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Eric Carmen , Burton Cummings - Parallels


James

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Both made a name for themselves leading quality/successful rock bands

Both went solo at about the same time

Both write their music fundamentally on the piano

Both matured and wrote/recorded much better music as solo artists (much more so with Burton Cummings in my opinion)

Both can out ballad anybody but are as good at the uptempo song

Both exploded as solo artists with megahit piano ballads which were followed by a precipitous commercial decline

Both were underrated and commercially underappreciated

Both are class acts and have the person posting this message as a big fan

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I totally agree with that assesment. I've been a huge fan of both since they went solo (although I knew of Eric's solo work before I even was aware of Raspberries)

I saw The Guess Who in Chicago in 2001, and Burton STILL sounds amazing! I'm still a big fan of his even though he snubbed me as I asked him for his autograph as he got on the topur bus after the show...LOL

Jeff

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Prior to the 'berries reunion, we hadn't heard from Eric in years, whereas Burton has been playing/recording with the Guess Who for the last few years. One of the best small-club shows I ever saw was Burton playing solo for about 150 in a small club in a Mtl suburb. He was brilliant and captivating.

Marvin

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My top five male vocalists have been:

Eric Carmen

Freddie Mercury

Burton Cummings

Mickey Thomas

Steven Tyler

I think Eric had much more success as a solo artist than BC and rightfully so....I mentioned a few months ago that a double bill of the Raspberries and the Guess Who would be a winner and still believe so!

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Agree about Burton. Love the guy though his solo career has been about as spotty as Eric's and like Eric he pretty much vanished after his 4 record solo contract expired. Some pretty good tunes though on the solo albums and think his eponymous first album was the best of the bunch. His "best of" solo CD is available and worth the investment.

Burton though has pretty much disappeared over the last few years after the last GW tour. Use to follow him on a website where he used to periodically chat with the fans but as usual some kooks got on and threatened his Mom so he quit posting.

BTW, one of my great joys was having Burton sing on Eric's Marathon Man. Wonder how many here forgot about that?

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I have to disagree with the observation that both recorded much better music as solo artists. I still prefer the rocking Eric Carmen to the solo act.

I think it is a much closer call with Eric Carmen. But for my tastes, Burton Cummings' songs as a solo artist are solidly superior to his Guess Who songs. Listening to his solo music, you can feel the liberation from the constraints he must have felt within the group.
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I've always been a Burton Cummings fan, too. Just as with Marvin, one of the best shows I've ever seen was back in the early 90s at a small club in Madison. He toured with Randy Bachman, who was also the original guitarist for the Guess Who. They sounded absolutely great. BC sounded better than ever. I didn't get a chance to see them in 2001. Interesting comparisons to Eric.

I also have to side with hosskratz....I prefer the rock n roll days of both, more than their solo stuff. But they're still both great singers, songwriters, and performers.

I agree, a Raspberries/Guess Who concert would be unbelievable.

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Always liked "Break it to them Gently" from DOAC especially the ad libbed "roll the ol' lady" at the end. The best "lounge song" on DOAC is Shiny Stockings which is an excellent example of Burton's vocal range and ability. Listen to his vocal performance on that song and then compare it afterwards to his bonafide screaming rocker vocals on "American Women" and tell me who else in music could pull off both vocals.

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  • 2 years later...

I have initiated this post many times over the years. One of the things they have in common are vocals that jump out of the radio, and are very different then anything else out there.

Still think solo or even with the band, Guess Who Raspberries or Carmen/Cummings would make great double bills.

Guess Who had more hits then the 'berries, and Eric had more solo hits than Burton.

Similar careers, uniquie voices, but different piano styles. Burtons "All By Myself" has got to be "These Eyes" (possible "Stand Tall"). Eric is so much more classical while Burton tends to be a little more "boogie woogie". Came together on Hey Deanie.

Burtons underarrated songs that I love are Star Baby, Albert Flasher, and I'm Scared

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"Star Baby" is as good as uptempo music gets.."I'm Scared" is also one of my favorite Burton solos..

"I Will Play A Rhapsody" is a ballad masterpiece, IMHO...and very underrated as I've never heard it on the radio, nor even hear anybody ever talk about it..

I'd probably say the same about "In Your Backyard" in the boogie woogie category...

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Prior to the 'berries reunion, we hadn't heard from Eric in years, whereas Burton has been playing/recording with the Guess Who for the last few years. One of the best small-club shows I ever saw was Burton playing solo for about 150 in a small club in a Mtl suburb. He was brilliant and captivating.

Marvin

The hubby & I went to see The Guess Who at a local fair (ugh) just this past summer, and though the other (newer, except for Jim Kale) members truly put on an *awesome* show, Burton's presence was very missed!

We thought Burton was going to be there, but alas, not sure what happened but he wasn't there for the concert.

I'd LOVE to see Burton w/the Guess Who, I have to agree, he is an outstanding, and very underrated, talent happy

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I have always thought Burton's voice was among the best. His songwriting is excellent (Rhapsody is a classic. IMHO), but as for him being a class act.....uhhh - no way.

When one considers an artist's body of work and having the whole package (musically and as a person), Eric wins hands down. No Contest...no contest.

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