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Is the industry open to a new CD?


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Did "Winter Dreams/I.W.B.T.L.Y" sell well enough here in the U.S. and overseas to make Pyramid Records or other labels welcome a new CD?

Would they market this type of music even if Eric did not want to do a full tour to support it? Are we getting our hopes up? Eric needs support from a label to motivate him to put it all together. Outside this website, he's lucky to get mentioned on a VH1 "Where Are They Now" segment. The Bee Gees got alot of press and appearances earlier this year when they released a new comeback CD. Just one problem: The songs were their weakest in 30 years. Doh! Realistically, what is the climate out there for a comeback with our forgotten musical genius?

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Tony I didn't think the Bee Gees cd was that weak. In any case, the Bee Gees can basically call their own shots because they've had the career to back it up, and are still well-respected in the business. In Eric's case, sad to say, most people do not know who he is. In a business as fickle as the music business where there's an ever-changing look to the Pop charts, long periods of inactivity are a kiss of death. I think Eric's best bet for releasing new music is via this website. I know of a lot of other well-known performers who have gone the same route, in fact there's talk that if / when the Eagles release their new cd next year, it will be via the internet.

Marvin

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I don't guess not being "out there" for a long time is very good for one's performing career, but

look at Glen Campbell--he was gone for TEN YEARS

and one song--Rhinestone Cowboy put him on top and

suddenly the song was all over the place and Glen

Campbell was more amazed than anyone else as he was "ridin' the wave" again...

It's not impossible to become a household word overnight--we know The Raspberries did it. And they did. Back then EVERYONE knew GATW. I think

the whole thing was how they were handled, literally. Record companies don't care about anything but what they THINK will make them $$$$.

They don't even know that they don't KNOW what will make $$$$. Some of them have laid pretty big

eggs.

I think Eric needs the right song and then the old "I'm gonna do it no matter what" drive that

made it happen in the beginning. The problem is

that after several disappointments that drive is

really easy to lose. My husband had all the confidence in the world until he was laid off from

his job and was actually told in interviews he was

"at the age that we're giving people retirement packages..." He would make it through 2000 applicants and be one of the last two, and they would reject him in favor of the 30 year old when

he was 48.

He just lost all confidence and never got it back.

He took care of my aging mother while I worked. He

cooks and takes care of the house for me.

I've tried every way to rebuild his confidence but it's a very difficult thing for him, because his whole identity was in his job.

Unfortuneately, confidence is all in your head.

Eric has enough experience with having an "I'm the greatest/in your face" attitude (and he should

have one because he's every bit as talented and

energetic as he was, but he has more experience,

which is the most important thing.) However, the

bad taste the music business has given a lot of us is bad experience that's too easy to fixate on.

But when you think about the absolute no-talent

garbage acts out there making mega bucks, it should really make him want to go out there and

just keep driving ahead till he finally gets the

recognition he deserves. I wish he would get a

really high-powered pushy manager, because he probably is too trusting that friends and people

he cares about will do the best for him. Sadly,

they usually don't. It's often the guy you hate

(because he has such an attitude) or the doctor

with no bedside manner, who's the best, because

he's obnoxious because he knows he's good.

I hope Eric just gets out there and does something. He doesn't need a label, or backing.

He has the talent. He just needs to go out there

and take the risk. If it doesn't work, keep doing

it until his genius is recognized. I just couldn't advance in my symphony orchestra because

65 year old people who played in it since they were 17 took the top spots, so I started playing

chamber music with members of the orchestra (and

practicing 7 hours a night!) and suddenly people

started noticing "You're a fantastic violinist!"

It took a long time, but I've started to move up

in several orchestras, and I was trying for just

one. If I kept thinking "I don't have the time to

practice (sometimes it was till 4 AM) or "This won't work," it wouldn't have happened. I just went ahead whether it was going to work or not.

And it yielded far better results than I dreamed.

I can't even do all the jobs I'm offered. I have

all kinds of conductors offering me permanent positions in orchestras.

