Saturday, May 5, 2012

40 Year Itch : The American Badfinger

Has any band announced itself with as much aplomb as The Raspberries in those first ten seconds of their debut album? Wally Bryson lays down some fat stabbing chords, Eric Carmen answers with four syllables "Ma Ma Yeah. Wooh!" and the radio speakers rattle with the million-selling teen sex anthem "Go All The Way".  Those who bought the album got a scratch and sniff sticker that presumably smelled like a raspberry and an album full of power pop promise. Wally sings lead on "Come Around And See Me" which , to my ears at least, sounds like a long lost Wings tune. There's also a second single "Don't Want To Say Goodbye" that features Eric quavering a la George Harrison.

That was actually a problem within the band. As Wally put it many years later "What had always been happening was that Eric would want our songs to sound like The Beach Boys, The Who or The Beatles. He'd say 'Play a Who drum roll there, or play a Townshend guitar riff here'. I wanted us to be The Raspberries."

The Raspberries would record four sensational albums in the 70's : their debut, Fresh, Side 3 and Starting Over. When the last one sold poorly, the band broke up and the American Badfinger went down in history as the fathers of Power Pop

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