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”

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The original members were

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