Song Of The Day 10/13/2014: The Raspberries - "I Don't Know What I Want"

You Pick The Artist II: Jon Quittner, Esq. gave me the Raspberries. But I got some outpatient treatment and I'm happy to say I'm completely recovered. BAM!

Sorry, just the way that sentence was structured, "Raspberries" sounded like a euphemism for some Victorian-era viral infection. I had to go there. And That Is How Comedy Works. Let's restart:

Jon Quittner, Esq. gave me the Raspberries. The Raspberries, in turn, gave us Eric Carmen, who really went above and beyond trying to be everything to everyone. The 'Berries, or if you prefer the Rasps, might have been America's first "power pop" outfit, which as we've all seen nearly never results in a group being massively popular. Cheap Trick had to go to Japan for that. In his solo career Carmen found success using that shopworn hit-making formula: by copping from Rachmaninoff, not just once, but twice. And also the producers of Dirty Dancing returned his agent's call.

The Raspberries made four albums. Paradoxically their final album was called Starting Over, and while it contained a couple of power ballads, it also had some of their hardest-rocking songs. "I Don't Know What I Want" -- not just my favorite Raspberries song, but one of my all-time favorite rock songs by anyone -- is a great example.

That's definitely Carmen singing the bridge, but at first I thought the singer on the verses was one of the other Raspberries. Apparently it was not, it was still Carmen, sounding nothing at all like himself and letting out a blood-curdling scream at the end of each chorus. The influence of The Who isn't merely detectable, it's almost photocopied. The Rasps don't even try to smooth over the guitar riff's blatant copying of Pete Townshend's lines in "Won't Get Fooled Again," and Michael McBride does a serviceable interpretation of Keith Moon's drumming-by-roulette. Hard to see Carmen switching from this to the depressed dentist's waiting room strains of "All By Myself" in the space of a year, but that's just what Eric does.

Here's some more.

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