Listen/Download – Raspberries – Go All Way the Way
How’s by you?
All is well hereabouts, aside from the usual deficit of time and energy.
If I were asked to reference the first songs I remember hearing as a kid, I’d probably touch on the Mamas and Papas or Beatles, with my first significant attachment to contemporary pop music coming in the summer of 1969, when as a 6 year old I spent a few weeks in the company of my older cousins who had the radio going non-stop, with the Stevie Wonder, Tommy James and the Shondells, Blood Sweat and Tears and Oliver (yes…Oliver).
However, track it a few steps further on down the line, to when I had acquired my very own radio, to which I had become attached, and you’d be settling in around my 10th year on the planet.
1972 (actually, probably Christmas of 1971) brought a snazzy, multi-band portable radio into my life, where it took a leading role until I got my first record player.
Most of my listening at that time was divvied up between WABC (and occasionally WNBC) on the AM dial, and WCBS (an oldies station) on the FM side.
At that time – though I didn’t really have any idea at the time – most of the jocks I was listening to were relics of the heyday of AM Top 40 radio in New York, with guys like Cousin Brucie and Dan Ingram.
While some of their contemporaries – like ex-Good Guy Scot Muni – ended up on FM rock stations, these cats were still doing what they did best, serving up whatever was hot to a willing audience of teenagers with an exciting delivery that almost made you forget how many commercials were breaking up the musical flow.
Back then, I was listening to the radio almost constantly, from when I got home from school, between dinner and bed, and then long after the lights went out.
Though I remember a lot of what hit the Top 40 back then, aside from various and sundry soul and funk sounds, not a lot of the rock stuff has stayed with me, changing/evolving tastes being what they are.
One marked exception is the Raspberries’ ‘Go All the Way’.
I can say with a fair amount of certainty that the first time I heard this record my ears perked up, not to perk back down for a long, long time.
Though at the time I had literally no idea what Eric Carmen was requesting in the song, it wasn’t particularly important because once the opening guitar riff (perhaps riff isn’t strong enough of a word) hit, nothing else mattered.
‘Go All the Way’, despite Carmen’s patented brand of marshmallow fluff in the verse, was heavy as fuck, and super, duper (shmooper?) poppy, encapsulating in its three minutes and 10 or so seconds every bit of satin, guitar strings, sequins, platform boots, long hair, stage pyrotechnics of 1972, without (and this is the important part) sucking like so much of the other music that brought on the same sense memories.
It’s still one of those records that absolutely DEMANDS that the radio be turned up when it comes on.
No matter that within a few years Carmen would have detached himself from the steely grip of the band so that he could suck OUT LOUD with stuff like ‘All By Myself’ (REALLY?!?!) and ‘Never Gonna Fall In Love Again’ (dumb move, pal…), and would even further on down the road take part in the execrable ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack, the records he made as part of the Raspberries are rightfully considered as a classic intersection between hard rock and power pop (you know Cheap Trick were digging this…at least Robin…).
Thank you Ohio.
PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a funk 45 instrumental.