He first catapulted to fame with his band the Raspberries in the early 70s until the band's breakup in 1975. The following year, he went on to become a successful solo performer.
His hits include "That's Rock and Roll" (later made popular by Shaun Cassidy), "Hungry Eyes" (from Dirty Dancing), "All by Myself" (a cover of which featured in Bridget Jones' Diary), and "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again". The latter two songs were inspired by two famous compositions by Sergei Rachmaninoff.
As part of the Raspberries:
- Raspberries (1972)
- Fresh/Fresh Raspberries (1972)
- Side 3 (1973)
- Starting Over (1974)
As a solo artist:
- Eric Carmen (1975)
- Boats Against the Current (1977)
- Change of Heart (1978)
- Tonight You're Mine (1980)
- Eric Carmen (1984)
- Winter Dreams (1997; Japan only), re-released outside Japan as I Was Born to Love You (2000)
His work contains examples of:
- Break-Up Song: "Boats Against the Current".I know it's over
You know it's over
We're just going through the motions
But we're sailing separate oceans, world's apart
And you know it's breaking my heart
- Lonely Piano Piece: "All By Myself" in particular has a melancholy tone, while prominently featuring the piano.
- Longing Look: "Hungry Eyes" fittingly enough has the subject of the song looking at a romantic interest.
- Rock Me, Amadeus!: "All By Myself" is based on the main theme from the slow movement of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto. Another one of his hits, "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again", is based on the main melody of the third movement of Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony.
- Subdued Section: "Make Me Lose Control" goes a capella near the end.