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Rank the Carmen solo and Raspberries albums best to worst:


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Stevie and Greg,

Just to offer a different perspective, I would say I couldn't agree with you LESS. I LOVED the non-Carmen stuff on all the Berries LPs - Bryson, Smalley, McCarl - all were great to me. To my ears they balanced out the overtly pop sensibilities of Eric's stuff. True, his singles were the obvious hits, but I always felt his ballads and non-singles needed the rougher edge that Wally, Dave and Scott brought to the table. Once Eric left the Berries, I never liked any LP of his as much as I did any of the Berries LPs. Too much Eric without some balance gets (dare I say it?).... boring. Just another point of view to consider....

I DO agree that Scott should be at any reunion, though. Heck, *I'd* like to see John Aleksic for 1 song, and since Mike McBride doesn't play drums any more, maybe he could do his Jagger impression, which I've learned from reading Marathon Man (shameless plug for the book, Bernie!) was really dead on. Heck, let's get Jimmy Ienner to sing bass on "Drivin' Around", too!

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The first Berries album is disjointed, for sure, but I find FRESH a perfect combination of Eric/Wally/Dave songs and frankly the album isn't the same unless I hear it in the order that it was originally tracked. Same thing for Scott's contributions to STARTING OVER. As for Eric's solo LPs, I certainly place BOATS above all else (Raspberries included, but that's me!) -- and CarmenSmalley needs to discover TONIGHT YOU'RE MINE to see what she's been missing on that gem. Waaaaaaay better than CHANGE OF HEART. Based on her previous posts, she might find herself ranking it #1 on her EC solo list.

Bernie

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Oh, yeah! Forgot my list!

1. Side 3 - As an album, I think it holds together the best. Tonight and Ecstasy are my 2 favorite Eric SONGS other than GATW, and Dave's 3 cuts are really strong American-sounding tracks that nicely balance Eric and Wally's more British-influenced songs.

2. Starting Over - Never liked the sound of the bass & drums on this recording, but the songs and the playing are all top notch. Scott's tracks kill! Play On is another classic, and John Lennon himself raved about Cry and Overnight Sensation - that's good enough for me. I missed Dave, though.

3. Eric's 1st Solo - seemed like he had a bunch of material piled up that wasn't really "berry-ish" just itching to get out, and the LP was strong from start to finish (except maybe "On Broadway", which I didn't really get the reason for), and I especially loved the GATW bit at the end of NHF. Seeing Eric live when it came out, and hearing him start with Sunrise and that great intro - pretty much the peak of my Eric solo rankings. Fuffin Fantastic!

4. Raspberries 1st- not a great "LP" per-se, but it's still got the best single they (and maybe anybody) ever did - GATW. A true classic.

5. Fresh - everybody else liked this more than I did. I found it just a bit wimpy sounding, and not as risk-takingly adventurous musically as the debut. Still, some great songs by Dave and Wally on this one (oh, and Eric, too! ;-)).

6. Tonight You're Mine - Eric CAN rock if he wants! I was sure he'd given it up for good. A majorly pleasant surprise!

7. Boats - too slow and depressing. After reading the book, now I know why, but at the time I just thought it was a drag. I don't think I've made it through it in 1 sitting except the very 1st time I played it.

8. Geffen

9. Change of Heart

10. Winter Dreams - didn't even buy it - first one I couldn't justify spending money on.

I would also say (now I'm REALLY gonna get it) that *I* prefer Refreshed, Internal Monologue, Play On, Dry, and By The Seat of Our Pants to any of Eric's solo stuff except Tonight You're Mine and the Arista debut. Regardless, I'll still probably buy whatever he or they do next.

And my dream would be a new Berries record with Dave AND Scott (Pop Teasers is SO GREAT! - They should do more stuff together)both joining Eric, Wally and Jim. A 5-piece Berry Band? I think it would be the best ever! (I'm a uniter, not a divider...)

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I know somewhere in this post I put down my favorite order, but I've been listening to these alot lately (gettin' primed for the concert!). I would love for somebody to remaster these starting with the original multi-track sessions.

