Raspberries – Should I Wait

The Raspberries formed in the early 1970s when Eric Carmen and Jim Bonfanti envisioned a band that would emulate bands such as The Beatles, The Who, and The Beach Boys.

This song came off of the Side 3 album released in 1973. This song…well the way I would describe it is country tinged power pop. It was an odd and cool album cover. It was a die-cut of a  basket of Raspberries, with the group’s name placed on top of the LP sleeve.

Side 3 (Raspberries album) logo.jpg

Three members wrote and sang songs. It wasn’t just Eric Carmen…This song was written and sung by Dave Smalley the bass player. This was their third album and they would end up releasing four studio albums.

The band consisted of Eric Carmen (vocalist/guitarist/bassist/pianist), Wally Bryson (guitarist), Jim Bonfanti (drummer), and Dave Smalley (guitarist/bassist).

Their last appearance as the original lineup was on The Mike Douglas Show in 1974. Shortly after… Bonfanti and Smalley both quit the band to pursue individual music careers. Michael McBride and Scott McCarl replaced them and shortly after Raspberries went on to produce their fourth and final album Starting Over…which yielded what could be their masterpiece… Overnight Sensation.

In 2004, the original four members of the group performed at Cleveland’s House of Blues. This resulted in a 2005 mini-tour. The Raspberries performed at other venues around the United States, with their final concert performance in Cleveland, Ohio at KeyBank State Theatre on December 14th, 2007.

Should I Wait

Don’t you know you’re gonna lose
If you love somebody that don’t love you?
You’ll believe him when he’s untrue
But I can’t bear seein’ him break your heart in two
I’ve let it happen much too long

Should I wait, hopin’ you’ll find out on your own?
It’s me who’s loved you for so long

If he hurts you with his lies
Don’t let it take too long to open your eyes
You’re gonna see through his disguise
But I can’t bear seein’ him break your heart in two
I’m tired of tryin’ to play it cool

Should I wait, hopin’ you’ll find out on your own?
The one you love is just a fool

If I had the chance I’d make you see
When you fall in love how it should be
A love that makes you sad can only turn out bad
So I’ll be hangin’ ’round until you’re free

Don’t you know you’re gonna lose
If you love somebody that don’t love you?
You’ll believe him when he’s untrue
But I can’t bear seein’ him break your heart in two
I’ve let it happen much too long

Should I wait, hopin’ you’ll find out on your own?
It’s me who’s loved you for so long

Raspberries – Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)

This is my second song pick for Hanspostcard’s song draft. The Raspberries  Overnight Sensation (Hit Record).

 Bruce Springsteen: “Overnight Sensation (Hit Record) should go down as one of the great mini-rock-opera masterpieces of all time”

In the nineties I bought the Raspberries greatest hits. I listened with headphones to each song until I heard this one. I stopped and listened to it repeatedly. It’s one of those songs that goes beyond other songs…It is truly a pop-rock symphony. I was amazed that I never heard this before.

Overnight Sensation (Hit Record) is an epic, ambitious, grand, lofty, extravagant, and brilliant song from the Raspberries. They were swinging for the fences when they made this song and they hit it out of the park. It’s on the album Starting Over released in 1974.

Put some headphones on and listen to this completely to the very end… When I hear it, I think this is what it would sound like if The Who, Beach Boys, and Beatles made a song together…this would be it. Musically you have a little of everything. Sliding bass lines, tasteful guitar licks, great vocals, a sax solo that gives way to more lyrics as the song morphs into an AM radio sound… and then comes a solo piano.

Stay until the very end because they dupe you into a fake ending and the drums will come in as if the world is going to end. Then… a Beach Boys final huge crescendo wave will wash over you like a warm summer moonlit night. It’s a wall of sound of ecstasy that you wish would go on forever.

The song is about trying to make it in the music business. It’s Eric Carmen singing with desperation wanting a hit record on the radio. After this album, the Raspberries were no more. This was Eric Carmen at his absolute best before he went solo and became an ordinary pop singer. He would never try anything this ambitious again.

Certain songs we all know are timeless. In a perfect world this one deserves to be on that list. I don’t use the word masterpiece a lot but I would consider this song one. The musical arrangement is second to none in terms of arrangement, production, and harmonies.

Although “Go All The Way” was their big hit of their career…this one is in a different league and they never equaled it. Most people don’t know this song and it’s a musical injustice. I only hope more people discover it.

The three best power pop bands of the early to mid-seventies were Big Star, Badfinger, and The Raspberries. Badfinger were the most successful (and they paid dearly for it), Big Star wasn’t even known, and The Raspberries had one top ten hit with few very good minor ones. All three of these bands were too rock for pop radio and too pop for rock radio…in varying degrees they fell into the cracks of history… none of them had long careers.

