RAM DELUXE OXYMORON

Another Day (Paul McCartney song)

And then there were four...

Amid all the tripe written about this Ram deluxe reissue, Jayson Green’s pitchfork review struck me as descriptively modest. Always had a curious soft spot for Ram, seeing as it was among my earliest headphone slabs. I keep dismissing and returning to it. The vocals: AMAZING. The tone: elaborately controlled ABSURDIST WHIMSY. “Halsey” earns itself that xgau “major annoyance” lament, and yet still a secret cousin to epics like “Hey Jude,” “You Know My Name,” and an early fluttering precursor 1975’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” McCartney had cheek, stood next to Plastic Ono Band like a giant Jeff Koons marshmellow man. Ram twisted the knife, “Smile Away.” Horribly now. 

You have to give him credit: he couldn’t raise the bar any on Pepper or Abbey Road‘s finales, so he simply inverted his target: why polish the chrome when you can overstuff the couch? Even the closers reek of self-conscious disdain: let’s go spin codas off a cliff (“Long-Haired Lady”)! And again (“Back Seat of My Car”)!

Always been fond of his “Another Day” b-side (itself a marvel of misdirection), “Oh Woman Oh Why,” about a man bleeding out from his lover’s gunshot wounds. “Comic” screams. “What have you done?!?!” Here’s the real McCartney “break-up” track; it’s enough to make Plastic Ono Band sound literal. Almost worth investigating: Richard Hewson’s Percy Thrillington orchestral arrangement of the entire album, where bassist Herbie Flowers and drummer Clem Cattini play Impress the Man. Standout track: “Eat at Home” as a reggae two-step. The first muzak reduction of a muzak album? 

Thrillington

Thrillington (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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