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The Geffen Album


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That I love all of Eric's albums goes without saying, and every now and then I'll pull out one of them and get lost in it. They all get their turn, but I find that the one I come back to most often (and marvel at how perfect every song on it is!) is the Geffen album.

Anyone else feel like the Geffen album as an amazing "hold" on them that they keep rediscovering?

smile --Darlene

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I find that the album was mutilated by the tacky 80s sound...get Eric to play the album with the Berries, or Elton's band, or The Band for that matter...and that album is awesome...with the exception of "You took me all the Way" being one of my least favorite EC tracks (ever) because it reeks of a record company saying, "writer us another Go All the Way or I Wanna be With You"... it sounds so contrived...almost novelty-ish...

I'd love to hear this album recorded without all the reverb and 80s studio mix....


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I just love the songs on it. As albums go, "Boats" is the one that does it for me as far as being "the masterpiece," but when I come back to the Geffen album, which I always do, I get totally immersed in the songs.

I'd love to hear the album re-recorded too, Bahoo, like the "Live on Sunset Strip" cd. That would be awesome.

smile --Darlene

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That was the album that originally "hooked" me. Course, it was the 80's, so that explains the "80's sound". It hooked me because of "The Way We Used to Be"--a song guarenteed to reduce me to tears every time I hear it. Man, there's no reason that "TWWUTB" shouldn't have gone to No.1 in my book. Absolutely awesome song! It is perfection, IMHO.

I still have a "sealed" CD of that album! I love every thing on it.

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I really like that Geffen album. It's never far from the top of my favorite Eric solo albums.

I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips

I'm Through With Love

American As Apple Pie

Living Without Your Love

Come Back To My Love

She Remembered

You Took Me All The Way

Maybe My Baby


The Way We Used To Be

Three killer ballads: "I'm Through With Love", "She Remembered" and "The Way We Used To Be"- I could stop right there and this would put it near the top of my list.

"American As Apple Pie"- The surest hit Eric never released.

Add to that: A catchy opening hit, a few hard-hitting power pop tunes (a couple that Eric didn't write), and yes, I like "You Took Me All The Way" and refuse to apologize for it- and you have one great album!

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Just to clear things up a bit, "You Took Me All The Way" was written and recorded ONLY because John Kalodner, my A&R guy at Geffen and the guy who got me signed to the label, BEGGED ME to PLEASE RE-WRITE "GO ALL THE WAY" to make him happy.

After repeatedly saying "NO", and explaining why it was a terrible idea, I eventually gave in to his request and tried to write a "more mature" version, that wouldn't sound completely ridiculous coming out of the mouth of a thirty-five year old. Every time I changed a chord, John would say, " I don't like that chord." Every attempt to make it a "different" song was met with the same thing. I'd try a few other chords and he'd say "no" to all of them, until I eventually played the chord that was in "Go All The Way" and he'd say "Yes! That's the chord!" I wrote a new bridge and gave up.

"Come Back To My Love" was a song Bob Gaudio co-wrote with one of the guys from Frankie Valli's band. When he played it for me, I wanted to throw up. I thought it sounded like "Green-Eyed Lady" by Sugarloaf, kind of a Jersey, Fender Rhodes, greasy, lounge song. (As it turns out, I think the co-writer actually WAS in Sugarloaf and may have even written "Green-Eyed Lady.") They forced me to do it, so I took it apart and tried to rearrange it so it might be palatable. I got Danny Huff and Mike Landau to come in and play some "Honky Tonk Women" style guitars and, at one point, with just guitars and drums, it actually started to kick some butt. Then Bob spent about a week f#%cking it all up with cheesy synths and drained all the rock right back out of it.

"Livin" Without Your Love" was written by Michael Bolton. The demo was an overwrought, piano based ballad with big drums like "All By Myself." I didn't want to record it but, once again, Kalodner made me do it. I decided to try to take it as far away from the original demo as I could. When I got into the studio with Don Gehman, I thought "How would The Who record this song?" We rocked it up with the same musicians who played on "American As Apple Pie." A few years later, I ran into Michael Bolton and he mentioned that he was disappointed that I hadn't done it like "All By Myself." Mission accomplished.

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Thanks for the inside story Eric....I always heard this record as "not Eric Carmen", but a production trainwreck. The 1974 Eric Carmen would have made it so much more emotional...the only this that really saves the record, and is listenable is the tremendous efforts you put in the vocal interps....take a thin voice like mine as an example, and the songs would have been so linear...your vocals make up for the production gaffs...just enough to listen to it once in a while...(and blocking out all the cheesy 80s production)....

I remember when I bought it....I was very disappointed, though I could always imagine what it SHOULD have sounded like...


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The Bolton Tune is a fine ballad, and Eric produced it well. "Come Back To My Love" is passable, though not up to Eric's killer compositions...

The Freakin' Canadians are being too nit-picky again. The Geffen album is another classic Carmen "8 out of 10 keeper tunes" album with some of the production values that were popular in the '80s. Springteen was hot. "IWHFYLips" has Springsteen flavor. Cougar-Mellencamp was hot. "AAApple Pie was recorded in his style.

