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Desperate Fools


elle4ec

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You're right, dan.

I specifically remember Clive calling me into his office one day to listen to two versions of "Tryin' To Get The Feeling Back."

The first one was by the writer, David Pomerantz, who was signed to Arista and had just finished a beautiful solo album. I thought his version was lovely and understated, with a vocal not unlike Paul Simon or Gerry Beckley might have done.

The second was Barry Manilow's version, still a good song, but it beat you to death with a club. Too much reverb on the snare drum, a huge choir, no subtlety at all. Pure schmaltz.

After he finished playing them, back to back, Clive asked me which one I thought was better. I told him I liked David's version and he jumped up and cried "NO, NO NO! YOU'RE WRONG!"

Subtle was not in Clive's rule book.

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hollies65 said:

While I don't have a dog in this fight....Wait a minute! Of course I do...I side with Marvin and his rights under the first amendment!

Hey! Read my post again: I said I respect Marv's right to his opinion on WD, Boats, and EC/Raspberries preferences (I just read a post about the latter; I don't know how easily I could stumble upon it again). I was just saying, essentially, if you've been reading this web site for any number of years, you'd know that Marv has established his constructive criticisms of Eric's catalog multiple times.

Anyway, H65, this isn't a fight, so you don't need a dog. It's nothing more than an observation that I've read those opinions time and again. Not a big deal.

This is a great thread, considering all the commentary Eric has given us on the making of Boats. Where else can you get that kind of detail?

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MJ said:

I still want to know how the album isn't going to melt on the island....and if Gilligan or the Skipper will be pedaling to run the phonograph in the first place!!!! Tell me that Larry!

I'd say the Professor would have found a way to preserve vinyl on the ol' island. As for powering the record player... the pedaling would have been a nice training regimen for the Skipper, but I'm afraid he would have delegated to his little buddy.

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Eric Carmen said:

I specifically remember Clive calling me into his office one day to listen to two versions of "Tryin' To Get The Feeling Back."

The first one was by the writer, David Pomerantz, who was signed to Arista and had just finished a beautiful solo album. I thought his version was lovely and understated, with a vocal not unlike Paul Simon or Gerry Beckley might have done.

The second was Barry Manilow's version, still a good song, but it beat you to death with a club. Too much reverb on the snare drum, a huge choir, no subtlety at all. Pure schmaltz.

After he finished playing them, back to back, Clive asked me which one I thought was better. I told him I like David's version and he jumped up and cried "NO, NO NO! YOU'RE WRONG!"

Subtle was not in Clive's rule book.

Now there's a name I didn't know: David Pomeranz. Believe it or not, somebody posted his version of "Tryin' to Get the Feeling" at Youtube:

Quite a different reading. Sure sounds different without the melodrama!

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LC said:

Hey! Read my post again: I said I respect Marv's right to his opinion on WD, Boats, and EC/Raspberries preferences (I just read a post about the latter; I don't know how easily I could stumble upon it again). I was just saying, essentially, if you've been reading this web site for any number of years, you'd know that Marv has established his constructive criticisms of Eric's catalog multiple times.

Anyway, H65, this isn't a fight, so you don't need a dog. It's nothing more than an observation that I've read those opinions time and again. Not a big deal.

This is a great thread, considering all the commentary Eric has given us on the making of Boats. Where else can you get that kind of detail?

Yes Larry and I've read your observations about "Boats" time and again. So I'll ask again, "why is it ok for you and not for me?"

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Barbara LV said:

Of course Clive Davis was trying to get Eric to "be" like Barry. Clyde had his own formula for "star-making" and he really didn't know how to achieve great results outside the "formula."

Barry Manilow tells the same story of Clive as Eric... Barry wanted to perfom his own material, and Clive said, if you want to be a star, do it my way. I really think Barry's anger at Clive was at the heart of him being a schmuck (not nice coming from the lips of a Jewish mother) throughout the 70s. But Clive was a "father figure" to him, and he listened to him... reluctantly.

Barry would go out on tour and beat up everyone from his crew to his audiences. It took a lifetime for him to be comfortable with his fame... and individuate from Clive.

...and yet Barry is still with Clive.

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It has indeed been a tremendous thread... and there's still a last thing I'll ask about the Boats period, based on this:

Eric Carmen said:

I got up off the couch in my room at the Sunset Marquis (where I'd been staying for SIX MONTHS) and walked to the refrigerator. I'd make a smoked turkey sandwich, open a can of black olives and a bottle of Martinelli's sparkling apple juice., have an ice cream sunday for dessert and go back to bed on the couch. When I woke up, I'd do the same thing over again.

When Boats was finally completed, pressed, and in the pipeline, and you went into that "decompress" mode you describe above, were you feeling mostly relief, or exhaustion, or triumph, or frustration, or maybe all of the above? And at the end, finally, were you happy, deep inside, with the final result, or was it a mixture of satisfaction and maybe some misgivings and regret?

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...and yet Barry is still with Clive."

........and Elton stayed with Gus.

