Jump to content

Rank the Carmen solo and Raspberries albums best to worst:

Recommended Posts

No "best of", "greatest hits" or other compilations allowed, MARVIN!

1. 1984 Geffen - top songwriting and production quality

2. 1980 Tonight You're Mine - equal songwriting, but some parts of songs suffer muddy or thin mixes.

3. 1975 Arista debut - fine classical influenced songwriting. Jimmy Ienner finally learns to mix a tune right, then Eric boots him for the next album.

4. 1974 Starting Over - Eric starts 10 year genius songwriting period, and gets quality help from Scott McCarl.

5. 1977 Boats Against The Current - 8 quality songs, but Eric's solo production value choices are hit and miss.

6. 1972 Raspberries debut - 4 horny young guys stockpiling songs for their big break makes for a solid album. But, of course, the no-bottom-end mixes make at all sound so dated.

7. 1998 Winter Dreams - long awaited comeback release shows Eric still has the melodic songwriting magic. But the obvious synth and thin sequencing tracks, and a few too many schmaltzy lyric lines, drop the CD down a few notches.

8. 1978 Change Of Heart - Some great songs, especially the ballads. But some bad tempo choices and track mixes, make this overall effort not up to the usual Carmen perfectionism standards.

9. 1973 Side 3 - A few good power pop songs, but not enough to rival 1972 and 1974 releases.

10. 1972 Fresh - 2-3 memorable songs. The rest, "Stale".

Your turn. Although there is not much to dispute this genius ranking post... laugh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 77
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

1. 1984 Geffen - top songwriting and production quality

7. 1998 Winter Dreams.

10. 1972 Fresh - 2-3 memorable songs. The rest, "Stale".

Mine is almost in reverse, mainly because 1984 production quality is abysmal (linn drums, ugh) and that "stale" sound was actually very alive...obviously we have completely two different tastes in music... yours seems to prefer the slick, more MOR side of things... I like Eric at his most cutting and vital where he was set on creating something of his deepest rawest emotions (i.e. "Let's Pretend," "Go All The Way," "If You Change Your Mind," "I Can Hardly Believe You're Mine," "Tonight") and the band was still playing as if they were trying to get laid...

1. Starting Over

2. Fresh

3. Side 3

4. Raspberries

5. Eric Carmen

6. Tonite You're Mine

7. Boats Against The Current

8-10. tie Winter Dreams/Eric Carmen 1984/Change Of Heart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am shamelessly MOR. I'm just trying to not add the ON to the end. It's a tough world out there.

Pierson, Are you still wearing bell-bottom jeans, long straggly hair, and fur-lined coats like your stuck-in-the-early 70's music tastes suggest? Just kidding wink

I like to think I have evolved with age to a more melodic and mellow stage in life. But loud screaming music and dumb lyrics have always bothered me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pierson, Are you still wearing bell-bottom jeans, long straggly hair, and fur-lined coats like your stuck-in-the-early 70's music tastes suggest? Just kidding

well, i hope the Raspberries rebelled in a Mod sense, to such stuff, although, near the end they wore bell-bottoms and grew their hairout-- I lean towards the mod sensibility the band adhered to in the beginning, however that applies in the 21st century, i don't know
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic was covered in July 2002, and here's what I said back then in regard to Eric's solo work:

1. Tonight You're Mine

2. Eric Carmen (Arista)

3. Boats Against the Current

4. Change of Heart

5. Eric Carmen (Geffen)

6. Winter Dreams

Not counting a couple of compilations, 6 albums in 25+ years must be some sort of record. I think that each of the albums have their strong points and their weak points, and none of the albums are totally strong from beginning to end, however "Tonight You're Mine" came the closest to combining the strength and power of the Raspberries, and the ballad side of Eric that is so prevalent in much of his solo material. "It Hurts too Much" is by far the strongest cut and the fact that it was never a hit still annoys me.

When the debut album was released, I knew of a few Raspberries fans who were very disappointed with it. It was a bit too soft Pop for their liking. I thought the album showed some great promise especially with the standout cuts "Last Night", "That's Rock and Roll", and "My Girl."

The promise of that initial effort was somewhat fulfilled but a bit muted with the more mature effort "Boats Against the Current." Granted Eric was in a different frame of mind at the time of this recording, but I found the tone of the album was too heavy. Without a doubt the title song is probably among Eric's best ballads and I think that in the right hands, it could be a hit all over again today. In my opinion the album was weakened by songs such as "Take It or Leave It" (bad attempt at the Faces), and the overly long and melodramatic "Run Away."

The next album, "Change of Heart" has all the earmarks of a thrown-together album. Though there are some strong songs ("Desperate Fools",

"Someday", "Haven't We Come A Long Way", "End Of the World"), there is no cohesion. The album did however contain Eric's best cover "Baby I Need Your Loving."

In my opinion the less said about the next two releases, (Geffen and "Winter Dreams"), the better. The Geffen album is a true mish-mash of material. I know that Eric has said that the Geffen album contains some of his own personal favourites and that boggles my mind. The only songs that I can listen to are "American As Apple Pie" and "The Way We Used to Be."

As far as "Winter Dreams" goes, I've posted many times about my disappointment with this release. After waiting 15 years for new music from Eric, I just could not accept an album that included 2 covers, 2 songs that were 10+ years old, and a bunch of boring ballads. If he was going to put songs that he had written years ago, he should've included "Make Me Lose Control." This at least would have given the album an injection of life. Save for "I Could Really Love You", the rest of the album hasn't made too many visits to my cd player. A real drummer and more of Wally or some other musicians would've certainly added to the music.

