Songs You May Have Missed #43

side 3

Raspberries: “Should I Wait” (1973)

This song is in several ways atypical of what the Raspberries were all about. Eric Carmen was the band’s primary songwriter, for one thing, and “Should I Wait” was written by bassist David Smalley. So it’s like using one George Harrison song to represent the Beatles. Moreover, the Raspberries usual sound was a Wall of Sugar, if you will: snarling and bombastic like Faces or the Who, but sweet and hyper-melodic like the Beatles and Beach Boys. Something like this:

Sounds like this were the very reason the term “power pop” came into being, and the Raspberries were as definitive of the genre as anybody.

I’ll digress to mention that Carmen’s 1972 classic “Go All the Way” is a brilliant synthesis of some great pop singles from the previous decade. Notice the staccato guitar stabs in the verses, straight out of the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby”. Then the chorus comes in with cascading harmonies reminiscent of the Left Banke’s “Walk Away Renee”. And for good measure, a call-and-answer “Come on!” bridge that calls to mind the Beatles’ “Please Please Me”. And yet “Go All the Way”, far from sounding like a mere knockoff, is a great pop song in its own right.

Up-front guitar pyrotechnics and thunderous drums colliding with sweet melodic pop were the band’s staple, and I recommend any of the Greatest Hits collections on the market for a generous selection of that proto-power pop sound. But the almost-country rock “Should I Wait” won’t be on those compilations since it wasn’t a single (which is probably because it wasn’t written by Carmen, but that’s another story–one that ends with the band’s acrimonious breakup).

Anyway it’s probably the best of the great-but-short-lived band’s non-singles and it deserves a listen.

See also:

See also:

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Songs You May Have Missed #386 | Ed Cyphers

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