RAM ON: A 50th Anniversary Celebration of Paul McCartney’s RAM
by Geoff Ford
On the 50th anniversary of Ram by Paul McCartney & Wings, over 100 musicians have come together to celebrate this much-loved seminal album. With Sir Paul McCartney’s blessing, they have re-recorded all of the Ram songs to create RAM ON: The 50th Anniversary Tribute to Paul & Linda McCartney’s ‘RAM’, released on 14th May 2021 through Spirit Of Unicorn Music (distributed by Cherry Red Records).
It is a testament to the enduring love and affection for Ram that so many artists across three generations should want to be a part of this recreation of a classic album. The idea was born in 2020 from a discussion between producer and multi-instrumentalist Fernando Perdomo and Denny Seiwell, the original drummer with Paul McCartney & Wings, who performed on Ram. Original guitarist Danny Spinozza returns to reprise his parts on the album along with Marvin Stamm who played flugelhorn on Uncle Albert/Admiral Hornsey. They are joined by their musical contemporaries Davey Johnstone (Elton John Band) and Will Lee (The Fab Faux).
“Every musician on this record loves Ram. This record was made with pure love”
A second generation of musicians includes Brian Wilson’s daughter Carnie Wilson (Wilson Phillips), Dan Rothchild (Heart, Sheryl Crow) Pat Sansone (Wilko), Joey Santiago (Pixies), Eric Dover (Jellyfish) and Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd, Blue Pearl)
The latest cohort of musicians with this love of Ram includes Dave Depper (Death Cab For Cutie), Lauren Leigh, Cindy Wassermann and Frank Drennan (Dead Rock West) and multi-instrumentalist Timmy Sean.
Recording sessions for Ram took place in New York and Los Angeles between October 1970 and March 1971. The principal musicians were Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, keyboards, guitars and ukulele on Ram On), Linda McCartney (harmony and backing vocals), Denny Seiwell (drums), Dave Spinozza (guitar), Hugh McCracken (guitar) with Marvin Stamm (flugelhorn on Uncle Albert/Admiral Horsey).
Ram was released 17th May 1971. McCartney was hurt by the negative reception from the press, but the album was a huge commercial success and much-loved by fans around the world. In retrospect, the critics heaped praise upon the album at the time of its re-release in 2012 and fans continue to love the album to this day.
Having played with New York’s jazz elite, Denny Seiwell received an invitation from Paul McCartney to move to London and become a founding member of his post-Beatles group Wings. Denny toured with Wings and played on many of that era’s biggest hits, My Love and the Oscar nominated Live and Let Die along with McCartney’s Ram, Wildlife and Red Rose Speedway albums. Other highlights of Denny’s London years included work with Joe Cocker, Donovan, and The Who with the London Symphony Orchestra on their groundbreaking version of the Rock Opera Tommy. Denny also worked with Art Garfunkel, James Brown and Billy Joel.
RAM ON includes warm and sensitive 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).
A powerhouse of the LA music scene Fernando Perdomo has made a name for himself as an in-demand producer, singer/songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is featured in the Netflix documentary Echo In The Canyon where his is seen backing up Brian Wilson, Norah Jones and Regina Spektor and played on the official soundtrack album of the film along with Eric Clapton, Neil Young and Stephen Stills.
Fernando owns and operates Reseda Ranch Studios in Los Angeles. He has produced hundreds of records and has played guitarist and bass with Todd Rundgren and Curved Air.
“From early on I wanted this to not be a typical tribute record,” says Fernando. “Every musician on this record loves Ram with all their heart and I think it shows. This record was made with pure love.”
RAM ON Track Listing:
01. Too Many People feat Dan Rothchild
02. 3 Legs feat The Dirty Diamond and Durga McBroom
03. Ram On feat Pat Sansone
04. Dear Boy feat Adrian Bourgeois
05. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey feat Bebopalula
06. Smile Away feat Timmy Sean
07. Heart of the Country feat Dan Rothchild
08. Monkberry Moon Delight feat Timmy Sean
09. Eat At Home feat Dead Rock West
10. Long Haired Lady feat Rob Bonfiglio and Carnie Wilson
11. Ram On Reprise feat Pat Sansone
12. Backseat of My Car feat Brentley Gore
13. Another Day feat Gordon Michaels
14. Oh Woman Oh Why feat Eric Dover and Lauren Leigh
15. Too Many People (Slight Return)
RAM ON is released in CD format on 14th May 2021 via Spirit Of Unicorn Music and distributed by Cherry Red Records.