Monday, November 26, 2018

The Raspberries Raspberries Best 1976

Cleveland's own Raspberries made four pretty good records between 1972 and 1974, and each one had at least one fine single. Considered a band for the past in 1972 with their matching suits and choirboy harmonies, their legacy later placed them squarely ahead of their time before the burgeoning power pop scene. They wanted to rock hard and get singles on the radio.

Today not all of it holds up, and they had a schmaltzy way with a big ballad that singer Eric Carmen would build into a successful solo career. But their best, and this single LP issue mostly got it right, was some fine pop music taken to a grand level.

The hits are all here. The rarefied Go All The Way, the pure Beatles of I Wanna Be With You, and the brilliant arena rock bombast of Overnite Sensation would almost be enough. Add in Tonight's solid power pop, the Beach Boys inspired Drivin' Around and Let's Pretend's rocking harmonies, and you've got a hot collection. The other four songs suffer from too much of one thing or another, but it is a splendid look into an early seventies band that wasn't hippy or heavy or singer-songwriterly folky.

Two guitars bass and drums. Hooks for the choruses, big crunchy riffs for the rockers, and immaculate harmonies. It looks like a magic formula.

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