Juber working in sharp counterpoint to Denny Laine. Also on board was co-producer Chris Thomas, a former assistant to George Martin for the Beatles’ White Album who brought an edgier style to much of the project — in keeping with his concurrent work with the Sex Pistols and the Pretenders. McCartney’s stated goal, back then, was to make a raw-boned rock record. And he largely succeeded, putting a bright charge into his sound after the soft-rock fluff of 1978’s London Town.

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Track list for the deluxe edition of Paul McCartney’s Ram reissue:
CD Disc 1 (Ram – Stereo)
Too Many People
3 Legs
Ram On
Dear Boy
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
Smile Away
Heart of the Country
Monkberry Moon Delight
Eat at Home
Long Haired Lady
Ram On
The Back Seat of My Car
CD Disc 2 (Rarities)
Another Day
Oh Woman, Oh Why
Little Woman Love
A Love For You (Jon Kelly remix)
Hey Diddle (Dixon Van Winkle mix)
Great Cock And Seagull Race (Dixon Van Winkle mix)
Rode All Night
Sunshine Sometime (earliest mix)
CD Disc 3 (Ram – Mono)
Same track list as Disc 1
CD Disc 4 (Thrillington)
Too Many People
3 Legs
Ram On
Dear Boy
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
Smile Away
Heart of the Country
Monkberry Moon Delight
Eat at Home
Long Haired Lady
The Back Seat of My Car
DVD
Ramming
Heart Of The Country
3 Legs
Hey Diddle
Eat At Home On Tour
a selection of Now Hear This jingles

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