On May 17, 1971 the awaited follow-up to Paul McCartney’s eponymous first solo album came out. Almost 41 years later, the beloved Ram will finally get what has been expected for a long while: a super deluxe package that may bring us several outtakes, alternates or rare live performances, alongside a luxury book with hundred of out of this world photographs. I talk about the Ram Deluxe Box Set, which, according to the rumor mill, is due late this year. Hopefully, this super duper release will have 3 audio discs plus a DVD containing – also, hopefully – never seen before footage.
The question remains the same, when it comes down to the Paul McCartney Archive Collection campaign. Will it be a full-blown release or just a fun package with about 4 outtakes and some fillers, similar to Band On The Run and McCartney? Well, it’s likely that it’s going to be something in between McCartney II and the other sets.
In a recent article published on UK’s fab Mojo, we got a bit of, say, breaking news, regarding what will be on the Ram Deluxe Box Set. Included will be the mythical promo LP in mono, that features a few mixing differences et al. Also, that immediately take us back to 1971, when Paul recorded a bunch of jingles that would serve as a promotional tool for radio DJs. The jingles, as most Paul McCartney fans are aware of, belong to a disc officially baptized Brung To Ewe By.
Another contender for the audio bonus are the few Ram era outtakes that have been circulating for years and years, as follows: “Rode All Night”, “When The Wind Is Blowing” and “Sunshine, Sometime” (both re-recorded for the Rupert Soundtrack in 1978, but never released), “A Love For You” (remixed for the In-Laws movie soundtrack) and “Hey Diddle” (a track that would receive overdubs later in 1974 when Wings were in Nashville). Other Ram leftovers in hands of collectors include the backing tracks of “Back Seat Of My Car” and “Long Haired Lady”.
Speaking the bare truth, one of the fearful issues – which already has become the “talk of the Macca fans town” – is the use of live tracks to fill the lack of studio bonus gaps. Well, at least, that happened with Band On The Run and McCartney box sets. With Ram, I fear we might get something similar. Way back in the early Wings tours, Paul played “Eat At Home” and “Smile Away” – both from Ram, that were never resurrected again for future live sets. (After completing this write-up it occurred me that Paul actually did “Too Many People” in a medley with “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” back in 2005, and “Ram On” in a few gigs of his recent Up and Coming Tour).
As the rumor of a box set might turn into reality in a distant future, it’s believed that the golden eggs of the Ram-era vaults will not materialize as bonuses on this long-awaited 40 anniversary edition. Those tracks could be – please, try not to shake on your knees – about 30 demos (or at least a bunch of these) recently found somewhere in Scotland, at the mythical Rude Studio. Tough one, huh? Another product expected (for the dream box set, mind you!) include the early versions of “Get On The Right Thing” and “Dear Friend”, as well as the complete “Ram On” rendition or the ukulele run-through of “Big Barn Bed” that shows up as a fragment glued on “Ram On” (reprise), the same way “Suicide” rises from “Glasses” on McCartney.
Last, but not least, a strong contender to be featured as a bonus on this “new” Ram: its instrumental version recorded in June 1971, called Thrillington. Actually the album does not live in the realm of the McCartney rarities, as it was presented on its compact disc incarnation in 1995. However, as it has been deleted like most of Paul’s EMI/Capitol albums, the whimsical LP might be seeing the light of day (again) on this box set. Seriously now: let’s place our bets?