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The Raspberries Overrated?


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Trindy said:

Dare I confess that I've never actually heard anything by Big Star? I only know them by their reputation as being constantly named in the same breath with our boys as power-pop gods. And heard some people flog them to death as THE best power-pop band ever, which I find difficult to believe.

If you ever watched Fox-TV's "That '70s Show," Big Star's "In The Streets" was the original theme song. Then Cheap Trick recorded a new version of the tune, renaming it "That 70's Song," for the TV series, which became the new theme song.

The Bangles covered Big Star's "September Gurls," too.

Alex Chilton had seven Top 40 hits with The Box Tops, but Big Star never charted, for some reason.

Don Krider :)

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Big Star was a great band. They had jangly and chunchy guitars and good harmonies. Their song subjects and lyrics were more somber and depressing than say the Raspberries. This along with the fact they were on a lable which was a branch of Stax ...who had no idea how to handle a rock act contributed to their commercial failure. They had the songs.

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"Did they make great albums? Definitely not; too much filler...."

uhhh..... it seems that Mr. Stanley hasn't listened to "Starting Over" or even "Fresh" recently.... which, if anyone's counting/checking stand tall in the 21st century, especially "Starting Over"...

and Big Star were a really good band, too! ;)

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I disagree with Stanley about "too much filler" too, but he has his opinions and I have mine.

I have never really gotten into "That '70s Show" regularly so I think I missed any part of the pre-Cheap Trick opening. I knew that was originally Big Star but I think I've heard only the Cheap Trick version.

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Hi Baby sister. That would be 3 Eclectus,a Meyers, a Princess of Wales, a Rock Pebbler, some 'keets, and a whole raft of cockateils. The Rock Pebbler actually twists and turns her head and chatters in time to the Raspberries. Twisted Aussie bird. PM for details. Yours? :)

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Trindy, don't feel like you're out of the loop on Big Star. Being the big music fan I am, It's hard for me to admit, I've never heard anything by them either, except the Cheap Trick cover. I've heard the bands name through the years , and have read of them in some of my reference books, but just have never heard one note by them...


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pierson said:

Michael Stanley: "Did they make great albums? Definitely not; too much filler..."

Actually, the *only* 'Berries LP I felt had 'too much filler' was maybe Side Three (though it gave us TONIGHT ~ LOVE that 'Berries tune!!)...I totally love just about EVERY song on the first LP, and Fresh and Starting Over (give or take a few on Starting Over)!

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Since Village Voice Media seems to be the parent company of many of these alternative music weeklies (like Cleveland Scene), it was funny to see this description of The Police in another of their papers, The Riverfront Times out of St. Louis:

...But to Steve Scariano of Euclid Records, when the Police came along, it was just one good band among many. Scariano, who plays in Prisonshake and the Love Experts, still recalls the first time he heard the Police.

"I was playing in a band called the Nancy Boys," he says. "One of my bandmates, who worked for a local music distributor, asked me one day, 'Hey, have you heard this new band the Police? They sound like a cross between the Raspberries and Bob Marley.' As funny as that comparison may sound 30 years later, in the context of the times it was actually kinda right on the money. I immediately liked [the first Police album, Outlandos d'Amour], just as everyone else digging the onslaught of all that original new-wave and punk-rock stuff at the time did."...

I don't think I've ever heard Raspberries, The Police and Bob Marley mentioned in the same breath before, but it's an interesting comparison.

Don Krider :)

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That is the downside of publications like that, the "hipper than thou" attitude that flows from them and almost makes them unreadable in their pomposity and self-righteousness. They always know best because they're staffed by "worldly" recent college grads who spew venom in an effort to pay off their student loans and get ahead. If you're not a musician smoking crack and ranting in bleak existential angst about urban conditions they could care less. Its interesting that the Village Voice itself (2005)gave the band an excellent review previously after the NYC gigs. This tripe is sort of predictable based upon past Cleveland reactions to Raspberries: "Gee, they're getting some attention, gee their getting some accolades, wow they've had a hit, Let's try to trash the thing!" It's almost a unianimous reaction how influential the band has been, how great the songwriting was, and how they were one of the best pure pop bands America produced. How we all were the losers because they broke up prematurely. Heh, I like "Big Star" but a comparison to the Beatles?!! The writer clearly was either stoned when he wrote this piece or he actually meant The Crickets! Talk about a display of general ignorance. I prefer Paul Stanley to Michael Stanley but he made a couple supportive points.

