The Raspberries - Side 3

The Raspberries – Side 3


This album is a superb example of when a power-pop band heavily influenced by The Beatles decides to get heavier and produce a ‘rock-oriented’ album.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: The Raspberries
ALBUM: Side 3
LABEL: Capitol
YEAR: 1973
CD REISSUE: 2005, RPM Records (UK), RPM-205

LINEUP: Eric Carmen – vocals, guitars * Wally Bryson – guitars, vocals * David Smalley – bass, vocals * Jim Bonfanti – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Tonight * 02 Last Dance * 03 Making It Easy * 04 On The Beach * 05 Hard To Get Over A Heartbreak * 06 I’m A Rocker * 07 Should I Wait * 08 Ecstacy * 09 Money Down



Unusual to see a band this far back in history represented on Glory Daze? Hardly, and besides, this album is a superb example when a power-pop band heavily influenced by The Beatles decides to get heavier and produce a ‘rock-oriented’ album.

The Raspberries as many know was the best known collaboration of Eric Carmen and Wally Bryson. These two guys were the principal movers of the band, though in the bands latter days, Carmen became the driving force, causing friction along the way.

‘Side 3’ followed up the very successful 1972 airing of their first duo of albums.. The debut which was released in April that year, plus the sophomore effort ‘Fresh’ which was released later in the year.

Both albums contained a brace of well loved tunes, which charted quite well too, including ‘Go All The Way’, ‘I Wanna Be With You’ and ‘Lets Pretend’. With this promising start, album number three was eagerly awaited, though the response from the public as it turns out, was anything but.

The Songs

Despite musically being harder than their previous efforts, the unmistakable pop harmonies was still definitive Raspberries. You can tell straight away with the albums first single ‘Tonight’ the sort of ‘rock’ approach that they decided on.

The Eric Carmen written efforts are all wonderful. Check out the aforementioned ‘Tonight’, the incredible rock/pop of ‘Ecstasy’ (how about those harmony vocals!), or the delicious boy-meets-girl melodrama of ‘On The Beach’.

However, the tunes provided by Bryson and Smalley also provide great contrast too. I have always admired the acoustic ballad ‘Last Dance’, even as we swing into cajun mode toward the end of the song.

Smalley’s contribution ‘Hard To Get Over A Heartbreak’ is quite rocky as well, but because the album’s first three singles were all Carmen songs, dissent hovered over the band like a black cloud, and because the album wasn’t doing so well on the charts, a course steering toward a rocky shore was inevitable.

In Summary

Soon after, Smalley and Bonfanti left, to be replaced By Scott McCarl and Michael McBride for the following year’s ‘Starting Over’ album. This one, apart from a successful single ‘Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)’ also failed to capture the public’s imagination.

The Raspberries though are not dead and buried in the past. Since then, most of the members have been involved with many musical projects with varying degrees of success.

Perhaps only Eric Carmen has risen above all of them with a successful solo career, and on occasion, The Raspberries have been resurrected to play at special events, particularly around their home base of Cleveland OH.

A good album for those willing to investigate a little further back into pop/rock history. A CD reissue was made in 2005 on the British RPM label, so it should be reasonably easy to locate.

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