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PaulMaul

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Everything posted by PaulMaul

  1. According to the link from the "new releases" section of this site, this package contains the first four Carmen CD's: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NQD...ASIN=B000NQDEXQ But the description seems to suggest it is only the first album. Then again, the price suggests it could be all 4. Anybody know for sure?
  2. Cool! Here are some others that don't look right to me (though of course I could be hearing wrong): In Party's Over: I hear (in verse two): Now I'm bolder and brighter (as opposed to older)... I hear (in verse three): So it's performin' and writin' and party-all-nightin' (as opposed to "the moment ain't right") In I Don't Know What I Want: I hear "...make some decision I can't make.." (as opposed to "I can't wait") Thanks for all your work on this awesome site, its quality is far superior to most similar sites!
  3. Just wondering if the lyrics on this site come "straight from the horse's mouth" or if they are just copied from some secondary source. Song lyric web sites drive me batty because once errors creep in, they are propagated to a million other sites and it becomes impossible to discern fact from fiction. I have no way of knowing the "real lyrics" (the Japanese pressings of the original 4 LPs I have contain the usual ridiculous Japanese lyrical mistakes) so I have no way to judge except by what I hear on the record. On "Nobody Knows" I could swear I'm hearing "Now those tender looks upon her face," not "smiles and looks," as written here and on every lyric site I've checked. On "Cruisin' Music" I could have sworn it was "Cruisin' Music, sure could use it." Am I the only one who hears it that way? I'm probably wrong on this one as it's impossible to tell the difference from listening.
  4. This thread is proving to be a real eye-opener to me. I kinda assumed that everyone felt the "big" Carmen tunes were the best. The idea that someone has "Party's Over" or "Makin' It Easy" in their top 10 while leaving out a song like "Let's Pretend" is shocking to me, but I'm coming to realize some just prefer the straight ahead rock/"power pop" stuff. I do enjoy "Makin' It Easy" and "Should I Wait" (which do sound very Eagles-like), but they just don't have the originality and magic of the best EC tunes, in my opinion.
  5. As I compiled this list, I thought about lyrics. In the last 10 years, I have become convinced that universality is tremendously important for lyrics. It's what allows people from all walks of life to relate to the same lyric. I believe this is why the Beatles (and their imitators) often used "girl" in songs instead of a particular name. That way any girl (and maybe a few boys with imagination ) could imagine they were being sung to. When I listen to I Can Remember, it generalizes to me the feeling of any loss. In addition to the literal meaning, I can relate it to a parent losing a child, someone mourning the end of a particular period in their life. The generality makes it so much more effective for me. It seems to me that some modern songwriters write in gory detail about experiences from their own lives. While some may be able to relate, and while this probably pleases hard-core fans, I feel the lack of universality is a big detriment. This is one of the reasons I dislike most of Alanis Morissette's work, while obviously many others feel differently.
  6. Sounds like a pretty trite topic. But with the 'berries, there's such a variety of songs types it becomes very tough. How do you compare "I Want To Be With You" to "I Can Remember?" It's like trying to compare the best cheeseburger you ever had to the asparagus risotto. So after due consideration here is my top 10, counting down to numero uno: 10. Overnight Sensation (Hit Record): Not necessarily among the very best of EC's songwriting credits, but incredibly ahead of its time in terms of sound and recording. Must have been an inspiration to 64-track bands like Boston. 9. Go All The Way: Rating it this low? The song that started it all? It's a great song, but the recording quality isn't the best, and I favor IWTBWY from the short-duration hit category. 8. Starting Over: I just love this song. The piano, the melody, the lyrics. The fact that this is number 8 is a testament to EC's incredible gift. 7. I Can Remember: I'm sure there are those that rate this #1. There are portions of the song that rank way up there, but I don't think the 6 minute plus song is really EC's forte. As a result, while it is certainly the most ambitious Raspberries tune, and very beautiful in portions, I think in terms of overall effectiveness it doesn't make the top 5. 6. Tonight: Near-perfect melodic rocker, not much else to say. 5. I Saw the Light: Beautiful song showcasing Eric's amazing voice along with excellent backing vocals. I used to be a big fan of progressive rock (and still am for a few bands), but simplicity, when flawlessly executed, is really something to behold. Much like with the Beatles "Hello, Goodbye," the straight ascending melody run really works. 4. I Want To Be With You: It's just great. While the musical elements aren't terribly original, the execution is absolutely flawless. If someone spent 10 years editing and re-recording it wouldn't be as good. 3. Nobody Knows: I don't hear that many people putting this song toward the top of the list, but I love it. Very original melody that really works, tremendous bridge, love the "6th" in the final chord. 2. Let's Pretend: This is, for me, the tune that best showcases EC's amazing voice. At the same time, it has an incredibly beautiful melody, awesome vocal arrangements and intensely emotional lyrics. A+++++++++++ 1. If You Change Your Mind: This song has it all for me. A beautifully universal and poignant lyric, creative chord inversions from Wally, a beautiful melody, excellent vocals. I sometimes think about how the concept of this song can be applied to so many different human situations and relationships. Boy, these guys sure have a lot of great songs. I really regret that I missed out on enjoying them for 30+ years.
  7. Listened to some of these songs a few more times during my commute today. I do agree that Smalley's songs on Side 3 are more interesting than on the first two albums. They sound a bit like early Eagles tunes. McCarl's song "Rose Coloured Glasses" reminds me of "Pictures of Matchstick Men." I like it a lot.
  8. PaulMaul

