Title - 'The Essential Eric Carmen' (Legacy)
Artist - Eric Carmen
From a Russian/ American family, Eric Carmen was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in Lyndhurst, Ohio. He was involved with music since early childhood and although classically trained in piano, Carmen became a self-taught guitarist. At 15, he started guitar lessons, but when the teacher's approach did not fit with what he wanted, he decided to teach himself. He bought a Beatles chord book and studied guitar for the next four months.
His first two solo singles were chart hits in 1976. Both were built around themes by Sergei Rachmaninoff. The first of these singles, ‘All By Myself,’ the second ‘Never Gonna Fall in Love Again,’ and both were good for him on the Billboard Charts.
Carmen's hit-making course surged again in the late 1980s. In 1987 his contribution to the mega-hit movie Dirty Dancing, ‘Hungry Eyes’ hit #2 Adult Contemporary and also returned him to the Pop Top 10. ‘Reason To Try,’ a further contribution to the One Moment In Time compilation album of songs recorded for the Seoul Summer Olympics, kept Carmen's profile high in 1988, during which the nostalgic ‘Make Me Lose Control’ also returned him to the number one position on the Adult Contemporary chart.
This Essential 2-disc of Eric Carmen differs this time around from any other such compilations that have gone before it due to the fact it features a BRAND NEW SONG! Yup, after all these years Carmen wrote ‘Brand New Year’ and even agreed to have it released as a Record Store Day 2014 7” vinyl limited edition too!
The first of the two disc begins with ‘Get The Message’ with Cyrus Erie from back in his days as part of The Choir and is backed by a song he sung as part of The Raspberries, ‘Go All The Way.’ In fact, a few more Raspberries songs come along next in the form of ‘I Wanna Be With You,’ ‘Let’s Pretend,’ ‘Tonight’ and then ‘Overnight Sensation (Hit Record).’
The majority of the songs come from Carmen's four solo albums he recorded for the Arista label, which leads perfectly into the lush ‘Sunrise.’ ’My Girl’ is then followed by Carmen’s massive hit single, ‘All By Myself.’ My oh my, this full-length power ballad written and performed by Eric Carmen in 1975 is still such a soaring, desperate journey of a song to listen to today. Did you know that the verse is based on the second movement (Adagio Sostenuto) of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18? Or that it was Carmen's first of eight U.S. Top 40 hits? Indeed Carmen's original version has spawned numerous cover versions by such artists as Céline Dion, Frank Sinatra, Igudesman & Joo and Il Divo.
The ‘Never Gonna Fall In Love Again’ (again based on the main theme of the slow movement of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2) is next, and as much as it flows like water out of a hose, there’s something really dated about listening to it today, sadly. That said, the brilliant, as always, ‘Last Night’ is then followed by a live version of another Raspberries track ‘Starting Over’ and a live version of the rockin‘ gem ‘That’s Rock ‘N Roll.’ Both recorded in 1976 from a 1976 an apperance at the Bottom Line, Greenwich Village, NYC, they are lovely and unexpected treats to behold, that’s for sure. The first disc is then rounded off by both ‘Run Away’ and ‘Love Is All That Matters.’
The second CD opens with the piano ballad ‘Boats Against The Current,’ before heading into ‘Marathon Man,’ the breath of musical air that is ‘She Did It,’ and then both he Motown vibe of ’Nowhere To Hide’ and the slow funk vibe of ‘Change Of Heart.’ The heartfelt plea of ‘Hey Deanie’ is next with ’Desperate Fools,’ ’Someday,’ ’It Hurts To Much’ and then both ‘Tonight You’re Mine’ and ’The Way We Used To Be’ thereafter.
Next up is Carmen’s 1987 contribution to the mega-hit movie Dirty Dancing, ‘Hungry Eyes’ which made #2 on the Adult Contemporary Chart and also returned him to the Top 10 in most countries’ pop charts. That’s backed my another pop hit in ‘Make Me Lose Control,’ before the final Raspberries song ‘Ecstasy’ performed live back in 2005. The album closes with his brand new track ‘Brand New Year,’ his latest song; and one which gives the listener feelings of hope, inviting you to look forward and not back.
This newly-released 'Essential' 2-CD not only has had all its tracks newly-remastered, but it also comes with Eric's track-by-track notes, photos, and memorabilia!