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Ranking EC: Your Favorite 15


LC

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1.  Boats Against The Current

2.  My Girl

3.  Sunrise 

4.  Everything - up from #7 

5.  Run Away - up from #8

6.  Foolin Myself - up from #14  

7.  Never Gonna Fall In Love Again - up from #10

8.  Love Is All That Matters - down from #4

9.  No Hard Feelings - down from #5 

10. That's Rock & Roll (live Midnight Special version) - not on original list

10. I'm through with Love - not on my original list

11. She did it - not on original list 

12. I think I found myself - not on original list

13. Inside Story - down from #6

14. Heaven can wait - down from #9

15. Someday

Dropped from top 15: Sleep with me, Hey Deanie, I wanna hear it from your lips 

 

 

 

 

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A fun exercise, no, James? And a reminder that solo Carmen is a quality catalog, if not quite heavy enough in the "quantity" department.   

In looking at your list, I realize I forgot "Foolin' Myself," which was somewhere in my lower Top 15 before I deleted it and forgot to paste it... then forgot about it completely. And I'd like to find a spot for "Heaven Can Wait."

I also like the love you show "Everything"—I think I'm underrating that by doing the honorable mention thing. Same with "Run Away." 

And as we often are, we're in agreement on "I Think I Found Myself" as a Top 15 track. I bet we're alone in ranking it so high... but it's one of those songs that can lift you instantly. 

(PS: I agree with your clunkers, too...)

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Yes sir, this is a fun exercise!....thanks LC for the thread.

RE: All By Myself - I knew the song from the radio prior to me becoming an Eric Carmen freak, and I liked the song, maybe a lot, but never was in love with it, and yes it was overplayed on the radio in Columbus so I was thus overexposed also. But the album version is a very strong song, and deserves all the accolades it gets, I just like at least 15 of Eric Carmen's songs better. Not an insult to ABM, but a strong testimonial to how great is Eric's catalog.

I've always liked "I think I found Myself", but seem to like it even more and more as the years go by. I've mentioned here before that one of my few successes in proselytizing Eric Carmen's music was with my freshman year roommate, who was gungho to get great grades so he could transfer to Army, become an officer and realize his childhood dream  ITIFM became his go to song, his theme song,  his inspiration song...all in one. Pretty cool. PS his nickname became "The Plebe".   : )

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On 9/16/2007 at 12:10 AM, Kirk said:
  • 1- Boats Against The Current
  • 2- Love Is All That Matters
  • 3- She Remembered
  • 4- I'm Through With Love
  • 5- All For Love
  • 6- Sleep With Me
  • 7- American As Apple Pie
  • 8- Foolin' Myself
  • 9- The Way We Used To Be
  • 10- Desperate Fools
  • 11- Make Me Lose Control
  • 12- My Girl
  • 13- Hey Deanie
  • 14- I Was Born To Love You
  • 15- Everything

This was my 15 fifteen years ago. Here we go again:

1- Boats Against The Current

2-Never Gonna Fall In Love Again (didn't make my list before because of overexposure, but it's one of Eric's perfect songs.)

3- The Way We Used To Be

4 - Desperate Fools

5- I'm Through With Love

6- Love Is All That Matters

7- All For Love

8- Sleep With Me

9- Make Me Lose Control

10- My Girl

11- Foolin' Myself

12- American As Apple Pie

13- Everything

14- Someone That You Loved Before

15- Inside Story

Some of the picks on my earlier list have suffered in the rankings from over playing. Still great songs though. She Remembered, Hey Deanie, I Was Born To Love You.

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14 minutes ago, James said:

I've always liked "I think I found Myself", but seem to like it even more and more as the years go by. I've mentioned here before that one of my few successes in proselytizing Eric Carmen's music was with my freshman year roommate, who was gungho to get great grades so he could transfer to Army, become an officer and realize his childhood dream  ITIFM became his go to song, his theme song his inspiration song...all in one. Pretty cool. PS his nickname became "The Plebe".   : )

I do remember that anecdote about your roommate in college. “Found Myself” is such a great composition, one that seeps into your consciousness and—if you’re lucky—stays there. Yet it hardly ever gets a mention anywhere…. 

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Thanks for bumping this LC! I never got to do this so here's my 15:

  1. She Did It (after the melancholy of All By Myself and NGFILA, this was a ray of sunshine; masterful vocals by Eric)
  2. Boats Against the Current (probably the better song compared to She Did It, but also a more situational listen)
  3. I'm Through With Love (spine-tingling for a one-take demo piano/vocal)
  4. Make Me Lose Control (solid follow-up to Hungry Eyes, and the better song imo)
  5. Never Gonna Fall in Love Again (my favorite from the S/T 1975 album)
  6. It Hurts Too Much (this should've been a smash, deserved far more promotion from Arista)
  7. My Girl (excellent Brian Wilson inspired masterpiece with clever chord changes throughout)
  8. Love is All That Matters (absolutely lovely melody)
  9. Haven't We Come A Long Way (I think even Eric considered this "lightweight," but it works for me)
  10. All By Myself (this probably deserves to be higher, but it's been oversaturated)
  11. Foolin' Myself (my favorite ballad from the TYM album)
  12. Change of Heart (not everyone's favorite, but I see how it hit top 20, plus the bridge is killer)
  13. The Way We Used to Be (up there with Though With Love from the 1985 album)
  14. Great Expectations (underrated gem from the 1975 album, love the Tin Pan Alley slant)
  15. Someday (doesn't really fit thematically on Change of Heart, but it's a killer B-side)
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Love your list Kyle. I also dig "Haven't we come.." and "Great Expectations" a bunch. And if I made my list today "Change of Heart" would be on it. Agree with those 2 great ballads from EC 1984 also, I chose just one cuz to me they're very similar but probably should've listed both. 

