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Eric...What Were You Thinking?

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My apologies if this has already come up on another thread, but I'm dying to know.  Exactly whose idea was the, ahem, controversial album cover to "Tonight You're Mine"?

Was the cover foisted upon you by the Powers That Be?  Was it a fait accompli before you saw it?  Or did everyone think it was a good idea at the time?  I see a parallel with Spinal Tap's notorious original cover to "Smell The Glove", the one replaced by the none-more-black version....except yours was actually used.  Do tell, Eric  ;) 

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From an April 2003 "Ask Eric" column here at EricCarmen.com:

Eric, The cover art for "Tonight You're Mine" seems a bit out of character for you. Was it a publicity ploy?
—Jimmy Wade, USA

"Here's the story. We got this very adorable model from Texas who came in with blonde hair in a little black dress and we took lots of pictures of her in all sorts of poses. Then I came in and took some pictures and eventually what happened is they took one picture that I was in and another picture that she was in and they spliced them together. We weren't actually in the pose together or even in that same picture together. They spliced them together for reasons I will never know and the next thing I knew, that was the album cover. It caused a bit of a controversy and I wasn't very happy with it either. It was not what I was looking for, and shortly thereafter, my manager and I parted ways. 

"I must say, one of the most incredibly difficult things throughout my entire career was to actually get some say in how the album covers turned out. The only album cover that I remember ever having any control of was Boats Against The Current because I absolutely insisted on it. I picked the photographer. I picked the picture. I picked the calligrapher. I picked the photo for the inside. I literally refused to have anyone else have anything to do with that album. It was like, if I sink or swim this is my fault. I'll take the credit or I'll take the blame, but I'm going to do one album that I want to be just the way that I want it to be. I did as much as I could possibly do on that album and I damn near killed myself in the process. 
 
"That whole package turned out just the way I wanted it to."
 
__________
 
:)
 
Bernie
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Hummmm...I still have to think with those particular poses...wonder if the creators of the cover intended to cause a bit of controversy?  Mission accomplished!!  LOL!

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AnneNR   

But not in a good way, Cayennegirl, to me, anyway.  Because of the cover my mind was already prejudiced because of what was pictured and thought perhaps the songs would reflect this, ahh, behavioral suggestiveness which did not sit well with me. 

If it was Mr. Ienner who was the one Mr. Carmen split with shortly thereafter, it needed to happen much sooner ---but at least it happened.

I'm glad "London Stargazer" asked the question, because frankly, I was afraid of the answer, so I never looked for it.  The one song I absolutely dislike is on that album, and once I heard it, I never checked the others beyond it --- until weeks later.  Mr. Carmen is correct to worry about how an album cover is perceived.  John Lennon made that mistake with one of his covers, and got nothing but grief over it.  I didn't want to find out anything negative about Mr. Carmen that appeared to be perverse, but with the question asked here, I have just heaved a big sigh of relief.

Thank you for the question, "London Stargazer" and to Raspbernie for taking a moment to repeat the answer.

I feel much better now. :o

AnneNR

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It's interesting to me that artists have little to no say on the album covers. I know there's a creative team whose purpose is specifically to create the look, but it is the artist's NAME that's being put out there front and center. 

Granted, you could fit what I know about the music business in a thimble, but it almost appears to me that the PTB are saying, "Don't worry your pretty little head about such things. You just go out and make music," complete with head pat.

Meanwhile, it's the artist's name and reputation that's thrown out there for judgment.

Still naive about some things, I suppose.

Cheryl

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James   

First I will say that the album "Tonight You're Mine" is for me a great great album...overall.

Having said that, I remember when I first bought it I was bothered by the "flavor" a little.  The cover and songs like "You Need Some Loving" and "Tonight You're Mine" were a bit shrill or callous and very un-Eric Carmen-like...at least to me.  To me Eric Carmen music was above the trite ubiquitous cheap stuff you saw all over the rock world, and this was one of the reasons I liked the music.  But I remember being a little disappointed at the seemingly slight turn toward the callous average.

