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Baker’s Dozen. My favorite Raspberries songs and why…


Eric’s most gorgeous melody, and one of his most passionate vocals. Melts you every time.


Groundbreaking masterpiece. Ienner’s most amazing production. I remember the first time I heard it on the radio. It was different in the way “Good Vibrations†was the first time. The song within a song. Those drums!. The hit record playing through a transistor radio. So thick, so cool. Best false ending ever. You didn’t need a video cause you could see it all unfold in your mind. Capital Records should die for not promoting it better.


Fantastic songwriting and singing from Scott. One of Wally’s most vicious solos. There’s something about the blend when Eric sings back-up.


The song that introduced me to Raspberries. Heard it on WNEW in New York. Dennis Elsas played it, and it took me weeks to find out who it was. The songwriting here is off the hook! And off a debut album! You’ve got to be kidding. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall the day Eric played it to the band for the first time. They must have been like… WHAT!?!?


In my opinion, Eric’s greatest vocal performance. And the song wasn’t too shabby either.


This was my “get my girlfriend back song†in high school. Whenever I did something stupid and got dumped, I’d throw this one on a mix tape and give it to the girl. She usually fell for it!


Getting the feeling I liked the Fresh album?


What a great song and so unexpected. The Eagles could have a smash hit with this one tomorrow. Great lyrics and lead vocal from Dave. And Eric sounds sooo good in the background… Just one guy’s opinion but this one should NEVER be left off a reunion set list.


First time I heard this I was so proud of the boys. I was positive this would be their breakout hit on FM Radio. Now the whole world would know about my favorite band. It didn’t happen. But doesn’t mean it wasn’t great in every way. I remember thinking….did he really just sing “Won’t you let me sleep with you?†Capital blows it again.


For me, even better than “Go all the Way.†Their absolute best “horny†song. Wally is possessed. That whole key change thing at the end from left field rocks beyond belief. I’ll put this against anything The Who ever did.


Never liked the way this one was recorded, but what a song! The double meaning. Was it about a girl? The original line-up? Both? The soaring middle eight with the *synth flute. And whatever Eric was taking when he wrote that ending…I’d like some please.


Can’t leave out the song that started it all. Wally’s monster riff, Eric’s “Left Banke meets the Who†vocal. Two middle eights!!! All those “fucking†chords. Do you think a young Jim Steinmen had this song in the back of his mind when he wrote “Paradise?†“Go†also made quite a few of my mix tapes in high school. And yes it usually worked…

Honorable Mention


What a great sequel to “Go All the Way†and a great start to my favorite Raspberries Album. People like to say the Raspberries sounded derivative. Well who the Hell did they sound like here? Sometimes they paid homage, but mostly they were totally original and unique. And they sound just as good today.

Think it was easy making this list? I’ll be waiting to read yours. Are you up to it?

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Bakers dozen, I thought you were talking about


A dozen of JuliaD's cakes maybe.

Well here is mine-Bakers Dozen.

1)Overnight Sensation- I was listening to that today.

It does sound like a Beach Boys tune. Great melody music and back up vocals.

2)Marathon Man - I like it when Burton Cummings sings background in the song.

3)Top Down Summer - A great Beach Boys sound a like also.

4) Never Gonna Fall In Love Again - I can relate to that one, after I knew a girl who dropped me for her same sex kind.

She did leave me alot of pain.

5)Hear It From Your Lips - Another good melody tune to sing with.

6) Ecstacy - I never knew what that meant, I still don't. Is it about getting your sex drive going?

Good sing a long song too.

7)Let's Pretend - A great melody flow tune.

8)Rose Colored Glasses - Reminds me when I used to go into a hotel and see woman wear them.

Other than that, I do like the others.

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Brian Mac, re "Should I Wait"...I feel the same. ANY country singers could have a hit with this tomorrow. It is a truly timeless song. I could hear the Dixie Chicks singing it (changing the genders around). No reason why not.

"Starting Over"--quibbling with you here on a mere technicality. That's no piccolo horn (or more properly trumpet) on the middle eight, it's gotta be synth flute. No analog instrument known to mankind sounds like that. If you want to hear piccolo trumpet (aka "Bach trumpet"), go to "I Reach for the Light." Big difference, and if Eric reads this and says any differently to Bernie, I will be shocked! Anyway, otherwise, what I wanted to say is, it has always struck me as sounding like it was written to be the theme song of some MTM Productions sitcom of the mid-'70s. As if Eric were listening to the final credits of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" one Saturday night and thought "I can write a sitcom theme song as good as Sonny Curtis' 'Love Is All Around' any day if I just put my mind to it." The sitcom, of course, would be about a person freshly dumped by the so-called love of a lifetime who moved to a new city to take a new job and try to forget said person...and would have the typical MTM cast of characters...a combination of personal and work friends/enemies that would play off each other in perfect comedy. Think about it..."Starting Over," the sitcom...it works.

Maybe someday I'll write a list like this!

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Almost an impossible task but here goes:

1. I Can Remember -sophisticated medley within one song.... but at the same time a simple pop tune that gets to the heart

2. Overnight Sensation - should have been a #1 hit....never heard it on the radio when growing up in Columbus, OH confused

3. If You Change Your Mind - tomorrow I'll probably like it better than the above 2....one of the highlights of the Chicago show

4. Let's Pretend - a classic melody...vexing how it also didn't sell more than it did

5. Ecstacy - probably showcases the synergy between Eric Carmen and Wally Bryson better than any Raspberries song

6. Tonight - another great high energy song from their best album

7. Should I Wait - David Smalley's best...would take a great country band with A-1 harmonies to do this song justice after the standard laid down by Raspberries

8. Don't Want To Say Goodbye - I'm somewhat of a sucker for the "lost the girl" ballads

9. I'm A Rocker - somewhat of a monotonous song but the energized guitars put it in the top 12

10. I Saw The Light - until his 4th solo album, Eric Carmen written songs were all good - great

11. Might As Well - what a cool little Wally song

12. Makin It Easy - Dave Smalley's first song that was great and fit into the "Raspberries Sound"

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Brian, You sure called it! I would definitely change the order, but those are my Baker's Dozen.

I would just put IWBWY first, because, to this very day, it makes me so happy I start bopping around the house; and, of course, it was so perfect for me that they were doing it when the screen went up at the Reunion show! Nice job summing up your reasons, too. Great topic! To quote Gina, I would say Brian Mac's "BAKER'S DOZEN" is very YUMMY!

smile --Darlene

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Ok, Aggie first. Yes I tried to put them in order. Gordy, no fair and I demand a do-over. Not allowed to mix Eric solo in the Raspberries Bakers Dozen, that’s a whole other list. Loved the personal stuff though. We need to know more about the girl who left you for another woman?!?! Trindy, you are right, that is a "synth" flute on Starting Over. I saw him play that solo on Rock Concert. You got great ears! I have corrected the post. The sitcom idea is interesting, but I'm banking on some nice Acapulco Gold being involved in that ending. Maybe Eric was sitting at the piano, smoking a J. and watching Mary Tyler Moore? James, nice list. I love "Might As Well" too, but I couldn't figure out how to stretch the list to include it. "On the Beach" is another favorite. Interesting about Let's Pretend. I used to listen to American Top 40 every Sunday morning. That was the only song I can ever remember falling out of the top 40 and then making a strong comeback twice. I remember Casey being very perplexed about that. Darlene, I was so looking forward to your list along with what was going on in your life at the time. Marvin, if I don't see your list I will be CRUSHED and may retire from the board forever...

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Brian, Most of what I was doing during the Raspberries albums was going to concerts everywhere, and seeing Raspberries whenever they were anywhere remotely in my area. At home, spending hours and hours trying to duplicate all of Eric's piano parts and playing along with the records. And listening to them constantly. Dealing with my boyfriend (who was jealous of the band), and living the happy life of a happy public school strings specialist! Dennis Elsas DID like Raspberries, didn't he? Lots of days at the beach in the summer, going into The Osprey and looking on the jukebox for Razz tunes to play. "Berry" happy days!

smile --Darlene

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Darlene, I too spent hours and hours learning Eric's stuff on the piano. I Can Remember was a bitch wasn't it?. I never did figure out the middle section of All By Myself. Did you?. And of course I never saw them play live until New Years Eve. But I saw Eric many times. Dragged my friends to the Bottom Line three times. Remember the Christmas Concert with Peter Frampton? I think Frampton's people sabotaged the sound system on him that night. I sat through some hideous Arista Records concert and they announced that Eric's truck had broken down. So there I was, miserable, watching the Patty Smith Band instead. The things we fans do...

