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Everything posted by LC

  1. A truly arresting performance: Ms. Ronstadt doing "Long Long Time":
  2. Good story on the Burt Sugarman YouTube channel where we can view old Midnight Special clips: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2023-04-04/midnight-special-youtube-burt-sugarman-linda-ronstadt-late-night As an example, here's Wilson Pickett and The Bee Gees doing "Hey Jude." (Robin Gibb dancing always reminds me of Elaine Benes on Seinfeld.)
  3. Again, very succinct assessment, James. We are of one mind! 🙂 There's something about the intelligence of "Boats" that makes me reach for that one before "All by Myself" every time. Perfection is consuming, indeed.
  4. PS: Craig, somewhere here, there's actually a pretty cool thread angled on your point: best three-album runs in history. The Elton trio of Honky, Don't Shoot Me, and Yellow Brick Road was part of that discussion. (So were Raspberries' 2nd, 3rd, and 4th albums and Eric's first three solo albums — we're biased. And I know I would have mentioned the Beatles' White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be. Gotta find that thread and bump it....)
  5. Agreed. I know we've marveled elsewhere here on Elton's genius during that three-album run, and rightfully so. I personally would extend that span one album in each direction, because Madman Across the Water was a stunner and (I know some of you Eltonians are a little colder on this one) Caribou was a powerhouse of great pop. So, for me, it's a 2.5-year, five-album run of brilliance: Nov 1971: Madman Across the Water [favorite track: Tiny Dancer] May 1972: Honky Chateau [favorite track: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters] Jan 1973: Don't Shoot Me [favorite track: Crocodile Rock] Oct 1973: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road [favorite track: I've Seen That Movie Too] Jun 1974: Caribou [The Bitch Is Back] And it's hard to stop at Captain Fantastic from May 1975. Either way, you also have to figure in non-album singles recorded in 1974: "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (recorded during Caribou) and "Philadelphia Freedom" (recorded Aug 1974, released in Feb 1975). Not bad!
  6. Wow — the lyrics police at Columbus radio stations must have seen through the angelic chorus of GATW and done some banning!
  7. Great minds! I like your succinctness. Strangely, I never heard "Overnight Sensation" on the radio back in the day; its was a minor hit, but in my area, it just didn't get airplay. I actually discovered it on the Raspberries Best Featuring Eric Carmen compilation.
  8. Another battle-of-the-'berries thought: "Go All the Way" — or "Overnight Sensation"? Which do you prefer… the breakthrough hit? Or the minor hit that broke new ground? For decades, I'd have gone "Go All the Way." How could you not, if you were a fan trying to drum up support for the 'berries? This is the song you would put in front of every music-head who would listen. "GATW" has that crunchy Wally Bryson intro and surprising musical changes and sly lyrics and Eric's distinctive lead vocal augmented by those Beach-Boys-styled background vocals — all of which appeal to most uninitiated listeners. Plus, it was a Top 5 hit in its day, so most people would have recognized it ("Oh — that's Raspberries? I love that song..."). And, of course, Guardians of the Galaxy gave it all-new life three decades after the fact. But in recent years, I have come to favor "Overnight Sensation." It's so creative and so engaging, and it's easily the most innovative production Raspberries ever did. The lyrics are so cool; even if you're not a songwriter, you totally empathize with the singer's desperate need to score a hit record. Whereas "Go All the Way" is about a singular night of teen urgency, "Overnight Sensation" is about a goal involving personal achievement — a goal the singer describes with equal urgency. I especially love the unique angle of outlining the songwriting process within a song: I've been trying to write the lyric Non-offensive but satiric, too If you can get it in the "A" slot It's just got to make a mint for you. And I love the cockiness the singer shows both in that verse and the bridge: I fit the words to a good melody Amazing how success has been ignoring me so long. He's this close to achieving his dreams, and the production drives that point home. There's Eric's bright piano playing, and that beautiful little guitar touch by Wally at the 1:15 mark, and Mike McBride's booming drums just before the break, and the transistor radio that leads into a sweeping tag. The background vocals are stellar as well — new-to-the-group Scott McCarl fit right in. Whew! This is truly a production masterpiece — all of which is heightened by the long-held rumor that John Lennon himself pitched in at the control panel. Yes, "Overnight Sensation" is a pure classic and, to me, Raspberries' finest moment. In fact, I would make the case that this song defines the band even more than "Go All the Way" does. What do you all think? Am I right? Play 'em back-to-back, study some more, and pop in with your thoughts.
