The Raspberries were formed in Mentor, Ohio, in the early 1970s. Eric Carmen and Jim Bonfanti enjoyed some success with their groups Cyrus Erie and the Choir. Another member, Wally Bryson and John Aleksic, were also Choir members, rounding out the group. The overall style of the band recaptured a lost era in music. The band was a shock to the Cleveland music scene, embracing the more complex rock sound of the decade. The group released their first album in 1972, complete with scath and sniff sticker. They had many successful songs, but the group’s tension was mounting mostly because Eric Carmen wanted the majority of creative control. Although their first two albums captured sounds from the previous decade, their third album began to mirror the current decade instead of the sound that made them famous. As a result, the album never made the Top 100 on Billboard Charts. The tension in the group grew, and eventually, several members left after a public fight. The remaining members played a handful of shows but never recaptured the group’s dynamic. In 1975, the group decided to end the partnership. These are the ten best Raspberries songs.
The song starts with classic guitar laid over a simple beat. The music sounds like something that you might play on a jukebox in the 60s. It’s relaxing in its simplicity. Throughout the song, you can hear some elements of The Beatles. The music stays consistent until the end, with an overall pop-rock feel. It’s a feel-good song.
9. Drivin’ Around
This song sounds like a 50s standard. You hear a smoother version of The Beach Boys, although it lacks the beach vibe that made the group famous. It’s an eight-track song for a leisurely drive. Overall, it’s a catchy song with wonderful nostalgia. The lyrics are about a couple whose out enjoying themselves without a care in the world.
8. I’m A Rocker
The opening guitar riffs make you think Buddy Holly. This song carries the sound that made them a favorite, music from an earlier decade. Some of the songs fade in and out of a blues vibe. When you listen to it, you feel like you’re sitting on a beach with a bonfire. This song is perfect for a smaller venue.
7. Nobody Knows
The Raspberries created a classic love goes wrong song. It’s moody without sounding sad and depressing. You would listen to the music when you want to pull yourself out of a post-breakup melancholy but aren’t quite ready to get over the person. It captures the best of many classic rock singers before them and blends it for song magic.
6. I Don’t Know What I Want
This song is more uptempo than some of their other songs. It’s a jam-out song where the group unleashed. The lyrics may be why the group was dismissed as pop created for young teenagers, but it holds up well. The refrain in the song stands out, but mostly the drums and guitar overshadow everything else. The group shines as a jam band in this song. The lyrics will easily stay in your head, which is not bad at all. It’s a good one to put on a fun throwback playlist.
5. Overnight Sensation
The songs much different from their others because it adds piano. The music sounds much like something Queen would sing, and you hear bars and drum licks that sound like Somebody to Love. The song’s harmony rocks throwback from the late 50s and beginning of the 60s. The heavier punctuation of drums is a small wakeup from the overall dreamy reverie of the song.
4. Last Dance
This song has an Eagles feel. The lyrics are a light romantic ballad. It’s something when you’re new in a relationship but are still unsure of your feelings—part of the song fade into bluegrass before circling back to light rock. The lyrics are about not being shy about love; however, you hear an element of shyness. The bluegrass sound makes the song one you can listen to often.
3. I Wanna Be With You
This is another song with a smooth 50s feel, something you might hear at a school dance. Most of The Raspberry songs have lyrics about love and relationships, which doesn’t deviate from that trend. It’s hard to place all the elements from classic rock that defined the 60s, but they are all within this song. Again, you hear some of The Beatles laced into the sound.
2. Go All The Way
This song was banned in the UK because of its questionable lyrics. The smoothness of it translates the lyrics well. Although it’s stereotypical of the time, it’s a song you’d hear while watching the stars with someone you’re dating. Take her to an inspirational spot. After all, you have a 50/50 chance. Nonetheless, it’s a fun song; overlook the lyrics if you agree with our neighbors across the pond.
1. Don’t Want to Say Goodbye
This is a beautiful, slow piano song. Eric Carmen’s voice shines. Even though it’s more melancholy than many of their songs, it’s one where their voice shines; this song is the epitome of a lilting ballad. One of the biggest influences you hear in this song is Burt Bacharach. The drum crescendos add an element of positivity when the music may have been a little sadder overall. Near the song’s end, the tempo picks up, and you hear some fantastic guitar riffs.
Even though The Raspberries never achieved the success of other 70s groups, they have a great sound with an overall nostalgic feel. The group’s music is great for relaxing after a tense day. After all, there is something about retro music that soothes the soul. Classic rock is one genre of music that will never fade into obscurity.