Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Guardians Of The Galaxy” Edition, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s and 70’s. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
The Raspberries, Go All The Way Off The Album Album: The Raspberries (1972)
Raspberries lead singer and bass player Eric Carmen wrote this song. He went on to fame as a solo artist (“Hungry Eyes”) and songwriter (“All By Myself”).
This song is about a girl trying to convince a guy to “Go all the way,” meaning to have sex with him. Carmen told Blender magazine in 2006 that he was inspired by The Rolling Stones performance of “Let’s Spend The Night Together” when Mick Jagger had to sing it as “Let’s spend some time together.”
Said Carmen, “I knew then that I wanted to write a song with an explicitly sexual lyric that the kids would instantly get but the powers that be couldn’t pin me down for.”
The Raspberries dressed in matching suits. “Go All The Way” was part of their first album, and it was their only hit. They made two more albums before breaking up.
The album contained a raspberry-scented scratch-and-sniff sticker.
When the group was trying to think of a name, one of the four members rejected a suggestion with the phrase, “Aw, Raspberries” (an old Our Gang line). They had their name. , IL) Eric Carmen explained: “I remember ‘Go All The Way’ vividly. The year was 1971. I was 21. I had been studying for years. I had spent my youth with my head between two stereo speakers listening to The Byrds and The Beatles and later on The Beach Boys – just trying to figure out what combinations of things – whether it was the fourths harmonies that The Byrds were singing on ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ – I must have worn out 10 copies of that first Byrds album listening to it over and over, and turning off the left side and turning on the right side trying to figure out why these certain combinations of instruments and echo and harmonies made that hair on your arms stand up. I did the same thing with Beatles records, and I tried to learn construction.
Then I went to school on Brian Wilson. That was a real breakthrough for me because he was doing things that I thought were so incredibly sophisticated before anybody was doing anything even close. The Pet Sounds album is, to me, the best pop album of all time. Brian introduced me to the idea of writing a bridge for a song that really had nothing to do with the verse and chorus.
In the early days, I spent a lot of time concentrating on writing bridges that took you some place that you didn’t expect to go. Many songwriters wrote a song, the song’s in the key of C, it comes time for a bridge and they go to A minor. That bored me. Brian would go to E flat or somewhere strange, and he managed to do it smoothly. He also had a way of delivering you out of the bridge in such a way that you felt like maybe the song had modulated up a step, but you were really back in the original key. That, to me, was artwork. So when I sat down to write ‘Go All The Way,’ there were a couple things I had in mind. I thought, ‘What part of the song is it that people really want to hear? It’s the chorus.’ As a result of all that, ‘Go All The Way’ has a 10-second verse, and then the chorus is a minute long. I figured just to get to the chorus as fast as I can. That was the plan behind the song. I repeated that when I wrote ‘I Wanna Be With You.'”
This was an early example of “Power Pop,” which were rock songs with radio-friendly hooks.
The title was inspired by a book Carmen came across by Dan Wakefield called Going All The Way.
The Killers covered this song for the 2012 film Dark Shadows.
This song appears in the 2000 film Almost Famous, but was not included on the soundtrack. It did make the soundtrack to the 2014 film Guardians Of The Galaxy, which went to #1 in America and revived many ’70s hits.