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Collaboration Question for Eric


Mr E

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(I realized I posted a question in the wrong section so I'll try again...)

I was listening to Last Dance today on my MP3 player and I was wondering if Eric would elaborate on his contributions to the others songs in the Raspberries... Was the tendency for someone to bring in an already finished song or was it more of a group process where everyone would contribute parts...

I may very likely be wrong here but I thought I heard some of Eric's kind of chord turnarounds and his melodic styling mixed in there.

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Last Dance is entirely Wally's song. His chords, his melody and his lyric. If I had any contribution to it, it would have been in the arrangement area. Wally wrote that one on the acoustic guitar and brought it in that way. The group would then try to find an appropriate arrangement. As the sort of "defacto musical director" of the band, I would try to visualize how to "Raspberry-ize" it, while staying true to the song. I've always been a fan of groups that weren't limited to one particular sound or type of song. That's why I love Beatles and Beach Boys records to this day. I love finding "Ticket To Ride", "Baby's In Black" and "Yesterday" on the same album. I always tried to approach our records the same way, much to the chagrin of Capitol Records.

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The fact that you couldn't pigeon-hole Beach Boys, Beatles AND Raspberries into one category, is what made these bands fascinating to me as well.

In each of these bands your had multiple songwriters bringing their own influence and style to the band, helping to forge new sounds. For the unitiated, it would be hard to believe that the band that did "Go All the Way" also did "I Can Remember", "Last Dance" and "Should I Wait."

Marv

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Eric, I've got an old Navy Times review of "Side 3" somewhere in my collection which praises you, Wally and Dave as songwriters bringing unique styles to the band (with glowing praise like "their vocal talents have never been questioned, but on 'Side 3' they add genuine musical clout"). It was such an odd publication to see a review for Raspberries in, but "Side 3" got the military tip of the hat with four stars just like the latest Rolling Stones album that year.

That mix of rock, blues, country and classical is what I love about Raspberries. The different lead vocalists also gave a dimension to the group that bands like The Beatles and The Beach Boys also had.

Listening to a Raspberries album was a musical education for me growing up, too, and when you guys would name an influence, it was off to the record store to check that artist's music out (you sold a lot of other people's records).

Thanks to you and Raspberries for instructing so many of us in the magic of rock 'n' roll. Having that music in my life is something I'm very thankful for.

Happy Holidays to one and all!

Don Krider :)

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Eric Carmen said:

Last Dance is entirely Wally's song. His chords, his melody and his lyric. If I had any contribution to it, it would have been in the arrangement area. Wally wrote that one on the acoustic guitar and brought it in that way. The group would then try to find an appropriate arrangement. As the sort of "defacto musical director" of the band, I would try to visualize how to "Raspberry-ize" it, while staying true to the song. I've always been a fan of groups that weren't limited to one particular sound or type of song. That's why I love Beatles and Beach Boys records to this day. I love finding "Ticket To Ride", "Baby's In Black" and "Yesterday" on the same album. I always tried to approach our records the same way, much to the chagrin of Capitol Records.

Thanks for responding Eric. It's fascinating to hear your take on the creative process.

Clearly that well-rounded view of having many styles per album is part of what has made those albums timeless... There's something about hearing that chance-taking which makes it more interesting than a band with a formula. You can also go too far the other way and have no anchor and wildly different pieces that have no connection to each other and that is also not very satisfying. Finding that balance is what separates the great ones from the others.

I was just watching the making of The Band album (Classic album DVD) and that is exactly what George Harrison liked about The Band, the many voices and songwriters in one band.

Paul Ellis

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