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"I was a dreamer..."


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To make a long story short, this album changed my life. And now, 25 years later, I'm really moved by the thought that this web site has not only brought Eric's fans closer together, but it's brought me even closer to his music. When Eric sat in front of his piano night after night, struggling to find the right lyric, or looking for the perfect bridge he had no idea how big an impact it would make on the world. And on me. Thank you, Eric. --Bernie

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Bernie ~ I love Boats too. It was the first thing I bought with my wages when I did some temping work between school terms when I was sixteen and I just loved everything about it ñ the fantastic double sleeve cover, the words to all the songs printed on the inside and of course the most amazing music. I sat in my bedroom and just played it over and over again, along with the original Eric Carmen album and it was bliss. I just loved every single track and still do. Can I also say Thank You, Eric ñ I have never looked back.

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I was such an enthusiastic fan, that when BOATS was released Arista Records made me a part time college rep. I remember all the girls in the dorm gathering round when the first carton of promo material arrived. The glossy photos were flying and the album covers, which were to be used as mobiles in record stores, were disappearing FAST! It was surprising that I had enough to take to the radio stations and record stores! I took press kits to every radio station I could find in the Toledo-Bowling Green area. More than anything, though, I wanted to arrange for Eric to appear in concert on my campus. I tried and tried, but the dates and the $$$ never worked out. It was a major disappointment for me. But the album, BOATS AGAINST THE CURRENT, is a masterpiece, I believe. Like Bernie, it changed my life. Betsey

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I owned "I Wanna Be With You", "All By Myself", and "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" on 45's. I loved all three of these songs, but never made the Raspberries to Eric Carmen tie. Then in 1982, I discovered "The Rasberries Best feat. Eric Carmen" and my love affair with his music was on it's way. I started on my quest of buying his solo albums, but the only one that was still in print was the debut "Eric Carmen". So I purchased that and loved it. A few weeks later, while rumaging through the punched out bin in a department store, I came across "Boats..." I wasn't familiar with any of the cuts on the album. ("Boats" & "She Did It" must not have received too much radio play around here) When I got home and played it for the first time, I was wowed. I immediatly fell in love with the title cut after only one listen, and I instantly knew that after a few more listens, I'd like this album even more than the first. "Boats Against The Current" has always been one of those songs that I just can't believe wasn't a huge hit. I remember those first days so well. Lying on my bed with my headphones on, fold out album cover in hand, and following the lyrics through the first several listens. Great album. Thanks Eric.

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I did not listen to "Boats Against The Current" until a song called "She Did It" played on The Big 6, 600 WTAC in Flint, Michigan. It was either Fred "Boogie" Bryan, Johnny Cole, Gary Lindey or somebody else played the song. I also heard the song on WHNN 96 "Win" in Saginaw, Michigan (which was a hit station, not a rock station) that same year. It was either Gary Stevens, Dave Brewer, Randy Birdow, Loose N' Jay or someone played the song back then. I heard the song "She Did It" for the first time in December of 1977. I was 12 years old. Matt

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I hated 'Boats' when it came out. I was working at an amusement park in Salisbury Beach, Mass. working on a ride called the Himalaya. We wore white pants, white bucks, red and white striped shrits and a snazzy red blazer...but most of all we played the music that made the ride fun! Girls loved it when we played the Bay City Rollers, Sweet, EWF, and Barry White. Those songs made me look good to the wide-eyed, thrill seeking, halter-topped girls of New England. 'Boats', however, wasn't fun. I hated Eric for putting out such a downer LP. 'Boats' just wasn't a good 'ride' record. Imagine a spinning, speeding ride full of screaming teenagers on a hot summer night, the lights whirling, the scent of the sea and cotton candy mixing erotically in the air, and suddenly out of the blaring speakers comes 'Row Row Row Your Boat'!

Seque-way to 2002. Now I'm loving the record. I couldn't appreciate it back then, but these days I'm lovin' every second of it.

Back in '77 I was looking for a musical equivalent of beer from Eric. Instead, he gave us a wine. One that gets better with age.

