Friday, November 30, 2007

Power Pop: Raspberries

The British invasion is well over by 1972, but the after-effects of The Who's punch, The Small Faces' verve and The Beatles' melodic instinct are still being felt in the USA. The Rapsberries' second album, Fresh, set out the template for power pop: energetic guitars, strong riffs, soaring harmonies and enormous tunes.

These clean-cut boys from Cleveland, Ohio with the whitest teeth and the glossiest hair made the biggest, brightest and richest noise: were it not for the rehabilitation of Big Star in the early 90s, the Raspberries would – deservedly – be getting all the plaudits now and their second album, Fresh, would be recognised as the wonder it is.

I Wanna Be With You is the greatest song from this truly great album. Freak Emporium is having a half-price sale so now might be a good time to get Fresh.


The Boy and the Cloud said...

I like the less bombastic songs too, like "It Seemed So Easy", which sound less 'american' if you know what i mean. well, i confess it's mostly the 12-string lead!

wishfulthinking said...

I'm not sure that the 'British invasion' was over by 1972! In 1973, the biggest thing in America was Deep Purple (it was the year of 'Smoke on the Water'). Zeppelin were also kind of big in America that year, as were heaps of other British bands like Sabbath, Yes and ELP.

My view is that British rock remained dominant in the US until the early '70s and it was very largely the Raspberries who turned things around. I think their four albums represented the definitive 'Americanisation' of rock.

FireEscape said...

I am sure that the British invasion was over by 1967. I think you are confusing the
"British Invasion" - the success of British bands such as The Beatles, The Stones, The Who and The Kinks, who subsequently influenced a generation of American rock bands - in the 3 years from 1964-6 with "any British band who was popular in America".