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ABM in Worst Rock N Roll Records Of Time


John P

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Here is a passage from the book "The Worst Rock N Roll Records Of All Time" by Jimmy Guterman and Owen O'Donnel which came out in 1991. 'All By Myself" ranks at #21.I don't know if this was ever posted on this board before. For the record I did not post this as a knock on EC and his signature song. It's the journalists who I want us to take a stab at for being a bunch of morons. Paul McCartney is ranked in the book at #4 as the worst Rock N Roller!?! They claim that one of the reasons they wrote this book was to earn back the money they wasted on Queen records. So go figure. Here is the ABM passage and let's sock it to em.

"When he was with the Raspberries, Eric Carmen succeeded in writing and recording pop songs at a time when very few bands outside of the Kasenetz-Katz bubble-gum music operation were. Songs like Go All the Way and Overnight Sensation(Hit Record) sounded terrific over the radio , but Carmen's songs always seemed one shade brighter than 1-2-3 Red Light and Yummy, Yummy. Yummy. You had the feeling that if they had been recorded by by someone else, these songs would have been indistinguishable from those of the 1910 Fruitgum Company. This point was proven when second-genration bubble-gum star Shaun Cassidy recorded Carmen's That's Rock and Roll. The result may have been a hit record but it was cetainly not rock and roll. After the Raspberries broke up in 1974, Carmen attempted to move away from singing songs for teenagers and break into the burgeoning field of adult contemporary. This was music for people who grew up with rock and roll , considered it their music, but couldn't relate to the hit songs they were hearing on the radio. Because those people would rather have died than run the risk of sounding like their parents ( How can you listen to that crap? was a standard refrain they grew up with), whole new market shares sprung up consisting of people looking for a more tonal music that they could listen to without feeling totally out of touch wit the contemporary scene. Carmen's first solo single , All By Myself wasn't Rachmaninoff (who originated its main riff) but it sure comes close to being bubble-gum for adults. It had at least a tenuous connection with the more ballad-oriented side of soft rock, and it was drenched inself-pity. In the mid-seventies that added up to money (Go ask Clive Davis.) When I was young/I never needed anyone/and making love was just for fun/ those days are gone. The first four lines of the song tell us everything we need to know about the narrator , but unfortunately Carmen keeps singing. He feels so intensely sorry for himself that there's no reason for us to bother: he has it wrapped up. We want either to slap his face or to offer him some prozac. We don't, however, want to offer him strings and a subclassical piano solo, but that's what our sad singer uses to accentuate his pain. As if that's not enough, Carmen hammers home All By Myself with bombastic drum parts that slam against the brain. These dramatic snare shots had a lasting presence: they set the pattern for Carmen's future labelmates, fellow self-pity specialists Air Supply. The pop audience must have assumed Carmen got all his crying out of his system with All By Myself: he didn't have another top ten single until 1987, when he coasted on the success of the film Dirty Dancing with Hungry Eyes a song title more appropriate for the title of a bad horror film . Last time we saw him he was on the Dirty Dancing tour, wading between professional dry humpers."

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Hey, aren't you the one who started the Sweet skirmish?

I'd personally love to shoot that passage above full of holes, because I personally knew one of the writers, and IMHO, he's a pretty self-righteous dude, as you can tell by that pompous writing style.

But really... that book is almost two decades old. It's about as relevant as, well, the writers themselves are. They were trying to get a reaction (and sell books), so they went overboard. My advice, for what it's worth, would be to forget about it. And when you see it on a used-book shelf for 50 cents... leave it there!

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There are several issues here, and I'd like to respond to the poster:

1. Why would you post an old, insignificant piece of material on a board that believes Eric Carmen is a musical genius? This board includes amazing professional musicians and music enthusiasts who don't agree with those rantings. Why would you think this could make for good discussion?

2. The writers are not credible historians... anyone can write a book to sell their point of view and TRY to make a few bucks. This information was nothing but opinion by irrelevant writers. What else have they written? And what is their credential? Here we go again with "the critics."

3. Since I've been on this board (September 2008) I have found Eric has- for lack of a better word - adversaries. These angry, hateful people have had horrible things to say anonymously, posting comments on news site boards all over the internet.

Are you one of them JOHN P?

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Just found this...

