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Official Review [Album]: "OFFERING"/"TICKET TO RIDE" (SP-4205)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jan 1, 2013.

How Would You Rate This Album?

  1. ***** (Best)

    9 vote(s)
    22.0%
  2. ****

    12 vote(s)
    29.3%
  3. ***

    13 vote(s)
    31.7%
  4. **

    7 vote(s)
    17.1%
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    “OFFERING”/”TICKET TO RIDE”

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Catalogue Number: A&M SP-4205
    Date of Release: 10/09/69
    Chart Position- U.S.: #150; U.K.: #20; JAPAN: #88
    Album Singles: “Ticket To Ride”/”Your Wonderful Parade”
    Medium: Reel/Vinyl/8-track/Cassette/CD


    Track Listing:

    1.) Invocation 1:00 (Carpenter/Bettis)
    2.) Your Wonderful Parade 2:57 (Carpenter/Bettis)
    3.) Someday 5:13 (Carpenter/Bettis)
    4.) Get Together 2:32 (Chet Powers)
    5.) All Of My Life 3:00 (Richard Carpenter)
    6.) Turn Away 3:09 (Carpenter/Bettis)
    7.) Ticket To Ride 4:10 (Lennon/McCartney)
    8.) Don’t Be Afraid 2:05 (Richard Carpenter)
    9.) What’s The Use 2:43 (Carpenter/Bettis)
    10.) All I Can Do 1:42 (Carpenter/Bettis)
    11.) Eve 2:51 (Carpenter/Bettis)
    12.) Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing 4:15 (Neil Young)
    13.) Benediction :40 (Carpenter/Bettis)


    Album Credits:

    Produced by Jack Daugherty
    Recorded at A&M Studios—Los Angeles, CA
    Engineer: Ray Gerhardt
    Vocals: Richard and Karen Carpenter
    Drums: Karen Carpenter
    Keyboards: Richard Carpenter
    Bass: Joe Osborn, Bob Messenger and Karen Carpenter
    Guitar: Gary Sims
    Shaker: Herb Alpert


    Art Direction: Tom Wilkes
    Photography: Jim McCrary


    Liner Notes:

    “Music is simple magic. A rhythm, a melody, a dash of words...presto. It's medicine for the soul, food for love, the essence of divinity, a reason for being. It can soar through an infinite range of ups and downs, strike a million dissonant chords, and topple the strongest resistance. But for all its travels, however wide, however deep, it never forgets to make its simple offering. Enclosed, neatly tucked between the confines of this cardboard jacket, is one of the most beautiful gifts two people can offer. The vocal sound is a product of Richard and Karen Carpenter. In addition to the vocals Karen (age 19) plays drums on all the selections and on two of the offerings she plays electric bass. Her brother, Richard, sings, plays the keyboard instruments, composed ten of the songs, and arranged all of them.”

    It is with pleasure A&M Presents: CARPENTERS

    - Herb Alpert
    =====================================================================
    NOTE: This thread is dedicated to the authenticity of Carpenters music through their albums. All posts regarding any information you may have related to this release is welcome. We do ask however that the information be as accurate as possible and that the discussion here remain about the album being featured. -Chris
     
  2. RainyDays

    RainyDays Active Member

    Though I it says this is from 1971, this is how I imagine Karen and Richard looked when they recorded this!
    [​IMG]
    Hippy-ish! :laugh: Gotta love the threads!

    A very interesting, varied, and underrated album! I've recently went back and listened again to the album and, in particular, some songs that I had earlier dismissed as wishy-washy. This is a very polarizing album for fans, and although it may not be perfectly polished all the way through, there are some real gems here!

    The best/my favorite tracks are: Someday, All Of My Life, Eve, Ticket To Ride, Don't Be Afraid. I hear all of them regularly. I find that the original cuts of Someday and AOML (which I stated in another thread) were perfect the way they were in 1969. I know many prefer Karen's redo of Someday on MMM, but I think her deep, younger voice fits the darkness of the song beautifully. Ticket To Ride is a different case -- I love the orginal in its own way, but that 1973 remix is simply a stunning masterpiece, and it might just be the best track they have ever recorded. Karen's polished reading of it and the clean arrangements make this number SOAR! And I love the video!

