All By Myself

Album: Eric Carmen (1975)
Charted: 12 2
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  • Carmen explained: "The song started with the solo. It started 4 bars at a time. Eventually, over a period of 2 months, that entire interlude had been written. Then my quest was to put this in the middle of an actual song. Then it was a matter of trying to figure out what kind of song and how could I do it. I was listening to Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto (written in 1901) and I heard the melody which I used for the verse. Then I needed a chorus. I went back and listened to a song that I had written in 1973 called 'Let's Pretend' for the Raspberries. I just took those notes and took it from there. I thought, ''Let's Pretend' was a nice melody.' The song didn't go quite as far as I thought it should have. I'll go back and steal from myself for this."
  • Carmen used the same notes from "Let's Pretend" to open his song "The Way We Used To Be."
  • Carmen: "There's not nearly as much fuel in being happy as there is in being miserable. Being miserable is a great catalyst for songwriting, for me anyway. I'm constantly amazed at the amount of wonderful work that Mozart did during periods when he was fairly happy. His music during those periods reflects the happiness. On the other hand, I can't imagine that Rachmaninoff was happy when he was writing the second symphony and second piano concerto. I don't think the anguish and angst of those melodies comes out of being peachy keen."
  • When he wrote this, Carmen thought the Rachmaninoff music was in the public domain, meaning he could use it free of charge. After this song came out, he found out it wasn't and agreed to a settlement with the Rachmaninoff estate.
  • Carmen: "If you walked in a record store and saw 'All By Myself' on the record label, you'd know what the song was about, and it's an emotion that everyone has felt at some point in their life. Therefore, it's a song that goes immediately to your heart. The lyrics are as simple as I could possibly make them. Sometimes my melodies are so dramatic that if the lyric is that dramatic, it's overkill."
  • Carmen: "The edited version was still about 4:22 so I know the song probably had to be edited. The only problem was that there really was no place to edit because it changed keys 4 different times within that piano interlude. Jimmy Ienner, the producer, and I had struggled trying to figure out how we could possibly do an edit.
  • Celine Dion covered this in 1996. Her version hit #4 in the US and #6 in the UK.
  • This has been used in the movies Clueless (a version by Jewel plays as Cher (Alicia Silverstone) wanders Beverly Hills and contemplates her love life), Dawn of the Dead (2004 version), and Shrek 2. It was also used in Bridget Jones's Diary when Bridget (Renee Zellweger) was alone and drunk on New Year's. The latter version was performed by Country artist Jamie O'Neal, who told Songfacts: "Boy, that is a real challenge to sing a song like that. It's just one of those songs that has such a range to it that you've got to dig deep just to get the notes out."

    O'Neal's version was used again in the third film of the series, Bridget Jones's Baby, in 2016. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Elanor - Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • The song was performed by Charice in the April 19, 2011 episode of Glee. The actress and singer has an occasional part as talented rival glee club member, Sunshine Corazon. The comment was made that it was a tad inappropriate to hear the teenager singing the song's opening lines, "When I was young/ I never needed anyone / And making love was just for fun / Those days are gone"?
  • This was used in a 2019 commercial for T-Mobile that ran during the 2019 Super Bowl. In the spot, a guy pours his heart out before realizing he's texting his Lyft driver.
  • This was used on two episodes of Friends in relation to Chandler and Joey's friendship. First, it appeared in season two's "The One Where Eddie Moves In," when the former roommates miss living together, then in season six's "The One With Mac And C.H.E.E.S.E," when they contemplate making up after a fight. The song was also included on Friends: The Ultimate Soundtrack (2005).

    It also shows up on these TV shows:

    Doom Patrol ("Penultimate Control" – 2019)
    Psych ("Neil Simon's Lover's Retreat" – 2011)
    30 Rock ("Argus" – 2010)
    Scrubs ("My Old Friend's New Friend" – 2004)
    That '70s Show ("Eric's Depression" – 2001)
  • Barry Williams and Florence Henderson, aka Greg and Carol Brady, performed this on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour in 1977.

