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Eric Carmen's covers and non-originals


LC

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I notice how our "favorite song" EC lists on this site (there are many) almost always treat Eric's covers as afterthoughts. Understandable, because most of us value his songwriting. But what do you really think? My assessments of each: 

Walk Away Renee: B+. My favorite of his covers, probably because it's one of my all-time favorite songs by anyone. His voice is perfect for this kind of melancholy. One caveat—more cello, less drum machine, please! (If I'm hearing it correctly.)

On Broadway: B+. I thought Eric did a top-shelf job with "On Broadway," and it holds up well, so I've elevated my grade from a B (per Hindsight thread) to a B+.
        PLUS: It forms sort of  mini-theme — about the life of a musician — on Side 2 of the LP, following "Everything" and "No Hard Feelings."
        PLUS: Was George Benson inspired by this version to record his own cover, which became a No. 7 hit on Billboard's charts in 1978? Hmm. When you consider Benson's success with it, EC's debut album is even more impressive: three singles he charted, and two more by others (Benson and Shaun Cassidy).

Caroline No: B. A tough one to cover. Eric played it close to Brian Wilson's original, and gave it a worthy reading.  No one can match the original, but Eric's version, to me, is always listenable. I know some are tougher on it...

Baby I Need Your Lovin': C+. This one, on the other hand, sounded more like filler on Change of Heart than, say, "On Broadway" on Eric's firs solo album. Still, good reading of a great old song.

Come Back to My Love: C-. A Geffen album effort written by Bob Gaudio and a couple others..

Living Without Your Love: D. An add-on to the Geffen album that sounds like a Michael Bolton song (which makes sense, because Bolton was a co-writer).

What do ya'll think?  

 

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The things you overlook on YouTube until they're served up to you on an auto-platter: "On Broadway," live in 1975. This version might give you a different take — Eric sounds like he absolutely owns it for six-plus minutes. How did I miss this? It's from a Hollywood radio broadcast, via KMET.

 

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1 hour ago, LC said:

I notice how our "favorite song" EC lists on this site (there are many) almost always treat Eric's covers as afterthoughts. Understandable, because most of us value his songwriting. But what do you really think? My assessments of each: 

Walk Away Renee: B+. My favorite of his covers, probably because it's one of my all-time favorite songs by anyone. His voice is perfect for this kind of melancholy. One caveat—more cello, less drum machine, please! (If I'm hearing it correctly.)

On Broadway: B+. I thought Eric did a top-shelf job with "On Broadway," and it holds up well, so I'm elevated my grade from a B (per Hindsight thread) to a B+.
        PLUS: It forms sort of  mini-theme — about the life of a musician — on Side 2 of the LP, following "Everything" and "No Hard Feelings."
        PLUS: Was George Benson inspired by this version to record his own cover, which became a No. 7 hit on Billboard's charts in 1978? Hmm. When you consider Benson's success with it, EC's debut album is even more impressive: three singles he charted, and two more by others (Benson and Shaun Cassidy).

Caroline No: B. A tough one to cover. Eric played it close to Brian Wilson's original, and gave it a worthy reading.  No one can match the original, but Eric's version, to me, is always listenable. I know some are tougher on it...

Baby I Need Your Lovin': C+. This one, on the other hand, sounded more like filler on Change of Heart than, say, "On Broadway" on Eric's firs solo album. Still, good reading of a great old song.

Come Back to My Love: C-. A Geffen album effort written by Bob Gaudio and a couple others..

Living Without Your Love: D. An add-on to the Geffen album that sounds like a Michael Bolton song (which makes sense, because Bolton was a co-writer).

What do ya'll think?  

 

 

1 hour ago, LC said:

 

 

 

 

Amazingly I agree almost exactly with your list and comments, LC..except I'd probably give the last 2 C's. Also I've still never heard his "Caroline No".

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Oh yeah—that was a bonus track on the Japanese edition of Winter Dreams. He did it in the 1990s, of course, so he doesn't have that sweet, young Brian Wilson-like tone. He sounds huskier and more world-weary than Brian and his innocent-sounding original. But I like it. EC's version is on YouTube, but you block that site, right? Trying to think of where else it is. I don't see it on Apple Music (that whole album is absent, both Japanese and U.S. versions). So you'll have to scare up a copy of the CD!

 

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I would rate those two covers from Winter Dreams as an "A".

As for Caroline, No - I really, really like how Eric repeated the B section of the song (Oh Caroline, you break my heart, I want to go and cry...) instead of fading too soon like Brian did. Now it sounds more like a complete song, and the accompaniment and overall mood are perfect.

LC, thanks for posting that live version of On Broadway!

Regarding the two non-originals from the Geffen album - are those really covers, meaning were they first recorded by someone else? Or was EC the first to record them?

I wish Eric would have covered Tin Soldier by Small Faces and put it on the too-short Tonight You're Mine album!

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Hi Dave. Good point on the two Geffen songs. I should have titled this thread "EC Covers and Non-Originals" (maybe I still can). 

As far as I can find, neither song was recorded before Eric did 'em, but I could be overlooking them. I do know that Joe Cocker recorded "Living Without Your Love," but it was two years after Eric's Geffen album came out. Funny, but when I listen to Joe's version, I think I like Eric's a little more than I did. But then there's the matter of the song itself... LOL

The preference there is probably a matter of personal choice. Even though Joe is considered one of the all-time rock'n'roll vocal greats, his gruffer, grungier tone never appealed to me as much as Eric's tone and versatility. Give Joe a listen....

 

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Part of me hopes that the "Keep This Feelin' Alive" (odd title) broadcast would get a vinyl release, but I don't think it'll happen. It's really a great set of tunes at a great time in Eric's burgeoning solo career. It's odd how it really got released digitally out of seemingly nowhere.

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I have absolutely no idea how a bootleg recording of the Roxy concert that was broadcast on the radio in '75 gets "officially" released on Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon. Somebody's getting paid for something they do not own. Guess nobody's looking...

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Yeah Bernie, the whole thing is fishy. The album art for the release looks really pro, which probably fooled a lot of people into thinking it's legit. But the name of the release is taken from a line in a song that doesn't even appear in the set (wrong decade) and the source must be a second hand copy or deteriorated tape since I heard pretty noticable dropouts in some the songs.

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On 2/1/2022 at 4:59 AM, Raspbernie said:

I have absolutely no idea how a bootleg recording of the Roxy concert that was broadcast on the radio in '75 gets "officially" released on Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon. Somebody's getting paid for something they do not own. Guess nobody's looking...

There’s a Raspberries concert on iTunes titled “I can remember” and it shows the band is  called “Raspb” from around 73ish. Nine songs on it and it is definitely them. Then again if it’s unfortunately on one of these services nobody’s making any money on it anyways, that I can promise you. The payouts are ridiculous even for the legitimate songwriters.

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