"This satirical book was released in 1991. Authors Jimmy Guterman and Owen O'Donnell asked readers to take the book with a grain of salt, as it targeted music from the popular to the obscure. The quiz is based on their opinions (which may not be mine)."

Humor & Satire - John P! Take it for what it's worth

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I'm guessing that this is the opinion of two writers, and not a result of interviews done with other people. Guterman is quite well known, but I think even people who don't like "ABM" (Hello MJ!), wouldn't list it among the "worst Rock 'N' Roll Records Of All-Time." Obviously not an opinion shared by too many, because "ABM" ranks in the exclusive "Million Air's Club" - songs that have been played 1 million or more times around the world.

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Just a few thoughts:About a week or so ago I eavesdropped on my two teenage daughters while they were watching the Grammy Awards.All I could think to myself was how music has decayed since I was young.I mean,really,the singers suck and the music is sterile.Second,a certain performer from Memphis has sold over 1 billion records since 1956,had about 30 number 1 hits worldwide,and today has his own dedicated Sirius station playing his music 24/7.This guy has been dead for over 30 years.Yet in his lifetime he NEVER got a Grammy for any of his hits(2 for gospel music).My point is that lists,polls,awards,and all the other so-called recognition by ones peers is just a bunch of bs.It is the following a performer generates that measures the talent.Do people want to hear this artist...that's the point.The book mentioned is only the opinion of one or two individuals trying to make a buck.They will try to be controversial because controversy sells.By the way,this site is for Eric Carmen enthusiasts and I think it is in poor taste as well as insulting to Eric and his fans to acknowledge this negative press here.It shows a lack of concern for others' feelings,especially in light of the recent passing of Erics' aunt.

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ok...i admit ABM can fall into the "heard the song WAY too much"...but can "Hey Jude" and "Bohemian Rhapsody"...

ABM is a freaking masterpiece...and yes, I can only listen to it sparingly...but when I do, it is a wonderful treat...from the intensely emotional vocal, the awesome lonely sound of the piano, to the slide solo...and the booming drums....

whoever wrote this is simply a cynic without foundation...

bahoo

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All By Myself is in MY top 10 best pop songs of all time, but I don't see anyhting wrong with John P posting the article here. If he hadn't, I would have never known that these two idiots had written this book. Ever notice that when someone wants to be negative they write things like "... he didn't have another top ten single until 1987..." instead of informing about the other Top 40 hits, especially "Never Gonna Fall Love Again" which reached #11. As for me, I could care less how many songs charted or how high they got on the charts (I'm sure Eric cares more about that). There are plenty of Eric's songs that never charted at all that are better than many that have gone to #1.

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Saying Guterman is "quite well known" is way, way, way overstating things. Seriously, I wouldn't put much stock in his assessment of "All By Myself"; it's just an opinion.

As H-65 would say, move along now... there's nothing to see here.... smile

Why is it "overstating things"? I know of his work in music and other involvements. So maybe it's an overstatement to you, but not to me. I agree, move along.
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You know, when I come into someone’s “home†as a “guest,†I like to bring a gift of “good tithings†(and a great bottle of wine.)

You see, I prefer that, then walking in and stating– “You won’t believe what so and so said about your house. He thinks its crap, absolute garbage! In fact, his “opinion†is that you did such a bad job with it; he’d rather kill himself than to ever see it again.†Now what part of that would make your host feel all warm and fuzzy and tingling all over? I do believe that would be none!

Call me a crazy chick, but it’s OK not to post something that can easily be misconstrued to be a slap in the face when you know the "host" will most likely read it.

I suppose I don’t understand constantly pointing out negatives, when there are truly so many positives to share! Sometimes, some things are best kept to oneself. Food for thought. smile

Speaking of food, I'm moving along and getting off my soapbox now to eat dinner; Lord knows I don’t want to be mistaken for Ann Coulter! wink

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Well thank you ladies, and just so you know, I only hang with other class acts, i.e.: you chickies. laugh

Now before Muzza realizes that once again I've somehow turned this thread off topic, let me add that my post was directed to John P...and BTW John, if you ever drop by my house, just two things....I LOVE Riesling and don't say, "Gee Wendy, you look sooooooo much better with make up on." That to me is NOT good tithings! arrgh

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