Eric Carmen, Raspberries Frontman and ‘All by Myself’ Singer, Dead at 74

    Eric Carmen, the frontman of ‘70s pop-rock band Raspberries and singer of solo hits including ‘All By Myself’ and ‘Hungry Eyes’, has died at the age of 74. Carmen’s wife, Amy, announced his death in a post on his website. No cause of death was provided.

    “It is with tremendous sadness that we share the heartbreaking news of the passing of Eric Carmen,” she wrote. “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. Please respect the family’s privacy as we mourn our enormous loss. ‘Love Is All That Matters… Faithful and Forever.’”

    Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Carmen was enrolled at the Cleveland Institute of Music at the age of two and a half and took violin lessons from his aunt, a violinist with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, when he turned six. In college, he joined the local band Cyrus Erie, which merged with members of a group called the Choir to form the Raspberries in 1970. Influenced by British Invasion bands like the Who and the Beatles, the band – originally featuring Carmen on rhythm guitar, vocals, and piano, Jim Bonfanti on drums, Wally Bryson on lead guitar and vocals, and John Aleksic on bass – helped pioneer the power-pop movement. After Aleksic left and was replaced by ex-Choir singer Dave Smalley, the Raspberries signed with Capitol Records and released their 1972 self-titled debut album, which spawned their biggest hit, ‘Go All the Way’.

    The Raspberries put out three more albums – Fresh, Side 3, and Starting Over – before disbanding in 1975. Carmen went on to pursue a solo career that leaned more toward power ballads and quickly found success with 1975’s ‘All By Myself’, the first single from his debut album, as well as its follow-up, ‘Never Gonna Fall in Love Again’. Subsequent albums included 1977’s Boats Against the Current, 1978’s Change of Heart, and 1980’s Tonight You’re Mine, and his most recent album, I Was Born to Love You, came out in 2000. He revisited the top of the charts in 1987 with his contribution to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, ‘Hungry Eyes’, which reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, while ‘Go All the Way’ experienced a resurgence after being included on the first Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack in 2014.

    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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