Eric Carmen – ‘Eric Carmen’ (1975): On Second Thought

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It was a bleak day when Raspberries announced their break up in April of 1975. For the previous few years, the Cleveland, Ohio band had electrified the AM dial with pop rock jewels such as “Go All the Way,” “I Wanna Be With You,” “Let’s Pretend” and “Overnight Sensation (Hit Record).” The group also released four excellent albums, toured extensively and roped in reams of glowing press.

Armed with a reservoir of material, lead singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Eric Carmen immediately embarked on a solo career after Raspberries called it quits. Arriving in the racks in the fall of 1975, Eric Carmen testified to be an artistic accomplishment as well as a commercial smash.

The self-titled Arista-released project bore three solid brass hits, beginning with the orchestrated power ballad “All By Myself,” which soared to No. 2 early in 1976. Like “All By Myself,” the album’s subsequent single, “Never Gonna Fall In Love Again,” was freckled with classical flourishes, but favored a brighter and lighter Beach Boys-flavored exterior. Peaking at No. 11 in late spring, “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again” was followed by the majestic “Sunrise,” which cracked the Top 40 that autumn.

Aside from the loneliness theme driving “All By Myself” and “Never Gonna Fall In Love Again,” Eric Carmen contains other candid confessions. There’s the finely articulated “Great Expectations,” that concerns disappointments so often encountered in the music biz, while the fetching pop-rock rhythms of “No Hard Feelings” imparts understanding and forgiveness regarding the dissolvement of Raspberries.

Further notable tracks heard on Eric Carmen are the bubbly zest of “That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll” and the romantic “Last Night,” which is threaded with classical overtures. The quality of the songs and performances on this album are utterly faultless. Carmen’s choir boy vocals are as emotive and melodious as can be, where the arrangements of the tunes are thoughtfully and tightly-constructed. Generous servings of gorgeous piano episodes, matched by shapely hooks and harmonies additionally illuminate the setting.

As evidenced by certain Raspberries cuts – “I Can Remember” and “Don’t Want to Say Goodbye” being specific examples – Carmen always had a soft spot for big, lush productions. Although Eric Carmen does have its rocking moments, the majority of the songs bend towards the gentle and glossy end of the slope. Wearing his heart and influences on his sleeve, Carmen clearly created an album true to his soul.

For the next decade, Eric Carmen continued to harvest serious chart action. “She Did It,” “Change Of Heart,” “I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips,” “Hungry Eyes” and “Make Me Lose Control” are just some of the singles that penetrated the charts. Not only is Carmen a tremendously talented guy, but he is greatly admired and respected by his peers. His compositions have been covered by an amazing assortment of folks, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Motley Crue to the Bay City Rollers to Diana Ross to Shaun Cassidy to Olivia Newton John to Mike Reno of Loverboy and Ann Wilson of Heart, and the list goes on …


Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at [email protected]
Beverly Paterson
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