Dave

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I bought "Boats" when it first came out. It especially seemed appropriate because in that year I broke up with my first love. We were engaged and he was in the Navy, and he was transferred from Great Lakes to Orlando. At 19, the relationship wasn't mature enough to last long distance, but we tried. So we literally became boats against the current. This album always held a special place in my heart. crying

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I guess you could say "Boats" had a dramatic impact on my life. I had just said goodbye to a five year relationship with the girl who had shared the same passion for Eric's music as I. I was still pretty shaky, but had met the new love of my life that would later go on to become my wife. I couldn't believe I was starting to fall in love again. Very scary. Didn't think my heart could stand the pain. Then "Boats" came out. About all I can say is it got worse before it got better. But it did get better, and now you guys have to put up with my humor! But talk about timing, if Eric only knew...Kirk.

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I'm in the middle of a "soap opera" existence myself -- though a bit different than yours. (Will have to tell you the whole story sometime later).

Anyway, I got "Boats" automatically, as that was a "given" being that I had all the Raspberries albums as well as Eric's first.

I don't think the album had the dramatic impact as a "life-changing" thing, like the other people on the board. To me, there were other albums that had more impact personally on me...such as the Beatles White Album, the Beach Boys' "In Concert", and the first Raspberries album.

(In fact "Go All the Way" alone had left more of an impression on me than the whole "Boats" album.)

This is not to say that "Boats" was a bad album. Just a bit of a letdown after the first Eric album. I didn't enjoy the songs as much, but I thought the production is better.

My personal favorite from "Boats" is "Marathon Man", which is not the song most people would choose. Excellent lyrics which many of us can relate to. Intense performance by Eric and the orchestra, you can tell they were really into it.

I didn't care for "She Did It" at first; thought it was a real cheesy knock-off of the Beach Boys. However, I have come to actually like the song. Strangely enough, people I knew who normally would not like Eric's music (R&B fans, no less)thought that was really a great song...why?

It did get to grow on me, though, with repeated listenings, and finding that it really is deeper than I initially thought.

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Whenever I listen to "Boats Against The Current", it reminds me of his Tokyo show in 1980. He played this song for Japanese audience and it was so impressive. Even now, I still love this song very much and I'm sure this song is always very special to me until the end of my life. Thank you, Eric!

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I remember buying Boats when it first came out and I was blown away. I was 19 at the time and I thought "Runaway" was the story of my life. "Marathon Man", "Boats Against The Current" and all the rest are as alive for me today as the first day I put the record on the turntable. I can't believe this album wasn't one the best of all time. Maybe the critics and reviewers couldn't get past the great production or whatever. I just know I have always loved this album. Think I'll fire up the turntable tonight and turn back the years.

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I didn't listen to Boats until around 1981. I had always liked Carmen and the Raspberries alot. When I first listened to this album I was totally awed by the songwriting and of course the vocals. This album to me is as good as E.J. Yellow Brick or the Beatles Sergeant Pepper. Alot of people would shoot me for saying that. I really think E.C. has been overlooked, and not given his due. Probably having a teenybopper image early on cost him somewhat. By the way my wife and I have been in bands together over the last 20 years and she does a real nice version of Boats and Love is all that Matters. Stu

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BATC is a great album. Of the 8 songs, 5 of them are incredible -- BATC, Love is All That Matters, She Did It, Runaway, and Nowhere to Hide. I have to confess -- I haven't listened to the other three in at least 15 years because I didn't like them (Take it or Leave it, Marathon Man, and I Think I Found Myself). I taped my top five from the album and have been listening to it ever since. I have never gotten tired of those five songs.

Steveh

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Boats Against the Current is definitely the perfect album to listen to with your comfy headphones on, especially in the dark. My ultimate favourite tracks are I Think I Found Myself, Take It or Leave It, Run Away, Love is All That Matters, Boats, She Did It, Nowhere to Hide and Marathon Man -- I love them all! I tried discarding one or two, but I just can't. spin

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It's been 25 years! It seemed like it took that long to find it on CD! Hard to believe, cause it seems like yesterday. Let's see, I was 17 when 'Boats...' was released. I remember my exact reaction...this guy is too good for commoners. Let's face it, friends, Eric's songs make you think, which makes them very radio 'unfriendly'. Too bad for the masses, but for those of us who were there when it happened, and, of course, those who came along after, to say that this album changed lives is clearly an understatement. 'Boats Against The Current' was simply audio art. It stands the test of time and holds a place in my heart like no other. Congrats to Mr. Carmen on the anniversary. And while I'm at it, I'd like to mention that 'The Rock Stops Here' is the most kick ass song I've heard in the last ten years. It should have been on 'The Definitive Collection'.