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Brian Mac, actually I vaguely recall seeing Eric play that synth part on Kirshner too, but even if I didn't...I guess I've been listening to too much classical music over the past few years to not know a traditional "real" instrument from a synth...there's just a difference in sounds...and there's a certain difference in the kinds of synth sounds you could get in the '60s and '70s vs. the '80s up to now, too.

Damn, I should've been a musician...just never could figure out how people did things like read music. But I have such an ear for it...I can remember (to coin a phrase) music I heard years ago, and play it back in my head exactly as it sounded then. I can also imagine in my head how it would sound for someone to cover someone else's song. But I can't sing at all...

I remember waking myself up out of a sound sleep once, dreaming the opening piano chords to "Don't Want to Say Goodbye." Really loud!

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Only because it's something I've never actually done before, here's my Baker's Dozen. These, however, are chronological rather than in ranked order, as I don't believe in having music I love competing with itself:

1. Go All the Way

2. Come Around and See Me

3. I Can Remember

4. I Wanna Be with You

5. Let's Pretend

6. Every Way I Can

7. If You Change Your Mind

8. Tonight

9. Last Dance

10. Hard to Get Over a Heartbreak

11. Play On

12. Cry

13. I Can Hardly Believe You're Mine

Obviously, were it not for the size constraint, I would have added many more!

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Brian Mac, I was there at the Arista One Year Anniversary bash also. I sat and sat, and sometime after hearing Linda Lewis sing, "This Time I'll Be Sweeter," a song which I love, by the way, I saw that Eric was next. I was so excited. Then the guy comes out on the stage and makes the announcement. I was so disappointed that I was angry. There were a million acts that night, and, like you, I had waited so patiently.

I was there with a bunch of Raspberries/Eric Carmen fans whom I had met in the line going into Avery Fisher Hall. Somehow I wound up backstage and ended up going to the big after-show party with Barry Manilow's bass player, whom one of the guys knew. Anyway, we all went, and met Clive, Melissa Manchester, Patti Smith, et. al. and I met some photographer from London who said he had been "the fust to photograwf the Bee-tuls," and he was so charming. Melissa Manchester was a sweetheart, and even ordered more film for my camera! It was fun, but seeing Eric perform that night would have been better than any of the rest of it. Now, with Raspberries reuniting, we all have so many reasons to smile again! I've learned that NOTHING in life is irrevocable...

smile --Darlene

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OK - (been away). My dozen and why:

1). If You Change Your Mind: I always loved Wally's guitar in that one. Incredible song and hats off to Wally for those guitar lines. (BERNIE, who actually came up with the lead guitar parts?). Ah... I'll "ask Eric"

2). Don't Want to Say Goodbye. First song I heard on the radio by Raspberries in '72, and I taped it off radio the second time I heard it. That's the song that got me excited. Little did I know what was to come, but I knew this band was special.

3). Ecstasy: The high fretted 12-string rhythm guitar parts give me goosebumps (technicals, technicals..)

4). Should I Wait. I love that song, plain and simple.

5). GATW: 'nuff said

6). It Hurts Too Much. I played EC's "Tonight You're Mine" album as much as the Third Raspberries Album

7). On the Beach. Ok Ok. I love Wally's. 12-string work on that one, also.

8). Let's Pretend. I LOVE playing that one and I thought it was a triumph as a teenager getting all of Wally's 12-string guitar parts (and nuances) down. (12-string...am I repeating myself?)

9). Tonight. GREAT song. Ist 5-chord combination flips me out. And, listen to Tin Soldier by the Small Faces. Interesting influence there, but Tonight is a better song.

10). Sunrise. Beginning of that song just grabs you. Great driving song. WoW!

11). Last Night. Love the lyrics of that one. Great Beach Boys-ish melody. A year ago, I found EC's first album at a flea market and rediscovered it. I played that song (of ALL songs) over and over, while my wife was still at work. Between my brother and I, we have all of EC's albums...HE had that one.

12). Play On. That is just an incredible, rockin' song. Also a lot of fun to play.

My 2-cents

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