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My Review of "The Essential..."

Eric Carmen

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It occurred to me, after reading Bernie's review of Disc One, that maybe I should try to explain what it is that makes this compilation different from all the others.


It's a little complicated, but I will explain it as best I can.


The human ear is capable of hearing frequencies from perhaps 22,000 cycles, on the high end, to 40 cycles, on the low end.


Every note,on the musical scale "vibrates" at a certain rate. The lower the note, the lower the vibration rate. The higher the note, the higher the vibration rate.


22,000 cycles is where you can hear the sibilance on any word I sang with an "S", the highest frequency of a cymbal, the resin on the bows of the violinists, etc, etc.


40 cycles is the frequency that gives the warm, rich, bottom end to a bass guitar, or a contra bass, or perhaps the bottom end of the "kick drum."


Every frequency in between 22,000 cycles and 40 cycles, is where every sound on a record ends up.


The best engineers and producers understand which frequency is flattering to the human ear, on every instrument. The others don't.


The remarkable achievement of Mark Wilder, the genius remastering engineer of "The Essential...", is that he not only has the best ears ever, but he also knows, from experience, which frequencies are flattering  for the piano, and which


frequencies are flattering for the strings, and which frequencies make the kick drum punch you in the chest ( as it should ) and which frequencies make the bass sound round and warm, and make the whole record sound rich.


This is what Bernie has been trying to explain with "superlatives" in his review. 


Every song, with the exception of "Brand New Year" on these two discs has been remastered from the original analogue mix. What is that, you ask? Let me explain.


Every record I've ever made, prior to "Brand New Year" was recorded on tape, and mixed down to 1/4 inch tape. That is called "analogue."


In order to enhance "The Essential...", all of the original analogue, two track mixes had to be carefully transferred to the digital format. That was Mark Wilder's first job. After that, we had some control of the original, stereo mixes.


Nothing was remixed from the original 24 track master tapes. We never had them.


What we DID have is the original, two track, quarter inch, stereo masters. That's what we worked from.


Mark Wilder deserves fan letters from everyone. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me, since Tim Smith.


Mark is, without a doubt, the most brilliant engineer I have ever worked with. He is the sole reason why "The Essential..." is incomparable to any other compilation.


I would compare Mark's "golden ears" to Sir George Martin's. That is the highest praise I could ever attribute to anyone. He, and Tim Smith are the reason that this collection sound nothing like any other compilation of my music before.


In the recording studio, you must rely on the ears of your producer and engineer. If they hear the same things you do, all is well. If they don't, the results of your efforts are disappointing. It is the difference between a great song becoming


"the first single" or simply an album track, that has little impact. Such is life.


When I walked into the studio to record my first solo album, I would have bet you that "My Girl" was the first single. It didn't work out that way. It ended up sounding small and thin, and not at all the way I imagined it, until now.


Mark Wilder's ears have made the newly remastered "My Girl" sound the way I imagined it, in 1975. God bless him.


There is not a single song on this 30 song, double CD, that has not benefitted GREATLY from Mark Wilder's involvement. Please send your fan letters to him.


That is what Bernie has been trying to say. All the superlatives in the world cannot prepare you for the difference between this new, double CD, and all the others that came before it.


They're just not in the same ballpark.


You are going to hear things you have never dreamed of hearing before on this CD. The vocals are so clear I can pick out each individual singer in my band, from "Overnight Sensation," to "My Girl" to "Last Night."


​Mark Wilder understands exactly what frequencies  bring out the best in the piano, the guitars, the background vocals, the drums and bass. No one I have ever worked with before ( with all due respect to the contributions of all my


engineers and producers, has ever had such a profound affect on my music.


After all my frustrating years in the music business, trying to translate what I heard in my in my head, to tape, this is the first time I have ever been "pleased" with the results. This album sounds fucking great!


That is the best endorsement  I could ever give you, You will not be disappointed, I promise.


Thanks to Tim Smith and Mark Wilder, you are going to get to hear what I imagined when I wrote these songs. I cannot begin to express how happy I am about this release.
Honestly, if it sounded anything like any other compilation, I would never encourage anyone to buy it. I never have in the past. This is the ONE and ONLY version you ever need to hear.
It is as close to what I imagined as it could possibly be, without re-mixing the 24 track master tapes. 