Comments: 31

  • AnonymousHe stole it. Snap out if it. It’s obvious he stole it.
  • Rick from PhiladelphiaArranged by the brilliant Charlie Calello AKA The Hit Man.
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenI'm sure Carmen meant well, but this has to be one of the most self-indulgent songs ever made.
  • Drunken Princess from C-bus, OhCorrect me if I'm wrong but I think this song was also used in the movie 'To Die For' with Nicole Kidman. It was played during the funeral scene for Matt Dillon.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 31, 1976, Eric Carmen performed "All By Myself" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #25 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, five weeks later it would peak at #2 {for 3 weeks} and it spent nineteen weeks on the Top 100...
    "Love Machine" by the Miracles kept it out of the top spot the first week it was at #2, the next two weeks "December 1963 (Oh What A Night}" by the Four Seasons was the culprit that kept it at the runner-up position...
    In 1997 Celine Dion covered "All By Myself"; on April 6th, 1997 her version peaked at #1 {for 3 weeks} on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Track chart...?
    Between 1976 and 1988 Eric Carmen, as a solo artist, had thirteen* records on the Top 100, three made the Top 10...
    Besides "All By Myself", his other two Top 10 records were "Hungry Eyes" {#4 in 1987} and "Make Me Lose Control" " {#3 in 1988}...
    As a member of the Raspberries he charted seven more times on the Top 100, with one Top 10 record, "Go All The Way", it peaked at #5 {for 2 weeks} on October 1st, 1972...
    Eric Howard Carmen will celebrate his 69th birthday come next August 11th {2018}...
    * He just missed having a fourteenth Top 10 record when "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" peaked at #11 {for 2 weeks} on June 28th, 1976.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 14th 1975 "All By Myself" by Eric Carmen entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on April 30th, 1976 it peaked at #2 (for 3 weeks) and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100...
    "Love Machine" by the Miracles kept it out of the top spot the first week it was at #2, the next two weeks "December 1963 (Oh What A Night)" by the Four Season was the culprit that kept it at the runner-up position...
    It reached #3 in Canada...
    In 1997 Celine Dion covered it; on April 6th, 1997 her version peaked at #1 (for 3 weeks) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Track chart.
  • Mark Hardt from St. Petersburg, FlI loved Lets Pretend from the moment my sister got the 45 inch single in 1973. I used it in my Wedding song list. In 75 All by myself was all over the radio. For some reason I did not put the two together until this post at the top. Eric has a great voice. His lyrics are good but not great. Dylan was great. He tends to rip off everyone from the Eeatles to the Who to the above mentioned Rachmaninoff' on the melodies. But as Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols would say on Indie 103.1 in LA, "Eric Carmen is a nicker (thief), but a good one at that". Later the electronic duo Thievery Corp. made no bones about their larceny. I am not sure if this is legend or fact but I heard Rachmaninoff ripped off the melody used in All by Myself from a Venice street vendor. When I saw the Rasberries in a reunion show in Nov 2007 in Anaheim, CA, Eric went on an extended piano jam in the middle of the song I presume playing Rachmininoff note for note. He also said he would have released the song with the Rasberries had they not broke up.
  • Michael Scott from Punta Gorda, FlThis was a great song from the mid 70's and I remember when I took a classical music class in '79 that I heard the same music in Carmen's song. I thought of it as compliment Carmen was giving to the composer. I don't think it would have gotten near the attention otherwise. Yes it sounds a little depressing but if you follow it up with R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" its like the otherside of the same record.
  • John from Margaretville, NyTod, with all due respect, Rachmaninov was one of the greatest pianists and composers of the 20th Century. (And the late 19th as well.) Comparing Carmen and Rachmaninov might be one of the absolutely dumbest things I have ever heard in my life, and I'm an old fart. Get a grip on reality.. you probably believe Global Warming is a "hoax."
  • Tod from Las Vegas, NvWith all due respect to Rachmaninoff, Eric Carmen is three times the creative talent as his classical counterpart. His estate beneficiaries should thank their lucky stars that someone as brilliant as Carmen brought Rachmaninoff's work alive. Sure, Carmen sampled the melody for the verse, but it was Carmen lyrics and voice that made that verse immortal and commercially valuable.
  • Clint from Melbourne, AustraliaOkay...I've just signed up so I could make a comment here, like two other people have already noted and therefore spoilt my thunder, I have just watched "Brief Encounter" on our FOX Classics Channel, introduced by Bill Collins I was immediately sucked in to watching all 86 minutes of it, by about halfway through the film I picked up on the music score and sounded very much like a song I hear played on our local easy music station 3MP all the time, which has finally led me to SongFacts, I'm not sure what "John" of the UK was getting to exactly but it is clear that Noel Coward had used Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto as the main theme throughout the film, nothing unusual here, definitely a beautiful piece though, oh and one small observation, Bill had indicated that this was his favorite film, I guess there might be some truth in that judging by the teary look in his eyes once the film had finished tonight, you gotta love'm...18/4/09
  • Les from Joplin, MoCarmen had another hit on his next album that is a happy follow-up or an answer to "All By Myself." It is called, "She Did It" from 1977, and it is posted on You Tube.
  • Jane from Austin, Txand it was also in the movie "clueless" when she realizes that she likes her step-brother. ewwww.
  • Fulu from Limpopo, South Africai think celine dion made a cover version of this song. it is really painful how the singer is all by himself.
  • John from London, United KingdomOkay, so it turns out the Rachmaninoff thing is true, (see two entries down) but I have one more question. Did Eric get his name from Carmen Curlers? With a barnet like his, it makes perfect sense.
  • Malena from Monterrey, Mexicoloved it in DIRTY SEXY MONEY when jeremy sings it at his birthday party
  • John from London, United KingdomI agree with Doug (entry below) the song can be found woven in the fabric of the Brief Encounter film score, so spare me the Rachmaninoff cobblers! I suppose somebody's gonna tell me Rachmaninoff wrote the score now.
  • Doug from Detroit, MiMy wife and I just watched the Noel Coward 1945 B&W movie Brief Encounter and started humming All by Myself which is the main song throughout the movie.
  • Perry from Pasig City, OtherFor the comparison between Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" and Sergei Rachmaninoff's 'Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18 in C Minor - Adagio Sostenuto (2nd movement)', see .
  • Adolph from Coram, NyGreat Song. Great piano solo! Could someone please tell me where I can purchase the "complete" piano solo from the album version?