John Lennon was said to be a fan of the group. He was producing Nilsson’s Pussycats at the same time The Raspberries were making this album at the Record Plant. John supposedly was blown away by Overnight Sensation.

The song peaked at #18 in the Billboard 100 and #22 in Canada in 1974.

Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)
Well I know it sounds funny
But I’m not in it for the money, no
I don’t need no reputation
And I’m not in it for the show

I just want a hit record, yeah
Wanna hear it on the radio
Want a big hit record, yeah
One that everybody’s got to know

Well if the program director don’t pull it
It’s time to get back the bullet
So bring the group down to the station
You’re gonna be an overnight sensation

I’ve been tryin’ to write the lyric
Non-offensive but satiric too
And if you put it in the A-slot
It’s just got to make a mint for you

I fit those words to a good melody
Amazing how success has been ignoring me
So long
I use my bread making demos all day
Writing in the night while in my head I hear
The record play
Hear it play

Hit record, yeah
Wanna hit record, yeah
Wanna hit record, yeah (number one)

Raspberries – Ecstacy ….Powerpop Friday

My favorite band from Cleveland. This song was on their Side 3 album released in 1973. The album only charted at #138 in the Billboard album charts. The song was released as a single but it didn’t chart.

The following year the band would give it one more shot with Starting Over and they would have one more top twenty single…Overnight Sensation.  After that Eric Carmen lost his edge and was All By…himself.

Anyway, a Raspberries song is a good way to start your weekend…

 

Ecstacy

Come on!

When I think of all your lovin’ it makes me shiver
‘Cause when I get home
Just wait ’til I get you alone

Ecstasy
When you touch me I’m in ecstasy
No one else could do the things you do
Let me please you too
Tonight

Ecstasy
When you kiss me I’m in ecstasy
No one else could make me feel this way
Tell me that you’ll stay
Tonight

When you wrap your love around me and move so gently, yeah
I feel it begin
Don’t stop, I can feel my head spinning

Baby, baby, I just wanna make you
Feel the way I do
You got my backbone shakin’
And my poor heart’s breakin’ in two

Stay tonight
Stay tonight

Raspberries – Tonight —-Powerpop Friday

I saw this quote by a critic about this song: “Take one part Small Faces, one part Who, one part Beatles, mix, cook to a boil and let rock!”

I found this song on their greatest hits. I would highly recommend one of their greatest hits to anyone.

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.

This song peaked at #69 on the Billboard 100 in 1973. Tonight was originally on their 3rd album called Side 3 that peaked at 128 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1973. Eric Carmen would go on to greater success as a solo performer but I never thought he topped what he did with the Raspberries.

Tonight

One, two, three, four
When you smiled at me
And I saw your eyes
All I ever wanted to be
Was in your arms tonight
You looked too young to know about romance
Oh, yes you did
But when you smiled, I had to take a chance
I had to take a chance and be with you

Tonight
I’ll be with you tonight
Tonight
You’ll love me too tonight
Woh baby, tonight

I’m making love to you
Woh, tonight
Bop-om-doo-doh-woh-mop-shoo
Woh, tonight
You’re gonna love me too
Tonight
Woh, tonight

I don’t know myself
If it’s wrong or right
All I know is what I can feel
So be my love tonight
You looked too young to know about romance
Oh, you know what I mean
But when you smiled, I had to take a chance
I had to take a chance and be with you

Woh, tonight
Won’t you let me sleep with you, baby
Woh, tonight
I just wanna make you feel good inside, baby
Woh, tonight
Let me feel the love that’s in you
Woh, tonight
Come on, come on, come on, come on
And let me
Come on, baby
Woh, tonight

The Raspberries – Go All The Way

This was before Eric Carmen went solo and started doing ballads. One of my favorite Power Pop groups. This song was the big one…their only top 10 hit but they had 4 top 40 songs altogether. Go All The Way peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100 in 1972. The song has a mixture of Who, Beatles, and Beach Boys styles.

It’s back in popularity because of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

 

From Songfacts

Raspberries lead singer and bass player Eric Carmen wrote this song. He went on to fame as a solo artist (“Hungry Eyes”) and songwriter (“All By Myself”).

This song is about a girl trying to convince a guy to “Go all the way,” meaning to have sex with him. Carmen told Blender magazine in 2006 that he was inspired by The Rolling Stones performance of “Let’s Spend The Night Together” when Mick Jagger had to sing it as “Let’s spend some time together.”