Just because some of you are stuck in the 70's recording studio in your brains...

OK, I don't care for some of the drums tracks either...

And to keep my Ad-Hoc Band Fan Club Membership out of jeopardy and my Moose-Pelt smuggling business thriving with the right connections...

I shall never listen to the Geffen CD again. crying

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funnee cartmill....its got nothing to do with stuck in the 70s....there have been countless well-produced albums before the 70s and after the 80s...(and even some during the 80s)....

I would rather listen to Eric, solo, on a grand piano...than the production wash from the geffen record...the production steals the soul away from the performer....in my canadian opinion...


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I like the album because Eric's performances are so very fine. I don't care who wrote the songs, I love the way he sang them/arranged them/did whatever he did to them. He put his signature on them and I just love to hear him sing every song on the album.

Maybe he poured all his lifeblood into those performances and tried harder because of all the problems he cited. No matter what he's forced to do, Eric will never put out anything without trying his utmost to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and every time he puts his hand to something, he succeeds.

So, problems (and Eric's kicking and screaming not to want to do some of the songs) notwithstanding, I love to hear him sing every song on this album. Sorry, Eric. Can't help it.

smile --Darlene

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This album is one of my favorites as well.


If you had not fufilled the requests of the above named people what would have been the outcome? No Geffen album at all?


That's a good question. Either way, though, I've always liked the bulk of the Geffen album.

It's funny -- I re-read a review I wrote of the CD for the magazine I was editing back when it was released, and I ignored two of three songs in question (the Gaudio and Bolton tracks). They just didn't connect with me, although almost everything else did.

And upon further review, I still have a fondness for the Geffen record. Eric, you might have felt you had to compromise more than you wanted to, or more than you did in the past, but... a lot of fans (IMHO) might say it was worth a little diplomacy on your part to get the record out. It had been four years since Tonight Your Mine, and for fans to get a new album with those three strong ballads ("I'm Through With Love," "She Remembered," "The Way We Used to Be"), plus "American as Apple Pie" and "I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips," was a good trade-off. The whole "sound" of the record may reflect the production values of the time, but, like Darlene said, a good song is a good song.

PS: I sort of liked "You Too Me All the Way." It hit me as a good nostalgia-blitz song at the time. It also got the media to mention "Go All the Way" in just about every review.

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I may have already mentioned this, but the vocal and piano tracks of "She Remembered", "The Way We Used To Be" and "I'm Through With Love" were my original, one take piano/voice demos. I realized at some point that what Bob Gaudio was getting would never recapture the freshness and intimacy of those three demos, so I fought and fought and eventually I had the studio in Cleveland ship the masters out to L.A.

There were actually TWO versions of "She Remembered."

On the first day of recording, I walked into the studio and Bob said "Eric, how would you feel about trying this tune on the Fender Rhodes electric piano?"

I thought "probably just about the way Clapton would have felt if the producer had asked him how he'd feel about playing "Layla" on a banjo."

I told Bob, I didn't much care for the sound of the Fender Rhodes ( I f#@cking HATE the damn things! ) but, in the interest of being a "good sport" on the first day of recording, I'd give it a try.

I had Joe Vitale on drums and Kenny Passarelli on bass. We ran the song down and did a few takes. It never quite achieved "lift off" for me, at least in part due to the fact that I was playing an instrument best suited to lounges and cruise ships.

Well, to make a long story a little less long, Bob loved the take with the electric piano ( sound familiar?) and from then on he went about having the string charts written for it and overdubs done on it. I basically wanted nothing to do with it and lobbied John Kalodner to let me use my demo.

We eventually agreed to do two versions. When I got my demo from Cleveland, I brought in Jeff Porcaro, who played drums to my piano track (without a click!), and I hired Bob Glaub to play bass.

We completed both versions and Bob mixed "his" version and lobbied Kalodner to have that be "the one."

I told John to find me a good engineer and give me one day in the studio and I'd blow Bob's version out of the water. John hooked me up with this wild German guy named Michael Wagner who recorded lots of heavy metal stuff like Dokken. I drove down to Redondo Beach and met him in the studio, tapes in hand. When I arrived there were a bunch of guys with shaved heads playing some song about matricide at mind numbing volume. I wondered how I was going to mix a song like "She Remembered" with a guy who was recording something that sounded like "The Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson.

Well, as luck would have it, Michael Wagner was brilliant. He totally "got" it, loved the song, knew how to make everything sound lovely, and we mixed the tune in one afternoon.

I walked into Geffen on Monday morning, played it for John, and he said "Maybe we should have let you mix the whole album."

That was it. My take won. Bob wasn't too happy, and we lived to fight another day.

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Eric..thanks ever so much for your "inside look" to the creative/muscle flexing process. I bet Mike Wagner, or any guy for that matter over age 28 can appreciate the subtle nuances to "She Remembered".

I've also been in enough cheesey bars, cruise ship lounges and beachfront hotels to know that a Fender Rhodes for "She Remembered" would be like serving a big mac with a fine red wine. It's just not proper pairing.

Damn that's a wonderful song. Friggin' perfect!


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