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Quick: what undersung band has been cited as a crucial influence by Springsteen, Kurt, Courtney, KISS, Joan Jett, Mötley Crüe and at least two Sex Pistols? It's the Raspberries, arguably the most influential power-pop group ever to emerge from west of the Atlantic... Entertainment Weekly
Live On Sunset Strip marks the triumphant return after 30 years of the Raspberries' original line-up of Eric Carmen, Wally Bryson, Dave Smalley and Jim Bonfanti, recorded at Los Angeles' House of Blues during the band's sold-out 2005 reunion tour.
The Deluxe Version contains the entire 21-song concert on 2 CDs, plus a bonus 5 track DVD in a special digipak. Features all of the band's classic radio hits including Go All The Way, I Wanna Be With You, and Let's Pretend" alongside fan favorites and covers, including a scorching version of The Who's I Can t Explain.
When a long-disbanded group of aging rockers reunites for a note-perfect set of their 30-year-old catalog, the casual observer might think "I wonder which one needs to pay off some back taxes?" However, when the band in question is the Raspberries, it's cause for celebration. Little-heard and criminally under-appreciated by the masses since their mid-70s demise (who's running those classic rock radio stations, anyway?), the Raspberries in their heyday produced a string of jangly tunes and dense harmonies as sweet and sticky as a tootsie-pop, influencing later power poppers like Matthew Sweet and Teenage Fanclub, and endearing themselves to fans and fellow musicians--Bruce Springsteen contributes reverent liner notes to this release, and John Lennon is pictured in the CD booklet in his Raspberries sweatshirt. Live on Sunset Strip documents a 2005 set by the original band members, covering hummable hits like "I Wanna Be with You" and "Go All the Way", and down-and-dirty crunchers "I'm a Rocker" and "Party's Over." The band sounds great, and lead singer Eric Carmen belts his vocals as if not a day has passed. A bonus DVD contains live footage of five songs from the show, including the ironically titled mini-rock opera (and final Raspberries hit) "Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)." --Ben Heege