Boats Against the Current

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Boats Against the Current
Studio album by Eric Carmen
Released August 1977
Genre Soft rock
Length 37:57
Label Arista
Producer Eric Carmen
Eric Carmen chronology
Eric Carmen
Boats Against the Current
Change of Heart
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]

Boats Against the Current is a 1977 album by Eric Carmen. The title is taken from a line in the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past.”[2] It was Carmen's second solo LP, after the Raspberries disbanded. It peaked at #45 on the Billboard album chart.

The album yielded two charting singles, the title track as well as "She Did It." "She Did It" is the bigger hit from this album,[3] which reached #23 Billboard and #15 Cash Box, as well as #11 in Canada.[4] The title track subsequently reached #88 Billboard and #92 Cash Box.[5] "Marathon Man" was released as a third single in March 1978 but failed to chart.[6][7] "Love is All that Matters" melody is lifted from Tschaikovsky's "Fifth Symphony, Second Movement."

Guest musicians on this album included back-up vocals by several of the Beach Boys and Burton Cummings (formerly of the Guess Who), guitar by Andrew Gold, and drumming by Toto's Jeff Porcaro.

The title song was covered by Frankie Valli on his 1977 LP Lady Put the Light Out. "Boats Against the Current" was also covered in 1978 by Olivia Newton-John on her album Totally Hot, and it was included as the B-side of her single release, "Rest Your Love on Me." Patti LaBelle also included the song on her 1981 LP, The Spirit's in It.

Live performances[edit]

Carmen performed three tracks from the LP ("She Did It," "Boats Against the Current" and "Marathon Man") on The Midnight Special television program (season 6, episode 5) on October 14, 1977.[8] The show was hosted by Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Eric Carmen:

  1. "Boats Against the Current" – 4:22
  2. "Marathon Man" – 3:55
  3. "Nowhere To Hide" – 5:05
  4. "Take It or Leave It" – 4:00
  5. "Love Is All That Matters" – 4:17
  6. "She Did It" – 3:48
  7. "I Think I Found Myself" – 4:25
  8. "Runaway" – 8:05



Year US Billboard US Cash Box US Record World US AC CAN CAN AC Title
1977 23 15 27 26 11 "She Did It"

b/w "Someday"

1977 88 92 "Boats Against the Current"

b/w "Take It Or Leave It"

1978 "Marathon Man"

b/w "I Think I Found Myself"