LC Posted February 10, 2013 Share Posted February 10, 2013 So I posted those Eric solo-album "Hindsight" threads a few weeks ago, but I actually wrote them way after doing similar threads for the Raspberries albums. In fact, to show you how long ago I started writing this, here's my original lead paragraph: "I love reading about baseball, bedbugs, Weiner pix, UFOs, and, yes, even circumcision. (Hi Wendy!) But it's nice to see 'berries and EC threads, too, right?" Pretty funny, don't you think? Yes, we actually had hot threads going at the time about all of those subjects. (The circumcision one was not to be missed.) But as I was saying, it's nice to revisit the classics, especially because... well, time is marching on, and how knows how long into our lives we'll pull out "Go All the Way" and crank it on the ol' stereo? Anyway, I'll pick up where I left off, though I've gone through it all, flip-flopped a couple songs, and added letter grades, as Craig Benfer got me doing on the Eric "Hindsight" threads. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I was remembering a post I did on the "Boats Against The Current" blog where I ranked the songs on that album from favorite to least favorite (not easy!). So I thought it would entertaining to take the same approach with the 'berries original albums. (Somebody in the past may have done this exercise here, but it's worth some "revisionist history" now that we're, you know, a little older.) Here's how I personally rank the songs on Raspberries' first album, starting with my top-level, A+, prime-cut, choice and ending with my "least favorite": 1. Go All the Way: A+ GATW has to be tops here, just because it made such an instant (and lasting) impact. It was such an immediate song; it gave teenage fellas of the early 1970s hope that, you know, you'd meet "that girl" in the song. :-) Plus, of course, it introduced so many of us to the hot new band from Cleveland â€” the next Beatles. 2. I Can Remember: A+ PaulMaul, I loved your thread about this song and meant to respond. I was going to say, basically, that I respectfully disagree — that to edit this song would be (to me) the same as hacking the tag off of "Hey Jude." I think the estimable Cartmill took your position, too. But to me, the "surprising musical changes" (per Raspberries' Best liner notes) are what make it special. The entire work hangs together, and each "movement" is just important as the others, IMHO. If "Overnight Sensation" is the pop symphony that Springsteen called it, "I Can Remember" is a masterwork. Hearing it even now has me recalling those nights in my senior high school year when I'd sit in my dark room with big, bulky headphones on and listen to "I Can Remember" several times in a row, just soaking it in. What an experience.... (At 8 minutes per playing, though, who has time for that anymore? Well, make time! It's therapeutic!) 3. Waiting: A Really, who nails melancholy better than Eric Carmen? To me, "Waiting" is kind of a "Yesterday"-type song, except it's been performed, played, and covered a few billion times less. But it's got that same feel. Beautiful. 4. Don't Wanna Say Goodbye: A It's still a kick to hear that harmonizing by Eric Carmen and Wally Bryson on this power ballad. An undiscovered classic that drips with heartache. Love it. Was it too slow to be a big hit? Bad timing? Too long? Too new? Wrong order (coming before "GATW" as a single)? Don't know, but its top chart position (86, Billboard; 90, Cashbox) doesn't match its quality. 5. I Saw the Light: A Such a fluid, sweet, symmetrical melody. I still think of "I Saw the Light" as a criminally underrated love song. I mean, I have it at No. 5, and it' an A+ song, to me. I know it was early in their career, but I like everything about the performance and production.... the lead vocal; that little "knock-knock" within the line "there's a knock on the door"; the piano rolls; Wally's trademark riffs in the middle; the harmony vocals; Eric's sudden rise at the tag ("Woo-hooo-hooo!").... It's all good. And I always loved the lyrics: "Good friends, bookends, solitaire for two/'Til she was leaving, I never really knew..." 6. Come Around and See Me: B+ Wal-ly! Wal-ly! I always loved the guitars in this. Listening to it again, I can understand why Capitol was drawn to the song â€” clever, loose, and well played. 7. Rock'n'Roll Mama: B With all of the Eric ballads on this album, Dave's songs were hugely important in the album's pacing. "Rock'n'Roll Mama" has those great guitars all the way through (especially during the closing) and some Eric piano-pounding and some good screams and some of Jim's best drum work. 8. Get It Movin': B- Don't let its 8th slot fool you; I love this one. In fact, I'd put it on a par with "Rock'n'Roll Mama": a great rockin' number with some attitude. 9. With You in My Life: C I admit I've skipped over this one more than any other song on an overall great album. I wonder if it's the opening horns that cause me to hit "Skip" or "Repeat." Yet once I get past the opening, I tend to hear the charm here. It's not a beefy song, or a sweet ballad; it seems as if Wally simply created his own version of "When I'm 64." Of course, that can be a dangerous area to tread, and ultimately I prefer Wally's more Lennonesque side (see Starting Over). Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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