Eric Carmen has been silent on the recording front for some time now, but recently announced on his website a whole batch of good news for his fans including his first new recording in close to 15 years.

'Brand New Year' is overloaded with melodic goodness, along with a forward looking message. Carmen sounds in fine form, and is backed by members of the Wondermints, the same group that has been part of Brian Wilson's band for many years. No surprise that a distinct Beach Boys influence can be felt throughout. "When I wrote this song, I was thinking about two people, specifically, that I know, that had both experienced the most horrific year I could ever imagine," Eric said in a post on his website, "Then I began to think about the countless millions of people in the world that had had a year at least that bad, or worse."

The new track, streaming for free on his website, will be available as part of a career retrospective, 'The Essential Eric Carmen,' which is set for release March 11, 2014. The collection covers Carmen's solo hits, as well as material from the Raspberries. The other big news is of particular note for die hard fans. Shortly after the release of the 'Essential,' another set, 'Eric Carmen: The Early Years,' will be issued. That disc will include long sought after material Carmen recorded prior to the Raspberries with the Quick and Cyrus Erie, including all the released singles as well as unreleased demos.

"My goal, as a songwriter, is to try to find what I call 'The Universal,'" Carmen adds, "Something that resonates inside every human being. Something everyone has felt. And that is what makes a song great. When you can capture, in music and lyrics, something everyone has felt, at some point in their life."

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