Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Lew Bundles

A well respected rock critic grades the Berries Lps...

Recommended Posts


I may be a little biased, but I'd grade them:

1st album: A- Favorite cuts: Go All The Way, Come Around and See Me, Don't Want to Say Goodbye, I Can Remember.

Fresh: A- Favorite cuts: I Wanna Be With You, Let's Pretend, If You Change Your Mind, Drivin' Around.

Side 3: B+ Favorite cuts: Tonight, On the Beach, I'm a Rocker, Ecstacy.

Starting Over: A+ Favorite cuts: Every song except Hands on You.

Raspberries Best: A Favorite cuts: Great compilation and liner notes.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to respect a guy who tossed off these particular reviews  so half-heartedly. I know Robert Christgau is one of those pioneers in rock criticism, and he fancies himself "the dean of American rock critics." But in this case, he took the easy and trendy way out. He nagged Raspberries for the ballads, didn't give enough props for the powerful pop they were making, and generally didn't "get" the band.

It was reviews and reviewers like this who made sure Raspberries' first three albums were undersold. When the "cool" rock press  finally started appreciating the melodies, playing, and pure fun of Raspberries, per the Starting Over album, they sounded almost begrudging in their (faint) praise. Those '70s-era rock critics could not get out of their heads the wrongful stereotype that Raspberries thought they were the next Beatles. 

The grades Christgau doles out don't match his snarky criticisms of the first three albums. If you read the reviews without seeing his grades, you'd have guessed D-, C-, C, and B- (instead of C+, B-, B, and A-) for the four studio albums. Even the A- Christgau gave Raspberries Best came with this dismissive line: "...as if they ever came close to the Beatles' delicacy or insane enthusiasm or melodic inspiration." Talk about missing the point!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
susie b   

A lot of reviewers from that era got caught in their own self importance.

The whole corporatization of rock was disgusting although a part of the growing pains.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this