Now I’m not that bothered about having a cool record collection. I’m more concerned about defending parts of my record collection from scorn and ridicule. I won’t get very far if I give you a list of records to defend all in one go – you will probably scoff. However, there comes a time is every person’s life when one has to simply assert.
So, my assertion is that Ram by ‘Paul & Linda McCartney’ is a great album. So there. It’s got some slightly embarrassing bits and some slightly twee bits – and its still great. Effectively Paul McCartney’s second solo album (and not credited to Wings – the band the Beatles could have been according to Alan Partridge of course…), it doesn’t set out to change the world but it’s a whole log less self important than John Lennon’s stuff around the same time.
It’s haunting in places, evocative of something I can’t put my finger on and sounds kind of sad and upbeat and playful…it sounds like the sun is out in the late afternoon and has family photos on it. I bought it on CD for £6 though I’ve lived with it since I was about 14 when I went through all the Beatles albums followed by most of their solo albums. I just love it. All music should speak to 14 year olds if possible (none of my own music does as far as I know).
I’ve known loads about the Beatles for years and it only occurred to me a few weeks ago that it’s probably called Ram (featuring the song Ram On) because Paul Ramon was the name he used in the early Beatles as a stage name. Let’s admit that John Lennon made a total arse of himself at times (though I’ll tell you about the John Lennon Plastic Ono band album at some point). Incidentally, for someone who likes puns, I only realised that the name Sandie Shaw was a pun a couple of years back - how stupid is that? Mind you, I live with someone who thought that Gilbert O'Sullivan might be the man's real name - let's not do Gilbert tonight...
Back to being 14. My bible was a book called ‘The Beatles – An Illustrated Record’ by Roy Carr and Tony Tyler. It was LP size and featured full size colour pictures of all the Beatles LP covers (so, so much better than CDs which as far as artwork goes are really a bit rubbish), biographical stuff and comments / reviews of all the singles and LPs including the solo stuff up until1974. Just think, on one day in 1965 you could go into a shop and buy 16(!) brand new Beatles songs – Rubber Soul for 14 and the Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out single. Two minutes silence needed or something.