    Eric does a great live version with Ringo.
  • Sara from Traverse City, Mithis song is so good, I really love listening to it, beacuse it's about how tired you get of begin alone sometimes and sometimes begin alone is okay.
  • Nachomoma from Columbus, OhThe best showing of this song was on bridget's Jones diary... when she was alone screaming this song out with a cig and a bottle!
  • Matt from Portland, OrI like ths song, but I just LOVE that ol' Eric had to cough up some of his earnings to the Rachmaninoff estate.
  • David from Youngstown, OhActually this song was featured in the March 5, 1977, episode of the short-lived Brady Bunch Hour. There were 8 shows in the early part of 1977 after the success of what was to be a one-shot Brady Bunch Variety Hour in November 1976. Greg sings All By Myself when he decides to leave the Brady home - he was probably in his mid-20s by this time if not older. He sings it by himself while Carol sings Traces at the same time on two different ends of the stage. She is sad Greg is moving out and looks at a picture of him as she sings Traces.
  • Ivan from Dallas, TxThe guitar solo was played by a session guitarist called Hugh McCracken, who played in the Petula Clark Band.
  • Donovan from Milwaukee, Wy"All By Myself" was featured in a Brady Bunch variety show special. Greg (Barry Williams) sang it as a duet with Carol (Florence Henderson). B

    ut I really just wanted to ask if anyone knows who played lead guitar on that song. It certainly has a George Harrison sound, but I would be shocked to find out it was the former Beatle on that song. Besides, if it were actually Harrison, I would imagine that tidbit would have already been included.
  • Rob from Vancouver, CanadaShe's not a real canadian....she doesn't play hockey or curl or anything. You can keep her.
  • Tony from Topeka, KsUndoubtedly one of the most depressing songs I've ever heard.
  • Mia from Wellston, MiOkay can anyone tell me if this was the song used in the movie "under wraps" when the mummy has no one to dance with / something or other??? help me i want to know!!!
  • Papa Burgundy from Bridlington, Englandthe showboating canadian wench celine dion covered it
  • Ascorbic from New York, NyThis song was used in an episode of "Friends" in the 2nd season, when Joey moves out of Chandler's apartment, and they aren1t roommates anymore! Heart rendering!
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