April 18, 2024

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Eric Carmen, Raspberry singer and All by Myself singer, has died at the age of 74

Eric Carmen, Raspberry singer and All by Myself singer, has died at the age of 74

Eric Carmen, whose plaintive vocals soared above the thumping guitars of 1970s power-pop pioneers The Raspberries on hits like “Go All the Way,” and who later pushed soft rock vocals as a solo artist on anthems like “All by Myself.” and “All by myself” and “All by myself.” “Hungry Eyes” is dead. He was 74 years old.

His death was announced on his date website From his wife, Amy Carmen. She did not give a cause or specify the place of his death, saying only that he died “in his sleep over the weekend.”

The Raspberries formed in Cleveland in 1970. With the supernaturally melodic Mr. Carmen producing hits and serving as frontman, the band represented a throwback of sorts, both in sound and image.

It emerged at a time when FM radio playlists leaned toward the thundering blues rock of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. the orchestral pomp of progressive rock bands like Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer; and the glossy rock of T. Rex and David Bowie, The Raspberries recalled the complex songs and lush melodies of the pop masters of the mid-1960s.

“I spent my youth with my head between two stereo speakers listening to the Byrds and the Beatles and later the Beach Boys,” Mr. Carmen said in an interview. 1991 interview He posted it on his personal website.

The band's look was more retro: they initially wore matching suits – a concept that seems to have gone out of fashion with Herman's Hermits, although in their case the suits looked more like John Travolta's disco cues from “Saturday Night Fever.”

For Mr. Carmen, the relatively square look was a bold way to stand out in the 1970s rock scene. “Almost every band had waist-length hair and beards and ripped jeans, and they looked like a bunch of hippies, and I wanted to get away from that as much as I could,” he said. 2017 interview with The Observer.

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Everything works. The band burst onto the rock scene in 1972 with their self-titled debut album, “The Raspberry,” which featured a raspberry-scented scratch-and-sniff sticker, a reference to the sugary pop hooks contained within.

The biggest success of the album, “Go all the way” It contains lyrics about a young couple implicitly moving hesitantly toward intercourse, which Mr. Carmen considered dangerously suggestive of the pop charts of the time. He remembers thinking: “It'll either get banned because it's dirty, and then maybe people will buy the album to check it out, or if it gets on the radio, I think it'll just be a hit based on the title alone.”

The song was a hit, well, climbing to no 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1972. It became ” The ultimate power pop song Of all time, Dave Swanson wrote on Ultimate Classic Rock in a 2017 review. Power pop, pioneered by the Who and others, was an emerging style that grafted glossy 1960s-era vocal harmonies onto propulsive guitar riffs of the 1970s.

“'Go All the Way' was a perfect blend of the Beach Boys, the Beatles and the Small Faces, all delivered with a Who-like attack,” Mr. Swanson wrote. “This is where pop music was born.”

Apparently one of Mr. Carmen's idols approved of the band: John Lennon He was photographed around that time wearing a mulberry shirt. The band's influence would only grow over the years, with acts as diverse as Cheap Trick, Kiss and Nirvana indicating Raspberry's influence.

The Raspberries broke up in 1975, but Mr. Carmen's time on the charts was far from over.

Eric Howard Carmen was born on August 11, 1949, in Cleveland to a family of Jewish immigrants from Russia, and grew up in Lyndhurst, an eastern suburb of the city. He showed a keen interest in music early, studying violin with his aunt Muriel Carmen, a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, at the age of six. By the age of eleven, he was playing the piano and writing his own songs.

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His musical destiny was changed forever with the arrival of Beatlemania when he was middle-aged. He later said: “After seeing the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, I dropped everything and immediately decided I wanted to do it!”

Within months, Carmen taught himself how to play guitar chords, and spent the next few years moving from band to band. While a student at John Carroll University in suburban Cleveland, he joined a popular local band called Cyrus Erie, which included future Raspberry guitarist Wally Bryson and opened for major acts like the Who and the Byrds.

Mr. Carmen and Mr. Bryson eventually joined forces with guitarist and bassist Dave Smalley and drummer Jim Bonfanti, veterans of another prominent local band, the Choir, to form the Raspberry Band.

When that band's career finally ended, Mr. Carmen went solo with the goal of showing his full range as a songwriter and performer.

“Freed from the constraints of writing for three specific people and for myself, my mind kind of opened up,” he told the Observer. “Also, I didn't want to make a record that sounded exactly like the Raspberries, because I thought, 'Jesus, everyone's going to say, 'Oh, here he comes again, he's repeating what he's already done.'”

Obviously he accomplished that with “Everything is my own effort.” A tear-jerking ballad from his first solo album, released in 1975, which was, in his words, “certainly as far away from 'Go All the Way' as you can get.” The song rose to number two on the Hot 100 and was eventually hailed as a soft rock classic.

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“Follow-up song”You'll never fall in love again,“With its nods to Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, it reached No. 11.

In the 1980s, two of his biggest hits came from soundtracks. Written in “Footloose” (1984) (with Dean Pitchford) “Almost paradise,” Recorded by Mike Reno of Loverboy and Ann Wilson of Heart; He sang about the movie “Dirty Dancing” (1987). “hungry eyes” (written by John DiNicola and Frank Previte), which became MTV Basic Channel. Among his other songs “You make me lose control” It was the No. 3 song in 1988.

The Raspberries reunited in 2004. A show from that tour was featured on a 28-song live album. “Berry Pop Art Live“, released in 2017. The album's liner notes were written by director and former rock journalist Cameron Crowe, who featured “Go All the Way” in his 2000 film “Almost Famous.”

Complete information about Mr. Carmen's survivors was not immediately available.

Late in his career, Mr. Carmen was optimistic about the impact of berries.

“The rock critics got it, the 16-year-old girls got it, but you know, an 18-year-old who liked Megadeth is never going to like the same record that his sister liked,” he said in a 2017 interview, before that. He recounts the first time he met Bruce Springsteen.

“I walked into his dressing room before the show and he was writing down the set list, and we looked at each other for a few minutes — I was very uncomfortable being on the fans' side, so I felt a little stupid. But Bruce looked at me and said, 'You know, while I was writing 'The River' “All I listened to was Woody Guthrie and the Raspberry Band's greatest hits.”