Said Carmen, “I knew then that I wanted to write a song with an explicitly sexual lyric that the kids would instantly get but the powers that be couldn’t pin me down for.”

The Raspberries dressed in matching suits. “Go All The Way” was part of their first album, and it was their only hit. They made two more albums before breaking up.

The album contained a raspberry-scented scratch-and-sniff sticker.

When the group was trying to think of a name, one of the four members rejected a suggestion with the phrase, “Aw, Raspberries” (an old Our Gang line). They had their name. , IL)

Eric Carmen explained: “I remember ‘Go All The Way’ vividly. The year was 1971. I was 21. I had been studying for years. I had spent my youth with my head between two stereo speakers listening to The Byrds and The Beatles and later on The Beach Boys – just trying to figure out what combinations of things – whether it was the fourths harmonies that The Byrds were singing on ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ – I must have worn out 10 copies of that first Byrds album listening to it over and over, and turning off the left side and turning on the right side trying to figure out why these certain combinations of instruments and echo and harmonies made that hair on your arms stand up. I did the same thing with Beatles records, and I tried to learn construction.

Then I went to school on Brian Wilson. That was a real breakthrough for me because he was doing things that I thought were so incredibly sophisticated before anybody was doing anything even close. The Pet Sounds album is, to me, the best pop album of all time. Brian introduced me to the idea of writing a bridge for a song that really had nothing to do with the verse and chorus.

In the early days, I spent a lot of time concentrating on writing bridges that took you someplace that you didn’t expect to go. Many songwriters wrote a song, the song’s in the key of C, it comes time for a bridge and they go to A minor. That bored me. Brian would go to E flat or somewhere strange, and he managed to do it smoothly. He also had a way of delivering you out of the bridge in such a way that you felt like maybe the song had modulated up a step, but you were really back in the original key. That, to me, was artwork. So when I sat down to write ‘Go All The Way,’ there were a couple things I had in mind. I thought, ‘What part of the song is it that people really want to hear? It’s the chorus.’ As a result of all that, ‘Go All The Way’ has a 10-second verse, and then the chorus is a minute long. I figured just to get to the chorus as fast as I can. That was the plan behind the song. I repeated that when I wrote ‘I Wanna Be With You.'” 

This was an early example of “Power Pop,” which were rock songs with radio-friendly hooks.

The title was inspired by a book Carmen came across by Dan Wakefield called Going All The Way.

The Killers covered this song for the 2012 film Dark Shadows.

This song appears in the 2000 film Almost Famous but was not included on the soundtrack. It did make the soundtrack to the 2014 film Guardians Of The Galaxy, which went to #1 in America and revived many ’70s hits.

Go All The Way

I never knew how complete love could be
‘Til she kissed me and said

Baby, please, go all the way
It feels so right (feels so right)
Being with you here tonight
Please, go all the way
Just hold me close (hold me close)
Don’t ever let me go

I couldn’t say what I wanted to say
‘Til she whispered, I love you

So please, go all the way
It feels so right (feels so right)
Being with you here tonight
Please, go all the way
Just hold me close (hold me close)
Don’t ever let me go

Before her love
I was cruel and mean
I had a hole in the place
Where my heart should have been

But now I’ve changed
And it feels so strange
I come alive when she does
All those things to me

And she says
(Come on) Come on
(Come on) Come on
(Come on) Come on
(Come on)
I need ya (come on)
I love ya (come on)
I need ya (come on)
Oh, oh, baby

Please, go all the way
It feels so right (feels so right)
Being with you here tonight
Please, go all the way
Just hold me close (hold me close)
Don’t ever let me go no

Go on baby

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)

 

 

 

 

Great Power Pop Bands that never got their due…

 

Seems like these bands were either too pop for rock radio or to rock for pop radio…The bands that come to mind are…

Badfinger – The most tragic story of any band in Rock History….although out of this list they did have the most hits… No Matter What, Day After Day Come and Get It and Baby Blue …one of my personal favorites out of many Midnight Caller…and Name of the Game…also  I would have loved to see what Pete Ham could have done later on if he would have lived…. This is the one that many people didn’t know that they wrote. Without You

Big Star – Great songs with great melodies that never caught on that influenced many bands to come after. September Gurls , Thirteen , Ballad of El Goodo In The Street these are just a few. This band should have been massive.

The Raspberries– Great hooks and they had a masterpiece that went unnoticed… Overnight Sensation…One of my favorite songs of all time. Their biggest hit was  Go All The Way. All their songs have great hooks with Carmen’s voice.

The Knack – Good Girls Don’t and of course My Sharona. 

The JayhawksI’m Gonna Make You Love Me , Blue

The Replacements

Who else?

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