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Just wondering…

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Would EC’s solo career been more successful if, after All By Myself, he would have released one of the “rockier” numbers as a follow up single instead of Never Gonna Fall In Love Again?…Maybe That’s Rock And Roll or even Sunrise…In hindsight, he may have pigeonholed himself into a “Mannilowesque” corner…

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I have a few thoughts on this. I think All By Myself was the logical and correct choice for the first single, but I think it would have been better if they had followed it up with an up-tempo song. My choice would have been That's Rock and Roll. Manilow followed up Mandy with It's A Miracle, an up-tempo number, and I think it would have behooved Arista to have done the same with Eric. I think the album had a few options for the third single, but I personally like Never Gonna Fall In Love Again. I never saw Sunrise as a single. Sunrise seems more like a good deep album cut to me. It wasn't super common for albums to have more than three singles released, but I do believe the above singles would have been successful enough that it could have opened the door for a fourth release. My choice would have been My Girl.

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A few more opinions....

As much as I LOVE Boats Against The Current (the album), it's strength exists as a complete work. Many concept albums struggle to produce many top selling AM singles. I think that She Did It, Boats Against The Current, and Marathon Man are the ONLY options as singles from this album. I don't see the other cuts as singles. I must admit that I'm not personally high on Marathon Man, but it probably is the logical choice as the third single. 

Having said this, I wish Eric would have made a couple more album's in the nature of his debut, that were more single laden. After three albums like this, then it allows for a concept type album if you want to go that route. If after the concept album is constructed, and you don't seem to have many cuts that present themselves as singles, you could release a non-album single or a quick follow up Greatest Hits album with a new single or two on it. 

This is how I see it.

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I never saw NGFILA  as a ballad a la ABM. I saw it as a beautiful, but very melodic, pop song. Not a ballad, as it has a more faster moving pure melody than a ballad, imo.

Loved Craig's insight, and agree with most of all of it, except "Sunrise" to me should have been a mega hit as it, like Lets Pretend, is Eric at his genius melodic best, and add to that an upbeat theme ( see "Love Grows" )..and it is the song that could be in Websters as the definition of a pop song of the decade type.

Agree with My Girl and TRR..the album is one of those rarities ( like Elton's Don't Shoot Me ) that could have begat 5 or 6 top 10 singles. But as Craig stated, 3 was the max back then.

Also Craig, loved your insight into Boats on this front. Smart stuff.

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