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Lew Bundles

Raspberries enter the Goldmine Magazine HoF

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Here’s Goldmine magazine’s synopsis of the Raspberries  when they were inducted into that magazines HOF...


“Power Pop” describes many artists, but almost every list of “Power Pop” leaders features three bands at or near the top – Cheap Trick, already inducted into Goldmine’s Hall of Fame, Badfinger and this inductee, Cleveland’s Raspberries, whose point total received a solid boost from the solo success of its co-leader Eric Carmen.

The Raspberries could sound just like the Beatles, just like the Who, just like the Beachboys, just like Rod Stewart, but most of all just like the Raspberries. From its eponymous debut album in 1972, the group unleashed “Go All The Way,” which soared to #5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and equaled that peak in Canada. The LP reached #51 in the U.S., a more than respectable showing for a new band. But it took the second LP, “Fresh,” to bring out the power in the group’s sound, the leadoff single “I Wanna Be With You” reminding listeners of Paul McCartney at his rockingest while Jimmy Ienner’s production threatened car stereo speakers everywhere. A top 10 entry in Cash Box and Record World, the single also reached top 20 status in Billboard and Canada. A change of pace, “Let’s Pretend,” also proved a hit single from that long-player, which climbed to U.S. #36.

“Side 3” yielded two of the group’s most energetic efforts, “Tonight,” later covered by Motley Crue, and “Ecstacy.” But the usual in-group bickering was coming to a head and by the time the LP was released the rhythm section of Dave Smalley (bass) and Jim Bonfanti (drums) was gone. Carmen and co-founder Wally Bryson continued with newcomers Scott McCarl and Michael McBride, the result being the aptly titled LP “Starting Over,” which didn’t garner much chart action in spite of the single, “Hit Record,” which reached U.S. #18, and the band dissolved.

Ironically, Carmen’s first solo single, the ballad also aptly titled “All By Myself,” outdid the group’s efforts chartwise, climbing to the top in Cash Box and Record World, while stopping at #2 in Billboard, #3 in Canada and #12 in the U.K. Like the first single, the follow-up, “Never Gonna Fall In Love Again,” borrowed from classical composer Rachmaninoff and, like the first single, proved a huge hit, reaching #1 in Canada and top 10 in all U.S. publications except for Billboard, where it stalled at #11. “She Did It” and “Change Of Heart” continued Carmen’s solo success and in 1987 he returned to the top with “Hungry Eyes,” #4 in Billboard and #6 in Canada, followed by 1988’s “Make Me Lose Control,” which topped the charts in Canada and reached #3 in the U.S.

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I don´t talk about "Let´s Pretend" so much, probably because I overplayed it back in the day as it´s a perfect pop melody. I overplayed it and got a little sick of it, and it´s hard to recover from getting sick of a song. But truth is, you´d be hard pressed to name a better melody song than "Let´s Pretend". People talk about "God only knows" and "Wouldn´t it be nice" as perfect tunes, and they are, I love them too....but neither has the melody of "Let´s Pretend". IMHO.

P.S. Nice find Lew, interesting read.

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