Friday, February 13, 2015

Raspberries – "Go All the Way" (1972)

I never knew how complete love could be
'Til she kissed me and said, "BABY,

I know it's Friday the 13th, but if this song doesn't get the job done for you tomorrow night, you need to work on your game, bro.

Here's a Valentine's Day tip for all of you: no homemade cards, please!

Dale Carnegie, the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, wrote that "There is no sweeter sound to any person's ear than the sound of their own name."  (He should have written "the sound of his or her name," of course, but we'll overlook that for the time being.)

Carnegie's words are true for most people, but are not true for teenaged boys.  If you are a teenaged boy, there is no sweeter sound to your ears than "BABY, PLEASE GO ALL THE WAY!"  (By "teenaged boy," I of course mean "male of any age.")

The Raspberries released "Go All the Way" in the summer of 1972, and it was a big hit.  Which should come as no surprise, given that it may be the ultimate AM radio song.  

"Go All the Way" is crammed full of hooks and riffs and other pop-music goodies.  A parsimonious songwriter might have squeezed three or four songs out of "Go All the Way."

But God bless Raspberries frontman Eric Carmen, who wrote "Go All the Way."  Instead of prudently setting off each of his Fourth of July rockets and fountains and Roman candles one at a time, he just threw a match into the box and then ran like hell before the whole kit-and-kaboodle blew up in one magnificent eruption of sound and fury.

Carmen a Cleveland native, was a precocious little son of a b*tch.  At age two, he was entertaining his family by singing Tony Bennett and Johnnie Ray songs.  When he was six, his aunt – a Cleveland Orchestra violist – taught him to play the violin.  

Carmen was also a classically trained pianist.  After hearing the Beatles' early records, he taught himself to play guitar and started writing songs.  (There are a lot of self-taught guitarists, but I have yet to hear of a self-taught classical pianist.)

When the Raspberries broke up, Eric Carmen went on to have a successful solo career.  His first hit single, "All By Myself," was inspired by one of the themes in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.

Eric Carmen had fabulous hair:

But what was he thinking when he went blond?

"All By Myself" was released on Carmen's self-titled debut solo album, which I gave to a young woman I was seeing in 1975.  It was a very successful gift, although I don't remember her shouting "BABY, PLEASE GO ALL THE WAY!" when I gave it to her.

Here's "Go All the Way":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment