The Raspberries

A powerpop group from Cleveland Ohio in the early to mid-70s. They were influenced by the Beatles, Small Faces, The Who and The Beach Boys. They had some of the same problems as Badfinger, being too hard for pop and too soft for rock. Badfinger was overall more successful but the Raspberries had some top 40 hits.

“Go All The Way” (1972 #5),  I Wanna Be With You (1972 #16), Lets Pretend (1973 #35), and Overnight Sensation (1975 #18). They were too clean cut for rock fans to embrace. Matching suits and a teenybopper image. Unhip or uncool is what was many critics of that time wrote about them but their songs are melodic and fun.

Most bands have one song that is above the rest of their catalog. Many would probably say the Raspberries best song was Go All The Way but to me, it was Overnight Sensation. That song is their masterpiece. The song tells of the frustrations of trying to have a hit song on the radio with a heavy Who, Beach Boys, and Beatle sound.

After their album “Starting Over” in 1975 they broke up. If they could have stayed around a few more years they may have fit nicely with Cheap Trick, The Cars, The Knack, and Blondie.

Many artists list them as an influence and are fans such as KISS, Courtney Love, and oddly enough Bruce Springsteen and Axl Rose have mentioned them.

John Lennon was a fan of them and was in the studio when they made “Starting Over.”

Eric Carmen had a very successful solo career after the breakup but he stuck with pure pop in his music. He finally got the elusive hits he sang about in Overnight Sensation with All By My Myself, Never Gonna Fall in Love Again, and some songs off of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. I never thought they were as good as his Raspberries songs.

The Raspberries reunited in 2004 and did a tour. I have watched some video of one of the shows and they were really tight.

If you want to get a cd that covers their career get “The Raspberries Greatest”

rasp great.jpg


The original members were

Eric Carmen (Volcalist, Guitar, Pianist, Bass)
Dave Smalley (Bass, Guitar)
Wally Bryon (Guitar)
Jim Bonfanti (Drummer)





Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

16 thoughts on “The Raspberries”

  1. They certainly had more commercial success than the great Big Star- but it came and went pretty quickly. Chalk it up to the musical times of the mid 70’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always had a soft spot for them. The sad part is a one hit wonder had more short term success than Big Star…which is a crying shame. Sometimes life isn’t fair.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No, not at all. The shame of it all is by the late seventies all that music was starting to come back. I didn’t even want to look up the songs on Dirty Dancing…I was forced to watch it by a then girlfriend of mine over and over.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That was an awful movie! I saw it what 30 years ago? Once was more than enough. … Sometimes timing means everything and I think Big Star and The Raspberry’s through no fault of their own had bad timing.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yes and Badfinger arrived a little earlier than the other two…plus the Beatle connection.

        It was awful! The things you do…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes…downtown at a street fair to see some country acts…I can’t remember who they were now. I”ve blacked it out.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Whitesnake… David Coverdale was probably in his 40’s i’d guess and you would have thought he was a 10 year old who discovered swearing…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Oh yes…Mr. Slide It In… I will say one concert I fell asleep through…KISS 1984…and I don’t normally do that at all. I saw them again in the late 90s and it was much better.

        Off topic… I mentioned to our corporate lawyer that I was watching The Wire and his eyes lit up…He said it was the best thing that he ever saw and the most realistic. I saw the second episode last night.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Wow that is great- about The Wire. I didn’t get to watch anymore Life On Mars last night- we got 3 inches of rain here in an hour and water in the basement…never a good thing… but will get back with it when that job is done…..

        Liked by 1 person

      8. That is a lot of rain! I am lucky…we have a basement/garage and in 2010 when it rained forever here I didn’t get a bit of water in it…very lucky…We have had heat indexes in the triple digits… I hope you get it out alright.


  2. I own the debut album, which I like, but I’m not familiar with the rest of their output. In an era of Stones and Zeppelins, and Black Sabbaths, “Raspberries” doesn’t exactly scream rock and roll. I wonder how they came up with the name.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I started off with their greatest hits. My friends say I’m hung up on Overnight Sensation… I probably am but it encapsulates all of their influences and their sound. Their last album actually got really good reviews at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

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