[Win This!] : Paul and Linda McCartney : Ram Deluxe Edition Box Set

On May 22nd, Paul and Linda McCartney’s Ram will be re-released in grand style,and MOKB is helping get you into the spirit with a premiere of the remastered version of Too Many People.

But wait, there’s more. One lucky MOKB follower will get themselves a beautifully packaged Deluxe Edition Box Set right in time for the record’s 40th anniversary!

Ram, the only album to be credited to both Paul and Linda McCartney and Paul’s second post-Beatles LP, is now widely considered a classic, but truth be told, critics didn’t exactly sit up on their hinders to applaud when it originally dropped in May of 1971. In fact, some folks were downright nasty in their appraisal of Paul and Linda’s handiwork. Rolling Stone’s Jon Landau called it, “the nadir in the decomposition of Sixties rock thus far,” further adding “incredibly inconsequential and so monumentally irrelevant,” to his assessment while Playboy’s music critic (who knew, right?) offered, “you keep wondering why he bothers.” Even his ex-bandmates got in on the lambasting. John Lennon reported hated the album and dissed Paul’s efforts as “muzak to my ears” in How Do You Sleep?, while Ringo offered, “I don’t think there’s one [good] tune on the last one, Ram … he seems to be going strange” in Melody Maker.

Of course, that didn’t stop fans from dropping some of their hard-earned, as the album topped the charts hitting #1 in the UK and #2 in the US.

Ah, but how times and opinions change. At some point in the ensuing decades, Rolling Stone’s stance softened, and the original review was revised to four out of five stars. Clearly, folded in the records seemingly carefree grooves and singalongs one can sense the early ramshackle shimmer of something flying quite in the face of the bombast of 60s rawk. In fact, our buddy Stephen Thomas Erlewine suggests, in retrospect, Ram, “looks like nothing so much as the first indie pop album, a record that celebrates small pleasures with big melodies, a record that’s guileless and unembarrassed to be cutesy.”

Ram was written by Paul and Linda, mostly at their Scottish farm on the Mull of Kintyre. In autumn of 1970 they flew to NYC to assemble a band and begin recording. Enlisting the help of future Wings drummer Denny Seiwell, as well as guitarists David Spinozza and Hugh McCracken, the album was completed in early 1971 along with non-album tracks Another Day and Oh Woman, Oh Why.

Interestingly, Ram was also issued in mono with alternate mixes, which were only made available to radio stations at the time, and this version has gone on to become one of the most sought after McCartney collectables. Furthermore, 1977 witnessed the release of Thrillington, an instrumental exploration of Ram. Originally recorded in 1971 at Abbey Road Studios and arranged by Richard Hewson, it was released under the pseudonym Percy ‘Thrills’ Thrillington, an unknown eccentric socialite who often cropped up in mysterious newspaper classifieds. In reality, of course, Percy was a character devised by Paul and Linda simply to have some fun, and the concept of doing an orchestral album was an ambition long held by Paul.

Ram Deluxe Edition Box Set Giveaway : MOKB has scored one Ram Deluxe Edition Box Set, and believe me kiddies, this is some sweet swag. How sweet? How about 4 CDs (including the album in stereo and mono format, the Thrillington CD and an outtakes CD, all remastered by the same team who recently remastered the complete Beatles’ catalogue), a DVD, 112 page book, 5 prints in vintage style photographic wallet, 8 full size facsimiles of Paul’s original handwritten lyric sheets and mini photographic book of outtakes from the original album cover photo shoot. One very lucky MOKB reader will be taking this home. If you want to qualify, you need to follow @myoldkyblog on Twitter and tweet us your favorite Paul McCartney song (Beatles, Wings or solo) by Friday, May 11th. The winner will be chosen at random, but anyone who selects Say, Say, Say will automatically be disqualified.

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