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Let's muse/talk re: Eric's Music


James

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...anything goes, open lines!

I'll start:

"Inside Story" is probably the most underrated song of his. I think it's a fantastic upbeat pop/rock song. It would be an amazing song to open a concert with.

I saw Eric Carmen solo twice, first time he opened with "Sunrise". That was a great opener, GREAT. The second time it was "Marathon Man".

Anyway, never hear much talk here about "Inside Story"...surprising.

Who's next?

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Don Krider commented on all the songs on the Tonight You're Mine album in his Epinions.com review: Eric Carmen: A return to rock music for "Tonight You're Mine", written January 6, 2004 (updated July 26, 2008)

About "Inside Story", he wrote:

As truly "cool" songs go, "Inside Story" is in the Top 10 of my all-time "cool song" list (currently maintained in a filing cabinet inside my mind's cluttered work place).

I was working for Scripps-Howard Newspapers at the time after studying journalism in college when out comes Eric Carmen with a song that opens with the sound of typewriter keys called "Inside Story."

Tying a love story to a news reporter theme was brilliant, I think, and the song (sounding, perhaps because Davey Johnstone of Elton John's band plays guitar here, a bit like Elton's "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting") sizzles as a rock tune.

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Great subject, James and one I am happy to post about.

I was listening to GATW the other day, on the way to the gym. My favorite part is when Eric hangs on to the word, "please". As in, “she kissed me and said,'Baby, pleeeeease go all the way'". What a turn on.

And since it’s supposed to be a chick saying that to the guy she loves, to me, in a roundabout way, the “pleeease†is very feminine. Like a woman pleading, in a passionately soft, yet overwhelming loving way to be made love to by the man she loves more than anything.

Ok. That’s all I have to say. I need to go bake some cookies now. What I just wrote brought out the inner female in me. Ya know...feed a man, give him sex, and make him happy. All that womanly stuff. Well, the guys at the gym will be glad that I finally got off my behind and made these cookies for them. Nothing like GATW to get me inspired. lol

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Underrated songs penned by Eric? I can think of several, "Inside Story", "Sleep With Me", "All for Love", "Heaven Can Wait", and "The Way We Used To Be" are five right off the bat. When we include his Raspberries work, there was no underrated song like "If You Change Your Mind". Will never, ever, EVER understand why at that time, that wasn't a monster Top 40 hit.

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I agree with you guys.

I guess virtually all Eric's songs are technically underrated outside of "All By Myself", "Never Gonna Fall....", "Make Me Lose Control", and "Hungry Eyes".

One song "Hey Deany"..while I love it it's not my favorite or even in my top 10. Having said that I think it's a genius pop song, the type of song that if recorded by the right artist could have been one of those hits of the decade,like "Love Will Keep Us Together" & huge hits like that.

99% of Eric's songs are done best by him, but I always felt "Hey Deanie" could be nailed by another band, maybe a Tony Burrows fronted type band, and get the commercial recognition it deserved.

James

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James, nice topic for a site that's populated by fans of Eric.... Good posts above, too.

The characteristic of Eric's music I like most is his versatility. The Beatles set the standard for musical artists who are as deft at rock'n'roll songs as ballads. Eric has followed in their footsteps well.

We all know he's been typecast (in the broader music world) as a pop balladeer, but we also know he's way more than that. On most of his solo albums and Raspberries' albums, you can find a rocker or two, some mid-tempo pop, and a couple of memorable ballads. And all of it is authentic; Eric's songs always seemed to come from the heart; it's rare that he "forced" a song (though, sure, it has happened, as Eric himself has said about "She Took Me All the Way," for example). He's also a master of hooks, as so many of his songs — including the above-cited "Inside Story" — have illustrated.

Speaking of which, when I watched that video just now (after Kirk's post), I also dropped in on one of my favorite moments of the great Raspberries reunion of the mid-2000s: the VH1 "Hangin' With" performance of "I Wanna Be With You."

http://www.ericcarmen.com/multimedia/video7.htm

That was the perfect example of Eric's versatility — it's one of many songs of his that would work as an uptempo number OR a ballad. When most of us first heard "I Wanna Be With You," man, it really hit home because we were in our teens, and it was urgent and sweaty and impatient. Thirty-odd years later, the "grown-up" version hits home too; it's got the same urgency but in a more, shall we say, mature, appreciative way.

The only drawback with being a fan of Eric's music is his recording schedule. He hasn't exactly been "churning 'em out" since the 1990s. That said, I do understand the perfectionist thing. In my own work, I hate releasing the publication I edit every month because, well, I know I could make it "more perfect" if I just had another week. Or year. Or years. But a deadline is a deadline, so I have no choice but to give it up on time for my audience. I guess when you're deadline-free (a luxury afforded by past successes), what's the motivation for creating more? If I had a NY Times bestseller that paid huge royalties, I bet I'd drop my "day job" and enjoy life a bit, right? (Well, maybe not, because I do like what I'm doing.)

Anyway, that's my two cents for the day.

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Nice post LC (as always), don't limit yourself to one/day!..

Also good video Kirk, I couldn't get it to play yesterday but it worked today. I forgot about it, but I think I did see it sometime back. I love the fact Davey Johnston plays in Eric's band. I loved him with Elton also.

P.S. "Inside Story" has one of the most funky/addictive guitar hooks of alltime. So underrated a song!..

James

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I agree with you guys.

I guess virtually all Eric's songs are technically underrated outside of "All By Myself", "Never Gonna Fall....", "Make Me Lose Control", and "Hungry Eyes".

