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Official Review [Album]: "CARPENTERS" S/T (SP-3502)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Mar 8, 2013.

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  1. ***** (BEST)

    13 vote(s)
    29.5%
  2. ****

    26 vote(s)
    59.1%
  3. ***

    4 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. **

    1 vote(s)
    2.3%
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    I apologize, as that was a typo on my part actually, as I've revised the reply. To my knowledge Craig is definitely still around. In fact one of his sons is the front man for a successful San Francisco based funk band. Not certain if Craig himself is still designing.
     
  2. Eyewire

    Eyewire Active Member

  3. Since the logo first appeared, the only official compilations that DO NOT use the classic Carpenters logo are all of the Gold Series and New Gold Series releases in Japan and Germany, Startrax in Australia, the CLASSICS Series discs in the US, the O MELHOR disc in Brazil, the TIME LIFE Collection, and ICON.

    For the most part, they are all parts of existing series of compilations with common cover art, or are licensed from A&M.

    Harry
     
  4. NowhereMan

    NowhereMan Member

    UT
    I found an interesting recording of (A Place to) Hideaway from 1967 on YouTube recently. This version is by a duo called Gaylord & Holiday and it has a sound somewhat reminiscent of the Everly Brothers or Righteous Brothers. I know the story goes that Richard heard Randy Sparks perform this song when Spectrum or another of the early groups was performing at a club in LA. It makes me wonder where and how this group heard the song and decided to record it. Listening to this version makes me really appreciate Richard's gift for finding songs and polishing them up as great showcases for Karen.

     
    Don Malcolm, 70sFan and GaryAlan like this.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Nowhere Man,
    Thanks for that Youtube video for Gaylord and Holiday's Place To Hideaway.
    I actually rather like their version. A cursory glance at ebay
    reveals a scarcity of the vinyl single of theirs.
    The 45 was between 20 and 30 dollars.
    But, I would like to find a cheap copy !
     
  6. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    Here is a nice concert review around the time of the album "Carpenters"
    Record World May 29, 1971
    What a great headline, huh?
    It's nice to see they took notice of Karen playing drums
    and singing at the same time, what a talent she had and she did it so effortlessly.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Oh, how opinions change. As of today, I have finally given a rating to this album: five stars. In recent months, this album has become an instant favorite; I play it from side 1 to 2 more often than I do A Song For You and Close to You, unmistakably great albums in their own right. The overdub harmonies are some of the best here, hands down, especially on the album tracks. "Saturday" is lifted by the "wahh, ahhhs" and "One Love" is made haunting by the church-choral style "few are the choices we are given" on chorus line 2. "Druscilla" has that big finish "nooooo". I could go on, as you can tell.

    Despite a "shorter" tracklist, I feel the album is more balanced overall.
     
    David A and Jamesj75 like this.
  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Re-reading the July 4,1974
    Rolling Stone Magazine Interview:
    Rolling Stone's cover story features The Carpenters - Rolling Stone »
    Excerpt,
    "One of the Carpenters' first gigs was a charity show where they met Burt Bacharach,
    who complimented them lavishly and asked them to prepare and perform a medley of his tunes for another upcoming benefit.
    Initially he gave them carte blanche,
    but when he heard the medley Richard had arranged he dictated all kinds of changes

    the day before the show, necessitating frantic all-night work from the group,
    who had to learn a radically different medley from the one they had been rehearsing for weeks.
    When Richard first told this story, the confusion and hurt he felt at the time lay heavy in his words
    ...."

    Q:
    I do wonder if this event had any impact when it comes to the Medley as we have it on the Tan Album ?
     
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  9. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Of course a person can only speculate at this point, but given the huge differences between the "sound" of Burt Bacharach's own records and the Carpenters "sound," my guess is, he probably wanted the medley to sound "more like Bacharach" but Richard had it sounding "more Carpenters-ish."

    I think everyone has things like that -- something they're good at, and nobody else's way is quite good enough because it from a different mind-set.

    Anyway, I doubt it had any impact on Richard's medley though... he had full creative control and was a very confident arranger (and rightly so), so I doubt he even consulted with Bacharach about the tan-album medley.
     
