CLEVELAND: Like Big Star, this quartet ditched the beard-stroking of prog to channel the wham and bam of pop ’s golden age into something catchy and current – @AceTweetNews

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#AceNewsDesk – July.17: Cult heroes: Raspberries – 60s-loving progenitors of powerpop

Even if you don’t know who Eric Carmen is, you probably know one of his songs. He was the writer and original performer of the none-more-mopey power ballad All By Myself, which reached No 12 in the UK and No 2 in the US in 1976. And if you don’t know his version, you perhaps know Céline Dion’s cover from 20 years later, a No 6 hit in Britain and No 4 in the US. If that’s all you know of Carmen, you might be inclined to turn away: All By Myself is Without You’s equally cheerless cousin. Put the two songs side by side and you’ve got a segue to end all hope.

Carmen has continued to work steadily since, but it’s not his post-smash career we’re interested in here. It’s the four albums he made between 1972 and 1974 fronting Raspberries, the Cleveland group who serve as a cleancut, wholesome mirror to the decadent, self-destructive Big Star, 730 miles away in Memphis. Even now, more than 40 years on, you can find on the radio, and we said, ‘Wow, those guys are really doing it!’ I thought that was a great song.”

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