Classic Album – Raspberries – Side 3 (CD review)

Raspberries – Side 3 (1973) – CD review –

Although misunderstood during their brief time together, the Raspberries have grown in stature and are now considered pioneers of the “power pop” genre.  Side 3, their third album of four, is their most consistent.  The record opens with the blistering “Tonight,” featuring the frenetic drumming of Jim Bonfanti (sounding very much like Keith Moon) and some very Who-like power chords.

Eric Carmen turns in his usual high points with the aforementioned “Tonight,” “Ecstasy,” with its Beach Boys chorus and more Who-inspired drumming, and the jangly “On the Beach.”  But, what makes Side 3 so great is that the other members finally turn in material worthy of Carmen’s .  Bryson’s “Last Dance” is breezy, with a surprising countrified middle section, while bassist Dave Smalley supplies the fantastic rocker “Hard to Get Over a Heartbreak,” and the acoustic “Should I Wait,” featuring an excellent chorus. Unfortunately at this peak, the band was falling apart and by the next album, Smalley and Bonfanti would exit.  The Raspberries soldiered on for one more album before calling it quits, but Side 3 still stands as their finest moment. –Tony Peters