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Monday, April 21, 2014

Eric Carmen: The Essential Eric Carmen (Arista/Legacy Recordings)

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Despite this 45-year-spanning two-disc set, what’s most essential in Eric Carmen’s career occurred before the breakup of his group, The Raspberries, in 1974. Posthumous adulation for Big Star aside, The Raspberries defined ’70s power pop with their crisply composed singles, lavish harmonies and energetic (but never gritty) guitar-powered melodies. The real surprise on The Essential Eric Carmen is the opening 1969 track from his first recording act, “Cyrus Erie,” with its excellent approximation of the mid-’60s Beatles’ sound.