I left Arista records, after the complete lack of promotion of the "Tonight You're Mine" album, in disgust. Seven years later, through a weird combination of events, I ended up back on the label for the release of "Make Me Lose Control", which, subsequently, became a huge hit.

It was Grammy time, and, because I had just had TWO big hits in a row, I was invited back to Clive's ultra-exclusive pre-Grammy party. This was in the days when he actually would host the shindig in his own New York apartment.

Barry had also left the label for a time, because he wanted to do a jazz album, as I recall, and Clive wouldn't let him do it. It was a "labor of love" for Barry. Something he had wanted to do for a long time, but Clive wanted no part of it. Barry recorded the album on his own, and then somehow or other, he too ended up back on Arista.

When he saw me at the party, he came up to me and whispered quietly in my ear "Who'da thunk it?!" :lol:

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Eric Carmen said:

I left Arista records, after the complete lack of promotion of the "Tonight You're Mine" album, in disgust. ...

One of the mysteries of life. THE album (in my opinion) that should have won you the 'rock' audience, with "It Hurts Too Much" hitting the top. Even our local FM station CHOM-FM in Mtl loved the album. They featured it on their "Best New Releases Of the Week" show, and put "You Need Some Loving" in regular rotation

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You know....I LOVED "Boats" when it was released when I was 16 and I remember trying to get everyone I knew in Brooklyn to listen to the album without mentioning who the artist happened to be (although even Helen Keller could "hear" who it was singing).

That album is one of a very small handful that speaks to every emotion I've had since maturing into manhood. The heck with my yapping about it...I'm going to play it now!

Thanks ec for the incredible insight/sidebar to the recording process, image manufacturing and your steadfast integrity throughout it all!

John

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Eric Carmen said:

Often, there are unseen forces at play, that determine the success or failure of a record. That's all I'm going to say.

Certainly true. I could easily name 10 albums (and I'm sure you could name even more) that in my estimation should have been bigger sellers than they were, mainly due to record company efforts - or lack of.

We're going through it all again now. It's one reason the Eagles chose to form their own company and sell their disc on their website and Wal-Mart.

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What a great thread.

I have always appreciated "Boats" and there are some wonderful, memorable songs on the album. Maybe it's just a personal thing to me or where I was in my life when it was released, but it's "a bit too much", whatever that means, to make it fully accessible to me. It made me throw my defenses up. Does that make sense? Even the artwork - those waves that looked so treacherous and unyielding, sort of unnerved me. I remember back in '00 when my wife and I saw Eric with Ringo and Eric played Boats. My wife got quiet and I noticed a tear running down her cheek. I didn't say anything. When the song was over, Ringo walks across the stage toward Eric leading the applause. Surreal moment. Maybe there's a part of me that can't or won't fully embrace the album. Maybe it's a lack of musical maturity on my part - who knows?

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When Clive put the background vocals on 'Boats...' he truly destroyed the song. I know Eric feels it's a depressing lyric, it has positive over tones to me. It's probably my favorite EC song.

'Desperate Fools' is beautifully arranged, has great lyrics and the harmonica is exquisite. I listen to it often.

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OK..for you skeptics that do not believe that "BOATS" is the ONE and ONLY album you will need on a deserted island....here goes...

SONG 1: "Boats Against the Current"

OK, I have arrived on my deserted Island and reality is setting in..I am here and alone.

' I know its over, you know its over...'

SONG 2: "Marathon Man"

Ok it is time to get off my a*# and get busy. I have to build a shelter and find some food. 

'put my soul in command'

SONG 3: "Nowhere to Hide"

I am feeling a bit lonely...it is after all a deserted Island! So I sit alone by my fire at night with no one to talk to.

'feelin' so alone and incomplete'

SONG 4: "Take It or Leave It"

in my quest for food, all I can muster up is coconut...YUK...I hate coconut.

'take it or leave it...save me from this misery...'

SONG 5: "Love Is All That Matters"

I am exhausted from a very busy day of climbing palm trees for coconuts, which I hate by the way...did I already say that? so I need this song to lull me to sleep.

'lonliness has ended SLEEP has set me free'

SONG 6: "She did it"

Well, guess what? In my island wanderings I have met my one true love! It took being on a deserted Island to find my soul mate! HA!!

'set to sea on a ship called emptiness, cast away on an island of loneliness, LOOKIN' FOR LOVE....SHE DID IT!!!!'

SONG 7: " I Think I Found Myself"

Well, I think I've found what I'm lookin' for...we found a boat hidden away on the other side of our Island!

'sometimes the easiest things are still the hardest ones to figure out'

SONG 8: "Run Away"

Time for me and my mate to leave this deserted Island!

'I'm gonna run away'

Thanks Eric, I survived because of the beautiful music you created!

:heartpump:

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Well done, Anna...although technically, it's not a deserted island if you find your soul mate there...but I won't say anything! :P

BTW...why does everybody think it would be so depressing to be stuck on this deserted tropical island? With all the stress and strain of everyday life, I would think a little alone time on the island would be welcome. If I had food and water, I probably wouldn't even wave at a passing ship for a year or two...

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