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Cry-just the facts…

Lew Bundles

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Cry by The Raspberries

Album: Starting Over (1974)

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Raspberries leader Eric Carmen wrote "Cry" with the group's bass player, Scott McCarl, who joined the group for their fourth and final album, Starting Over. They also teamed for another track on the album, "Play On." The song is a blast of power pop with a lyric that finds the singer emboldened after a breakup: she made a fool out of him, so he doesn't mind if she does some crying too.

Scott McCarl told Songfacts the story behind this song: "We'd had such good luck with 'Play On,' our first joint songwriting effort, that Eric suggested I pull out a few more half-written songs for him to hear. The very first one I showed him was 'Cry.' I played him the verse, just as you hear it now, and he sat back at the piano, shook his head and said quietly, 'Wow, that's great!'

This, coming from the writer of 'Go All The Way.'

We both knew that the song would be a loving nod to the Beatles' 'I'm So Tired,' but we said, 'So what?'

A quiet verse followed by a rockin' B section, the song just 'cried' out for it - and got it. In fact, Eric wrote the rock section - words and music - in as much time as it takes to sing it. He was clearly inspired. I think he'd always wanted to write a song of that type, and here it was.

I do like my verse/chord progression a lot. Lyrically, the singer is sad that it didn't work out; he still loves her I'm guessing, but has this bitterness about the whole thing that he can't keep inside. Nothing like that had actually happened to me - yet!

That's our sideman and practically fifth member Jeff Hutton on the piano - what a trippy, bluesy ending he played."

McCarl was the lead singer on this track as well as two others on the album: "Play On" and "Rose Coloured Glasses."

Many of the flourishes on this song came courtesy of Eric Carmen and Raspberries guitarist Wally Bryson. "So much of the cool overdubbing on 'Cry' - the Leslie guitar, the acoustic guitars with beautiful and unique Wally chord formations, all those wonderful Beatle 'aahhs' - was all thought up and laid down in one afternoon by mad professors Eric and Wally," Scott McCarl explained. "I didn't even know they were doing it because I had taken off on a clothes-shopping excursion in New York City that day at Granny Takes A Trip and Jumpin' Jack Flash. Platform shoes! Anyway, I came back to the studio with my armload of clothes, and just dropped them all as I approached the studio door. My song sounded wonderful! They were worried - they're like, are you sure it's okay what we did? - and I'm practically dizzy with excitement and happiness. That was the moment when I most felt like we were truly a band - all for one, one for all - and a damn good one."

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