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Songs That Shouda Been Hits


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LC, Labels always want to go with what they think sells, or, even more often, what has sold in the past. That kind of thinking almost always leads them to miss promoting really great music.

Classical labels do it also. Many artists have been coerced ad nauseum into recording what the label thinks is a "good seller." It often refuses to let the artist record what he/she wants to, which is often innovative or less-played great music.

ArtistLed records is breaking ground in letting classical artists record whatever they want. What has sold in the past may not sell in the present, but record execs often don't have the brains to figure that out, or are afraid to go against "company policy." How sad, because much great music doesn't get out there.

smile --Darlene

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I'm glad someone mentioned "I Can Hardly Believe You're Mine." That would've been a hit if someone would have released it as a single. That is the only song I wish they would have done on the reunion tour that they didn't.

Early and Julia ABM, I agree 100%. What a great song and perfectly produced, too.

I, too, was disappointed when it was not performed at the reunions but my guess is it would have produced an overload of "Starting Over" songs and Eric's voice is significantly lower now than it was 33+ years ago so he couldn't perform it to his own high standards. It's a difficult song to sing but a great one to blast in the car (while alone, of course spin ).

A very underrated song.

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I love all the songs mentioned but there is one song by Eric that has always moved me and I think it's a masterpiece. If Run Away was released today it would withstand the test of time. This song has everything in it, Eric's haunting voice, words to break anyone heart, exquisite piano piece, better than anything I've heard in a long time on the radio, if ever.

I just love this song, Thank you Eric.

June king

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This is an interesting topic, to say the least. As far as potential Raspberries hits go, Drivin’ Around would have been a great summertime drive song had it been released in late May to early June ’73 while Dave and Jim were still in the band - and especially before Side 3 was released. There was a lot of diversity in the styles of songs that charted that summer; Drivin’ Around could have easily topped a lot of what was offered.

As for All Through The Night, I love the music and harmonies, but I would seriously doubt if that would have been a hit back in the mid-‘70’s had it been released as a single. I know the top pop station in my hometown (at the time) banned Go All the Way because the lyrics were too suggestive, and that happened in many markets around the country. Maybe Bernie or Ken can help here, but I thought I read somewhere that the governor of one state (possibly Utah?) banned all statewide radio stations from playing it. Granted, that didn’t prevent Go All the Way from becoming a hit, but just two or three years later, “Gonna make you sweat till the sheets are wet.....†would have been over the top for even the more liberal station managers concerned about offending their advertising clients. Considering how much our society has become desensitized to sexual references in music, All Through The Night has just enough shock value to be a hit on today’s charts if it were re-recorded by a younger group.

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  • 6 years later...

Here's a classic old thread started way back in 2006, revived for those who may have missed it. Paulie opened it, and many chimed in with their thoughts. In fact, Eric himself checks in on p. 4 to describe his collaboration with Scott McCarl on "I Can Hardly Believe You're Mine" (along with "Play On" and "Cry").

Anyway, I can hardly believe this wasn't a hit — a power-pop ballad of the highest magnitude, with those urgent lyrics (from someone a few years past the "Go All the Way" stage) and a truly passionate vocal performance. Yep, this one has aged extremely well and is always worth a listen:

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Good topic... It's tough to select one, so I'll cheat (but at least I'll rank 'em). Singles that should have been....

EC Solo

1. "Love Is All That Matters" -- for that memorable melody

2. "Desperate Fools"

3. "Lost in the Shuffle" -- I had my college radio station playing it all the time, and it sounded great

Raspberries

1. "Cruisin' Music" -- good summertime song.

2. "If You Change Your Mind"

3. "I Can Hardly Believe You're Mine"

PS: And if the Eagles had all those '70s hits, Dave's "Should I Wait" certainly had merit. I thought he out-Eagled Frey and Henley on that one.

LC...THANKS for resurrecting this great thread! I loved re-reading it...but the best part was the LOVE for "I Can Hardly Believe You're Mine." I wasn't a member here when this great discussion was going on, but ICHBYM is in my top 5 favorite songs listed on my profile.

I so agree...Eric's vocal on this just gives me chills...second only to my personal tie of the bridge to "Let's Pretend" and the high energy ending to "If You Change Your Mind." Cannot believe this was not released.

I quoted your old comment because I am huge Eagles fan (my fav group of all time, actually)...and I could not agree with you more on "Should I Wait." Another comment referred to the "what ifs" if this was released..giving Dave some spotlight...and whether Dave and Jim may have stayed on...but then again, we wouldn't have ICHBYM, right? laugh But..it was food for thought.

That being said, between Raspberries and Eric solo, my choices for "shoulda been singles" are

Raspberries:

1. ICHBYM

2. IYCYM

Eric:

1. Someday (This could have really awakened the public to Eric doing something other than a ballad!! This song is FUN and has great energy)

2. Desperate Fools

LuvLove Jean

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Good calls, Jean. I'd agree with you on both EC and 'berries "shoulda-beens" ; I originally had "Love Is All That Matters" on the EC side, but I think I was overlooking "Someday" — definitely a more radio-ready song.

