Ram Jam - Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Ram [Epic Records JE 35287] (1978)

Released: 1978
Country: US
Label: Epic Records
Catalog: JE 35287
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock

Item# SR-EPJE35287
Ratings: C=VG; LP=VG+

Note: Promo stamp on back cover; white labels

T R A C K L I S T:
01 Gone Wild
02 Pretty Poison
03 The Kid Next Door
04 Turnpike
05 Wanna Find Love
06 Just Like Me
07 Hurricane Ride
08 Saturday Night
09 Runway Runaway
10 Please, Please, Please (Please Me)

Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Ram
Ram Jam

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Album Review

Donald A. Guarisco [allmusic.com]

After scoring a major hit with ''Black Betty'' in 1977, Ram Jam returned in 1978 with another punchy set of hard rock tunes. Though Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ram failed to produce any hit singles like ''Black Betty,'' it actually improves on their previous album by managing to broaden the group's sound without cutting back on the hard rock firepower that got them noticed. For instance, songs like ''The Kid Next Door'' and ''Please Please (Please Me)'' add keyboard textures that flesh out the group's sound without distracting from their guitar-driven attack. Ram Jam also makes an interesting departure from their trademark twin-guitar rock sound on the dramatic power ballad ''Turnpike'': this lost-love lament alternates a hard-rocking chorus with moody piano-driven verses to create an surprisingly ornate blend of AOR melodicism and hard rock bombast. However, the majority of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ram is devoted to straightforward guitar rock; ''Wanna Find Love'' and ''Saturday Night'' blend pop hooks and metal riffs as effectively as anything on Ram Jam. Other tunes up the ante by presenting a frenetic level of energy that borders on punk rock: ''Just Like Me'' and ''Hurricane Ride'' both toss out slashing guitar riffs over double-time rhythms to create songs that sound like the Ramones gone metal crazy. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ram further benefits from short, tight song structures that keep things from getting too excessive (the ambitious ''Turnpike'' is the only song that runs over 4 and a half minutes). All in all, this is a fine hard rock outing that is worthy of its cult reputation and a treat for anyone who likes hard-driving 1970s rock music.