A Cleveland-based group called the Choir broke into the charts in 1967 and released a single that reached #68 on the Hot 100 with It’s Cold Outside. The lead guitar player was Wally Bryson, who left the group in 1968 to join Cyrus Erie, another Ohio band that included Eric Carmen. Wally left Cyrus Erie for a few months in 1969, during which Eric formed another band named the Quick which released a single on Epic Records. Wally rejoined the group and it returned to using the name Cyrus Erie, but by 1970 the group had fallen apart.
Eric and Wally recruited two other members of the Choir (Jim Bonfanti and Dave Smalley) and created the Raspberries. From 1972 to 1975 the group had four top forty singles before they split up and Eric began a solo career.
Eric had written most of the Raspberries singles. and wanted to get away from the group’s hard rock format and concentrate on power ballads and soft rock. His first single was arguably the biggest hit of his career, All By Myself. He followed that up in 1976 with Never Gonna Fall In Love Again, which sounded, in part, like a song that was lifted straight out of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album.
In 1977 he released the single She Did It. Eric admitted that the Beach Boys song Do It Again inspired his single, but the “dit-dit’s” certainly sound a lot like some background vocals on the Choir’s hit single. Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys supplied backup vocals on the record, giving it a definite Beach Boys sound. Other contributions on the record include: Burton Cummings from the Guess Who, a guitar solo by Andrew Gold, and drumming by Jeff Porcaro from Toto. The single reached #23 on the Hot 100.
While She Did It was on the charts, Shaun Cassidy had two top ten singles with songs written by Eric, That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll and Hey Deanie.
Eric toured with Hall & Oates in 1982 and insists that She Did It inspired the duo to record their 1982 hit record, Did It In A Minute.
Eric’s career stalled for a few years when he ceased performing and recording. In 1984 he wrote the love theme from the film Footloose, and the single by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson reached the top ten.
In 1987 he recorded Hungry Eyes for the soundtrack of Dirty Dancing and he also had another big hit in 1988 with Make Me Lose Control.
After not recording new material for 15 years, in the last week of 2013 Eric released Brand New Year, another song that has echoes of old Beach Boys music.
Happy New Year!