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Home Culture Eric Carmen, leader of the Raspberries and author of memorable guitar pop songs, dies | Culture

Eric Carmen, leader of the Raspberries and author of memorable guitar pop songs, dies | Culture

by News Room
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There are two bands that followers of guitar pop (power-pop in English terminology) place on an altar: Badfinger and Raspberries. The first, British; the latter, Americans. They both developed their best music in the 1970s, right where The Beatles left off. Badfinger starred in an unfortunate story that culminated in the suicide of its two leaders, Pete Ham (27 years old) and Tom Evans (36 years old). The leader of the Raspberries, Eric Carmen, has had a more peaceful existence than he has ended these days at 74 years old. His partner, Amy, announced the death on the singer’s official website: “It is with tremendous sadness that we share the heartbreaking news of the death of Eric Carmen. Our sweet, loving, talented Eric died in his sleep over the weekend. It brought her great joy to know that, for decades, his music touched so many people and will be his lasting legacy. Please respect the family’s privacy as we mourn our enormous loss.” The family has not reported the reason for death.

Born in Cleveland (Ohio) in 1949, Carmen cut her teeth in local bands until in the early seventies she got together with other musicians to form the Raspberries. With the end of the Beatles still hot (1970), the Capitol record company noticed Carmen’s ductility in going from a sweet vocal tone like McCartney to a more aggressive one like Lennon. There was also Carmen’s talent for composing melodies that sublimate pop music. Their first three albums (Raspberries y Fresh, both in 1972; and Side 3, 1973) are a marvel with songs that still excite listening to them today; for its exquisite harmonies, elegance and beautiful vocal games, all always accompanied by guitar forcefulness. Unforgettable songs like Go All The Way, Tonight, I Wanna Be With You o Let’s Pretend. It wasn’t just the Beatles who nourished his influences. Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) also appeared, as did Roy Orbison or Burt Bacharach. With Go All The Way They managed to reach number five on the best-selling singles charts in the United States.

In the recording of the third album, Side 3, Problems began to arise between some members of the group and Carmen. Jim Bonfanti, the drummer, and bassist Dave Smalley considered that Carmen was sweetening the band’s sound. The two left the group and Carmen had to regroup with other musicians to move forward. Starting Over (1974), fourth Raspberries album, a commercial failure that precipitated the end of the band. It was when Carmen began a solo career of intermittent success, more focused on ballads and commercial mid-tempo pop. Some of her songs sold much more than the voices of singers like Celine Dion. (All By Myself). In the eighties, Carmen tousled her feline blonde hair and devoted herself to low-intensity commercial pop. Her move turned out to be profitable thanks to songs like Hungry Eyes, included in the soundtrack of the blockbuster hit Dirty Dancing (1987), o Make Me Lose Control, which in 1988 was among the five best-selling singles in the United States. Velecies that his followers of the seventies forgave due to his glorious legacy with the Rasberries, a group that was resurrected in various periods of the two thousand without hardly any significance.

Carmen, who leaves behind a wife and two children, had not released albums with new songs for more than two decades. Today, listening to the four Raspberries albums places the fan in a time where authors had only one goal: to compose memorable songs that would stand the test of time. Many of those that Carmen recorded have done so with distinction.

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