Monday, August 13, 2007

Overnight Sensation

I think I can speak for both NYMary and Kid Charlemagne when I suggest that this is the best news this blog is gonna get this year. From Amazon:

When a long-disbanded group of aging rockers reunites for a note-perfect set of their 30-year-old catalog, the casual observer might think "I wonder which one needs to pay off some back taxes?" However, when the band in question is the Raspberries, it's cause for celebration. Little-heard and criminally under-appreciated by the masses since their mid-70s demise (who's running those classic rock radio stations, anyway?), the Raspberries in their heyday produced a string of jangly tunes and dense harmonies as sweet and sticky as a tootsie-pop, influencing later power poppers like Matthew Sweet and Teenage Fanclub, and endearing themselves to fans and fellow musicians--Bruce Springsteen contributes reverent liner notes to this release, and John Lennon is pictured in the CD booklet in his Raspberries sweatshirt. Live on Sunset Strip documents a 2005 set by the original band members, covering hummable hits like "I Wanna Be with You" and "Go All the Way", and down-and-dirty crunchers "I'm a Rocker" and "Party's Over." The band sounds great, and lead singer Eric Carmen belts his vocals as if not a day has passed. A bonus DVD contains live footage of five songs from the show, including the ironically titled mini-rock opera (and final Raspberries hit) "Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)."

The Raspberries: Live on Sunset Strip
was released by Ryko last week (although you'd never know that if you read the New York Times). Order it here and prepare to have your mind blown.

In the meantime, here's a remarkable live-in-the-studio video of the band back in the day.

As you can easily hear, they rocked a lot harder in concert than on record. As of 2005, they still did, apparently.


Kid Charlemagne said...

Good call Steve, and I can't tell you how many times I have watched that video. I think it shows more clearly Eric's Small Faces/Steve Marriott influences.

steve simels said...

KC, I'd never seen it before. Quite astounding.

But I saw them at Carnegie in 73 -- with (I think) the Michael Rikfors edition of the Hollies -- and they were equally astounding.

They brought out a Mellotron and did "Be My Baby." Wow.

dave™© said...

I dunno, they seemed to rock pretty hard on record, too ("I'm a Rocker," "Ecstacy")... none of their hits were really ballads, IIRC (except maybe "Starting Over," but it gets a pass because it's got "fucking" in it).

Any idea what the occasion for that video was? It's great, btw!

Kid Charlemagne said...


So you saw the Carnegie show?? I have the "Overnight Sensation" book and in the interviews of Wally and Eric, they referenced that show as the high point of their career.

Not sure where the vid came from but it was obviously live. Those boys could play!

dave™© said...

Not sure where the vid came from but it was obviously live.

At YouTube, it says it was recorded at the Record Plant... I'm thinking maybe a live radio broadcast (like King Biscuit) that the record company decided would be an economical way to get some footage for TV use.

dave™© said...

BTW, if you go here, they've got clips from the reunion tour, along with some blasts from the past!

Mister Pleasant said...

If I remember Mr. Simel's column in Stereo Review correctly, the other band at the Carnegie gig was The Stories, post-Michael Brown.

Both lineups of the Raspberries could rock out, and Wally Bryson had killer chops. Give a listen to his fine work on "Tonight", the failed single from "Side 3". I've been known to spin that tune ten times in a row without tiring of it.

A live video of Tonight is available at

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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