The Raspberries - “On the Beach” (Side 3)
I put this song on a summer mix earlier this year, and Raina’s response was something along the lines of “Wow, the Raspberries have some strong opinions about the beach.”
It’s ambiguous as to what emotions Eric Carmen’s trying to evoke by going back and forth from dirge to ear candy on “On the Beach,” but I love that he hijacks “Stairway to Heaven” to do it. Personal theory is that, like on most Raspberries songs, the protagonist is a teenager trying to get laid, and the kid’s doing what Damone would advise almost a decade later in Fast Times at Ridgemont High: “When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.”
Thus the sweet romantic entreaties over the major chords of the chorus are probably closer to the actual events described, and the half-time swell of minor chords is the Raspberries’ interpretation of the soundtrack to those events, which is obviously “Stairway” from a crappy radio, the teenager’s “serious” pick for serious makin’ out on the beach. In any case, I’m pretty sure the seagull sounds cement the overwrought coda on this cute song about love at the shore as deliberately ironic.