    Some other tracks that I have a fondnesss for are Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing, Turn Away (which has a subtle, emotional punch to it), and All I Can Do.

    An issue many have with OFFERING is of course, Richard's lead vocals. I am not a big fan of his voice (it should be in the back), but he does a solid job with Clancy and Turn Away. His mush-mouthed readings are passable occasionally -- I have also developed a liking for Druscilla Penny and Saturday, but shhhh...don't tell! I think overall I enjoy the "dated" '60s-ness of it all. From the cover -- which I really like, though it coulda been touched up -- to the sounds, its a pop artifact that has some tracks that have aged beautifully.

    * I love the Ticket To Ride cover too, its simple and gorgeous and should have been CLOSE TO YOU's cover!

    So I'm totally with Harry on this one!
     
    70sFan likes this.
  3. aaflyer98

    aaflyer98 Well-Known Member

    Not my favorite album, and one I didn't get until 1973, and after hearing the 1973 version of Ticket to Ride, I really didn't like the "Offering" version. Karen sounded somewhat flat in places and really did a superb remake in 1973. Favorite tracks from the album were "Eve" and "All Of My Life". I didn't care for RC's vocals for the most part.
     
  4. Definitely one of my favorites. I've mentioned it before - I love the "group" sound they used here, and was impressed with all of the Richard Carpenter-composed tunes. I was one of the lucky ones to actually get an OFFERING album - and way before it was reissued as TICKET TO RIDE.

    Harry
     
    Bobberman likes this.
  5. RainyDays

    RainyDays Active Member

    I love the group sound too, one that was lost when HORIZON came around. It makes them really feel like a team. I was surprised by how good some (originally "passable") tracks there are, even the Richard leads -- recently I've begun to grow a fondness for his leads on the Tan Album and I Kept On Loving You, as well. I agree with you also Harry, that Richard did have a pleasant sounding voice, though it is suited for special kinds of songs; whereas Karen's pleasant vocals have a broader range of selection (i.e. everything!).

    I want that vintage OFFERING album! I wonder if some old record shops would have it and not even realize how much it's worth -- in money and nostalgic purpose. And I do have a fondness for the much maligned cover.
     
  6. byline

    byline Active Member

    I'm listening to "Offering"/"Ticket to Ride" right now and am re-experiencing these little gems that I've not heard in quite some time. Question: Does anyone know which songs Karen played bass on? And why didn't she keep on with that? Probably a question to ask Joe Osborn.
     
  7. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    "Eve" and "All Of My Life" :)
     
  8. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    This is a fine album and is one I usually like to listen to from end-to-end...probably because the overall sound of it is SO different from everything that came afterward. I didn't hear this album until after Close to You so I was surprised that there were so many Richard vocals -- and that didn't bother me, because back then I tended to like the "fast" songs the best and all of his were uptempo.

    I suppose after all these years my favorite track is probably "Ticket to Ride," although it's hard to pick -- there really isn't a song on here that I don't like.
     
  9. RainyDays

    RainyDays Active Member

    The contrast between this album and Horizon is jaw dropping. Both have great sounds and both sound totally different. Offering was a bit muffled (some tracks more than others) and Horizon has a sharp crispness too it. But one has to wonder why AKOH was so soft, especially after the new equipment to bring Karen's voice out in front.
     