"If you're cream (like Eric is), you will rise to the top. I truly believe that genius talent will ALWAYS get noticed, but you have to put it out there and be willing to pay the price/put in the time. If you really love

something, you shouldn't stop until everyone knows how good you are..." --Darlene

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Whew girl! You said a lot of good stuff there. Some football teams could use you at halftime when they have had a bad 1st half. But they might be late out of the locker room for the 3rd quarter. I think E.C.'s reasons for lack of production in the last 18 years is mainly 2 things: He's lost some of that hit songwriting confidence combined with the frustration with America's changing musical tastes. We are all waiting for this Rap/Hip-Hop phase to pass. But there is no end in sight. Eric just don't do that funky thang. Know what I'm sayin' motherf-----?...

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It just isn't about talent. The record industry likes acts that are easy to market. Young, perky, good looking performers with moves. Some talent required. Because of MTV and VH1 and so forth, it's gotten a lot worse then in the Raspberries days, and it was bad enough then. So at this point it would involve a bunch of luck to go along with all that talent for Eric to find his way back to the charts. It happened once when he made it with Hungry Eyes. He was a hit again. He could have stuck around for awhile on the charts after that if things had gone ok. Hopefully he will still try to make his mark with the adult contemporary audience. If he gets lucky enough for something to hit and then roll over to the mainstream charts with something, it could jumpstart his career again. The odds on that? Maybe 500-1. Adult Contemporary; I'd say 20-1. As a big fan, I sure hope he keeps trying. Or at the very least, go the route of releasing material over the internet for the fans that will still buy. We are starving for new stuff. Just read those MP3 posts.

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Marvin and Craig are right.

Erics best chance at charting again will be the adult contemporary charts.

All you have to do is look at a current "Billboard", check out the "A slot", and you soon realize that Eric has never and could never write anything remotely like those songs.

He would almost have a better chance if he were a country "crossover".

However, i think the biggest factor in Eric not releasing more material is the fact that he has children now..and rightfully has chosen to dedicate his time there.

It reminds me of John Lennons "househusband time period".(which he ended with the release of Double Fantasy).

That is why for the past three years i have been suggesting the "internet" route.

This would bypass all of the corporate record label nonsense and just gets the music into the hands of the people who desrve to hear it the most..........US! TONY PUT YOUR CLOTHES BACK ON!

We could release it on BernieClause records!

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I think there is something in what Darlene said about Managers--down here in God's country we never heard one song on the radio of the Geffen album. I found out about Change of Heart when I heard She Did It in a Disco. AN IWBTLY never got any of that Valentines day promo stuff we thought was coming. Anything can sell some--if you use the media correctly. Eric could have sold just as many Albums with an Infomercial. The word has to get out, and someone has to push the material. It doesn't matter what catergory it falls under.

JIM

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A lot of great stuff here.

Everybody knows there stuff.

Like Craig mentioned about "Hungry Eyes". "Hungry Eyes" came from a great movie (Dirty Dancing) and led EC to tour with the music from "Dirty Dancing". EC became a household name again. If EC could get another song into a new movie that might help bring his name to the younger crowd.

Darlene mentioned Vanna on QVC, I've seen a composer named "Giovanni" sell CD's on QVC. He sells thousands of CD's in the hour and a half he's on the show. What about EC on QVC?

I also think that show on AMC "By Request" would be excellent for EC. Can you imagine "Eric Carmen, Live By Request". Two hours of letting people e-mail, fax or phone call in to request a song by EC. Brings tears to my eyes thinkin' about it. Plus, seems everyone who comes on that show released a new live CD and DVD. I think this would help EC become a household name again for my era and hopefully for this era.

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The bottom line is that kids today don't care for his music. They like rap, hip hop, and some country (Twain ,Dixie Chicks etc..) It's unfortunate, but true. Eric will probably never be in the Top 40 again , as we know it. He doesn;'t tour because of the same reason. We'd all love to see him, but he'd be lucky to draw 1,000 fans in most cities.

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For the most part, it would be tough to get Eric's music on the charts now. There are always a few songs on the chart, however that don't fit the norm. And we all that what is popular in music can change overnight. By this time next year, the fad might be 70's sounding pop. One never knows. As far as Eric's fan base, you are probably right about that. Presently he would only draw in the neighborhood of 1000 fans per city. But whats wrong with that? There are plenty of venues that seat 800 - 1000 people that would be perfect for Eric. The Guess Who has had two very succesful years of touring the U.S. playing to those very same size crowds. The Guess Who had 6 top twenty hits in this country. Eric has had 5, and 3 more if you count the Raspberries. So I really think that he could pull it off, especially if he was teamed up with another popular act.