Although I've loved all the tunes,I've never liked the mixes on any of the Berries albums. Yeah, I know they we're being promoted as a singles band at the time and the mixes translate well to AM radio, but that's not what I wannna hear (at least nowadays). I want to hear the punch & passion of good musicians recording good songs. The unreleased version of the "Greatest Hits" does sound better, but it still sounds like the original mixes to me. Just my 47.5 cents worth.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

Now the list would be

Raspberries

1 Starting Over It¥s PERFECT

2 Fresh-It¥s almost Perfect

3-Raspberries-The good was abot to begin

4 Side Three-I keep on loving On The Beach

Eric

1 First One-Good melodies and variety

2-Boats Against The Current-Good lyrics,but it needs more stuff in the vein of Take It Or Leave It

3-Change Of Heart I didn¥t know it before and is the less favourite of the three

I WOULD NOT CHANGE A THING from this list, except "Change Of Heart" which would be replaced w/ "Tonite Your Mine".....
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Mine would be:

Eric Solo

1. The first album – and still the best

2. Boats – a shock after EC1 but wonderful in its own way

3. Change – too much disco but it’s got Desperate Fools and Someday

4. Tonight – Rockin’ again but dodgy production and I don’t like those drums

5. IWBTLY – hallelujah! a new album at last – but too many MOR ballads

6. Geffen – lost its’ way – but am I the only one who prefers “You Took Me All the Way†to She Remembered (yuck)?

Raspberries

1. Starting Over – Another level – that bass, those drums, the writing, Scott

2. Side 3 – They find “their†sound – and has the greatest song of all time – Ecstasy, and Dave’s stuff rocks

3. Raz 1 – GATW, I Can Remember, and the cover photo

4. Fresh – too many acoustic numbers

Combined

1. Starting Over

2. EC1

3. Boats

4. Side 3

5. Raz 1

6. Change

7. Fresh

8. Tonight

9. IWBTLY

10. Geffen

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This was very difficult, but I gave it a try. As of this very moment, my preferential order would be...

Raspberries' albums:

1) Fresh

2) Raspberries

3) Side 3

4) Starting Over

Eric Carmen's solo albums:

1) Eric Carmen (Geffen)

2) Eric Carmen (Arista)

3) Boats Against the Current

4) Change Of Heart

5) Winter Dreams

6) Tonight You're Mine

However, if you ask me tomorrow, my list may change its' order. spin

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Other than IWBTLU, all of mine are on vinyl, so for the my best judgement possible, I sat down this weekend and in between and during the football games, listened to each and every one from beginning to end.

Raspberries

1) Side 3- For me, side one of Side 3 is unmatched.

2) Starting Over- Should have been called "Complete Make Over". The sound, the writing, Scott in da house- Their Rock Anthology.

3) Fresh- The melodies, the matching suits. "Nobody Knows"- best 2- minute song ever.

4) Raspberries- Scratch, Sniff, Listen, Repeat. To this day ICR makes me weak.

Eric Carmen

1) EC (Arista)- Eric's metamorphosis from Raspberries to Solo pulled off without a hitch.

2) Tonight You're Mine- Big Sound and Smokin.

3) Boats ATC- Deep Blue. Really Deep.

4) IWBYLU- Eric the balladeer.

5) Change of Heart- Lots of great melody. Too damn short.

6) EC (Geffen)- Spinning wheels

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OK - I'm finally going to bite on this one, but you'll also see my still sitting on the fence in a way. Jimmy love your comments - so dead on target with several of them. And ICAM about ICR...perfect wording. My knees were weak when I first heard it, weak when I saw the 'Berries in '73 and they did it, and so weak in Chicago this year, it's a wonder I didn't tumble right out of the opera box. Sometimes I find myself just hearing the bridge alone in my head, over and over, such an ideal piece of music craftsmanship.

As for favorite LP's/CD's, solo/group...I'm not sure I can say and I'm not just stalling. It really is a mood thing. Blame it on my being a female if you want, but different recordings are what I need at different times. Overall, though, Tonight You're Mine is probably my least fave. However, I rediscovered "I'm A Rocker" last month -to the tune of 12 or so straight playings - so perhaps it's time to revisit that one, too. smile

But, I still say - ICR is the one that will get me every time!

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I know we've covered this topic before, but I think "CoH" gets maligned unfairly. The songs Bernie mentions are fabulous, but I think that the title song, "Hey Deannie" and "End of the World are also great, and I love Eric's version "Baby I Need Your Lovin'"

Marv

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