  10. byline

    byline Active Member

    Thanks! As for the album, I really enjoy it ... even though it's far less "pristine"-sounding than all that followed. It's strange to hear Karen singing a wee bit flat on a few occasions, and yet I'm OK with it because of the overall warmth and strength of her vocals. It's neat to hear Richard singing lead on so many songs, though even then we could hear how good a singer Karen was ... and she only got better from there. What's especially impressive is Richard's arrangements, and also the energy they both brought to the record. That youthful exuberance and joy at being able to play around in the studio can be heard in the music, itself. I so wish they had kept with the jazz, multi-metered sound that they use here and also on the "Close to You" followup. That was a sound that they could have continued to experiment with and blaze new musical trails, rather than falling into the more predictable hit-driven pattern that most of their subsequent albums followed.
     
  11. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    I'm enjoying reading all of the comments posted about this album. It's interesting to note the timing of the Carpenters' evolutionary process in sync with the evolution of technology at the time - they were perfectly in sync it seems.

    If one looks at how the "OFFERING" album was assembled, it's no wonder that it sounded so different 'sonically' than the later albums did. With a budget of around $50,000 - recorded on 8-track 1" tape, not to mention that a few of the recordings were actually recorded at Joe's studio on 4-track tape, then transferred to the 8-track, this explains much of it. Over the next 10 years, from 1970-1980, the world of hi-tech audio/studio recording jumped incredibly - going from 8-track tape, to 16, to 24, and then syncing capabilities, allowing for the pairing of two 24-track tape machines (as was the process for much of the "MADE IN AMERICA" sessions in 1980).

    Both Karen and Richard's talents grew and developed immensely during this exact period of time where the technology was revolutionizing. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! :wink:
     
    byline likes this.
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I believe I finally got hold of this album around 1980, the Great Britain issued MFP Label. It was in an import section along with
    Live at the Palladium, and I snatched them both for about ten dollars total. Did not find the Blue Cover/Boat USA issue until later than that.
    It's a fascinating period piece, embracing the 1960's , but with an eye/ear to the 1970's.
    All of My life, Get Together ,Turn Away ,Don't Be Afraid, Someday, are standouts for me. Nice Book-ending songs, also.
    This early version of the Beatles "Ticket" I prefer over the later ones.
    Karen is still finding her lower voice and she is enjoying drumming. Richard does fine with the arrangements.
    A worthy prelude to what was yet to come.
     
  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Here is the Coleman book, regarding this album ( page 80):
    "..music patchy, but passable.."
    "..contained several decent tracks, it lacked overall potency and carried no real pointer to their innate talent."

    I find the statement (which I placed here in boldface) to be without merit.
    Karen on vocals, drumming on all selections ,with Richard on keyboards and arranging
    and composing ten of the tunes .

    Once again, he is judging this album by the standards of what came afterwards.
    Having already heard the polished music which Karen and Richard produced, after 1969, could you find
    Offering/Ticket to Ride to be "..patchy,but passable.."
     
  14. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Not a favorite, but I really like "All of My Life". It certainly was ambitious.
     
  15. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Gave it 3 stars. Really grown on me over the years. Favourites are Eve, Invocation/Benediction and of course Ticket to Ride (the '73 redo. . .I know it's basically the same arrangement, but they're like 2 different songs to me)
     
  16. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    Hi all, I am new here. I've been lurking for awhile to get a sense of the place and its various members and discussions. I like it. So I decided to just dive in at the beginning and work my way through from here. I look forward to responses, thoughts and ideas.

    I like the name Offering. I also prefer the original art and packaging. It just feels more appropriate to the content.

    Richard's voice is not a strength, but they were still figuring the dynamic. I like the energy of the album overall, and I am an unabashed fan of Karen's drumming. I can say here and now I do not really understand why she was pushed out of the drummer seat. Still. This is an album of searching and stretching.

    Invocation sounds like the sound to come, and Your Wonderful Parade sounds like what came before. And so it goes. There are numerous hints at what is to come and plenty of remnants of what they'd leave behind which makes this an important document.

    When, next, Karen drums on an entire record, it's already an entirely different beast. Time and tide. And that album just sits lower in my gut feeling though there is plenty to love about that album too. Ahhhh, Carpenters, you intrigue and confound, yet you find your ways to my love, and I love you still.
     