  9. Bump from three years ago—an awesome all-reeds Covid-era "All By Myself."
  10. Excellent point, Scott. Pacific Ocean Blue is a great old album. And I agree: "I Think I Found Myself" sounds like a lost take from the album. Anyone who doesn't know the album well might sit back and soak it in:
  11. Bump from the locked-up archives… Now she’s a moderator, but in 2015, Susie’s membership was being questioned! Lol
  12. Wendy! Hang in there. So great to see your pink posts, although I'm sorry to hear about the hard times. Love ya! Hope you stick around for a bit. You are an icon here.
  13. Bump... a long-forgotten thread where Eric made some tough choices.
  14. Ah, those old 45s. You could stick one on the turntable and let it automatically repeat ad nauseam. That was a factor for me — and so was Top 40 radio. "ABM" was in heavy rotation where I lived, which was amazing because the first few notes are so soft and low-volume, yet it enough to make the song a grabber. "Boats" has a similarly subtle opening, but even with the familiarity of "Row row row your boat...," it still flopped as a single. Well, that's how it goes. It's no less of a masterpiece.
  15. Here's one for you all: Eric Carmen's most popular (and lucrative) song vs. his most criminally overlooked masterpiece. Listen to them uninterrupted, back-to-back, all the way through, and soak 'em in. Then try to pick a favorite. One is the centerpiece of his first album (and maybe should have been the title of the album), the other is the title track of his second release. So they were written within a two-year span. "All By Myself" seems like an obvious favorite, at least to casual listeners and non-fans. But for me, "Boats Against the Current" emerges as my unequivocal choice. The lyric is way deeper and more powerful — to me, it stands as poetry. Every word fits. And the music itself is inspired. It's not surprising that "Boats" came to Eric in his sleep, as sometimes happens with the best artists. Everyone knows "Yesterday" came to Paul McCartney in his sleep. A lesser-known example: John Stewart woke up one morning with the inspiring "Ticket to the Stars" in his head. (Rhonda will appreciate that!) As for "All By Myself" — yes, it's an iconic piece of pop music. But it's just not at the level of "Boats," for me — not even with Sergei Rachmaninoff's "contribution." My preference for "Boats" isn't just a case of overexposure, either. Well, maybe that does come into play, considering it became one of the most-covered songs of our generation. No argument that it's an emotion-packed song delivered and played perfectly by the writer. But "Boats" is such an intelligent, multi-level, searing song that it's among my top 10 or so recorded by anybody, ever. Anyway, take 12 minutes and re-review... and pop back in with your opinion.
  16. Ah, I like the support for "Run Away." Good point that it gets overshadowed by the four songs on "Boats" you cited — and that's without even mentioning "I Think I Found Myself." It was in amazing company, and being 8 minutes, we may overlook it... but it really is a masterpiece.
  17. Don't forgot about the thread I've linked below, in which our friend Bernie lays a piano demo of "Run Away" on us — along with rare demos of "Nowhere to Hide" and "She Remembered." If you're not an EC.com supporter, those demos alone make it worth whatever you can afford to donate. Eric's demo was pretty darned clean — and really close to the final version.
  18. LC

    Prime Time Soaps..

    Love Vicotria Principal, though I didn't watch any of the shows you mention. If I had been watching that genre, I might have followed Linda Evans (Big Valley). 🙂
  19. On the heels of my post revisiting "Run Away," I was naturally thinking about "I Can Remember" and comparing the two. Never mind "Tonight" vs. "Ecstasy." With this comparison, you get more than 16 minutes of music. Which one is your preference? How do you pick a favorite between these two? It's an interesting pairing because both are lengthy, ambitious, dramatic, tour-de-force-type productions. They came at different junctions in Eric Carmen's development, yet you can draw a straight line from one to the other. Both are packed with emotion and rawness, and both take you on musical journeys in which you can get lost. "I Can Remember," of course, is a love-lost lament where the singer is looking back on a wrecked relationship. Has anyone summed up the pain of a breakup better than this?: I can remember autumn skies and goodbyes Hurting so badly that I thought I would die. But the more things seem to change The more they stay the same. And the lonely ones get lonelier With every passing day. "Run Away" is the same guy set farther into the future and looking back at the same busted relationship. One difference: Whereas the chorus in "I Can Remember" is focused on the past ("memories, memories..."), the chorus in "Run Away" is taking on the future, reflecting a determination to get past it all... and to win back the romance. In the end, these are both masterworks. And no, it isn't a shocker that the same guy wrote both songs — and also played the hell out of them. In a way, they define Eric's strengths in singular (albeit long) songs: sensitive lyrics, emotional melodies, classical-sounding piano runs, rockin' guitars.... Heck, in the course of 8 minutes, you have time to do all that! So which is my favorite? I waffle greatly. They're so close as to be a dead heat. "Run Away" is more mature and benefits from five years' of experience and growth between Raspberries' debut in 1972 and Boats Against the Current in 1977. But if you put a gun to my head, I think I'd give the edge to "I Can Remember." It's got those three movements that provide drama and tension and release — that's a plus in my book (but not for some, I know). It's also got Wally Bryson's guitar (a major plus) and Jim Bonfanti's drumming (ditto). And it's got the 'berries' backup vocals — they were a well-practiced unit even in 1972. I also think Eric's vocal abilities are on display here as well as on any song he's performed. Is anyone here more decisive than I am in making a choice between the two? Go ahead — take 16 minutes and three seconds and listen to them back-to-back.
