Ram Deluxe! Here it is. What we’ve all been waiting for. The agonizing speculation can end, and the agonizing complaints can begin. That is sort of a joke. Who can really complain about this? We’re going to get a newly remastered version of Ram. That’s good. We’re going to get the mono version of Ram, which was never available before. We’re going to get Thrillington, which is really not that big a deal.
And we’re going to get what we should be thinking of as 4 new songs. “A Love For You” was released with some contemporary updates several years ago on a soundtrack (The In-Laws), so it doesn’t really count as “new”. “Hey Diddle” is new (never mind the little snippet on Wingspan). “Great Cock And Seagull Race” was broadcast on the radio once in 1972. It’s an instrumental. I thought it was a Wings song based on the broadcast vintage, but it might be another Ram outtake. “Sunshine Sometime” is the lovely tune from the Rupert The Bear soundtrack. And lastly, “Rode All Night” is the jam with Denny Seiwell that was transformed into “Giddy” for Roger Daltrey for his 1977 album One Of The Boys. I don’t know if this is the full jam, or an edit.
RAM Deluxe 4CD/DVD + download details
CD1 Ram (remastered)
CD2 Bonus tracks (remastered):
1. Another Day
2. Oh Woman, Oh Why
3. Little Woman Love
4. A Love For You (Jon Kelly remix)
5. Hey Diddle (Dixon Van Winkle mix)
6. Great Cock And Seagull Race (Dixon Van Winkle mix)
7. Rode All Night
8. Sunshine Sometime (earliest mix)
CD3 Ram mono (remastered)
CD4 Thrillington (remastered)
Ramming; Heart Of The Country; 3 Legs; Hey Diddle; Eat At Home On Tour; a selection of Now Hear This jingles
Download – Hi Res audio (both limited and unlimited)
Release date May 22
Now for some complaining. As a collector of McCartney “rarities” and other various “jazz mixes”, I know a little about what isn’t included in this package. We have super early mixes of “Long Haired Lady”, “The Back Seat Of My Car”. There are Ram-era versions of songs that came out later, such as “Little Lamb Dragonfly”, “I Lie Around” (with Paul singing the entire thing!), “Get On The Right Thing”, plus all of those amazing Ram Demos we reviewed in the last post. None of that stuff is on this release. Okay, I really shouldn’t know, let alone have heard any of that stuff, so my complaint has to be tempered.
However, as recently as January, more material was, in fact, planned to be on Ram Deluxe. Many of my “missing” tracks were included:
- I Lie Around (Paul on vocals) 1971 mix
- Get On The Right Thing (1971 mix without Red Rose Speedway overdubs)
- Little Lamb Dragonfly (1971 mix, with Paul singing, without Red Rose Speedway overdubs)
- Smile Away (Live 72 )
- A Love For You (1979 mix)
- Heart Of The Country (Take 1)
- Now Hear This Song Of Mine (Version 1)
- Now Hear This Song Of Mine (Version 2)
- When The Wind Is Blowing (1971, prior to 1978 overdubs)
Apparently, “When The Wind Is Blowing” was dropped at the last minute in favor of “The Great Cock And Seagull Race”, but it isn’t clear why.
In August 1971, McCartney considered releasing “Get On The Right Thing” as a single, with “A Love For You” as the b-side. The single, which would have been pretty good, was cancelled. Previously unknown to me, another attempt at releasing these songs was planned for early 1972, which “The Great Cock And Seagull Race” included as an additional b-side. Obviously this didn’t happen either.
These deluxe releases have been uniformly excellent, but they haven’t generally been a “collector’s paradise” (aside from McCartney II). Presumably, much of this “missing” material is being held back for the McCartney HP cloud project. There is also supposed to a “demos” project someday, so some of this stuff could find a home there. Regardless, this will be a nice release. More new stuff would have been nice, but Ram Deluxe will still be a highpoint for McCartney fans in 2012.