But still a great album, "It Hurts Too Much", "Sleep With Me", "All For Love", and especially "Inside Story" and "Foolin Myself"....total greatness!

P.S.  I thought the covers of the first 3 solo albums were all 3 really great.  I probably liked the cover of "Change of Heart" the best.  Cool as heck duds and sombrero!..

James

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susie b   

Hi James

I like the Change of Heart cover as well, both front & back.

I've always been drawn to the romance & nuance of b/w photography.

Mr. Carmen seems to be one of those rare men who knows what clothing suits his body type, or he has stylists with exquisite taste.  In either case, he is always debonair, even in casual clothing.

My copy of Tonight You're Mine is a test press, so I don't have the goofy cover.

I can just pull it from the stacks & enjoy the great music.

Sleep With Me is my favorite cut.

Susie

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James   

Yeah Susie, "Sleep With Me" was my favorite from that album for many years.  I love it.  It´s really underrated, even by Eric Carmen fans.

James

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All For Love is my personal fave from the album TYM and think E looks good on that cover as well.

Change of Heart is a particularly stylish cover. E always could rock a suit Susie. :) I even loved the white suit worn in the I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips performances. Only outfit I ever saw Eric wear which was a bit much was on the Dirty Dancing Tour...the 80s!!

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Not a gold lamé gal, huh, Cayenne? ;)

Love the "Change of Heart" cover. The shadows and black-and-white photography are magnificent; Eric's attire is stylish, and the forlorn look at the camera — excellent!

My favorite on "Tonight You're Mine," though, is "Inside Story." Nothing like opening a song with a teletype to appeal to a girl with ink running through her veins. ;)

Cheryl

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I don't even remember the jeans. Just the lamé. (And the hair. I always marvel at the hair. I had the same hair at some point in the '80s.)

Off to check out the jeans ...

Cheryl

P.S. Didya hear that Alabama won last night? As far as I've been able to ascertain, Lane Kiffin even made it safely out of the state. The win I predicted; Kiffin's safety, not so much. 

P.P.S. The jeans look like typical '80s boot-cut jeans to me. The suspenders are cute.

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susie b   

Hi Ladies!

Didn't we all have hair like that in the 80's?

I should have bought stock in the Aqua Net Hairspray Company back then!

Susie

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AnneNR   

Slight sidebar tangent

PSSST!! Cayennegirl, Susie B---Here's one way to do gold lame, check out the drummer in this piece . . .

AnneNR

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Jeans seemed to be higher waisted then than now, if I recall correctly. (At least, they seemed to be.)

And Anne, I'm trying to decide which is worse: Lamé-wearing dudes performing "Sharp-Dressed Man," or clean-cut dudes performing "Sharp-Dressed Man."

:D

Cheryl

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susie b   

Hey AnneR,

This little drummer boy has attitude!  He is MUCH more interesting to watch than the two frontmen.

Did he learn to drum from Monster on the Muppets?

The jackets look like prom rejects.

Call in the fashion police, stat !!!

Thanks for sharing!  I needed a good belly laugh after a LONG day.

Susie

;)

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AnneNR   
On 10/27/2014 at 9:05 PM, susie b said:

Hey AnneR,

This little drummer boy has attitude!  He is MUCH more interesting to watch than the two frontmen.

Did he learn to drum from Monster on the Muppets?

The jackets look like prom rejects.

Call in the fashion police, stat !!!

:lol::lol::lol:   ---  he is rather animated, isn't he?  And even so, he still manages to keep the beat properly from what I can hear!

Gosh, I wish Joan Rivers could see this!!!  Where are the Joan Rangers when you need 'em?

(By the way, I think you are referring to "Animal" of the Dr. Teeth band, his favorite buddy is Jimmy Coburn the actor).

AnneNR

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