Tuesday, April 23, 2024

RIP Eric Carmen, 74, Leader of The Raspberries, Hit Solo Singer with “All By Myself”

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Very sorry to hear about Eric Carmen. He was a bit of a Phil Spectorish power pop genius who made The Raspberries a cult favorite in the early 70s when rock was innovative but also recalled the Beach Boys and the Beatles from the 1960s.

Their song, “Go All the Way” was retro and new wave before its time, as were songs on their first couple of albums like “Let’s Pretend,” “I Wanna Be with You,” and “Overnight Sensation” (my personal favorite).

But the Raspberries were a cult group and broke up rather quickly in 1974. They were simply before their time.

Luckily, Clive Davis was starting Arista Records and knew Carmen could be a star. He flew to Cleveland and encouraged Carmen to make a solo album. The result was a hit album two massive hits: “All By Myself” and “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again” in 1975. They were timeless pop, still heard over and over today.

Carmen released many records over the years, but two more hits struck gold: he co-wrote “Almost Paradise” from the movie “Footloose” and a solo hit with “Hungry Eyes” from “Dirty Dancing.”

In July 2005, the Raspberries reunited for two shows at BB Kings in New York. It was sold out and the guests in the audience included Jon Bon Jovi and songwriter Desmond Child. The shows were hits and there was a talk of a revival but it never came to pass.

I lost track of Eric Carmen over the years that followed until the pandemic. I was so delighted to find him on social media, as were others. But a weird thing happened. It turned out he was a full on fan of Donald Trump. Rather than sully the memory of the songs, I disconnected from him. At least politically, he’d lost his mind.

Still the music lives on. His wife of seven years, wrote on social media: “It is with tremendous sadness that we share the heartbreaking news of the passing of Eric Carmen. Our sweet, loving and talented Eric passed away in his sleep, over the weekend. It brought him great joy to know, that for decades, his music touched so many and will be his lasting legacy. Please respect the family’s privacy as we mourn our enormous loss.”

Thanks for all those great records, Eric.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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