Jump to content

Eric The Poet


Recommended Posts

Eric Carmen's talent as a lyricist has been overshadowed by his mastery of melody...It's just not fair in my eyes that a man who wrote the lyrics to All By Myself and Boats Against The Current could ever be seen as any less than a master lyricist...Eric Carmen's lyrics are the standard for what i'd like to achieve with my own...His lyrics always sound so right to me...Like they came before the melody...like they were meant to be...just the way they are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A major point in the Clive Davis saga concerning "Boats" is, that if Clive were all that talented, he would have *written* "Boats" (and a host of other great music) rather than trying to tell the composer what and how to write.

Maybe he was great at predicting who would/could be a star and good at hand-picking real talent, but he obviously didn't have a phenomenal amount of *musical* talent because he just didn't get it.

How often it is that those in positions of power lack talent and vision but can and do use their positions to strong-arm and discourage those with creative genius.

Take the opinions of the "powers that be" such as Mr. Davis with more than one grain of salt. Like I said, if he really KNEW, he'd be writing the stuff instead of cashing in on the talents of his artists.

I'll bet Clive has been wrong way many more times than he's been right in his career. He was so far wrong about "Boats" that his "discouraging" opinion is totally meaningless.

smile --Darlene

Which is why Davis now has the artists in his stable doing covers (Rod, Manilow) and duet (Santana) albums. My guess is Whitney's big "comeback" album is gonna fall under the Covers area. Mr Clive is now saying that he believes artists shouldnt write thier own material, and just stick to singing. Sound familiar Eric?

Here's the article...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Music mogul Clive Davis, who helped launch stars like Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys, said singers should focus on what they do best and not feel pressured to write their own songs.

Davis, chairman and chief executive officer of the BMG Label Group, said he has seen many entertainers lose their careers by not concentrating on finding hit songs -- no matter who they are written by.

"The odds are always against you," Davis, 75, told the Billboard Music and Money Symposium on Thursday. "You have got to go over the best material, and that should win out, not withstanding any track record. I don't care how many No. 1's you have written in the past, have you written a new No. 1?"

When Houston came to him after her second or third album and asked if she should start writing songs, he said: "Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra didn't write, and they are among Time magazine's greatest artists of the century."

He said 80 to 90 percent of the artists with whom he has worked over more than four decades wrote their own material. But in recent years, more entertainers who do not write have gained stardom due to the hit TV talent show "American Idol," where singing talent is discovered.

In fact, Davis had a public spat last year with inaugural "Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson over creative differences on her third album "My December," on which she co-wrote all the songs.

"She was not signed as a singer/songwriter," said Davis, adding that her manager believed there would be at least six hits on the album while market research had shown none.

"This issue only comes up when you're dealing with entertainers who might or might not have the ability to write pop songs," he said. Clarkson's second album sold 11 million copies worldwide, so Davis said there was a lot at stake.

"My December" has sold only 754,000 units since its June 2007 release, according to music tracker Nielsen SoundScan.

The pair resolved their dispute shortly after the album's release and are now working on a new record.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know, Clive may know a lot about hit records and hit artists but even he does not bat 1,000. What it comes down to is this: a guy on the BUSINESS end of the business is always going to see music as a BUSINESS, not an art form or a means of personal expression. He's always going to look at it in terms of sales, and the most efficient way of producing sales. And in his eyes, it's probably more efficient to try to hook up a great singer with a great songwriter than to try to encourage and cultivate a talented singer who wants to write his own material or a skilled songwriter who wants to perform the music he or she writes. After all, one can't count on finding a "two-in-one" player like that...and it may well be ego driving the songwriter to want to sing his/her own songs or the singer to perform songs written by him/her. No doubt, at times, it is--and the talent on one side of the ledger isn't equal to the talent on the other.

It's true that for many decades the model of music-business success was for someone to write a great song and then find a great singer to record it. And if it became a hit for one singer, every singer would soon rush out their own version of it. It's only the rock era that changed that model, especially the Beatles. And it's a formula that doesn't always work. But that's no reason to chuck it altogether.

Clive Davis may have decided he's had it with the singer-songwriter thing, and if so, so be it. But it's too bad he had to have such a discouraging effect on Eric. I'm grateful that we have this forum in which to say that for some of us, Clive Davis's viewpoint is full of horse hockey, and that BOATS will stand forever for us as a masterpiece of singing-songwriting synergy (now there's alliteration for you)....

Dammit, Eric, I went out and got a babysitting job in the fall of 1977 just so I could afford the $4.98 at Record Theatre for the thing...and a few years ago I bought the Japanese import CD so I'd be able to listen to it again...it's NEVER left me and it NEVER will! And I can't tell you how cool it is (even if I do plan to get out of here in a few months) to know I'm living in the place where you wrote it!

If you do ever begin actively writing and recording songs again, rest assured that this time, you will have another vehicle for determining whether or not it was "worth your while" than the fickle major record labels or those who seek out talent for them...lay out some money to record it in Beachwood, throw it up on iTunes, and see how many people are willing to pay 99 cents a pop for it. You just might be surprised!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting article, Poor4Life. And I hear you, Trindy, about the frustration of wanting to hear new music. I love your passion, especially knowing that you're a Clevelander!

Elton John was on Larry King this weekend and I sincerely wish King would have touched on the revolution going on in the music industry in light of downloads and the decline in cd sales. I would have loved to hear Sir Elton's take on the whole thing.

The guy who bought Warners was also on television of late, and although he tried to sound optimistic, he admitted there's a big uphill climb ahead of him. When he bought the company, he had no idea what he was getting into!

He's talking about expanding distribution in China, etc, etc, but there was a grim resignation behind the forced optimism.

The only good thing about it is that time was when the record companies had an artist over the proverbial barrel, but now artists can distribute on their own. It's difficult, though, and the distribution end of the business is pretty unstable. That's the DOWN side.

smile --Darlene

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...