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Raspbernie

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Posts posted by Raspbernie


  1. Ripe talent from an old Raspberry

    By Philip Elwood

    Eric Carmen, a name not likely to strike many as a household word, came through town last night with a powerhouse band — he's a composer, singer, pianist and guitarist. If you are intense about your rock enthusiasm you know he was a mainstay lead man of the Raspberries, thought by many to be one of America's very best mainstream rock 'n' roll bands.

    Carmen's show at the great American Music Hall, which was broadcast live on KSAN-FM, was superbly produced (too loud, of course, but still well done in that context) and a particularly great treat for the old R&R fans.

    Out of Cleveland, Carmen is a competent performer — his derivations are more prominent than his originality. He and his orchestrations reflect the McCartney-Beatles image on a number of tunes. On "Sunrise," his strong tenor leads a surprising show-biz arrangement, on "Last Night," which many thought the best thing he did, Carmen utilized a baroque sound in the electronics backup. The old Raspberries song "Overnight Sensation" was a great rendition, a good crowd kicker.

    "Al By Myself," which might become a pop standard, has elegant synthesizer work by George Sipl and the basic theme is enhanced by bits of Chopin, Beethoven and Alan Price.

    Although Carmen plays piano and guitar he is not dominant on either. On the Beatles' "Slow Down" he mentioned Gershwin, did some Chuck Berry material and then moved to "On Broadway," one of his best renditions.

    Carmen enjoys stop-time, lavish syncopation, rapid shifts from vocal to instrumental lines and dominaance of the group if he needs to.

    His voice is microphonic, his mood a bit frantic, his range in the raspy-tenor region. Energy is part of the act. With two drums, two guitars and two keyboard artists in the band and they are forever switching roles Carmen has to keep on his toes as a leader — and he does a good job.

    His "Go All The Way," reminiscent of the best of the Raspberries, has a nice flowing sound like the Dead, the Band or the Chambers Brothers.

    So where does this lavishly promoted "new" artist go? He has a nice manner, a nervous but convincing picture, and brain — not necessarily prime show-biz requirements. But, then again, Carmen enjoys heading a band and he has a magnificent ensemble. His closing "Go Al The Way" and "Be My Baby" were more than enough to convince me that he has got ut all and that it's up to the public to give him support.

    Carmen is certainly a talent worth considering. He works tunes well, tosses in oldies but goodies without fanfare, and gives his splendid band considerable chance to blow on their own.

    —San Francisco Examiner, December 23, 1975

    • Sad 1

  2. My guess is that it was a deliberate attempt to "dirty up" Eric's clean-cut "All By Myself" ballad-singer image. Tonight You're Mine was a return to rock, and I guess someone at Arista thought an image change would generate bigger sales. The same logic had Miley Cyrus naked on a wrecking ball after she left her Disney role on Hannah Montana. Only for Miley, it worked. Tonight You're Mine was not anywhere near as successful as Eric's first solo LP.

    Bernie


  3. America, Eric Carmen and Weather Report: Color them all average
    By John David Kalodner

    Two adequate but far from outstanding concerts graced the area this weekend, both, however, playing seemingly fulfilled SRO audiences. Friday evening, America and Eric Carmen brought their pop pabulum to the Spectrum, and Saturday the progressive jazz-rock of Weather Report filled the Tower Theater.

    Along with the Eagles, America has reached the top of the highly lucrative folk-rock pop market. With hit after hit since their first offering, "Horse With No Name" in early 1972, the group is one of the industry’s biggest record sellers, abetted by the production talents of former Beatles producer George Martin.

    Therein lies the group's greatest problem. For no matter how hard Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley try, they are just unable to approach the feel or energy of their exquisite recordings.

     The group's outstanding songs were the focal point of the show, with "I Need You," "Lonely People," "Ventura Highway," and "Tin Man" the real highlights. Most of the time, however, their slightly off-key harmonies, mushy playing, and acute lack of energy marred their impact. As pop songwriters and studio musicians, few can match the potency and perfection of the trio, but on stage, America could only be considered average.

    Opening for America was fast-rising pop singer-songwriter Eric Carmen. Reviewed here recently, he has since had a number one single, "All By Myself," and is on his way to a string of top-ten hits. In concert, Carmen's performance is fine, but his show is ravaged by a misfit back-up band. As previously noted, until Carmen surrounds himself with musicians of his own caliber, his stage success will continue to fall short of his recording achievements.

    Moving to the other side of the contemporary music scene, Weather Report's convoluted, atonal jazz was the focus of Saturday's musical offerings. Changing directions many times since their formation in the early 1970's, and retaining only two of their original line-up, Joe Zawinul on keyboards and Wayne Shorter on sax, the group has lost some of its purity.

    Considered virtuoso players as individuals, the five members seem to be just a handful of musicians on stage at the same time, instead of a cohesive group. Compared to a group such as Return To Forever, Weather Report has become a group of second-class citizens in the musical genre that they created.

    —Philadelphia Inquirer, April 25, 1976


  4. America is returning

    America, comprised of Dan Peek, Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley, returns to Philadelphia in concert at The Spectrum on Friday, April 23, 8 p.m.

    Also appearing will be Arista Recording artist Eric Carmen. Tickets are $7.50, $6.50 and $5.50.

    As America is celebrating its Bicentennial, the group America will be seven years old. It’s been nearly six years since their first hit single, "Horse With No Name,”  topped the charts.

    Eric Carmen is now a star on his own. His hit single, "All By Myself" still is selling even after it reached a million units in sales. Carmen was formerly with the "Raspberries."

    —Bucks County Courier Times, April 18, 1976


  5. Lew,

    I have a whole pile of these. I can send you one if you want. Just send me your mailing address.

    Not sure what difference the alternate mix makes. Pretty sure I never played the 45 as I no longer have a player. I'll check and see whether Sony sent me a digital file of what's on the record.

    Bernie

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