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Go All The Way

by

The Raspberries



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Raspberries lead singer and bass player Eric Carmen wrote this. He went on to fame as a solo artist ("Hungry Eyes") and songwriter ("All By Myself").
This was an early example of "Power Pop," which were rock songs with radio-friendly hooks.
The group dressed in matching suits. This was their first album, and their only hit. They made 2 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. (thanks, Maverick - Chicago (Buffalo Grove), IL)
Carmen: "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 2 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.'" (thanks to Bernie and the folks at EricCarmen.com for all above)
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." Says 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 title was inspired by a book Carmen came across by Dan Wakefield called Going All The Way.
The Raspberries
More The Raspberries songs
More songs inspired by books
More songs about sex

Comments (25):

On June 25th 1972, "Go All The Way" by the Raspberries entered Billboard's Hot top 100 chart at position #88; and on October 1st it peaked at #5 (for 2 weeks) and spent 18 weeks on the Top 100...
The group had six other Top 100 records, with "I Wanna Be With You" being their next biggest hit, it reached #16 in 1973.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
I was so young when this song came out but I still loved it. I liked it better even more later.
- nancy, baltimore, MD
Eric Carmen........sensational voice. This song validates the point that the 70's music rocked! Carmens rendition of Nillson's "All By Myself" was as good, if not better, than the original!!!!!!!!!!
- Rick, Belfast, ME
Wow! I was oh so little when this came out, but I remember hearing this alot. It brings back such good memories of my innocent childhood. My parents were still together and were still so young and beautiful! This song holds a special place in my little life!
- Darrell, Frederick, MD, MD
The song has four parts beautifully transitioned. The Rasberries were great. If they had more than one songwriter they would have soared to a supergroup. Only Carmen had the creative talent.
- tod, las vegas, NV
Eric Carmen is a true song-smith. In my opinion, there aren't many. He's in the same class as the artists he admired as a kid... McCartney, Bacharach, Carmen...
Song-smiths.
- Tom, Chicago, IL
I was 16 when this song was contributing to my delinquency. I still love this song. Sex was the best during "Go All the Way" and "Wild Thing". I still have the jacket with the scratch n sniff sticker and, yes, it really does still smell! I remember after the album came out some lady somewhere passed out because of the "strong smell" and they quit putting it on. I was glad I'd already gotten mine.
- Debra, lees summit, MO
A very good and powerful pop/rock song. I was 12 years old in 1972. And I remember this one well.Brings back alot of memories.
- wayne, Salem, VA
Sweet, hard rockin' classic rock tune with cranking guitars and emotional lyrics. I liked when Philip Seymour Hoffman portraying Lester Bangs, played this song briefly in that terrific movie "Almost Famous"
- Michael, San Diego, CA
The Raspberries also had hits:" I Wanna Be With You" and "Lets Pretend". Trust me.
- Paul, Midland, MI
Yes, it is true. This song is the anthem for loosing my virginity (I am a guy) with my high school sweetheart (hers too) but it was so very very right and so very beautiful.

I miss her today almost 30 years later
- Mark, Washington, D.C.
A correction to another comment: Eric Carmen did indeed play bass on some of their early songs, specifically on the production (CD) version of "Go All The Way". My guess is that he wanted to be the next Paul McCartney. He and Dave Smalley subsequently switched instruments permanently. Most of the Raspberry videos that you see were filmed after they had made the switch, which is why you always see Dave Smalley playing bass.
- Russ, Los Angeles, CA
I remember in 74-75 when there was a contest for schools sponsored by M&M Mars (I think) to submit the most candy wrappers or 3x5 cards with M&M written on it. The prize was a Raspberries album and concert. My school won and it was my first concert, even before KISS and Black Sabbath. Sweet
- Mike, Provo, UT
Are the Raspberries planning to perform any more. I found out they did in 2005 but can't find any scheduled dates. Judy, Marietta, OH
- Judy, Marietta, OH
Hi, on the firt post it states that Eric Carmen was The Raspberrie's bass player! He was infact the lead singer, but it is important to note that Dave Smalley was the bands founder & bass player!
Thank You
- Joey Fulco, NY, NY
Let's Pretend was a modest hit too.
- Michael, Fayetteville, NC
Forget the detail...I couldn't tell you my favorite song any group, well maybe The Knack, but that wouldn't count. I was 13 when this song came out, and I loved it. I knew nothing about love or sex, and I probably didn't get what Carmen was singing about. But in love again at 44, I really feel this song. When you love a woman so much until there is simply no one else, well, that's about as good as it gets. I LOVE YOU, DEBBIE!!!
- Matt, Atlanta, GA
I love the song Go all the way, I can't get enough of it
- jade, milan, IL
Great song; much more complicated musically than it sounds. BTW, Carmen wrote other good rock songs, including "That's Rock and Roll," and "Hey Deanie."
- Garrett, Nashville, TN
Trip Shakespeare (a band out of Minneapolis that eventually morphed into Semisonic) covered this song.
- Joshua, Twin Cities, MN
The group began as "The Choir", formed in Cleveland by Wally Bryson, David Smalley and Jim Bonfanti. Their 1967 hit "It's Cold Outside" was issued first on Canadian-American and later Roulette. In 1971, Eric Carmen and the three aforementioned members of The Choir formed The Raspberries.
- Rick, San Juan, United States
Eric Carmens only good rock song!! I have not heard it in years until the movie Almost Famous.
- PHIL, San Jose, CA
The Raspberries are back together!!!
- Dave, Pomeroy, OH
The Raspberries made four albums (not three).1/ Raspberries 2/Fresh 3/Side Three and their last offical album 4/Starting Over. Raspberries had four top 40 hits: Go All The Way #5 - 8/19/74. I Wanna Be With You #16- 12/09/72. Lets Pretend #35 - 5/12/73.Overnight Sensation (Hit Record) #18 - 10/12/74.
- Rick, Lafayette, NJ
Actually "I Wanna Be With You" was a hit and "Tonight" was also a minor hit. The group was formed in Cleveland, OH.
- Donald, Cleveland, OH
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