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Raspberries: My Top 10


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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.

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PaulMaul said:

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.

You hit the nail on the head with this pick! Eric's vocals at the end are so explosive that it causes the hairs to stand up on the back of my neck each and every time I hear it! An AWESOME tune and my personal #1 favorite Raspberries recording!


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The Coda on "If You Change Your Mind" still makes my toes curl and the hair on my arms stand on end. I know it's coming...but it's still an emotion gut-punch for me when ec belts out "baby don't leave....baby don't go".

All in all...a top-ten list will take some serious thought! Nice list PaulMaul.

BTW...I noticed after posting this that Bernie also had some hair follicle issues, as did I, with "If You Change Your Mind" :)

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10. I'm A Rocker (Live Version)

9. Waiting

8. I Saw The Light

7 Don't Want To Say Goodbye

6. Makin It Easy

5. Ecstacy

4. Let's Pretend (may be higher except for fact I overplayed it some years ago)

3. If You Change Your Mind

2. Overnight Sensation

1. I Can Remember

Tomorrow it will be different, I'm sure..

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Oh looky here, James is on top of me, yet again. Why is that? Hmmmmm.... :mellow:

Anyway...my top 10 Raspberries' songs!

10. Let's Pretend

9. Oh, Oh, Let's Pretend

8. Let's Pretend, of course

7. Not to mention, Let's Pretend

6. This is a definite---Let's Pretend

5. Ummmm...let's see, yeah...Let's Pretend

4. Never forgetting, Let's Pretend

3. Then of course there is, Let's Pretend

2. A must! Let's Pretend

1. And last but not least my absolute favorite, the song that makes my heart melt, my knees weak and makes me spin :) --- Let's Pretend! *sigh*

What? They had more songs than this? All I can remember them playing in Cleveland is---Let's Pretend! ;)

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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.

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I am listening to "if you change your mind" from Fresh Raspberries over and over again, since it ranked so highly in this thread. "So walk away, leave me by myself, and let me crawl back into my shell, and be the me that I know so well, before I met you". Such sad meaning.

Although the song probably would not make my top ten, it is definitely worth the re-listening.

The lyrics, along with the tempo, build to the climax (as with other Raspberries' songs). The instruments and vocals are added as the song progresses into the tormented and crazed thinking which is typical after a breakup.

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My Top 10 - in no particular order:

Go All the Way (Live Version) - Jim's drum roll near the end does it for me.

Tonight - This is THE power pop classic. This is benchmark that all other power pop songs are compared to.

Overnight Sensation - Just an incredible song from top to bottom.

Play On - Great guitar riff, I love Scott's vocals.

I Can Hardly Believe You're Mine - I've been touting this song for the past 5 years. Should have been single #2 from Starting Over.

I Don't Know What I Want - I still remember I first heard this song - I jumped out of my chair and said "holy sh*t!". I was as huge Who fan at the time.

Ecstacy - The drums, the guitars, great hooks.

I Wanna Be With You - I think I like the live version a little more than the studio version because the drums just blast off over the cheering crowd. I'm kind of glad the video failed that night.

Nobody Knows - Just a great song all around. I really like Scott's version too.

Party's Over - I know, this song is screaming out 1974, complete with the cowbell, but I really like it because it's kind of a down and dirty rocker - something you wouldn't expect from the berries.

Makin' It Easy - Just a feel good country rocker. I wish the lyrics had a little more substance though. I remember playing it when I was in high school and my friends all thought it was the Eagles.

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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.

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  • 2 weeks later...

No glaring omissions in your list. As I slowly scrolled through I noticed many of the obligatory (and deserving) hit singles, and was quite surprised to see the top choice, IYCYM, which is well documented as my all time non-single Raspberries song, and over time I have come to remove the non-single qualifier.

It's an excellent composition in and of itself, however more than any other component, Erics vocal performace simply puts this song in a league of it's own, that will never be matched.

Couldn't believe he can still pull it off when I saw that first Cleveland show, even better live, today.

I think the vocal bar Eric hit, out of the chute is why it's not covered. Think of the 80's, if a Richard Marx, or Olivia tried to cover it, it wouldn't even be the same song.

I still think Jimmy Ienner should have went to the well one more time and convinced Capitol to pull one more single off of Fresh.

Funny thing, I've never heard Eric comment on the song much, except that he likes the bridge. (hint)

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