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Make Me Lose Control Write-up

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CHART ATTACK!: 7/30/88

Eric Carmen goes heavy on the Aqua Net, Jane Wiedlin makes googly-eyes at Jason Hare and Jeff Giles loses $20 — it’s all part of the latest edition of CHART ATTACK!

5. Make Me Lose Control — Eric Carmen

I’m not saying anything against “Make Me Lose Control” — I think it’s a good song and sounds even better in the summertime — but is there anybody out there who thinks Eric Carmen would’ve had a chance at a #5 hit without the previous success of “Hungry Eyes”? He hadn’t hit the Top 10 since 1975’s weepy “All By Myself.” Carmen was smart enough to capitalize on a good thing and pitched the song to producer Jimmy Ienner, who had recruited him for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. (“Make Me Lose Control” does appear in Dirty Dancing, but was omitted from the soundtrack and only appears on Carmen hit compilations.) This song also features some of the Beach Boys in the acapella chorus near the end (fuck Mike Love).

Michael, my cohort from Acoustic ’80s, claims that this is one of those songs where everybody knows the chorus but nobody knows the verses. Is that true? Because I do actually know all the verses to this song. I don’t know all the lyrics, but I know they mention some girl named Jennifer and name-check “Uptown,” “Stand By Me” and a few other songs.

Here’s the video for “Make Me Lose Control,” mildly notable for a few things. First, Carmen’s hair is just gigantic. Even for 1988, that’s some big hair. Second, you’ll notice that the video opens with a disc jockey introducing Carmen’s song. The DJ is Kid Leo, famous for his work on Cleveland’s WMMS. He wasn’t the first choice for the video, though; Carmen wanted NYC’s Scott Shannon who agreed but backed out at the last minute. That’s why you’ll see Kid Leo throwing darts at a headshot of Scott Shannon at 4:06. This seems like a remarkable amount of energy for what amounts to a very small inside joke.

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A somewhat enjoyable read, but also a bit snarky and factually incorrect. Anyone who's done a bit of research would know that "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again" (which was the follow-up to ABM) also hit the top ten. Plus he had top 20s with "She Did It" and "Change of Heart." I hate when writers try to make it sound like Eric had no real success between ABM and "Hungry Eyes."

EDIT: The part about Kid Leo and Scott Shannon was cool though.


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3 hours ago, Lew Bundles said:

Sorry, kyletx, but Hungry Eyes, All By Myself and Make Me Lose Control were his only Top Ten hits...Here is his chart history according to Billboard...



1 hour ago, Kirk said:

Kyle, perhaps you were thinking of the AOR Billboard chart- NGFILA went to #1 on that one. 

I stand corrected then! I thought for sure that NGFILA hit top 10 (you must admit that 11 is quite close). I think my point overall still stands though. Top 20 hits aren't something to just write off as marginal achievements. I think the writing style really just bothered me. It's clear to me through their word choice that they don't think all that highly of Carmen.

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