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Official Review [Album]: "A SONG FOR YOU" (SP-3511)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Apr 12, 2013.

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  1. ***** (BEST)

    38 vote(s)
    70.4%
  2. ****

    12 vote(s)
    22.2%
  3. ***

    3 vote(s)
    5.6%
  4. **

    1 vote(s)
    1.9%
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    As I'm listening to Christmas Albums, in particular,the ballad version Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town,
    I recall Richard Carpenter saying Karen's lead vocal was recorded in 1972.
    In relation to this album--released mid-1972--were the vocals to Santa recorded in the same sessions as this album ?
    If not, when in 1972 was Karen's lead vocal recorded?
    With Karen's voice in such perfect form in 1972, why waste any time and vinyl space on filler material like
    Piano Picker and Flat Baroque ?
    (I may get some 'hate mail', but these two tracks spoil an otherwise perfect album.)
     
  2. Two things to keep in mind from that time:

    Randy Edelman (composer of "Piano Picker") was a known artist around that time. His stuff was getting airplay and he opened for Carpenters on the road.

    Carpenters were a duo - meaning both were performers. By the time of A SONG FOR YOU, they were still fighting the false impression that the 'act' was Karen and that Richard was just a piano player for her. That meant that it was important for Richard to get at least a small part of the album where he would be the lead. All prior albums had those segments, and it would continue through NOW AND THEN.

    By the time of HORIZON, Richard I think had pretty much realized that Karen WAS the start of the show, at least as far as albums were concerned, and there were no more Richard leads other than on Christmas tracks after that.

    Harry
     
  3. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    I kind of like "Piano Picker". As a novelty cut, it works for me. The one track on that album I could do without -- depending on my mood while listening -- is the "baaaaathroooooom" intermission, whose comic value wears off a bit after the ten-thousandth time you've heard it (especially on CD format, where it doesn't signal the end of a side). Technically it's pretty cool, though.

    Richard's vocals on the "Now and Then" medley sounded pretty good to me. After "Passage" came out, I wrote to the fan club asking why he wasn't handling leads any more. They replied that he did cut a lead for a song to be on "Passage" but he decided to leave it off the album. Considering how eclectic that record was, I've long wondered what Richard tried out for it.
     
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    It had escaped me that Randy Edelman, composer of
    Piano Picker,
    also composed the beautiful
    I Can't Make Music
    (Now&Then LP)
    and the beautiful
    You
    (Kind of Hush LP).

    Wonderful composer !
    (of , also, Weekend In New England, performed by Manilow).
     
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Has anyone heard the interview of the duo by Roger Scott, done around 1974/1975 ?
    I just discovered a file on my computer with this 50 minute interview.
    An example of what I just heard:
    Richard Carpenter:
    "Tony Peluso did not know how to read music when he did his guitar solo for Goodbye To Love."("I had to sing him the melody.").
    "They did over 200 mixes in order to arrive at Goodbye To Love--in mono (for AM Radio) and Stereo ( the consumer's LP)."
    "Mixing takes almost as long as recording."
    "Goodbye To Love took much, much longer to do than the Bacharach Medley."
    (Karen: Group got the Medley done on the second take.")
    Interviewer: "Do you ever get sick of those songs...?
    Richard:" I only got sick of a couple...Rainy Days and Mondays wore on me, and Close To You...."
    Karen: "That's odd...because...I love performing Rainy Days...."
     
  6. First time I've ever seen Richard even acknowledge a separate mono mix.

    Harry
     
  7. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

  8. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    I'm seeing this for the first time and I just love this promotional ad for It's Going To Take Some Time. I'm a big fan of the mono 45's and I've never seen their 45's being marketed in a promotional ad for the single. I find this fascinating and clever, I think Harry might get a kick out of this as much as I am.

    Cashbox April 29, 1972


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
    Harry, Carpe diem, GaryAlan and 2 others like this.
  9. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    It sounds like this article was written around the time they were recording for the album, A Song For You as it states they were in the middle of a recording session on their next album.

    Cashbox March 18, 1972

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Carpe diem, Jamesj75 and GaryAlan like this.
  10. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    The Cashbox March 18, 1972 article, posted by Rick, crystallizes (perhaps as in a lullaby) the notion of Karen and Richard's take on "Carpenters" versus "The Carpenters." (And I realize that I have been guilty of mislabeling my favorite musical act for decades...)
     
  11. JBee

    JBee Active Member

    In their 1977 appearance on The Tonight Show (with John Denver, Tommy Smothers and Steve Martin) when Martin asks him about "The Carpenters" vs "Carpenters", Richard says they are called "Carpenters" because they have a logo and it only says the one word. Yet, I think the name "Carpenters" as one word pre-dates the logo. It's a bit confusing.

