Posts Tagged ‘Denny Seiwell’

Paul McCartney had always been one for a homespun album, whether it be his 1970 debut “McCartney”, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard from 2005, or McCartney III, which he recorded in lockdown (or rockdown, as he called it). Last year, McCartney was the first of his albums to receive a half-speed remaster at Abbey Road, which was pressed up for Record Store Day. The Paul McCartney Half-Speed Remaster series continues with the indie favourite “RAM”, due May 14th to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

Originally released in May 1971, “RAM” served as the follow-up to Paul’s 1970 debut solo album McCartney. The record was also the only McCartney album to be credited to both Paul and his late wife Linda.

RAM saw Paul and Linda taking to the heart of the country and recording most of the album at his Scotland farm following some traditional tracking sessions in New York. This lo-fi approach practically created the “cottagecore” aesthetic routinely explored by today’s most prominent artists. And it’s said that any indie-pop musician who’s recorded an album out of their bedroom owes something to RAMIndeed, with just one listen to “Dear Boy,” “Ram On,” “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” or “Back Seat of My Car,” it’s easy to draw the line through four-plus decades of indie-pop sounds.

But it wasn’t just Paul and Linda creating the music. The McCartneys also brought on Denny Seiwell, who’d go on to be part of the first incarnation of Wings, along with many other session musicians. As such, the album not only stands as a great piece of music, but also an important transitional piece in McCartney’s recorded history.

The RAM sessions were completed in early 1971, also yielding the standalone single “Another Day”, a worldwide hit that preceded RAM’s May 1971 release.

RAM’s singular sonic palette was unlike its predecessor—or anything else for that matter—and has grown exponentially in stature and influence over the decades. Critically polarizing at the time, the album was instantly beloved by fans, hitting #1 in the UK and giving Paul his first post-Beatles American #1 single, the GRAMMY-winning Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey. In recent years the record has continued to solidify its standing as one of the most loved in Paul’s unparalleled output. Fans and critics alike continue to sing its praises: Rolling Stone has hailed the album as a “masterpiece” and “a grand psychedelic ramble full of divine melodies,” Pitchfork has praised it as “a domestic-bliss album, one of the weirdest, earthiest, and most honest ever made,” and Mojo, perhaps most accurately of all, has deemed RAM “quintessentially McCartney.”

RAM has gone on to become one of the most beloved of McCartney’s albums. Upon its release it was panned by critics, though it reached No. 1on the U.K. Albums Chart and yielded his first post-Beatles No. 1 in the States with the whimsical mini-suite “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.” Now the album has been deemed “quintessentially McCartney,” a career highlight worthy of reappraisal.

For it’s 50th anniversary edition, “RAM” has been pressed from a new master cut at half-speed sourced from the original master tapes at Abbey Road. The LP is available to pre-order now, and will also be available on indie record stores’ shelves on the May 14th release date. 

Paul and Linda McCartney, RAM 

McCartney on stage playing guitar and singing.

5-episode Documentary series about the fascinating musical career of Paul McCartney. Episode 1 focuses on 1970-1975. this is a most outstanding documentary, probably the best I have seen on McCartney done with flair, care, expertise and with such a touch of magic that by making it so very special it easily transcends the usual formulaic dirge we’ve been given over the years about The Beatles and their solo careers. I sincerely hope that MPL gets wind of this and realises what a genius they could add to their stable or at least get involved with future McCartney projects. This also will mean such a great deal to the true fans who transcended from The Beatles to the Solo Beatles including myself. Ironic that as Paul was slipping into depression in the autumn of 69 while we were all bathing in the wonderment of Abbey Road…. Without question though imo 70/71 was Pauls finest, the quartet of McCartney/Ram/ Wild Life still retain such a magical aura all of their own.

I loved BOTR & Venus & Mars, but it’s always those first 3 albums I return to again and again. For anyone’s interest Little Lamb Dragonfly on the Red Rose Speedway album was actually recorded in the Ram sessions, and when you learn that fact you realise that it really does belong on Ram. The essential inclusion (and often overlooked) thoughts, feelings and observations of Denny Seiwell , Denny Laine & Henry McCulloch are so vital to the first Wings lineup and very moving too. Their own words reflect how much respect they had for Paul, and really it shows how sadly too they were let down financially leaving Denny Seiwell  and Henry no alternative but to leave. Had Paul perhaps paid the same attention to their payments of salaries that he did to his music they would have never walked out. Linda sadly got a lot of stick at the time but her vocal harmonies (with Denny too) were pure magic and a musical legacy her to be rightly proud of.

