Eric Carmen is a classically-trained pianist who taught himself to play guitar when he was 15. He played with a couple of bands in the Cleveland area before forming The Raspberries in the early ’70’s. When the band broke up in 1975, Eric embarked on a solo career, both as a performer and a songwriter. He wrote “Almost Paradise” for Mike Reno and Ann Wilson (from the movie Footloose) and “Hey Deanie” for Shawn Cassidy, and had several of his songs covered by other artists, including “I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips” by Louise Mandrell.
- “All By Myself”: Eric’s first hit, it was based on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2 in C minor. He ended up having to share some of the profits with Rachnmaninoff’s family, because even though the piece was in public domain in the US it wasn’t in much of the rest of the world. It reached #2 on the Hot 100, kept out off the top spot by The Four Seasons’ “December 1963 (Oh What A Night)” (Cash Box and Record World both had it at #1), and #6 on the Adult Contemporary chart, #1 in Canada, and #12 in the UK in 1975-76. Both this and the next song were from his eponymous 1975 debut album.
- “Never Gonna Fall In Love Again”: Carmen based this on the third movement (adagio) of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony #2, who’s liusted as the co-writer. This reached #11 on the Hot 100, #9 on the Cash Box Top Singles chart, #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #1 on RPM‘s Top Canadian Singles and Adult Contemporary charts in 1976.
- “Change Of Heart”: Title track from his 1978 albnum. It reached #6 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the US and #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart in Canada.
- “I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips”: From Eric’s second eponymous 1984 album, after he moved from Arista Records to Geffen Records. He wrote this with Dean Pitchford. It reached #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the US and #17 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart in 1985.
- “Hungry Eyes”: From the 1987 soundtrack album for the film Dirty Dancing starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Written by Franke Previte and John DeNicola, it reachned #4 on the Hot 100 and #6 in Canada. While not released in the UK, import sales brought it to #82 there.
Ericv Carmen, your Five for Friday, July 31, 2020.