Now here's my ranking of the 'berries albums:

1. Starting Over - the real deal, and the best pure 'rock' album the 'berries released. The magic of McCarl and Carmen should have had many more moments of glory.

2. Fresh - a batch of melodies that rank among the best that any band has ever released. The only thing dated about this album are the ridiculous band photos.

3. Side 3 - A superior record from a band that in the throes of breaking up. "Ecstacy" and "Tonight" are fabulous, Dave proves to be a superior song writer with "Should I Wait" and "Hard to Get Over...", and Wally's "Last Dance" never gets the due it deserves.

4. First Album - Some great songs: "Don't Want to Say..", "I Saw the Light", and of course "GAtW", but the album suffers from poor production. "I Can Remember" should have been chopped down to 4 minutes.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marvin--It is interesting to see all the different rankings. You seem to be strongly influenced by the melody and hook. For example, you like "I Could Really Love You" off of "WD", but I think it is the weakest tune on there. I'm also not initially taken by a song's lyrics. I'm moved by intricate chord changes and interesting harmonic lines and such. Yet there are some songs that we both (all?) agree are hits from Eric. Indeed, it is a mystery as to why a certain song becomes a hit and not another, but seeing what people write about different songs sheds a little light on it. As far as my rankings go, I've said it before; after the top 2 or 3, the rest change from time to time. Ask me again next week--Kirk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kirk you're dead-on in describing what appeals to me in a song. If the song doesn't have a strong melody, it doesn't make the grade for me. I am a melodist and a lyricist at heart, that's why I love well-thought out lyrics and against-the-norm chord changes, but if the melody does not hook me in, I tend to grade the song lower.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

you folks debate erics production skills as if there was ever a time when he produced "heavy"..

eric has always kept his music on the lighter side. even when his songs called for a harder edge

(hey deannie could've been a pop classic with a "raspberries" production).

as far as the cd rankings...in my opinion, you have to seperate raspberry from solo..

my two cents worth....

raspberry cd's...

1. starting over....what a shame that was the last cd for that talented group.

2. side 3.....beats fresh because the "non"carmen songs are the strongest save for "last dance"

3. fresh...this could be 2nd as well, some classic 'berry moments.

4. First.....sort of a 'hodge podge "for a first effort...like the band lacked direction musically.

still..."go all the way" is the best pop song ever!!!!


1. Boats...sure thirty years later its easy to say that this cd is two intense, but at the time, i could'nt stop playing the lp. for a while, when my teenage(young man ) relationships hit the "rocks" (boat reference) boats was my "it's over" song.

2.tonight..... ec returned in a huge way after the mess that change of heart was. how many times have we played "it hurts" when things were'nt going well.

3. EC (arista)...too many classic eric songs to be lower.

4. winter dreams...still a great cd from a middle aged man...some great melodies.

5. EC (geffin)....again eric throws everything at the wall to see what sticks....not enough

6. change of heart... schizophrenic!!! contains one of my favorite songs.."heaven can wait".

in conclusion....i like all of the above cd's..i own all of the above cd's...i'm only ranking them.

they each have great and weak moments...

just wish i had another one too add to the mix.!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to seperate them. Two totally different styles in my opinion.

1. Side 3

2. Fresh

3. Starting Over

4. Raspberries

1. Boats

2. Geffen

3. Arista

4. Tonite Your Mine

5. IWBTLY (Pisses me off they didn't include Caroline No, I'd rather have that than Walk Away Renee)

6. Change Of Heart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

then carmen, why are you an EC fan....he certainly could never be described as cutting edge!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Starting Over-I can fly while listening to it

Fresh-The first record I listened by them.I fell in love with them.Nothing was the same

The Raspberries-After listening to Rock And Roll Mama and Get It Moving I fell in love with Dave Smalley behaviour

Side Three-The worse,although I love On The Beach.


First-Because I listened to ABM in 1981

Boats-The same in 1979

I can¥t opine about the rest,but if they are in the vein of Hungry Eyes...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From best to less best:

1) Side 3

2) Fresh

3) Change of Heart

4) Starting Over

5) Eric Carmen(Arista)

6) Boats

7) Raspberries

8) Tonight Your Mine

9) Eric Carmen (Epic)


Most people hate CoH, but I really love it. I love Nigel's drums and all the great vocals. The songs are pure pop quality with a little R&B thrown in.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's my order:

1)Boats... I never get tired of listening to it. Loved the production, did he pick up pointers from Gus Dudgeon before he left the project?

2)Eric Carmen (Arista)- The album that I first became aware of EC.

3)Tonight You're mine- Never cared for "Foolin' Myself" or "Sleep with Me" but from the Spectorish production of "It hurts too much" the use of bagpipes on the title cut, to Eric rockin' on "You need some lovin" (was he listening to Zeppelin then?)This Lp should have been a hit!

4)Change of Heart- When I first listened to it I thought it had Contractual Obligation written all over it. A b-side from "Boats.." (Someday), a couple of the songs were obviously left over from that project, because some of the same musicians were on it (Cummings, Nigel, etc)it's short length (under 30 min).and a cover song (although it's his best)

5)Winter Dreams -After 14 years I had high hopes. Although alot of you seem to hate it, I enjoy most of it. The opening 3 ballads dragged it down,He should have put "Almost Paradise" on the Geffen album, and included "My heart stops" on it.

6) Eric Carmen (Geffen)- Maybe with better production, and a couple of better song choices, it might have been better. I rarely go back to play anything from this one

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...