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    Ira, You're right, Mad Magazine (and Cracked also) did have several product parodies before wacky packages were issued. I think the one you're probably referring to is a giant-sized Mad from the late '50's (More Trash From Mad #2, I think?) that contained an insert of product parody stickers. By the way, that "Unwrapped" segment features Greg Grant, a friend of mine and the guy who runs the wacky site I posted the link to. I now own many of the display boxes shown in the clip as he sold them to me a few years ago.
  9. I had been listening to "Raspberries' Greatest" exclusively for a couple of months. I finally decided to take the plunge and pick up all of the original LPs. The good news is, "Waiting" is probably worth the entire 60 bucks. The bad news is, kinda disappointing that of the 20 or so songs from these albums not on the "Greatest" CD, about 3 of them are died-in-the-wool Carmen songs. Starting Over is definitely the bands' best album, when the songs are taken as a group. While most of their best songs don't appear on this album, the "lesser" songs are way better than on the other albums, in my mind. Some of the Bryson tunes on the first three albums are nice and fun to listen to. To me, the Smalley songs are largely uninspiring, but that's just a matter of taste. The incongruity amongst the songs as a group on the first three albums is striking. While it would have to be tough/impossible to produce 10 "Eric classics" 4 times in three years, I do feel the "filler" songs soften the impact of most of these albums, and create confusion as to the identity the boys were going for. But even the Beatles were affected by the pressure to deliver product, so I guess a certain amount of filler is inevitable during this era. Next stop for me is the Eric solo albums. Is the first one available in any affordable format? At first glance it seems not.
  10. PaulMaul

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    Believe it or not, the Wacky Packages artist - Norm Saunders - was the same guy who painted the Mars Attacks set! He was an amazing man. The Wacky Packages stuff was pretty much at the end of his career, he also painted tons of Science Fiction pulp mag covers, countless other card sets, etc. I've got a link for everything! http://www.normansaunders.com Edit: he evidently did the Ugly Stickers too! Ugly Stickers
  11. PaulMaul