"Should I Wait" — still classic! It was a thrill to see that one live in NYC in 2007, and the version on the Live on Sunset Strip CD is perfect.

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LC,

Yes, "Should I Wait" was excellent on the LOSS DVD...also, the performance of "I'm A Rocker" was a mind blower for me.

What I would not give to see a taped, old live performance of Raspberries doing ICHBYM......but I would guess Eric would have trouble doing that performance justice 30+ years later; the vocal is so intense.

Jean

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Jean,

I'm wondering if "ICHBYM" was part of the 'berries' regular set list back when they did their final 1970s tour (1974/75). I'll have to browse Bernie's book to see if he cited old set lists.

I know there's a tour schedule in there, and that it was supplied by Scott McCarl, who kept copious notes when the band traveled. It was a crazy, zig-zagging tour that had to have been tough, and I know Wally had to miss some dates for health reasons. So I don't know if they did much juggling of set lists from the beginning to the end of that tour. But if "ICHBYM" was a standard in the set list from the start, it sure would be great to hear a vintage performance of that under-appreciated gem.

(I know some of the members here actually attended a concert or concerts on that tour, so maybe they can remember...?)

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What exactly is a 'hit'? Top 40? Top 20? Top 10? Even though "Overnight" and "I Wanna Be With You" both finished in the Top 20, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who knows those songs. So even though they charted fairly well, I'm guessing that was based more on airplay than on actual record sales. It's too bad that airplay for those two songs has not continued to the extent "Go All the Way" has.

The two songs that I've always felt should have been major hits are, "Play On" and "It Hurts Too Much." That's a musical injustice.

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I would consider anything in the Top 40 to be a hit, right? Something that stalled at, you know, 53 or 75 or 90 may have been a single, but wouldn't have garnered too much airplay, and most people (outside of an artist's fan base) wouldn't call it a hit. ("Boats Against the Current" would fall into that category: it was single, and it charted somewhere in the Top 100, but I don't think it got too close to the Top 40.)

So... Paulie didn't say it, but if I had started the thread, I might have called it "Shoulda Been a Top 40 Hit."

Paulie?

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I would consider anything in the Top 40 to be a hit, right? Something that stalled at, you know, 53 or 75 or 90 may have been a single, but wouldn't have garnered too much airplay, and most people (outside of an artist's fan base) wouldn't call it a hit. ("Boats Against the Current" would fall into that category: it was single, and it charted somewhere in the Top 100, but I don't think it got too close to the Top 40.)

So... Paulie didn't say it, but if I had started the thread, I might have called it "Shoulda Been a Top 40 Hit."

Paulie?

I the right hands, "Boats" could be a hit today. Give it to Celine or Buble.

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Jean,

I'm wondering if "ICHBYM" was part of the 'berries' regular set list back when they did their final 1970s tour (1974/75). I'll have to browse Bernie's book to see if he cited old set lists.

I know there's a tour schedule in there, and that it was supplied by Scott McCarl, who kept copious notes when the band traveled. It was a crazy, zig-zagging tour that had to have been tough, and I know Wally had to miss some dates for health reasons. So I don't know if they did much juggling of set lists from the beginning to the end of that tour. But if "ICHBYM" was a standard in the set list from the start, it sure would be great to hear a vintage performance of that under-appreciated gem.

(I know some of the members here actually attended a concert or concerts on that tour, so maybe they can remember...?)

My first concert was Carmen-Bryson-McCarl-McBride, but it was the period before "Starting Over" came out. I wasn't even aware of the member change when I went to the show and was stunned to see a lefty bass player and obviously different drummer. They did some Fresh, some Side 3, and Go All The Way that night as I recall.

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The only Raspberries song played on the radio in Columbus, Ohio at the time of the song´s release was "I Wanna Be With You". I never heard "Go All The Way" or "Overnight Sensation" during their time climbing (or trying to climb) the charts.

A Columbus station or 2 started playing "Go All The Way" some years after its initial release, but I never heard to this day "Overnight Sensation" on the radio in Columbus...or any other Raspberry song for that matter.

When I bought my first Rasbperries album (Best Of) in 1976 and listened for the first time, the only song I´d ever heard before was "I Wanna Be With You".It´s a great song, but actually was one of my least favorite on the album.

J-J-J-James

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Raspberries airplay in the L.A. area went something like this-

A.M. radio was king and KHJ was it's castle. "Go All The Way" got a lot of airplay and had staying power. It was a summer hit. A BIG hit! "I Wanna Be With You" had better recognition because of the success of GATW and led off several DJ's radio programs as their opening song (including The Real Don Steele at 3pm during IWBWY's run). It didn't chart quite as well or have as long a run. "Let's Pretend" had a fairly meteoric rise on the AM charts, but fell just as fast. "Tonight" rarely made the playlists (how tragic) but, by then, not only were the original Raspberries in trouble but so was AM radio.

