The Raspberries

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Raspberries Review

by Mark Deming

More than a few bands have spent their entire careers trying to achieve the pure pop perfection of "Go All the Way" by the Raspberries -- and that was just the first three minutes and 22 seconds of the Raspberries' first album. Raspberries never quite reaches the transcendent glory of its first cut again, but as a synthesis of British Invasion-era pop influences and '70s rock crunch and drive, it's all but faultless. While the Beatles, Who, and Hollies influences are pretty hard to miss, Eric Carmen and Wally Bryson could write songs strong enough to stand proudly beside their influences, and while Carmen was already beginning to display his penchant for treacle on tunes like "Waiting" and "I Can Remember," producer Jimmy Ienner and the other bandmembers are able to reel him in when he gets too mushy. Even better, some solid rockers like "Rock & Roll Mama" and "Get It Moving" are on hand to kick things back into gear when needed, and this was one power pop band that wasn't afraid to crank up the amps when the occasion called for it. A cracking debut from one of the great "guilty pleasure" bands of the 1970s, though there's not a single good reason why anyone should feel bad about liking music this great.

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