    It's also a bit interesting that KC basically implies they are stuck in the MOR route because that's what their fans expect and because there are some music the Carpenters really don't fit (and that's one of the reasons RC gives for some of the non-released or non-completed tracks left in the vault - that they are not "Carpenters" style songs). Yet with the release of Passage (some tracks), Karen's solo album and their pre-history as the RC Trio (when they were basically a jazzy pop band) show they were certainly capable of more than being a MOR group.
     
  12. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    The 1990 remix of "Road Ode" came on today, and it just killed me. The song is terrific!
     
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  13. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    Album Review, Cashbox July 01, 1972

    [​IMG]


    Cashbox Dec 30, 1972 Year End Ad Duo of the Year for Albums and Singles

    [​IMG]
     
    Carpe diem likes this.
  14. Eyewire

    Eyewire Well-Known Member

    I think I read somewhere that the original idea for the album cover was better than what they finally chose. Does anyone know what that version looked like, or am I just misremembering?
     
  15. Eyewire

    Eyewire Well-Known Member

    Never mind, I found it:

    I already knew about these two:

    covers.png

    But when I saw the words "best of the lot", I thought there were more than two versions for some reason. My bad.

    The one on the right, is it considered a rarity?
     
  16. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    US
    The one I own looks like the one on the right. I would say it is probably harder to find but not necessarily more value. Mine was probably purchased in 1972 before being given to me a few years ago, which is why the LP has the 'updated' cover.
    Nowadays, when I come across one, it is usually like the one on the left (I have one like this, too, but it's rather faded). Sorry I couldn't help you more on this, I just realized it's more of a rambling than anything..:sad:
     
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    For your listening pleasure,
    the 1966 LP by Lalo Schifrin
    which inspired Richard Carpenter to write 1966 "Flat Baroque,"
    the duo "cut" the song for RCA in 1967, later resurfacing on LP A Song For You:
     
    Geographer likes this.
  18. I could totally hear the "Flat Baroque" inspirations in this. "Flat Baroque" is one of my favorite instrumental pieces of theirs and always makes me "actively" listen.

    I wonder if this album is still in print (on CD?). It's a good listen, too. Thanks for posting! I enjoyed this.
     
  19. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    I gave it 5 stars. The album is just top heavy in hit songs. And high quality hit songs. The first track A Song For You soulfully done by Karen with an incredible sax solo by Bob Messenger. Loved the whole album, even Richard's contribution was interesting; Flat Baroque a "flashback" to his childhood inside the house (while Karen was outside "playing with the football"?). Goodbye To Love with Tony's famous fuzz guitar solo still did not make the song playable to most FM album rock stations (In my case KLOS 95.5 FM out of Los Angeles). Very unfair! The 2 songs that really stood out for me was Road Ode; Karen's hauntingly beautiful vocals and a tribute to fellow bandmates Gary Sims and Danny Woodhams. Crystal Lullaby a swirling whirling fantasy perfectly produced, arranged, and executed. The cover of the album is atrocious IMHO! How many more albums would they have sold if you didn't have to lug this grade school Valentine up to the checkout counter at Tower Records or MusicPlus? Didn't I recall that Richard particularly hated this album cover calling it a "greeting card" or something along those lines? Also a question; The album gave credit for drums to both Hal Blaine & Karen. Which tracks did Karen drum on?
     
  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Richard did complain at the time to A&M's Gil Friesen that the cover looked like a Valentine's card. Just one of his many gripes with the album covers.

    You can usually tell Karen's drumming style compared to Hal Blaine. I don't hear her much on the album. I do know it's her playing on Flat Baroque and Piano Picker.
     
    Carpe diem likes this.
  21. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    And, yet, the Album Cover of A Song For You, and inner Photo
    (enlarged) are each used in the Opening pages--first and second Page--
    of the Booklet for the 1991 4-CD Set
    From The Top !

    For the record, I believe there was a sticker on the cover,
    heart shaped with Karen and Richard side--to--side,
    which graced the first issues.
    None of mine ever had this promo sticker.
    Also, first issues were "textured" to an extent,
    with the side flap.

    Actually, I have an earlier pressing--it was a beautiful cover.
     
    Carpe diem likes this.
  22. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    As a new member I am trying to catch up with the posting history, sorry for the late reply;

    I agree with your comment. The Intermission really adds to the record. I bought a copy of this album off ebay only last summer, it was the first time I heard it. On my first listen that brief track really stood out. All this masterfully done "pop" was suddenly ended with essentially; "hey, we got to take a break people!" I could see were it wouldn't work on a CD though.
     
  23. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    Here is a promo ad for the single Top Of The World
    Record World Sept 29, 1973

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Thanks Rick! I've updated the Resource with these ads - and even added one from earlier in this thread that I'd missed. If you notice any others that I've missed, let me know.
     
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.

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