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    Since many on here seem to be from the demographic that were already teenagers during the 'berries heyday, I thought some might not be familiar with my avatar. "Wacky Packages" were a sticker set issued by Topps (of baseball card fame) from 1973-1975 featuring amazing artwork parodying household products. They were incredibly popular with the youth of the day. My avatar is an unopened wax pack of these. ....and of course my namesake (my name is really Dave)... If anyone's interested there's a great website on these: http://www.wackypackages.org Collecting these is my main passion so I like to promote 'em wherever I go...
  12. First, as a new forum member I'm reluctant to ask a bunch of questions that have been discussed to death years ago. Having participated in other forums, I know that can get annoying. However, I've had limited luck with the search feature. Has Eric Carmen ever discussed the similarity in the lyrics of All By Myself to Help? The similarities seem too striking to be coincidental: ABM: "When I was young I never needed anyone" Help: "When I was young...I never needed any help.." ABM: "..those days are gone" Help: "But now those days are gone..." ABM: "..sometimes I feel so insecure..." Help: "..every now and then I feel so insecure..." Intentional "homage" or no?
  13. Anyone have a definitive list of Raspberries songs for which there was a single version that was different? The only one I'm sure of so far is "Party's Over."
  14. Was just reading one of Eddie's blogs from the Metallica Rock & Roll Hall of fame induction: "Also, one more crazy twist in Cleveland. I grew up loving The Raspberries as a kid. My first favorite rock band. I have since come to know them through some interviews for VH1 Classic when they reunited. Staying in the room next to me was their leader Eric Carmen. We talked both days and it was awesome. Huge personal connection to this band for me and it's awesome to know them. Being there as a guest of Metallica, and hanging with the guys that introduced me to distorted guitar, it all came full circle. Amazing!" Cool!
  15. One thing "Go All the Way" and "I Want To Be With You" have in common is that both songs start with a single vocal line and then get right to the chorus. The first time I heard these songs I thought it was unusual, and was expecting a second line before the chorus came in. After many listenings, I now think it's an intentional and ingenious device. One of Raspberries outstanding attributes is the wallop that is packed in a very efficient package. In 1972, the vogue was to do in 6:00 what could better be done in 3:00. Raspberries, to their credit, bucked this trend. There's a lot of music I love, but these songs just seem so...perfect. Not a note is wasted, everything serves its purpose. Nothing is missing and yet nothing is needlessly included.
  16. I enjoy the tunes (Drivin' Around, I Don't Know What I Want) where the Raspberries did "homages" to bands that they loved. In reading the liner notes on the Greatest Hits package, I see that Eric often describes songs as "trying to do a Beatles thing," etc. I just wonder whether any of this hurt their credibility as a great band in their own right. To me, while their sound is clearly influenced by earlier bands, their best songs have a greatness born of their own individual strengths as performers and Eric C.'s awesome songwriting and composition, and anything that caused audiences to take the band less seriously is a shame.
  17. Love the song, but the recording leaves a bit to be desired. For some reason the vocals sound buried, especially at the beginning. As a result I had trouble making out the lyrics. Imagine my surprise at seeing the "f-word" when I looked them up! This song seems like it had a definite shot as a single. Was there a "clean version" for radio airplay? Eric has an incredible knack for appealing melody lines. While many of these tracks boast an amazing "wall of sound," I can picture them sounding just as beautiful "unplugged" with a single piano or guitar. Another in a long line of triumphs.
  18. Here's another great track from the same album, for those who haven't heard this stuff: Yeah, Michael Lee is Rex Smith's brother. The resemblance is certainly there. I just can't figure out how great stuff like this never made it big, it seems tailor-made for commercial success. Or was stuff like this considered too commercial for '70's FM radio, but not quite AM rock either?
  19. Greetings! I just joined the forum, and I heard the Raspberries for the first time (even though I am 43 years old) only a few months ago. I was immediately captivated and have been wearing out the "Greatest Hits" CD ever since. Has anyone here ever heard the band Starz? Their LP "Violation," while a bit more aggressive than the 'Berries, seems heavily influenced by Power Pop to me, especially the song "Cherry Baby." I have always loved this record (which came out in 1977). Any opinions?
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