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Craig,

Speaking of the Guess Who,I always thought that Eric touring solo with Burton Cummings would be a good pair. Burton did this solo with just his piano and told stories about the songs between the songs. Cool to see Burton then Eric, then a few together. Kind of ala Billy and Elton unplugged. Burton played on Marathon Man and Hey Deanie tracks so why not? Solo without bands and roadies to pay they could play clubs, play any song they want, complete control, etc. Then do what Burton did, cut a live album out of it.

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Seattle Steve,

Great idea! I think Eric and Burton Cummings would attract plenty of fans. DelGrosso Amusement Park in Tipton, Pa (near Altoona) has a free summer oldies concert series every summer ñ it's outside and fans bring lawn chairs ñ friendly and informal. Come on, Eric, get down and get with it!

Steveh spin

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Marvin, I was not able to make the show in Seattle but I heard they really had a good, tight set.

And, as I found out recently, neither the Guess Who nor Chicago nor the Moody Blues made the ballot again for the Rock and Roll hall of fame.

Needless to say, a lot of unhappy fans once again, who had been pleading their case for the past few years. Hopefully, we will at least get one of them in for 2004.

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But, before I was sidetracked from the original topic...yes, that thing about marketing by the labels (not to mention the radio stations) is definitely a problem.

Eric is neither country nor rap, nor is he a "boy star". The problem is, the way radio programmers are going, they blatently assume that all the people over 30 listen to are oldies. Which is not true in all cases.

In the old days, all one company was allowed to own was one AM, one Fm and one TV station, in a major market. Since deregulation, a small amount of companies own most of the stations in the U.S. So, you have, in some cities, one company owning all three of the "classic rock" stations in that particular city, for example.

What has happened, instead of nurturing competition, deregulation is making the radio industry more of a monopoly. hence the narrow play lists. Plus a general lack of creativity, when it comes to programming. 6 to 10 am used to be the most creative time with DJS with unique personalities. But now you have a lot more syndicated programs. For example, Howard Stern is everywhere now.

Radio stations are not developing their own local talent. But with people like Capital Cities, Clear Channel and handful of others running most of the stations, the corporate climate is not allowing too much slack for creativity. And making some real dumb decisions, too. KYCY in San Francisco used to have a consistent fan following with its "Young Country" format. Recently, they went to this thing called the "Wave"--a nondescipt mix of pop and r&B.

Had they gone, for example, all-reggae, then I could have understood. But offering something that other stations have to offer, and not doing it better, just doesn't make any sense. Likewise, S.F. also had a successful Top 40 station called Z-95.7. They had a good mix of pop, r&b, country, and rap. So you could hear a good variety of TLC, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Blink 182 and Aerosmith -- all on the same station.

A legitimate Top 40 has something that had been missing in San Francisco, for quite a while, whereas all other major markets at least had one. Yes, with Z95.7 gone, you do have hit radio stations...but strictly alternative or strictly R&B. Good variety hit radio is goine in San Francisco.

And what took its place? A classic rock station. Something that SF needs like a hole in the head as there are at least four others! So you have one of the largest major markets WITHOUT a Top 40 or Country Station. Sad.

With the co-dependency between radio and the labels, you can't blame it just on the labels. The corporate climate of radio is just as much fault as the labels, if not, more so.

Interestingly enough, just saw an interview of Tom Petty...he was really blasting the corporate entities of the music industry, for things such as this.

I am not much of a Tom Petty fan, musically. But this article illustrated how much empathy he has for the listening public, and how he feels(like I do)that the industry -- labels, promoters and radio -- have got way out of hand and out of touch with the listening public...

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I think some of you may be underestimating Eric's value on the current market. I see someone like Diane Warren making zillions of dollars writing songs for groups that range from the Backstreet Boys to Aerosmith and Eric could easily do the same, as a writer and/or performer.