As the Beatles were breaking up in 1969–70, McCartney fell into a depression. His wife helped him pull out of that condition by praising his work as a songwriter and convincing him to continue writing and recording. In her honour, he wrote “Maybe I’m Amazed”, explaining that with the Beatles breaking up, “that was my feeling: Maybe I’m amazed at what’s going on … Maybe I’m a man and maybe you’re the only woman who could ever help me; Baby won’t you help me understand … Maybe I’m amazed at the way you pulled me out of time, hung me on the line, Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.” He added that “every love song I write is for Linda.”

One of my favourite elements about this series is how much input there is from people who actually got the chance to work and collaborate with McCartney. Having that kind of “outside” perspective is especially useful when one’s main subject is not very much given to self-examination. And it’s amazing to see how much love and respect Paul creates around him, more clearly observed in the people whose feelings didn’t get distorted by hurt, envy, and bitterness.

5-episode Documentary series on Paul McCartney’s fascinating music career. Episode 2 spans 1975-1980,

Following the addition of guitarist Henry McCullough, Wings’ first concert tour began in 1972 with a debut performance in front of an audience of seven hundred at the University of Nottingham. Ten more gigs followed as they travelled across the UK in a van during an unannounced tour of universities, during which the band stayed in modest accommodation and received pay in coinage collected from students, while avoiding Beatles songs during their performances. McCartney later said, “The main thing I didn’t want was to come on stage, faced with the whole torment of five rows of press people with little pads, all looking at me and saying, ‘Oh well, he is not as good as he was.’ So we decided to go out on that university tour which made me less nervous … by the end of that tour I felt ready for something else, so we went into Europe.” During the seven-week, 25-show Wings Over Europe Tour, the band played almost solely Wings and McCartney solo material: the Little Richard cover “Long Tall Sally” was the only song that had previously been recorded by the Beatles. McCartney wanted the tour to avoid large venues; most of the small halls they played had capacities of fewer than 3,000 people. Wings followed Band on the Run with the chart-topping albums Venus and Mars (1975) and Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976). In 1980, McCartney released his second solo LP, the self-produced McCartney II, which peaked at number one in the UK and number three in the US. As with his first album, he composed and performed it alone. The album contained the song “Coming Up”, the live version of which, recorded in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1979 by Wings, became the group’s last number-one hit. By 1981, McCartney felt he had accomplished all he could creatively with Wings and decided he needed a change. The group discontinued in April 1981 after Laine quit following disagreements over royalties and salaries.

5-episode Documentary series about the fascinating musical career of Paul McCartney. Episode 3 focuses on the 1980s. McCartney participated in Live Aid, performing “Let it Be”,

In September 1989, they launched the Paul McCartney World Tour, his first in over a decade. During the tour, McCartney performed for the largest paying stadium audience in history on 21st April 1990, when 184,000 people attended his concert at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.That year, he released the triple album Tripping the Live Fantastic, which contained selected performances from the tour.

5-episode Documentary series about the fascinating musical career of Paul McCartney. Episode 4 focuses on the 1990s.

In 1991, McCartney performed a selection of acoustic-only songs on MTV Unplugged and released a live album of the performance titled Unplugged (The Official Bootleg). During the 1990s, McCartney collaborated twice with Youth of Killing Joke as the musical duo “the Fireman”. The two released their first electronica album together, Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest, in 1993. McCartney released the rock album Off the Ground in 1993. The subsequent New World Tour followed, which led to the release of the Paul Is Live album later that year

5-episode Documentary series on Paul McCartney’s fascinating music career. Episode 5 is a “double album” covering some of Paul’s greatest works spanning a total of two decades: Part 1 focuses on 2000-2010, Part 2 covers 2010-2020.

In 1997, McCartney released the rock album Flaming Pie. Ringo Starr appeared on drums and backing vocals in “Beautiful Night”. Later that year, he released the classical work Standing Stone, which topped the UK and US classical charts.[155] In 1998, he released Rushes, the second electronica album by the Fireman. In 1999, McCartney released Run Devil Run. Recorded in one week, and featuring Ian Paice and David Gilmour, it was primarily an album of covers with three McCartney originals. He had been planning such an album for years, having been previously encouraged to do so by Linda, who had died of cancer in April 1998.

McCartney did an unannounced performance at the benefit tribute, “Concert for Linda,” his wife of 29 years who died a year earlier. It was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 10th April 1999, and was organised by two of her close friends, Chrissie Hynde and Carla Lane.

McCartney’s enduring fame has made him a popular choice to open new venues. In 2009, he played to three sold-out concerts at the newly built Citi Field, a venue constructed to replace Shea Stadium in Queens, New York. These performances yielded the double live album Good Evening New York City later that year. McCartney remains one of the world’s top draws.