One song "Hey Deany"..while I love it it's not my favorite or even in my top 10. Having said that I think it's a genius pop song, the type of song that if recorded by the right artist could have been one of those hits of the decade,like "Love Will Keep Us Together" & huge hits like that.

99% of Eric's songs are done best by him, but I always felt "Hey Deanie" could be nailed by another band, maybe a Tony Burrows fronted type band, and get the commercial recognition it deserved.

James

Shaun Cassidy took "Hey Deanie" into the Top 10...more than respectable!!

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I barely ever heard it on the radio, and the Cassady version wasn't so good, IMHO.

I think Hey Deanie could have been a mega mega hit, similar to "Stayin Alive"... a song that was more than a hit.

Maybe sung by Tony Burrows, produced by the gangs that put out "Beach Baby" and "Love Grows"....put into the music score of a musical like Grease....become a song that EVERYONE knows... become an element of Americana on the pop music front!

I think the melody, structure of "Hey Denie" is genius and has that kind of potential.

Anyway..

:-)

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I have to agree with Aventurine on this one. I wish they would have gotten this live guitar sound on the LP track (although the backing vocals are better on the LP). I always thought that The Inside Story was a great song which deserves to be more well-known.

Speaking of Hey Deanie, listen to the intro and breaks in this song by The Dictators. Sounds like they're paying homage to Eric here:

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Speaking of which, when I watched that video just now (after Kirk's post), I also dropped in on one of my favorite moments of the great Raspberries reunion of the mid-2000s: the VH1 "Hangin' With" performance of "I Wanna Be With You."

http://www.ericcarmen.com/multimedia/video7.htm

That was the perfect example of Eric's versatility — it's one of many songs of his that would work as an uptempo number OR a ballad. When most of us first heard "I Wanna Be With You," man, it really hit home because we were in our teens, and it was urgent and sweaty and impatient. Thirty-odd years later, the "grown-up" version hits home too; it's got the same urgency but in a more, shall we say, mature, appreciative way.

Larry, I really loved "I Wanna Be With You" VH1 performance,too.

It's really grown-up version.

I want to listen his "grown-up" feelings.

I am wishing to hear the song which can be made only to him who became 62 years old.

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Underrated songs penned by Eric? I can think of several, "Inside Story", "Sleep With Me", "All for Love", "Heaven Can Wait", and "The Way We Used To Be" are five right off the bat. When we include his Raspberries work, there was no underrated song like "If You Change Your Mind". Will never, ever, EVER understand why at that time, that wasn't a monster Top 40 hit.

Pat, I agree with you.

I love "All for Love", "If You Change Your Mind".

These two music are in my top 20 of Eric's song.

Amazing melody with wonderful classical guiter and sax for "All for Love",

"If You Change Your Mind".....

Eric said "That ending drove me nuts.I call that the "someone stepped on the cat" ending"

But I love the ending.

I listen to this song, when feel sad or bad.Then, I become fine.

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Some more musing...

I believe If You Change Your Mind was mentioned upthread; I have to agree that it should have been a single. Also, Nobody Knows! If Capitol would have had sense enough to promote that Fresh album properly and aggressively, they would have made themselves (and the band) a lot more money...

Back when Make Me Lose Control hit, instead of putting out that "Best Of" album, Arista should have put it and Hungry Eyes on an LP with the songs from the Tonight You're Mine album (since they blew it the first time around), with maybe some of the songs remixed - possibly a remix of All For Love with a catchier intro as a follow-up to MMLC, or the title track with different, more "radio-friendly" words for the verses. Also, a beefed-up mix of Inside Story, and include the bonus track "The Rock Stops Here."

I believe that is a teletype machine at the beginning of Inside Story. Way back when I worked in college radio in the late 70's, we had one of those things in the station's office; we would "rip'n'read" the news and weather when necessary!

One more musing: I've heard a lot of Elton's music on various XM Radio channels lately. I've read that Elton would go into the studio and record his vocal and piano, then Gus Dudgeon would more or less orchestrate the rest of the song, and Gus expected to do the same with Eric for the "Boats" sessions. Of course, Eric couldn't do that, as he knew how he wanted those songs to sound, and if it were me, I would have been exactly the same way - I would have fired Gus, too. Still, simply out of curiosity, I've been wondering how those songs would have sounded had Eric let Gus have his way with them (although the Boats record is a masterpiece just the way it is, and I wouldn't change anything about it).

OK, enough musing. I'll go sit on the couch with the dogs and watch baseball now...

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Eric's songs always seemed to come from the heart; it's rare that he "forced" a song (though, sure, it has happened, as Eric himself has said about "She Took Me All the Way," for example).

LC...you, like James, always make me jump for joy when reading what you have to say. You just have a way with words, Mister!

What is quoted above reminds me of the song "Waiting" which Tim introduced me to. I was so inspired, that as many know, I created a video to go with the song.

I totally agree that Eric's songs come from the heart. I think “forced†are most likely few and far between. And “Waiting†is definitely one of the many that come “chock full†of raw emotion.

The first time I listened to it, I cried---no, I wept. In fact I played it a few times before I could go through it without tearing up. Why? Because the lyrics (and music) reached deep down to the very core of my soul. Then in one deep breath and a sudden volcanic eruption of waterworks, exposed the sentiment I was feeling. Many, if not all of us, can relate to that song.

"When will I know, how will I know, where to take my place?"

So true in love. Sometimes one never knows where they stand with another, so they wait. Wait to be chosen; wait to be invited into another's heart and life. Just...wait...

There are some songwriters who have the knack to touch the unseen sensitivity that is buried within each of us, and turn it into words for the world to hear. Eric is one of those lyricists. And as I had mentioned before...like Croce and Denver, he is very much a modern day Troubadour.

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