I liked both “All By Myself” and “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again” in the spring and summer of 76, and Eric Carmen’s incorporation of themes from Rachmaninoff in both might well have kept me from connecting him to his earlier work in a band, even if I’d been a few years older than 12. I’m sure that before too long I heard from Casey about EC’s early classical training and subsequent move toward rock.
It’s fair to say that the longer Carmen stayed in the biz, the less I tended to like his output. The power pop of his 72-74 run with the Raspberries is absolutely top-notch stuff. This was their last appearance on AT40 (#24 here, peaking at #18). I think I’ve read comparisons of Eric’s work here to Brian Wilson; sure sounds like he’s channeling his inner Beach Boy to me.