    Jamesj75 and GaryAlan like this.
  17. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    In one of his recent interviews, Herb Alpert said that he thought the music needed to have a little more power and funkiness. I've always wondered what their "original" recordings of songs like "Close To You" sounded like. My guess is the Hal Blaine drum sound just had more "oomph" and bottom end -- that's kind of evident if you compare the sound of the drums on the Close to You album to their sound on this album. I think later on, even if her drumming was improved, Karen was considered the "face" of the group so she just about had to be out front. Same thing with Phil Collins -- he only drummed on a a few of the songs he played in his concerts.
     
  18. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Guitarmutt,

    With regards to the album cover, yeah. . . this is probably more representative of the duo as people than the smiley faces of CTY etc. I realize the pair were hardly "fresh from the Haight" but looking back, A&M could have pushed the "regular kids" angle. . .and got that "dollar". . .whilst still showing the pair in a moody light. . . and if nothing else we know the pair were intense and moody, and I mean that in a positive way.

    Imagine if the public's first intro to the duo was the below picture from '71. The music would've taken care of winning over the masses, and the image would have won over a hell of a lot more critics.

    Still. . . .love Offering

    [​IMG]
     
    Mark-T, Don Malcolm and GaryAlan like this.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Guitarmutt !
    I, too, have often wondered about Karen "...being pushed out of the drumming seat."
    I'm not a professional musician, though I dabble in drumming, and by my neophyte ears
    Karen's drumming sounds in fine form (in my opinion) on the album, Offering.

    John Bettis (Coleman p.103): " It was very indicative that she played drums, because they were very loud and you can hit them
    very hard and they are very physical, Karen was always very physical ...she was doing something she was born to do."
     
  20. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    I love this picture. I have it on my computer. So beautiful and so intense.
     
    ullalume likes this.
  21. Don Malcolm

    Don Malcolm Active Member

    Great to have a "newer" "new member" on board! I've had this one in rotation in my old 6-CD car changer for the past couple of weeks, and it's a tremendously impressive debut album. A little unfocused due to Richard's desire to show off all of his influences, but with the exception of "Get Together" he does a fine job of giving them the type of elaboration and execution they deserve. I love the gonzo overreaching/over-arrangement of "Turn Away" which demonstrates right from the get-go that not only was Karen one the greatest lead singers of all, but also one of the greatest backing singers, too.

    [EDIT: Want to "second"--or is that "third"??--the opinion on that photo. Seeing Karen at 20 is awe-inspiring and tear-inducing...and always will be.]
     
  22. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    I think it's interesting, too, that even Richard realized quickly that he should not sing so much lead. Case in point, check out their version of 'Get Together' on Your Navy Presents. Karen sings it. Not Richard. This is just a unique, experimental group at this point, and that is something I enjoy about this album. CTY retains much of this while simply being more mature.
     
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Took another listen to the entire album, early this morning.
    It's a favorite.
    Somewhat of a 1960's Passage --
    Except, this first Offering is as much Passage as the album of that name from 1977!
    With a better cover photo, the album (Offering) could have sold much better.
    The arrangements and orchestration are superb.
    Overdubs are great, and Karen, though a little rough around the edges, is in fine vocal style.
    Even Richard's solo vocals are restrained, and deep enough, to enhance the music.
    Many different instruments are utilized (a'la Passage)....
    O f course, I love Passage, too!
     
    70sFan and Don Malcolm like this.
  24. djn

    djn Well-Known Member

    I have the remastered classic TICKET in my car this week. Marvel at the genius outs the gate. I don't spin TTR often enough but when I do I thoroughly enjoy it.

    Jeff
     
  25. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    I love spinning my banged up 'Offering' white label promo at home (I thankfully also have a cleaner one). Even with the pops and ticks, their genius shines through. It's definitely in my top 5 favorite Carpenters albums. That wasn't always the case, but it's so different from anything else they did. And their enthusiasm and excitement is quite audible.
     
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