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Great job, Kyle. After seeing yours and James' preferences, I have list remorse. How long before I revise my own?

You cited "Haven't We Come a Long Way," and you and James cited "Foolin' Myself," and both merit a spot on my own list. And.. I have a soft spot for "Great Expectations." I don't know how many times I've quoted the line, "Sometimes you get hula hoop, sometimes you get an Edsel."

On the other hand, there's "Change of Heart." I used to love it—I'm old enough to remember it being on the radio as a Top 40 hit!! And I do think there's a good song in there somewhere (I remember Eric on a TV commercial saying the melody is a waltz). But... it leaves me cold by now; maybe it's the production and atmosphere. I dunno. We like what we like, and none of us are wrong.. 🙂

More lists! 

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I don't know if you've heard this piano demo or not LC, but this may help you get an idea for the waltz feel that Eric initially had in mind for "Change of Heart." I do admit the production on the album version is perhaps less timeless than it could have been, so I could see getting left cold by it. But c'mon, that bridge! 😄

 

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Re: Change of Heart demo

Classic Eric Carmen vocals. And as usual his demos are as good or better than the actual release. And he proves his own theory on what makes a great song... One Voice + one instrument... If you still think it's great without adding anything else then it's a great song he says.

As far as a waltz, you've got to get the old 1-2-3 going in your head and it has a totally different feel in 3/4 time. Thanks for posting Kyle!

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1. Nowhere to Hide
2. No Hard Feelings
3. Hey Deanie (closest thing there is to a song with my name in it, but the verse lyrics are ace as well)
4. My Girl
5. Last Night
6. Love is All That Matters
7. Sunrise
8. Run Away
9. She Did It ('cause I recently learned there's a precedent for the Beach Boys' "ah-ummm-bop-did-it," in Frankie Ford's "Roberta," aka Huey P. Smith's "Loberta"...blew my mind...the Real Kids' version I was familiar with lacks that detail)
10. It Hurts Too Much
11. Someday
12. Take It Or Leave It
13. Tonight You're Mine (yep, I'm a sucker for that line)
14. Heaven Can Wait (I don't normally go for the cliche-ridden lerve ballads but his delivery is transcendent on this one)
15. You Took Me All the Way (so freakin' cheesy but so dang irresistible...reluctant self-referential rip-offing at its finest)

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RCT — great list and entertaining comments. I like that you showed some love to "Take It or Leave It" and "You Took Me All the Way" — "reluctant self-referential rip-offing at its finest," indeed!

I find these lists so interesting. So, too, does Eric. There's an old thread where we were ranking songs and he came on and shed light on them with a few comments... I'll bump that one because you may not have seen it.

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Kyle, thank you! Somewhere in the outer reaches of my memory bank lies that "Change" demo you linked above. I think Bernie had it here one Christmas morning many moons ago, but I never got a copy of it... and never dug in to find it at YouTube. But that's it! I think that's the thing I heard so long ago that made me sour a little bit on the (over)produced version released as a single. I knew there was an arresting song in there somewhere. 

And Rhonda, your response is spot-on.... But educate me a little: Are we hearing a waltz? I'm not trained in the semantics and technicalities of music—I just know what moves me.

Speaking of which... I do like this early vocal more than the polished and slicker one one the record. That part that gets into "what loooove... caaaaaan.... do" hasn't worn well for me. (In defense of that version... it really did pretty well on the charts—I believe Top 20. That's Matthew's beat, so we'll let him dig in on that. 🙂)

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LC......To be classified as a waltz, a song has to be written in 1 2 3 time. (3/4  time signature )So in your head or outloud you're Counting:

1-2-3, 1-2-3... it's actually like a swaying motion if you get the feel of it when you are dancing to a Waltz. 

Rock pop songs are typically performed in 1-2-3-4 time (4/4 time signature) which is what this song is of course.

Here's a very short video and a very good explanation

youtu.be/3aIm3q5oIjg

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Nice list RCT! Looking at yours makes me wish I had squeezed a few more from Eric's debut album onto mine; he really came out swinging for the fences on that first record.

As for the waltz feel on "Change of Heart," Rhonda hit the nail on the head. Technically, that piano demo isn't a waltz since it is played in 4/4, however the way Eric emphasizes certain beats ingratiates a little bit of that feel.

The easiest way I can explain what he's doing in the demo is to count each pulse on the piano. He is playing in 4/4, which is standard pop, but he's playing eighth notes, so each measure gets eight hits (from one to eight). You'll notice that he emphasizes the downbeat (or one) as we would expect. But whereas the typical pop song would probably place emphasis on the 5 as that would also be a "downbeat," Eric instead emphasizes a eighth note early on 4. This gives the song more of a driving feel, as well as a bit of a waltz type sway.

Hopefully that made sense haha. I've had musical training for most of my life so I take some of these concepts for granted.

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Rhonda, thank you—I can tell you're good at what you do! And that vid offers some clarity, too. Love it! 

And Kyle, thank you for your addendum—yes, it makes sends, and adds even more clarity.

I love having musically trained experts here to offer insights that enhance music appreciation, EC and otherwise. 

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Rhonda & Kyle, thanks for explaining the waltzy aspect of the eighth notes. My music theory knowledge is moderate, but I was perplexed at why folks were describing this as waltz-like when it seemed like a clear 4/4 time to me.

Re: "I Think I Found Myself"...it's lovely and meaningful for me as well, probably would be a hypothetical #16, but it's marred by the chorus backing vocals. Not sure how to explain it. Too slick? Too '70s AM radio? I dunno.

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