Ram On (Paul McCartney tribute)

Various artists

It’s been 50 years since Paul’s 1971 album arrived, credited to the ex-Beatle and late wife, Linda. Ram itself was recently reissued, but this uncanny tribute is actually more interesting. Led by original Wings drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarist/producer Fernando Perdomo, it features a cast of thousands – including David Spinozza who played guitar on Paul, John, and Ringo records a half century ago.

Like the best Beatles and later solo albums, layers of guitars are used to build catchy melodies into full pop anthems. Heart bassist Dan Rothchild handles vocals on an inspired “Too Many People,” with Perdomo, Michael Lockwood, and Chris Alvy adding jangly guitars. Wilco’s Pat Sansome sings a heart-tugging “Ram On” graced by Nick Bertling’s ukulele; Pixies leadman Joey Santiago shines on “Dear Boy.”

That ’70s glam-guitar on “Smile Away” is from Elton John sideman Davey Johnstone. Baltimore rocker Gordon Michaels nails “Another Day,” wherein Spinozza recreates his ’71 slide parts to perfection.

The best thing about Ram On is the absence of A-list stars. Instead, these are the Macca-loving musicians, producers, and sidemen who rock our world, often in obscurity. If you love McCartney, run out and snag this Ram jam.

This article originally appeared in VG’s August 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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