Signing off, sleepy,


Love you guys,




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Something I didn't know is that remastering almost never goes back to the multi-tracks. After reading Eric's post, I did a little digging, and it seems to always begin with the original 2-track mixdown tapes, before they were EQ'd prior to cutting the albums. I guess going back to the multi-tracks would amount to remixing, not remastering. You learn something new every day!



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I didn´t know any of that technical stuff.  It´s interesting. 

And, IMHO, the original version of "My Girl" is as great an uptempo pop song as is out there.  The genius melody and pure joy the song emits gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.  The part where the bridge melts into the climax is music ecstasy.    To hear a BETTER version fires me up to no end.

Viva Mark Wilder, Tim Smith and Eric Carmen!


P.S. Eric, can you please accelerate the release date????..


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Thanks for everything.  From musical genius boy to musical genius man, I know it's been a long road, but well worth it.


I've already sent e-mails to Tim, so I'll need to get Mark Wilder's e-mail too. 


Guess what you would say in layman's terms is this new and improved CD will be really

magically bad ass!!


Love you too E,


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Mr. Carmen,.......................

You are teasing us again !!!    :rolleyes:   We are losing our patience.............


Yes, it looks like this guys not just know what they are doing, They love what they are doing. Quality is quarantined.


Hope to see you on some "Morning" or "Night" shows, promoting new CD.

Good luck,


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Oh, and by the way, the CD "package" is just as good. I had to laugh out loud after viewing the artwork for THIS package. All I could think about was the last, lame Capitol Raspberries compilation, where the cover had a picture of the band, and my eyes were closed. A lot of thought went into THAT package, NOT!



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Can't wait to hear it! Hopefully, Eric's enthusiasm will result in a new album ( ok, CD) of new material in the not-too-distant future. Eric, I hope you can objectively step back and look at your body of work and realize how prolific and incredible it is! You are so gifted, be proud!

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I have to admit, listening to these 30 tracks, back to back, and reading the comments from Bruce Springsteen, Paul Stanley, Slash, Steve Jones and others that appear within the package, I'm starting to be pretty darn impressed with me! Haha!


When  I heard the "live" version of "That's Rock And Roll" the first time, I thought to myself "Wow, I had no idea I was that good a singer"! It was the encore at The Bottom Line, so I had already been singing for almost 90 minutes, I've gotta say, there wasn't a bad note to be found. And this was a mix straight off the board. No effects, no reverb, nothing. 


You guys let me know what you think on March 25th.

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Hey Eric, I'm happy to see you give yourself the credit you deserve. We can all be our own worst critics in life, that's why I posted that I hope you experience your music as a "fan" because it is all so great! Regarding your voice, wow, where to start? However, some of my favs are your vocals on "I Can Hardly Believe Your Mine" , "Tonight", & "It Hurts Too Much". Too many to list, but I always wished "No Hard Feelings" wasn't faded so soon because your vocals on the coda are simply amazing! Primal therapy! "Brand New Year" proves that your voice is still great.

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God gave You everything :  Talent- You are great song writer,

                                             Voice - we knew that, You know that... now. You voice is so unique- I am melting down, when I listen you voice (one of my favorite is 

                                                        "I wonna hear it from your lips" and many, many  more ).

                                            You are Very Good Looking-you know that, we know that. I would say more, but trying behave myself (not young chicken anymore.. :().


And I am asking myself : Having all of this (see above)      why, Why, WHY .......   he is not around like Paul McC, like Bruce Springsteen, Why ???????????


I think............,  you did not have RIGHT PEOPLE  AROUND YOU, who could explain you .........., who You are.


I hope now we will see you more , we will hear your new songs.     Please, treat your supporters RIGHT !!!!       I think it is a Big sin to have Talent  and do ......not to much about it :(


 It is good my dictionary so limited, another wise I will say much more :rolleyes:.   


Natalia :)

P.S. Eric, please, (if it is will help you) print all this posts and Pin it ....in your .... some room...  :).

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