One Hit Wonderland: Eric Carmen
Sometimes you really feel like you want to die. Not only die, but die alone and in pain. So bad, that on the death certificate, “broken heart” is cited as the main contributing factor. Eric Carmen is probably responsible for a lot of these specific occurrences. The minute you hear his admittedly impressive voice, you want to curl up and forget all reasons for living.
Nonetheless, it’s a powerful song. Eric Carmen practically rewrote the definition of power ballad when creating ‘All By Myself’. Well, when him and Sergei Rachmaninoff developed it. Carmen ended up having to sign a bit of money over to the Rachmaninoff estate, what with him stealing the chorus from the Russian romanticist classical music master.
Still, the song stands up as one of the greats, even if Celine Dion gets most of the credit for making the song ‘her own’ through a 1996 cover. However, plenty of others have jumped on the depression train since the Carmen-Rachmaninoff partnership including Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Michael Ball, Il Divo and the strangely shouty John Barrowman.
Somehow, it only gained 17th place in Five’s list of the UK’s favourite break-up songs. If you want to cry yourself to sleep, it seems like there’s no other option than to embrace Carmen and his dulcet tones. Have a listen and prove this wrong, if you have a strong stomach:
To be honest, it’s hard to feel sorry for the bloke. If anything, the opening line “When I was young / I never needed anyone / And making love was just for fun / Those days are gone” makes him sound like he’s got an STD and that his isolation is fully deserved. It’s not the way anyone will interpret it when they’re listening to him, but then again, they’ll be crying too loudly to really hear the lyrics.
By Matt Gardner