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  10. Randy Schmidt wrote in LITTLE GIRL BLUE that the medley they performed at the second charity event in February of 1970 was the extended one that includes "Any Day Now" and "Baby It's You". So the album version is shorter than the one performed that night. "Radical" could also imply that either the placement of the songs within the medley were switched around or that there were significant swaps of songs from the medley that Richard originally created. An "alternative" medley created by Richard would certainly be interesting to hear for comparison.
     
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  11. Something I noticed and described after seeing Burt Bacharach live was his facial expressions as he and his orchestra were performing his own songs, with his own arrangements. The expressions to me looked like he was expecting more from the sound than what he was getting. That the performance wasn't quite what he wanted - that it had fallen short. As the composer and arranger, it was as if he was hearing things in his songs that even he and his orchestra couldn't quite convey.

    The above situation with Richard may have been a case of "perfectionist meets perfectionist".
     
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Revisited the "Tan" LP this morning.
    My present opinion:
    I prefer Side One to Side Two:
    Side Two has selections 3,4 &5 that ---while good--have not withstood the test of time in my ears.
    (That is, One Love,Medley & Sometimes). I adore Karen's vocals on One Love and Sometimes....but...
    none of the Medleys have worn well with me.
    Superstar, beginning Side two, is such a fantastic song--vocals and arrangement--that all else
    on side two pales in comparison .
    (That is, over thirteen minutes of side two pales in comparison to one song !).
    Now, Side One:
    Loving....
    Rainy Days,Let Me Be The one,Hideaway and For All We Know.
    Still not liking.... Saturday--almost a minute and a half wasted (IMHO).
    Thus, in an album which clocks-in at 29m26s:
    I love 15 minutes and a half....or, 51% of the album.
    I like 11 minutes of the album, 38 %.
    I actually dislike the remainder, 11% of the album.

    Thankfully, the three Singles:
    Superstar, Rainy Days,For All We Know
    prevent this album from being one of my least favorites.
     
  13. Is it the arranging on Sometimes and One Love that you don't like? I know the later sounds old fashioned but I love it. And Sometimes is timeless, just Karen and a piano.
     
  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Ever since I heard the (much improved) alternate piano solo bridge--Richard played it on an episode
    of Make Your Own Kind of Music--I have felt the song as done on the LP lacks something.
    But, yes, Mary Beth, the arrangement --its awkward stanzas--feel as if this was half an effort.
    As for Sometimes, again, some lovely vocal and lyrical moments--but, ultimately a bit clunky in
    the arrangement.
    I don't mean to pick on Richard, but, outside of the Hit Singles here--they, real winners on this album--
    the other arrangements are too mediocre in comparison ! (IMHO).
     
  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    It had escaped my notice, recently, while spinning this album,
    that Karen holds her note on the last lyric--of the song Sometimes--
    much longer than I had heretofore caught....it is almost too soft to hear !
    Well, at least for my ears it was too soft to catch....
    Well, an epiphany of sorts--I really love the way she sings this song, and, of course,
    the meaning of the song is beautiful---but, for some reason it (the entire song)
    doesn't jump out at me....
     
  16. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Even better sung live. (Just to remind everyone how talented they were)


     
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  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Chris, Thanks for reminding me of that performance.
    Chilling vocals.
    Now, if only I did not have to wait 1m15sec for Karen's vocals !
    That's the sticking point with me---the wait of over a minute !
     
    Chris Mills likes this.
  18. The Live From Japan performance of Sometimes is gorgeous too, and the keyboard on that makes the piano intro go by faster. The keys seem "slower" on the studio version and that might be why it's a bit plodding for you, Gary. The Japan version has a different keyboard and moves at a different pace.
     
  19. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    The long piano intro on Ticket To Ride really tests my patience! But somehow the wait for the vocal to start is part of the enjoyment of listening to the song.
     
  20. Ooh I love that piano intro, it builds up exquisitely and makes the intro to Karen's vocal even more exciting.
     
  21. David A

    David A New Member

    Rainy Days and Mondays (my favorite C's song), Superstar (2nd favorite), For All We Know, Let Me Be the One...I cannot choose this as other than their best album. 5 stars. I speak from the standpoint of a fan enjoying the music, not from any technical aspect (I believe this album was recorded with only 12 tracks, if memory serves). Some of the rest of the material seems a bit rushed, but had the rest been equal to these 4, I'd have given the album 6 stars.
     
    Mary Beth likes this.

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