Friday, June 5, 2020

Certain Songs #1833: Raspberries – “Overnight Sensation” | Medialoper

Album: Starting Over
Year: 1974

Want a hit record, yeah!

The other night, our most recent single was played on the radio.

Want a hit record, yeah!

Sure, the DJ was my long-time friend, Nate, and the radio station was KFSR, which at once point in my life I had a deep association with, and yeah, the song was about life during quarantine, so it was also timely. But it still counts! Our song got played on the radio and strangers heard it!!!

Want a hit record, yeah!

So I guess what I’m saying is that I can relate to what Eric Carmen is singing about on “Overnight Sensation,” a massive Beach Boys pastiche that also served as the last big Raspberries single.

Well I know it sounds funny
But I’m not in it for the money, no
I don’t need no reputation
And I’m not in it for the show

I just want a hit record, yeah
Wanna hear it on the radio
Want a big hit record, yeah
One that everybody’s got to know

With the original rhythm section of Dave Smalley and Jim Bonfanti having left after Side 3, to be replaced by Scott McCarl and Michael McBride, “Overnight Sensation” rode on McBride’s ability to be five different drummers in the same song, tailoring his beats and rolls to the various sections Carmen devised.

Want a hit record, yeah!

So “Overnight Sensation” was the tricksiest single the Raspberries, moving from dinky piano to massive drum fills to guitar solo and sax solo sections, my favorite being the section where they let us in on them listening to the song on the radio. My second favorite being a long fade, followed by a few seconds of absolute silence, after which McBride powers the song to its noisiest point yet until the fade.

Want a hit record, yeah!

That silence, which is longer than you’d expect, must have always made the DJs nervous on the top 40 radio, where even in 1974, long songs with blank spots must have caused aneurysms. That said, “Overnight Sensation” reversed the downward trend the Raspberries had been seeing with their singles, making it all the way to #18 on the Billboard charts, even though I don’t recall ever hearing it on KYNO or seeing it on the flyers they used to place at record stores showing their top 30 songs.

Want a hit record, yeah!

In any event, it was the Raspberries last gasp, as they broke up after the suddenly ironically titled Starting Over, after which Eric Carmen launched a solo career that lasted much longer than it should have, given the consistently shitty songs he put out there, starting with the execrable “All By Myself,” — which I hated upon contact in 1975 — and somehow continuing into the late 1980s with crap like “Hungry Eyes” and “Make Me Lose Control.” He is now a maga troll, which is sad, but only slightly takes away from all of the great songs he wrote almost a half-century ago.

Want a hit record, yeah!

“Overnight Sensation”

“Overnight Sensation” live in 2004

Did you miss a Certain Song? Follow me on Twitter: @barefootjim

The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page


No comments: