Pop Art Live

The Raspberries

Omnivore, 2017

http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberries_(band)

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/11/2018

The Raspberries formed in 1970, and for five years and four albums, they produced an early form of power pop based on perfect harmonies and melodies. In some ways, their sound was almost too perfect for the era as they never received complete respect from rock audiences of the day.

 

On November 26th, 2004, the lights were turned back on the Raspberries. The four original members – guitarist/vocalist Eric Carmen, lead guitarist Wally Bryson, bassist David Smalley, and drummer Jim Bonfanti – reunited for the opening of the Cleveland branch of the House Of Blues. That performance has now been released as a two-disc set titled nbtc__dv_250 Pop Art Live.

 

For a band that had not performed together in three decades, the Raspberries are in fine form here. Hit songs such as “Go All The Way,” “Let’s Pretend,” and “I Wanna Be With You” are still examples of pure melodic pop.

 

In addition to their well-known material, they dive a little deeper into their catalog as well as presenting covers of songs by the Beatles and the Who. The Beatles’ “Baby’s In Black,” “Ticket To Ride,” and “No Reply” are transformed into American pop songs. Likewise, the Who’s “I Can’t Explain” is filled out with tight harmonies.

 

My only criticism is that there appears to have been a bit of overdubbing after the fact on this disc, which takes away from the purity of the live performances.

 

The Raspberries are one of those artists who are more appreciated after the fact. Pop Art Live is a nice modern-day presentation of what you may have missed for the last 40 years or so.

Rating: B

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