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IWBWY from HBO's "Vinyl"

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Hear Nate Ruess' Rendition of The Raspberries' 'I Wanna Be With You' For HBO's 'Vinyl': Exclusive Premiere

Recently renewed for a second season following its eagerly anticipated debut on Feb. 14, HBO series Vinyl has hooked diehard '70s rock lovers and total newbies on its portrayal of the music industry’s game, glamour and grime. Sunday nights are not the only ones Vinyl fans can look forward to. Music from each episode will hit earbuds every Friday throughout the season and include artists from Iggy Pop to Trey Songz.

This week, new music Friday comes slightly early. Premiering exclusively via Billboard, Fun. frontman Nate Ruess covered The Raspberries’ “I Wanna Be With You” for Sunday’s upcoming episode.

Though The Raspberries were a four-man lineup, Ruess’ solo song stint is get-stuck-in-your-head good. His croony pipes pair surprisingly well with his raw rock vocal risks. “I Wanna Be With You” hit No. 16 on the Hot 100 in 1973.  

Billboard, February 25, 2016

__________

Hmmm...

Bernie

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I like Nate.  But this version sounds more like a Leo Sayer production.  I wish it had more Nate/fun.-isms in it.  Overall, it's okay...but it's missing something.

Dave

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I like the Leo Sayer concept ... I don't usually comment on this stuff but I thought a studio produced cover was pretty interesting.  My initial senses/observations are:  (1)  Ruess did a pretty good job of covering Eric's phrasing and intonation (Eric can be difficult to sing).  (2)  Production methods and values may be the cause but the instrumental lacks the urgency conveyed in the original.  (3)  Other than Ruess' vocal, they completely missed the boat (no pun intended) on the bridge.  The 'muted' flag pattern on guitar lost the hyped up sense of urgency in the original,  

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Good comment by Bernie.  Wally can be disarmingly complex and difficult to cover.  Other people can play his stuff but it just isn't the same (sort of like covering Jimi Hendrix ... you can play it but it doesn't really sound like Hendrix - aside, I'm not comparing Wally to Hendrix or vice versa - two completely different entitiies).

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Would have been better to cover the song as s blistering live track (since the group will be seen playing at a show) vs. a whimpy studio version that doesn't stack up to the power pop chops of the original. Had this been the single, it would not have left a mark.

Bernie

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It occurs to me that we should not be too hard on this production.  (1)  The production values and technology between a 1970's top 40 record and a 2016's television show are somewhat different.  (2)  Probably MOST IMPORTANT is that the writers and producers of Vinyl appear to be acknowledging Raspberries place in musical history.  I think we should applaud the effort.

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Marty,

Great insights.  To me, no one could truly reproduce the Eric and Wally sound. 

This super-fan is happy to see the Rs being represented.  ?

The video below is what I'll always remember when I think of the Raspberries singing IWBWY, so anything else appears and sounds one dimensional.

M.E.

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Batman   

The sound just isn't there. Raspberries' version jumps out at you from the opening chords, and holds you captive till the end fade.. Eric's vocal is passionate. This sounds more like a karaoke version to me, or perhaps an elevator Muzak version. Just my humble opinion. But, this version would never have charted as high as our guys' fantastic, definitive version.

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AnneNR   
On 2/26/2016 at 7:03 AM, Raspbernie said:

Would have been better to cover the song as s blistering live track (since the group will be seen playing at a show) vs. a whimpy studio version that doesn't stack up to the power pop chops of the original. Had this been the single, it would not have left a mark.

I respectfully disagree, given the persons chosen to perform, they simply could not do it (the song) or the group justice at all in my opinion, though as MartinWilbury stated, the Raspberries are being acknowledged---but that to me is basically the only good thing about it. 

Time constraints may have prevented the powers that be on this project the necessary amount to be able to at least adequately find stand in performers who could do a better job of it.  Why couldn't anyone have contacted Mr. Carmen to see if he would be willing to do a vocal mimicry of his youthful self back then for the audio track of the song?  Is that too complicated or expensive an issue to even consider?

And if the song as presented in the show had been released as a single, it definitely would have made a mark --- a skid mark as it slipped straight to the bottom of the charts.

I am happy that those who see this show and become curious will dig around and find the original group and hear the original song being sung the way it should have been, and some will be introduced for the first time to the guys and the body of work they gave us back then.

AnneNR

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AnneNR   

P.S. --- HBO and Cinemax opened up this past weekend for potential customers of cable to sample and see what they are missing in show programming.  When this happened I was able to copy one episode of "Vinyl" to my DVR.  I could not finish watching it.  It was too depressing and dark for me to watch, and other interpersonal actions between various cast members I found graphic and distastefully portrayed even if accurate for the time, making it less entertaining and informative to watch --- for me, anyway.  yuk. <_<

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At the moment I feel sorry, that I have a poor english :(, I would like to write a comment about music and instrumental part in estonian :)  . It sounds to me, that Nate Ruess is singing the song with low emotion. If it is difficult to catch the Eric Carmens voice, then he should tried to catch the emotion EC sings his songs. I miss the the back-singers voices as well (especially Wallys joiful bright voice). I also think, it´s positive, that Raspberrys song or songs are in this film, and they are trying :) . Everybody sings like they do, obviously this Nate Ruess did his best, as singer :) 

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Nancy   

In my humble opinion, this is not a case of who's trying to fool who because we all know there's a critic everywhere, including ourselves. This is a HBO mini-series trying to re-capture from someone's point of view back then. And in saying that a lot maybe wrong or misconstrued because reality is, nothing is "perfect", in perception or in real life any ways. And some things can also be something given from another that "we" are also (lead) to believe. Which is not quite right because it to can be false or mis-leading.These are four guys who were thought fit and were asked to play "the part", in that case, "is" simply doing a cover or if you like "a" portray. And in a sense,  that's what it is. And nobody can interpretate the real thing right down to a "T" any ways. In saying that, yes it lacks the "Raspberries" personal ownership and touch because after all......it is there own stuff and the personal touch like Eric's voice and the band's riffs and drum beats and such is...everything that goes with that. In a nutshell, no one (could) ever personally touch them because it is their (own) personal "Raspberries" stuff. One thing I will say, the voice could have been more in feeling and a lot more raspy, per say and much stronger. Otherwise, I think they did a pretty good job. And from one critic to another, that is my findings.

Not to also mention in closing.....I love "the REAL deal"!

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I wrote this on facebook and I stand by what I said.....  First, let me say I am a huge fan of Nate Ruess, so when I saw he was singing IWBWY, I was thrilled. I think Nate does the best vocal on Brian Wilson's "No Pier Pressure" with "Saturday Night" and the live concert when he sings "SN", "Darlin'" and "Hold On Dear Brother" is arm hair raising good. He has also done justice to some classic Queen songs, so he clearly loves his 70's music. Those things made me buy his solo record "Grand Romantic", which has some nice moments on it, too. That being said, when I listened to this, I just felt something was missing, especially in the fullness of the overall sound. I didn't expect it to be as great as the original, let's be honest, what is? However, I did expect a little more than the "ehhh" I felt, so color me a bit disappointed, but I still feel it is better than 90% of what I will hear on the radio tonight. No one can sing like Eric, no one can play like Wally or Jim, they were just magical. I truly wish the original was going to be played Sunday night, but if it can't, I am okay with this, though I don't think it will bring in the new fans I was hoping.

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LC   

I'm in line with a lot of you. I appreciate Nate Ruess's work and I love that he's been around a while and (from what I've read) has an appreciation for pop-music history. But... I think Bernie's "Hmmm..." said it all.

The big thing missing, for me, is the urgency. I think it's tough for anybody to cover a classic recording (by ANY artist, never mind Raspberries). And a cover doesn't have to regurgitate the original. But in the case of "I Wanna Be With You," it should at least capture that feeling you get when you hear Eric really, really stretching.

That said, it's so great that a song other than "Go All the Way" or "All By Myself" gets such great visibility. As I said on Facebook, a great song never dies. Who knows how many people will hear Nate's "IWBWY," get intrigued, and starting digging into the original artist... and end up on Bernie's site?

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raspberries_hbo_vinyl-01.thumb.jpg.83b2b

raspberries_hbo_vinyl-02.thumb.jpg.46ed4

raspberries_hbo_vinyl-03.thumb.jpg.f1c99

raspberries_hbo_vinyl-04.thumb.jpg.71cd8

HBO did a nice job representing Raspberries, although, they could of added a bit more power to the pop. Raspberries had a lot more fire than this on any stage they set foot on, but hey, it the 'Berries on mainstream television right? Special "shout out" to Jesse Bryson for bringing a special bit of authenticity by playing his dad. And extra credit goes to the "Vinyl" crew for nailing Wally's guitar!

Bernie

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LC   

And... especially sweet that this scene kicked off the show. Nothing better than the leadoff spot for something like this.

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ter2   
On 2/26/2016 at 6:15 AM, LobsterLvr said:

I like Nate.  But this version sounds more like a Leo Sayer production.  I wish it had more Nate/fun.-isms in it.  Overall, it's okay...but it's missing something.

I realize I might be the only one here....but, I don't hate it. (almost said I liked it....) It definitely is not Eric Carmen/Raspberries - but I do hear Nate - although it is Nate sounding 70s....I'm not sure if it's the combination of him with the background vocals or what.  I do think his "so badddd" sounds a bit off.  I like how he did try to get some of the "yeah, yeah, yeah..."s in. Son and gf are big Nate Ruess/Fun fans - gf especially - I've been trying to decide if they would like it.  They learn a lot of old songs from remakes/covers - I'm just afraid it would sound too 70s, if that make sense. May have to test that out.....So, agreeing with Dave, it could use a little more Nate/Fun to grab some younger attention.

I see Danny's Song was also on the show - I listened to that as well - pretty much the same as you all have said about IWTBWY - I like the old Loggins and Messina version - but comparing to Anne Murray's version, it was fine, just not quite "the same".  I wish I had HBO, I love that these old songs are getting some present time attention!  LOVE the fact that they had characters for the Raspberries and not just a song playing in the background! (although songs playing are good, too!).

 

 

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