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Essential Eric Carmen Album


scott

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I know Eric loves "The Way We Used to Be," but I think I would've put "I'm Through with Love" in its place on the Essential CD. I imagine they were dead-set on keeping it to two CDs, but it's a bit of a shame only one track from the Geffen album got squeezed on there.

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Yeah, I imagine some tough calls had to be made. I guess I just wish there was a bit more effort made to pull more equally from each album. The 1975 S/T and Boats each have 6 tracks represented (which makes sense, they're his best-selling and there's great material), but only two tracks from Tonight You're Mine and one track from the Geffen almost seems like neglect for his later work. TYM is a good song that I like, but I think "Foolin' Myself" would've been the better essential track if I had to choose.

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For me you put the best songs on the album, no "quotas" . The last 2 albums while very very good, were inferior to the first 4, and thus fewer songs represented.

Having said that I agree with you guys that  "I´m thru with love" should have made it, ...I´d also add that "...hear it from your lips" should have made it, as well as "Cartoon World". It´s a travesty that "Foolin Myself" didn´t make it as it is in the running for Eric´s best song of all time. It´s a masterpiece, and I´m not alone in thinking this.

To make room for some of the above, I´d have kicked off the album "Tonight You´re Mine" (one of a handful of songs I don´t like of his), "Nowhere to Hide" (I know I´m in the minority here as many love this song) ...and "Marathon Man"....just an ok song that doesn´t deserve to be on a "Best Of..." type album. I´d also have kicked off "Hungry Eyes" as it´s just an ok song, and not written by Eric Carmen.

"If you change your mind" and especially "I can remember" are major omissions from his Raspberry stuff.

But Craig is right, an impossible job to choose what goes on a "Best Of..." album when 90% of Eric Carmen´s songs are "Best of..." type quality.

 

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Here's one quote from Eric on the reason for song selections:

Sorry, "Foolin' Myself" didn't make the cut. That said, there were lots of good songs that didn't make the cut. We only had 30 available slots to fill, and Tim and I were determined to create a balance between the rockers and the ballads.

One of Tim's main goals, from the very beginning, was to show everyone I "didn't stop rockin' when I signed with Arista."

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And, another one:

The track we started with was "Get The Message," which I probably hadn't listened to in forty years. While I was initially a bit hesitant about GTM, because, in reality, it was a one take track, intended by the producers to be the "B" side of the single, and, in their own words, they wanted it to "suck," by the time Mark had finished, about an hour later, and I began to see what could be done when you have a genius engineer and today's technology, I was actually excited about the track.

We went on to remaster maybe eight or nine more of the tracks during that session, which covered everything from Cyrus Erie, to The Quick, to the Raspberries, to my solo stuff on Arista, to a live track recorded at The Bottom Line in New York in 1976, which Tim had located in England, and even a track from the Geffen album, and my demo of "Almost Paradise."

Well, I received two CD's, representing 28 of the 30 tracks yesterday, all remastered. I took them out to my car (equipped with a Bose Surround Sound system) and cranked up the volume.

It was a religious experience.

The difference between any previously "remastered" disc and what the original sounded like, I would estimate might be about 2% better.

The difference between THIS REMASTERING and the original versions? Maybe 300% better.

You might remember me talking about how I was disappointed in the recorded version of "My Girl", (I had gone into the studio thinking it might be the first single) because I heard it like "Frankenstein," and Jimmy Ienner heard it like "Tinkerbell." Well, guess what?

It's now everything I heard in my head. It's "Frankenstein" all right, and so is "Last Night." 

In my conversations with Mark Wilder, during the remastering, it became clear that everything I've learned about the "sonics" of recording over the years, and could convey to Mark ( Do you think we could add some 100 cycles to the kick drum? That's the frequency that makes the kick drum punch you in the chest. And could we add a little bit at 40 cycles to the bass? That's the frequency that makes the whole bottom end of the record warm and deep and BIG!

And how about a little bit at 22,000 cycles so the strings open up and I can hear the resin on the bows?) all paid off. Mark is clearly a genius, and pretty much every single song he touched became better. Not by a little bit, but by MILES!

It would be a mistake to think of this double CD release as "just another compilation." I can tell you, you have never heard most of these songs, until you've heard them on this package.

I read recently about a little 3" by 3" box called The International. Bob Lefsetz raved about it in one of his columns last week. Apparently, with a really good pair of headphones, you plug this box into your sound source and it somehow converts digital recordings, which are usually squashed sounding MP3's, into ANALOGUE!!!!!! It opens them up and gives them the depth and warmth of vinyl!

I guess Jimmy Iovine (former Raspberries engineer, Springsteen engineer, Stevie Nix producer, and founder of Interscope Records) decided he couldn't stand the sound quality of MP3's anymore, and decided to do something about it. Hence, The International.

Bob Lefsetz described the experience of listening to a really great record through this box, with great headphones as being "like eating watermelon, and ice cream, and having sex at the same time."

If you Google "The International" it should take you to their website. They're not inexpensive (I think they retail for $599) but Bob sure made it sound like they're worth every penny.

But, I digress.

There are still some possible changes that may occur to the track list, and Sony is talking about me possibly writing and recording a NEW TRACK, maybe even TWO, but all I can tell you is this double CD is going to BLOW YOU AWAY, COMPLETELY!!!!!

Not that I'm excited about hearing these songs sound the way I intended them to sound, for the first time, or anything.

Tim Smith told me Sony isn't planning on marketing this record to 50 and 60 year olds (no offense). He heard my first solo album when his older brother brought it home and played the daylights out of it. He fell in love with it.

He was seven years old, at the time.

He wants to bring my music to a whole new generation of fans. 20 and 30 year-olds, who have probably never heard of me. How fun!!!

Well, I think I've brought you up to date. I've written a few sentences for the liner notes about each song. Another of Tim's goals for this package is to show people who only know me as a "balladeer", that before Arista Records,

I was a rocker, and I didn't stop rocking after "All By Myself." Mark Wilder did a BRILLIANT job on "It Hurts Too Much" and "Tonight you're Mine." And the "live' version of "That's Rock 'n Roll" recorded at the Bottom Line, in 1976, TOTALLY RAWKS!!!!!!

A certain "iconic" record executive once told me "Once you go 'pop', you can never go back."

I beg to differ, and this record will prove just how wrong he was, once and for all."

Peace and love,

Eric

O.K. one more:

Fear not. There are going to be THIRTY TRACKS on "The Essential," and there are plenty of ballads. How could we do a record like this and NOT include "All By Myself" (the LONG version), "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again", "Run Away," "Nowhere To Hide", "Love is All That Matters", "Desperate Fools" and "The Way We Used To Be," etc ?

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