Although they were quite underrated during their tenures as functioning bands, the short-lived outfits the Raspberries and the Babys both became important influences on subsequent (and more commercially successful) bands, only after their respective breakups. The groups existed during two totally different time periods (Raspberries, the early '70; Babys, late '70s/early '80s), but both knew how to write memorable pop hooks, and interestingly, both included singers that would go on to launch successful solo careers immediately following the breakup of their previous bands (Eric Carmen and John Waite). Hence, it makes sense for a pairing of the two groups for an edition of the budget-priced Back to Back Hits series. The Raspberries' sound was a hybrid of the Beatles' melody and the Who's guitar riffs, as evidenced by such selections as the album-opening "Go All the Way" (their biggest hit) and "I Wanna Be With You," but they also had a flair for penning orchestrated epics ("Overnight Sensation") and also syrupy ballads ("Let's Pretend"). Although the Babys shared the Raspberries' love for a good pop melody (as evidenced by "If You've Got the Time"), the group also resembled Foreigner at times ("Isn't It Time") and an R&B band ("Every Time I Think of You," which features Waite dueting with a female singer). The Raspberries/Babys edition of Back to Back Hits will serve as a fine (albeit very brief) introduction to both groups.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato
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