Eric Carmen, power pop master and Raspberries frontman, dead at 74

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Former Raspberries frontman, and writer of classic power pop hits like ‘Hungry Eyes’, ‘I Wanna Be With You’, and ‘All By Myself’, Eric Carmen, has died at the age of 74.

Carmen’s wife, Amy, confirmed the musician’s passing yesterday. No cause of death has been announced at the time of writing, though it is thought that Eric passed away peacefully in his sleep.

In a statement released on the singer’s website, his wife wrote, “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. ‘Love Is All That Matters… Faithful and Forever.’”

That last quote was taken from one of Carmen’s solo tracks, 1977’s ‘Love Is All That Matters’, taken from his second solo LP, Boats Against the Current. The song is just one of a plethora of examples of Carmen’s unique ability to pen both heartfelt ballads and power pop anthems. 

He had demonstrated his musical proficiency from a young age, beginning piano lessons at the age of only three. As a preteen, after hearing British Invasion bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who, Carmen taught himself the guitar and began playing in local groups.

It did not take long for the musical prodigy to form The Raspberries in the late 1960s. Although they were often panned as being ‘uncool’ by mainstream rock and roll audiences, their body of work speaks for itself. Across their career, they were responsible for a wide range of instantly recognisable tracks, all penned by Carmen himself.

Following on from the breakup of the band in 1975, Carmen embarked upon a successful solo career, culminating in the classic hit ‘Hungry Eyes’, from the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing.

What was Eric Carmen’s biggest hit?

Despite his reputation as a master of power pop, Carmen did not have the greatest impact on the pop charts, at least in the United Kingdom. His biggest solo hit on the UK singles charts was 1976’s ‘All By Myself’, which peaked at number 12. None of his tracks with The Raspberries managed to break into the UK charts, though they were very successful across the Atlantic.

The band managed a top five hit in the US charts in 1972, with ‘Go All The Way’, their most commercially successful effort by far. However, Carmen achieved much more success as a solo artist, earning three top five hits in ‘Hungry Eyes’, which peaked at number four, ‘Make Me Lose Control’ at number three and ‘All By Myself’ at number two.

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