By the time the Starting Over album came out with it's FM sound in the mix, AM radio was indeed dead, but the FM stations in the L.A. area were mostly hard rock oriented and had all but ignored Raspberries offerings until "Overnight Sensation" came out, which I heard on KMET (FM) on several occasions- and it blew my socks off. But, it was too little too late for both Raspberries and the Starting Over album, and what should have been their crowning glory faded like the L.A sunset into the Pacific ocean.

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Kirk,

I suspect you may be a few years older than me. I grew up in the LA area and of course remember KHJ...KMET and KLOS for that matter. I was 12 in 1972...and I don't recall hearing anything on the radio from the Raspberries except GATW...which was played alot....I suspect I blinked and missed the singles on radio. By the mid 70s, it seemed the only people still listening to KHJ were the folks who did not yet have AM/FM in their cars.....

smile Jean

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LC: Songs that missed the Top 40 do not always end up as "Lost Pop Hits." Both Journey & REO Speedwagon had songs that charted low but which have been immortalized and are considered classic rock hits today: Songs like "Roll With the Changes," "Time For Me to Fly," "Lights," and "Wheel in the Sky," which are still commonly played even on Classic Hits stations. Other examples which missed the Top 40 are "At Last" by Emma James (#47), the Beatles' "All My Loving" (#45), Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" (#41), Cheap Trick's "Surrender" (#62), David Bowie's "Changes" (#41) and still other songs which never even charted at all such as "Stairway to Heaven," "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones, "More Than a Woman" by the Bee Gees, "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder, and many more. I have a long list of them if anyone wants it. The Cars had the bad luck of having 3 songs stall out at #41!

Marvin: The Cash Box chart reveals only what people actually laid "money down" for. You are correct about "Overnight Sensation," but not about IWBWY because it went Top 10 on Cash Box. Its lower Billboard ranking shows that the airplay it received did not match its true popularity. Same goes for "Let's Pretend," which hit #35 Billboard but reached #18 on Cash Box. When you consider that Billboard also uses sales as part of its criteria, then that tells us that radio airplay for that song must have been very scarce indeed for there to have been that much of a difference in chart rankings.

As for Raspberries singles, "Drivin' Around" & IYCYM "shoudabeen hits." EC singles: "Last Night" and "Someday," which was good enough that I considered "She Did It" to be a double-sided hit!

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LC: Songs that missed the Top 40 do not always end up as "Lost Pop Hits." Both Journey & REO Speedwagon had songs that charted low but which have been immortalized and are considered classic rock hits today: Songs like "Roll With the Changes," "Time For Me to Fly," "Lights," and "Wheel in the Sky," which are still commonly played even on Classic Hits stations. Other examples which missed the Top 40 are "At Last" by Emma James (#47), the Beatles' "All My Loving" (#45), Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" (#41), Cheap Trick's "Surrender" (#62), David Bowie's "Changes" (#41) and still other songs which never even charted at all such as "Stairway to Heaven," "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones, "More Than a Woman" by the Bee Gees, "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder, and many more. I have a long list of them if anyone wants it. The Cars had the bad luck of having 3 songs stall out at #41!

Marvin: The Cash Box chart reveals only what people actually laid "money down" for. You are correct about "Overnight Sensation," but not about IWBWY because it went Top 10 on Cash Box. Its lower Billboard ranking shows that the airplay it received did not match its true popularity. Same goes for "Let's Pretend," which hit #35 Billboard but reached #18 on Cash Box. When you consider that Billboard also uses sales as part of its criteria, then that tells us that radio airplay for that song must have been very scarce indeed for there to have been that much of a difference in chart rankings.

As for Raspberries singles, "Drivin' Around" & IYCYM "shoudabeen hits." EC singles: "Last Night" and "Someday," which was good enough that I considered "She Did It" to be a double-sided hit!

Thanks Les. I still feel that "IWBWY" and for that matter "Let's Pretend", are generally unknown, especially now almost 40yrs later.

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Kirk,

I suspect you may be a few years older than me. I grew up in the LA area and of course remember KHJ...KMET and KLOS for that matter. I was 12 in 1972...and I don't recall hearing anything on the radio from the Raspberries except GATW...which was played alot....I suspect I blinked and missed the singles on radio. By the mid 70s, it seemed the only people still listening to KHJ were the folks who did not yet have AM/FM in their cars.....

smile Jean

Jean, I was in college when GATW came out. There were a couple of other things that hurt Raspberries promotion in the L.A. area. You mentioned one of them- the premier FM rock station in L.A. was KLOS, and they never picked up on Raspberries.

Another blow was the fact that Robert Hilburn, the L.A. Times most revered rock critic, passed on the Raspberries. The Times did cover Raspberries with Richard Cromelin, who was very complimentary of the 'berries, but, Hilburn was the 'go to' guy for the latest and greatest groups, and he never touched the Raspberries.

The list of 'what ifs' is endless...

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