“All by Myself” is a power ballad by American artist Eric Carmen released in 1975. The verse is based on the second movement (Adagio sostenuto) of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18. The chorus is borrowed from the song “Let’s Pretend”, which Carmen wrote and recorded with the Raspberries in 1972.
The song was the first released on Carmen’s first solo LP after leaving the power pop group the Raspberries and was released as the first single in December 1975, to great acclaim. It reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 1 on Cash Box Top 100 Singles and number 3 in Canada. The single sold more than one million copies in the United States and was certified gold by the RIAA in April 1976. “All By Myself” was Carmen’s first of eight U.S. Top 40 hits. In the UK, however, this was his only Top 40 success, peaking at number 12. In a 2006 poll for UK’s Five programme Britain’s Favourite Break-up Songs, Eric Carmen’s version of this song was voted seventeenth.
Carmen thought that Rachmaninoff’s music was in the public domain and no copyright existed on it. Subsequent to the release of the album, he was contacted by the Rachmaninoff estate and informed otherwise. An agreement was reached in which the estate would receive 12 percent of the royalties from “All by Myself” as well as from “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again”, which was based on the third movement from Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2.
Carmen has stated that he also incorporated part of another melody into this song. The melody was taken from his previous hit with the Raspberries, “Let’s Pretend.”
Carmen’s original version has spawned numerous cover versions by such artists as Rico J. Puno in 1976, Celine Dion in 1996, Frank Sinatra, Igudesman & Joo, Il Divo, and Only Men Aloud!.
On his second solo LP, Boats Against the Current, Carmen had a subsequent Top 40 hit entitled “She Did It” which was the antithesis of “All by Myself.” It is a happy answer to the loneliness and lovelessness described in this song and its equally melancholy follow-up, “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again.”
The Carmen version is used in the video introduction for Conan O’Brien’s “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour”, when an obese and bearded version of the talk show host struggles to cope with losing his job as host of Tonight Show. The Carmen version is also featured in the second season’s episode 17 of the popular 1990s sitcom Friends (set on Joey & Chandler’s friendship), and a season 4 episode of the hit sitcom That ’70s Show. It was also featured in the film Under Wraps. The version is used also in the film I nuovi mostri directed by Dino Risi, with Ornella Muti and Yorgo Voyagis. In the Disney film Zootopia, a snippet is heard of it as the main character, Judy Hopps browses through one depressing song after another on her clock radio.
The song is very most popular in the Philippines as their signature single were released.