Raspberries Frontman & Power Pop Hitmaker Was 74

    Date:

    Eric Carmen, the former frontman of The Raspberries and power pop hitmaker behind songs like “Go All the Way,” “I Wanna Be With You,” “All By Myself,” and “Hungry Eyes,” has died at the age of 74.

    Carmen passed away in his sleep over the weekend, his wife Amy announced on Monday. A cause of death was not disclosed.

    “It brought him great joy to know, that for decades, his music touched so many and will be his lasting legacy,” Amy wrote in a statement.

    Carmen was a musical prodigy from a young; at the age of three, he began taking piano lessons at Cleveland Institute of Music. In middle school, after hearing The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones, he taught himself how to perform guitar and began playing in local bands.

    In the late 1960s, Carmen teamed up with fellow Cleveland musicians Wally Bryson, Jim Bonfanti, and Dave Smalley to form The Raspberries. With Carmen serving as frontman and the band’s chief songwriter, the group quickly earned a label deal with Capitol Records and released their self-titled debut in 1972. Over the course of a five-year span, The Raspberries popularized the power pop genre with hits like “Go All the Way,” “I Wanna Be With You,” “Let’s Pretend,” and “Overnight Sensation (Hit Record).”

    Following The Raspberries’ breakup in 1975, Carmen launched a successful solo career. One of his earliest solo singles, “All By Myself,” hit No.2 in the US and sold more than one million copies worldwide. It was later covered by Celine Dion and became one of her biggest hits.

    His other notable solo singles included “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again,” “She Did It,” and “Make Me Lose Control.” He also wrote “That’s Rock and Roll,” which became a top five hit for teen pop singer Shaun Cassidy when he covered the song in 1976.

    In 1987, Carmen returned to the top of the charts with “Hungry Eyes,” his original contribution to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. The following year, “Make Me Lose Control” was featured prominently on the telecast of the Seoul Summer Olympics.

    Carmen briefly reunited with The Raspberries for a run of concerts in 2004 and 2005. They also experienced renewed interest in 2014 when “Go All the Way” was featured on the soundtrack to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

     



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