  20. Lew, did you mean to post this at the Quiet Riot bulletin board? Just kidding. Metal leaves me a little cold (and headachy). 🤣
  21. Yes! Turn the lights off, close your eyes, and absorb this beauty. 🙂
  22. I hadn't listened to "Run Away" in a long time, but on a recent late-night dog walk under the stars in my quiet neighborhood, it got shuffle-played in front of me. It really makes an impact in the darkness of the night. And it still demands close listening, all these years later. It's eight minutes long, which is maybe why I haven't listened to it much in recent years. (Or maybe it's my obsession with John Stewart's brilliant catalog.) Either way, it was fun to catch up with "Run Away" again. Like seeing an old friend. I remember getting Boats Against the Current in 1977. A couple weeks before college, after that album's long, long, long delay, I finally had it in my hot little hands. And I remember this very well: The first and last songs on the LP were the two that instantly grabbed me. It didn't take long to love the six songs in between, for sure. But at my very first audition of the album, "Boats" killed me for its poetic, perfect craftsmanship — and "Run Away" killed me for its drama, power, and, again, perfect craftsmanship. After it ended, I just sat there in silence for a few minutes and thought, "Whew!" It's a long-form power ballad, a story that I could tell (even as a 17-year-old) was autobiographical. "Run Away" is Eric being startlingly honest. I understand that "Run Away" is maybe too over-the-top for some — too dramatic or too intense. But the intensity, I find, is incredibly cool. The lyrics are poetic, opening a window into Eric's teen angst. Remember, he later told us he intended "Run Away" as the first song on Boats Against the Current, as the start of his own story within his only "concept album." Follow the album as it is from back to front, and it really does tell a story. The opening to this song is such a grabber, with that subtle piano melody followed by a descriptive and imagistic line (oh, those golden high school dreams!): She was just an average blue-eyed golden high school dream, An illusion nothing real could ever touch. Funny, love seemed so much more intense at 17, When I knew she'd never love me half as much I recall the desperate vow I made. I must find a way somehow to win her heart. I've got to make her mine. I'm gonna run away 'til I prove that I'm a man Gonna run away, be the best I know I can Got to run away, got to find my space and time And I cannot rest a day until I make her mine. Eric's writing is so good in this song, as the next verse—my favorite within—reminds me: Trades were made for promises of a timeless memory, And I knew but still refused to comprehend That the fantasy more glamorous than she could ever be Was the course of least resistance in the end. I recall the desperate vow I made. I must find a way somehow to win her heart. I've got to make her mine. I'm gonna run away 'til I prove that I'm a man Gonna run away, be the best I know I can Got to run away, got to find my space and time And I cannot rest a day until I make her mine. And on it goes, with strong lyrics getting even stronger. I love this last verse, too—it's pure poetry. That line about the winter taking its toll... going to college in the great Northeast, that one always connected. The spring has gone and will not come again? Now that's dark. Long ago an innocence lived deep within my soul In a yesterday where love and dreams remain. But disillusion clouds my eyes and the winter takes its toll For the spring has gone and will not come again I recall the desperate vow I made. I must find a way somehow to win her heart. I've got to make her mine. Gonna run away 'till I prove that I'm a man Gonna run away, be the best I know I can Got to run away, got to find my space and time And I cannot rest a day until I make her mine. The killer piano playing, the constant building up of the production, that long tag with pounding piano trading off with ringing guitar solos and soaring strings — again, whew! This is truly a tour de force. So... when you have eight minutes to really detach from life and fully soak in "Run Away" again, do it. It's not for passive, distracted listening, is it?
  23. I can play a little piano too… but not enough to lay it down on a Stones track. Same with Mick.
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