Over the next year Terje Fjelde has agreed to listen to nothing but David Foster on his iPod. He’s loaded the thing with over 1,200 songs produced, arranged, composed, and/or played by David Foster. A deal with the devil? He keeps wondering.
I’m sorry, but my mind is a total blank this week, and I don’t know what else to do than to continue the bashing from last time. Please forgive me, I’m no doubt a talentless and bitter dick for wasting my time writing crap about this guy, this genius, who has so much more talent in his left thumb than I have in my entire body that he’s laughing himself all the way to the bank on a yellow-brick road covered by red carpets (red-brick road?), champagne and cheap blondes while I’m sitting here in my ramshackled camp trailer on the edge of the world, watching Swedish Dansband on television to try to laugh off the pain and drinking methanol to stay warm. Did I mention that Foster was in an artistic and commercial slum last weep? Oops, sorry — Freudian slip time — that’s “slump last week.”
Before we delve into the specifics of the three songs I lined out in last week’s entry, we will take a look at David Foster’s career in the late ’80s, and today we’re moving on to 1988. At this point he wasn’t as productive as he used to be, and he certainly didn’t dominate the charts like he used to. He was going through a divorce at the time and, as a freak experiment, he decided to take Sundays off for the first time since his pre-teens, apparently to catastrophic effect. So, a lot of bad things were happening to our hero. Case in point:
“Carmelita’s Eyes” by Neil Diamond, from The Best Years of Our Lives (1988). Produced by David Foster. Written by Neil Diamond and David Foster.
“I teamed up with Neil Diamond on The Best Years of Our Lives, thinking we were making his big comeback album — I was convinced that “Carmelita’s Eyes” was absolutely brilliant — and we fell way short.” David Foster in “Hitman — Forty Years Making Music, Topping Charts & Winning Grammys,” 2008.
As you can see, David Foster uses this song in his autobiography to describe how fucked up his judgment was at one point in the late ’80s. That’s certainly admirable, but listen to what he says a little later in the book:
“I remember, for example, suggesting that he [Michael BublÃ©] consider recording a version of “Carmelita’s Eyes,” the Neil Diamond song that had always been a big favorite of mine. When I played it for him in the studio, however, I realized it wasn’t very good at all…”
I can only imagine young mr. BublÃ©’s face when Foster played it to him. This must have happened around 2002 or 2003, so apparently Foster didn’t realize that this song sucked until Michael BublÃ© set him straight a couple of years ago. The fact that Foster spent the better part of the last 20 years imagining that this song was a big favorite of his really puts a lot of things in perspective. Because “Carmelita’s Eyes” is bad for you in so many ways.
If “Carmelita’s Eyes” was some sort of edible substance and David Foster was the cook, it would be made out of a piece of meat way past its expiry date — Neil Diamond — with a natural flavour of coffee, grapefruit and asphalt — his voice — thoroughly marinated in the poop of David the Cook and Neil the Meatball — which is to say, the song. It would be solidly embalmed in a thick layer of grease and cheese, added with a touch of a mild salsa sauce and finally, after an incongruous amount of overcooking, the whole thing would be covered up with the most delicate chocolate frosting. Only problem is, this is the ’80s we’re talking about, so the delicate chocolate tastes pretty much like battery fluid.
If “Carmelita’s Eyes” was a car it would be a Ford Fiesta disguised as Lincoln Town Car painted with colorful gerbera daisies. It would be a wreck, naturally, and it would run on piÃ±a coladas. If it was a country it would be Belgium, all high on chocolate, steroid-infused meat and Vaya Con Dios.
“Carmelita’s Eyes” is, indeed, the antithesis of a hit song and it should be presented as such in every single songwriting class from here to Mulug.
Ah, I feel much better now.