Raspberries Singer-Songwriter Eric Carmen Dead at 74

Raspberries Singer-Songwriter Eric Carmen Dead at 74 | Society Of Rock Videos

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Eric Carmen, who rose to fame first as the lead singer of Raspberries and then as a successful solo artist, has died at the age of 74. Carmen’s wife, Amy, broke the news of his passing on his official website:

“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.”

Carmen’s Influence and Solo Career Evolution

Born in Cleveland, Carmen co-formed the power pop pioneers Raspberries in 1970, along with Jim Bonfanti, Wally Bryson, and Dave Smalley. The group released four critically acclaimed albums, with their first hit song, “Go All the Way,” climbing to the top 5 in 1972.

Carmen’s work with Raspberries had a lasting impact on the music landscape. Lead singer of Cheap Trick, Robin Zander, referred to Carmen as a major influence on his work in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2015. Zander shared that Raspberries were one of the first bands he “fell in love with,” calling Carmen’s songwriting “genius.” He went on to say, “What Eric brought to writing and arranging in that band was extraordinary. Songs like ‘Go All the Way’ and ‘I Wanna Be with You’ are simply brilliant.”

Following the Raspberries’ breakup in 1975, Carmen launched a solo career. His 1975 self-titled solo debut produced the Top 40 hits “All By Myself,” “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again,” and “Sunrise.” However, his next three albums struggled to reach the same levels of commercial success, leading him to withdraw from the industry for the first half of the 1980s.

 

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From Comeback to Cultural Icon

In 1985, Carmen made a comeback with the release of his Top 40 hit “I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips.” But it was his contribution to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack in 1987 that made him a household name. His song, “Hungry Eyes,” was a huge success and helped cement his place in international pop culture. The following year, Carmen secured another Top 5 hit with “Make Me Lose Control.”

Carmen continued making music throughout his career, including being a member of Ringo Starr’s touring All-Starr Band in 2000. However, it was his early work with Raspberries and his successful solo career that cemented his legacy as a gifted songwriter and musician.

In the Rolling Stone interview, Robin Zander described Carmen as “one of the most underrated songwriters on the planet,” and it’s easy to hear why. His music touched millions of fans around the world and will continue to do so for years to come. As we mourn his passing, we can take solace in the fact that his music will remain a lasting legacy to his talent and creativity.

In the words of Eric Carmen:

“It’s great to be remembered for anything. It’s really nice to be remembered for something good.”

Rest in peace, Eric Carmen.

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