I mentioned before that I have several daughters and their musical tastes are all over the board! My 14 year old just loves Eric Carmen, but interestingly, she seems to only enjoy his rockers, not the ballads! One of her favorite songs is "It Hurts Too Much". Everytime I play it, she always comes flying into the roon to shout out the chorus part, much to my own happiness!. I bought her her own copy of the greatest hits cd and she plays it constantly, but aside from that song, she mainly blasts "That's Rock and Roll", "Hey Deanie", "Make Me Lose Control" and "No Hard Feelings". I rarely hear the ballads coming out of her room, yet most of those are my faves (I'm 43), proving he can have the best of both worlds! I just bought her her own copy of Side Three and I hear "Tonight" and "Ecstacy" blaring away upstairs, just this evening!

Some of these songs just need to be heard by the younger audience. Look at what "#1's" did for bringing back the Beatles to a new generation! My ten year old always plays that CD. She just went with me to see Paul in Chicago the other night and she loved it!

An afterthought: I would love to see Eric and Burton Cummings get together. When I was a kid, my first concert was the Raspberries and my second and third were seeing The Guess Who. How cool would it be to see them do "Marathon Man" together live?

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Randy and Marvin, I agree with Blackhawkpat. If you guys don't think the kids of today would like Eric/Raspberries music, read Kapurasama's post. He's 16! Not all kids are out there listening to rap, hip hop and a myriad of junk. The really intelligent, perceptive, talented ones are listening to good stuff, and they would love Eric's music also. They've just never heard it.

And I really hate to hear that Eric is "Adult Contemporary." I think of "Adult Contemporary" as -- Frank Sinatra, (when he was old), and (here it comes): Barry Manilow. I keep thinking of "Adult Contemporary" music as that which little old ladies sit around in the nursing home and listen to. I love Frank's music (and like some of Barry's) and they can be classified as "Adult Contemporary" without hurting their images because they were already a household-word name.

Eric's music has universal appeal -- it can't be chained to any specific age group. Again, Kapurasama and Blackhawkpat's daughter love some of his music. Other kids would love it too, if they heard it. I still say that if he puts the right song(s) out there (all he needs is one to skyrocket) and it gets properly PROMOTED (by him, not necessarily a label) and gets airplay -- voila!

I think he could really put his finger on the pulse of this entire country (any age group) and write about the tenor of emotions (not about the DAY 9/11) in this country right now, where people fear for the wellbeing of their children in the future, and wonder if there will be any safe future here. He could express something musically, as only Eric can, and strike a deep chord in every American. That would put him on the map. He has always been able to fully express feelings that connect humans universally, and I think EVERYONE would identify with what he has to write as a father. --Darlene

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I believe that it was Eric himself who mentioned in one of his "Ask Eric" columns that he fell into the AC category. I guess he figures that his audience has aged with him, and therefore they are probably also in this "adult" category. Unfortunately not all of us want to be pigeonholed and squeezed into this tight, neat corner. Truth be told, the only stations that would play Eric's music today are the AC stations. A Top 40 station might play something that had a commercial sound to it, - i.e. nothing on "Winter Dreams" even comes close to this, and there's no way a 'rock' station would touch any of his stuff even if he released something that might come close to their playlists. Aerosmith can get away with their schmaltzy Diane Warren ballads because they are still regarded as 'cool.'

Marvin

p.s. Re the Guess Who, it has been a bone of contention for many Canadians why this band is not in the R&RHOF. I know that there are only so many that can be elected each year, but when you look at the list of some who are in there...

Marvin

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Marvin, Interesting that you brought up Aerosmith. Steven Tyler is another musician with loads of talent and the absolute drive to take his group to the top. He has a vision and has had his share of problems and disappointments along the way, but he kept pouring it on no matter what happened, and he's still here to prove it.

He didn't have as many unfair things happen to him that Eric did. He's very much a family man, but he's basically married to his music. I believe you can have it all if you just keep putting stuff out there and never stop no matter what. It will take a lot more time than if you are out there touring, but keep writing and singing and something great will eventually happen. Besides, if you're as committed to music as Tyler and Eric are, WHAT ELSE IS THERE? What in the world else would you do? I can't imagine myself doing anything else (except my teaching job) than playing music. --Darlene

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