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The Raspberries are under-rated IF you're a fan. AND only fans can over-rate them. But then...fans GET it. So the ratings are accurate.

4 lps. A handful of hits. The biggest problem was that for their own [valid I'm sure] reasons they called it a day.

Their body of work and time frame were both pretty short.

The only thing that is a certainty is that The Raspberries were REALLY excellent.

And...as I'm still waiting for the Live package...I assume that they still are. How can THAT be over-rated?

As a group or artist...You either have it...or...you don't. Simple really.

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Steve Scariano is a good dude.

Anybody remember when he was playing in Champaign, IL, early '80s, with the B-Lovers / Turning Curious. Great stuff. Can still sing the songs: "Let's Talk About Gods" is great.

What a weird thread. See a friend's name at the end who you haven't seen or talked to for 20 years.

Hey: that's the internet.


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In the end, It's just an upsetting, ill-considered article by a kid who should move to Memphis and write there if he's such a Big Star syncophant.

I concede that, as a kid, I was a bit put-off with the big hair, white suits, the fruity smelling album cover, and the gum chewing. Even in first grade, it seemed decidedly my pre-pubescent cousin's type of band.


The music's great!! Additionally, looking back, the Beatles-Meets-Sid & Marty Kroft image comes off pretty eccentric and cool.

I'm not into fashion; conversely, Eric is a stylish person. That's why he has a wife and I don't :lol: . Style isn't such a bad thing-but it's ephemeral, ever-changing,and it gives carping critics like Ferrar a little ammo when discussing classics.

What's not ephemeral is a band that sound as hard driving in their fifties as they did in their twenties. What's not ephemeral are those songs; not only Eric's, but the great ones written by the other Raspberries. Eric's songs do possess that rare quality of being simultaneously exciting and melifluous.

The Raspberries did the impossible; They made having a conservatory-trained composer out front a cool thing. They made the 12-string Ric rock, not just Roger-Mc-Jingle-Jangle.

If Ferrar can't see that, he should simply move south to keep vigil over Chris Bell's grave. It's not about his preferences; the issue was whether or not the Raspberries are overrated. If there is nothing there to inspire in the Raspberries, then I just wasted this horrible year taking refuge in the music and mythos of the wrong band. Stupid me.

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From writers.net :

Really and truthfully as my dad would say, I am a diamond in the ruff. I grew up moving from house to house; mom to mom all my life. Never really had any friends for the long term, mostly I have just been a loner. My writing, drawing, and reading have always been my company, so it is only natural that I make them a long term part of my life.

Through all the pain and hard times in my life I have managed to keep a cool head for the most part, and that is something I am very proud of myself for. When others would have folded I would always play the cards I was delt and win, loose or draw it's all in your mind how the outcome can be taken. I hope that in the near future, I'm talking about like tommorow, that I will be discovered. I have viciously been sending out queries and sample chapters, sometimes even whole books. I would say in the last three months I have sent out 23 peices of various, what I like to call "agent bait" and only two companies, God bless their hearts, have replied. Both of them friendly rejections because of demographics or whatever, but neither one of them saying my work was under parr, just praises of my writing and a rejection. I'm just ready. I pour my heart and soul into my work, and I can't say that I won't be happy if someone does decide to rep me, but that lucky person will be the one who has gained something special. A writer with limitless ideas, talent, and skill.

Either way it goes I'll get to where I need to be in due time, so look for me.

Justin Farrar of Lion Writing Ind


Thank you for your time and God Bless You All.

Published writer: No

Freelance: Yes

This guy has issues. :blink:

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