Monday, September 1, 2014

40 Year Itch : Want a Big Hit Record

  On their final album, the Raspberries turned up the amps and made that great rock album synthesizing the best rock of the 60's with that of the 70's. You can hear the Beach Boys harmonies "Cruisin' Music"), the power chords of The Who ("Play On")  and , on "All Through the Night", even a nod to Rod the Mod.

The album kicks off with perhaps the greatest Raspberries tune ever recorded : the epic "Overnight Sensation ( Hit Record)", which peaked at #18 on the singles chart but topped critic Dave Marsh's list of the best songs of '74. Here, finally, is a band honest enough to admit they just want a hit record ( yeh!).

Well the program director don't pull it 
Then it's bound to get back the bullet 
So bring the group down to the station 
You're gonna be an overnight sensation 

   These weren't the same Raspberries that recorded Beatlesque tunes on their earlier album. Bassist/Vocalist Scott McCarl and drummer Michael McBride replaces the departed Jim Bonfanti and Dave Smalley. Critic Robert Christgau said McCarl provided Eric Carmen with a John to his Paul, while E Street drummer Max Weinberg has said he based her early drumming style on McBride's pounding on Starting Over.

   Starting Over was actually the end for the Raspberries. Eric Carmen would soon be all by himself. By 1975, his single "All By Myself" was on its way to #1 on the Cashbox 100. The Village Voice's year end  Pazz and Jop critics poll for 1974 ranked Starting Over at #13, ahead of Ry Cooder's Paradise and Lunch, the Average White Band's AWB and Bob Dylan's Planet Waves. The Raspberries's legend continues to grow.

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