Monday, 24 January 2011
80: Eric Carmen, “All By Myself” (no.12, 1976)
Employed as cheap and easy shorthand by the forces of irony so often - and, yes, Friends and Bridget Jones’s Diary, I am looking at you - that it’s easy to overlook the deep and sincere well of emotion that runneth over several times in this four-minute melodrama. One of the greatest of all sad songs, not to mention - after Bowie’s "Life on Mars" - the only other chart hit to have been inspired by Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no.2 in C Minor. Apologies for the comparatively undramatic choice of clip: the alternatives included one introduced by the Hairy Cornflake (thus too scary for kids, or grown-ups, come to think of it) and one which sees Carmen performing the song with a ten-piece band under a giant red neon “ERIC CARMEN”, which rather suggests he wasn’t entirely as alone as the song makes out.