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Eric's Devil and the Deep Blue Ambivalence?


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I think Eric Carmen pretty well stated his opinion of the song on page 364 of Bernie Hogya and Ken Sharp's "Marathon Man" book, where Eric says the recording didn't sound "sincere enough" and:

"...I was afraid it sounded like saccharine melodramatic nonsense. Had I not done 'All By Myself' I would have been less afraid to do it. But it was so much in that same mood that I was a little scared that it wasn't coming off right. I was afraid that it was a bit of a disaster and that people would laugh."

Though I know some people love the song, I agree with Eric's comments on this. I first heard two demos of this back in 1993 and my sentiment is the same as Eric's on this song.

I think the song would put Eric back in an "image prison" again as "a singer of melodramatic ballads," an unfair image Eric has worked very hard to get away from over the years.

For some reason, the song just doesn't seem as from the heart, to me, as "Foolin' Myself" or "Boats Against The Current," both of which I love.

If a song doesn't ring true to me, or doesn't sound "sincere" as Eric puts it, I tend to not like it. For instance, when Eric sings "If You Change Your Mind" or "Let's Pretend" or "All By Myself" or "Desperate Fools," I *believe* him all the way through the songs, but "Devil" doesn't hit me that way for some reason.

Just my opinion, and I mean no disrespect to those who like "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea."

Don :)

who wishes Eric would release the fantastic "Cindy In The Wind" --- now there's a cool tune I bet Tony and I can agree on

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Since Dean Pitchford wrote most of the lyrics, maybe Eric has a problem with a few lines. But I'm telling you, there is top quality words and music there. I've never heard a bad Carmen/Pitchford collaboration. The words are not like "ABM" because the guy is in a current emotional relationship, not all by himself brooding about the past.

Is Eric still worried about "Image" at this point in his life?

How about the image of a "hit" songwriter spanning 35 years instead of 16. (1972-88)

Put it out, let the people decide...

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I have sailed the seven seas...And searched the skies above...And finally found "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea"...The song is first rate...The song is a hit...Either for Eric Carmen or for someone else savvy enough to know a hit when they hear one..."I'm cold and i'm hot...I'm trapped and i'm caught...Between and the devil and the deep blue sea"...Great chorus...Musically and lyrically...I've never mind-melded with Eric...So all i can do is speculate that maybe he felt he was trodding where Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler and been before with their song "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea"...That song is a classic...It's true...But Eric Carmen's "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea" plays like a classic too...One that has waited to long to be heard...I've got a deadly instinct for what is hit material...And my instinct tells me this is gold.

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Tony - First, your package arrived (Thanks!!!). Finally, I got to hear "Devil".....and, after having heard it just once, I so far tend to agree with Eric's "Marathon Man" comments and those of Don above. (NOTE: Regarding Don's comment about the sincerity of Eric's delivery - I assume this wasn't intended to be anything but a demo vocal?)

One question, though - when was the demo done? If Eric wrote/recorded it shortly after "ABM", I agree with his point about possibly being pigeonholed, had he released this ballad. If, on the other hand, it was in, let's say, the early 90's......At that point, I think Eric may have been better known for "Hungry Eyes" & "Make Me Lose Control" than ABM to the casual fan.

(BTW, I do like "Cindy In The Wind" better.....)

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Dan, It's a simple little number that Eric wrote in the late 60's. But it is so catchy and has great harmonies in the strong chorus. It needs a title change. (What, does Cindy have a gastric problem?)

Eric wrote it as an ode to "Walk Away Renee", But I think it has enough differences to stand on it's own, and could easily be recorded as a country-pop flavored hit.

And John, I pretty sure "Devil..." was penned in the 80's around the Geffen album time frame, when Carmen/Pitchford were in a higher gear.

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Put "Devil" in a contemporary instrumental setting with Eric singing it, and you have a hit, in my opinion.

I would like to think he's not commenting on it because a) he doesn't have the time to comment on everything (too busy writing! ;) ) or because he's already doing something with it and we'll find out when it comes out.

Ahhh, if only...

:) --Darlene

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Somehow, someway, "Cindy In The Wind" has found it's way to me...All I can say is...Once upon a time Billy Joel did an album of songs that harkened back to earlier sounds...One that did quite well as I recall "An Innocent Man" was a great album...And from what i'm hearing...Eric Carmen seems to have a wealth of such material stored away in his semi-secret trunk..."Cindy In The Wind" could be the cornerstone of Eric Carmen's collection of songs that take the theme of yesterday's songs...And bring the sounds of an earlier era to life for older fans...As well as for new fans who weren't even born when Eric Carmen recorded his most recent top 10 hit...As i'm writing this comment...I'm listening to "Cindy In The Wind" for the 10th time...And i'm smiling...I think there's a 56 year old singer-songwriter who would like to climb the charts one more time with original material...If he needs an angle to make this happen...Well maybe this is it...I'm not sitting here blinded by stars in my eyes...I'm sitting here amazed at the hooks and harmonies that I am hearing...I didn't have to listen more than one time to tell...But now i'm playing "Cindy In The Wind" for the 11th time...If this is a demo...I can only imagine what this song could be if fully realized...'Cause it's good enough for me to hear the potential in it's present form...This song is for real!

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"Cindy", to me, sounds like a great lost Left Banke song (...and, per Eric in "MM", it was his take on "Walk Away Renee")- I can hear it with Steve Martin singing lead and the LB's high harmonies now....and it could have easily fit on their first album.

After hearing "Devil" 4-5 more times, yes, it could be a hit with contemporary backing.....but, then again, I'm never quite sure as to what constitutes a "hit" nowadays.....to me, I'm still using a 60's/70's reference whenever I think "Damn - that could be hit!" Sadly, a great melody, and catchy/hooky tune nowadays, coupled with an excellent performance, usually means nothing......

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Different Steve Martin, but what the Hell.......

P.S. In what had to have been the most bizarre double-billing in history, I saw a very young Steve Martin (comic, NOT Left Banke singer) open at the Cellar Door in Wash, DC, around 1970-71, for Muddy Waters (!?!). The Washington Post panned his performance, mentioning only his balloon animals. Frankly, based solely on that show, I was shocked that he ever made it at all. (Although he did get much, much better live...)

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To be a hit a song has to "get to" a lot of people. IMHO "Devil" has universal appeal.

With apologies to Eric, I've never seen it as "overly dramatic" at all. I see it as a simply stated (although its gorgeous music and lyrics are not simple at all), plaintive expression of the kind of quiet desperation many people have felt. If *that* doesn't grab people, NOTHING will.

:) --Darlene

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I think Eric has enough various potential hits for a succesful comeback.

With:

Never Say Die, Cindy In The Wind (catchy pop tunes),

The High Cost of Loving (country),

DATDBS, After You, Surely I Do, Wild Wild Heart (masterpieces ballads),

I don't think releasing DATDBS , if along with one of the mentioned uptempos, would "put him back in an "image prison" again as "a singer of melodramatic ballads"".

I'd be glad he has the opportunity of releasing another album with these songs. Maybe it will not work but it will be great if he could try.

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