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I have to jump in here and add another tick in the column of 'this is #1 favorite album of all time' (by any artist). I was 17 when BOTC came out and I spent I don't know how many hours staring at the ceiling listening to this. One of the happiest days of my life was when I found the Japanese Import CD! (Intense at 17) I knew "Runaway" was written just for me. And the break in 'Nowhere to Hide' that goes "Half forgotten fragments of a high school dance in the dead white hours of winter when we loved so hard we thought it would never end ñ trying to remember how it used to feel when a kiss was something special and wonder now will it ever be again'. That is pure genius. (Musically and Lyrically) I still get chills when I listen to that. Thanks Eric. You should take a lot of pride knowing this album meant something positive to so many people!

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All of Eric's music changed my life. Just hearing the sheer genius of his talent made me rededicate my life to playing the violin with the kind of perfection Eric had attained in both his writing and performing. It said to me: "Music is absolutely the most important thing in my life, and it should be in yours, or any performer who steps on the stage or in a recording studio. There IS nothing else at that moment in time." And it gave me a completely renewed sense of abject joy in performing.

Sometimes we need someone who is very very very good in our chosen field to remind us, "this is where it's at." Eric's music did that for me, and when Boats came out, it was the most monumental and dramatic album for me. I just sat and listened to it, REALLY listened, for days and weeks. And, I'm still listening. Eric's music is a model for the ideal. Thanks so much, Eric.

--Darlene

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Stu, I wouldn't shoot you for saying that! In fact, it's exactly what I think too. I discovered Elton very early on in his career and was blown away, maybe because I sensed instantly that he, too, had a classical background, and he paid a lot of attention to timbre and colors the way Eric does. Anyone (except me) can sing, and even write songs. But how you put it all together is what matters, and what I heard in Elton and immediately discovered in Eric was a genius for conceiving the mixture of certain tone qualities and colors in the music.

If you can blend those and the music is as unique as both these guys, well, then you have something that will live forever as a classic, something that is a testament to their talent. Eric's work is definitely better than a lot of Beatles and Elton, and lets face it, they were the pinnacle of talent and genius. So....I heartily concur. Nobody is going to shoot you for telling the truth! --Darlene

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This is quite the bittersweet memory for me -- I came across this album in 1979 -- I had just fallen for the LOVE OF MY LIFE and to say we wore the grooves out of this album is putting it nicely-Jeeze...what an incredible time it was...we lasted till 1986...then it was over...I kept selling this album and buying it back over the years...till finally I thought I sold it for good...then a few years ago...I came across audiogalaxy and clicked on Boats Against the Current...I listened...feeling the ole rush that I wonder if I will ever feel again and wondering if I could find a copy. I went to some flea mkts and ended up buying 3 copies -- LOL!!! I guess listening to it now gives me hope that maybe I will find True Love again...what a feeling...Thanx-Janster

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Eric-- Thank you for the songs. Boats has had just as much impact on my life as those you have read about above. When I'm happy, this album sings my life. When I'm troubled, it is still this record I reach for. I used to write you long letters about what the album meant to me. Wonder if you ever got them?? Every note, every word, every utterance is etched on my soul. This album is the soundtrack of the screen play that I'll always want to write!

My family finally got around to buying a car with a CD player in it this year. When I need a pick-me-up, I will put in the Boats CD. My children are 3 and 6 years old. I put in another Eric Carmen recently, and my 3-year-old daughter asked for that one about "the marathon." As I watched in the rear-view mirror, both children were singing along to Marathon Man! They both agree -- this one is the best CD we have.

Thank you again for all of the time you took making this album. It has had such a powerful impact on so many people.

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