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Official Review [Album]: "PASSAGE" (SP-4703)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Aug 6, 2013.

How Would You Rate This Album?

  1. ***** (BEST)

    7 vote(s)
    9.5%
  2. ****

    37 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. ***

    26 vote(s)
    35.1%
  4. **

    4 vote(s)
    5.4%
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. WYBIMLA

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    So interesting to hear the single mix of "B'wana"!
    Thanks for uploading that. I hadn't heard it before.
    Really brings out differences in the vocal and sax solo like you said.
    I thought in certain instances Karen had done re-records for the album version. Lol
    No it's just the mix.
    I think her voice has a little more power on the album version.
    Reverb on the singles version kinda smudges the doubled lead together I find.

    I don't think anyone's used the word smudge to describe sound before. :hmmm: :razz:
     
    Graeme, newvillefan and Chris May like this.
  2. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    I agree with Gary I don't believe it had anything to do with how they looked. There is also the photo of Karen shot during the recording of Argentina she looked fine.
     
  3. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I think that photo was taken in 1978.
     
  4. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    You're probably right Rick. Think about it, that cover had no still imagery at all. And given the fact that they were fed up with the "image" issue they were having with the general public, my guess is that this was a very intentional shift away from the squeaky-clean, cheek-to-cheek vibe and a move toward the progressive presentation and sound they were shooting for.
     
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Bingo , Chris ! Makes sense !
    Be that as it may....the Obi (outer advertising strip)
    for the Japanese Pressing of the LP (also,the SHM-mini-replica-cd)
    is adorned with the duo's 1976 Kind of Hush Photo !
     
    Chris May likes this.
  6. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Do you have that photo you can post? I don't think I've ever seen it.
     
  7. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    It was really interesting to hear the single mix. I agree with the smudged lead vocal. I find there's too much reverb, on a par with Uninvited Guest. I prefer the album version. I'd never noticed the narrow stereo on the track until this thread but I'm fine with it. If it were to be remixed as some special anniversary edition by all means play with the instruments and backing vocals but please don't tamper with the lead vocal, it's fine as it is.
     
  8. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    Someone sent me this photo quite a while ago and told me this was taken during the recording of Passage. It's possible it was during recording of Argentina.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    THANK YOU!
     
    Carpe diem likes this.
  10. arthowson

    arthowson Active Member

    i have a VHS somewhere that shows Karen singing "don't cry for me argentina" in the studio booth.
     
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  11. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Just listened to B'Wana She No Home from the Compact Disc Collection and I think this is the clearest sounding mix out there, no reverb, and plenty of high notes.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Interesting reflection from Richard on Passage from the Compact Disc Collection

    [​IMG]
     
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  13. I believe the audio for 'B'wana' is identical to the earlier A&M CD. Both have about the same level of brightness.
     
  14. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    ...only to return to the squeakiest of clean for "Made in America". Even the title is squeaky clean personified. What a very sad "about face". I would love to have seen where they might have gone had they expounded on "Passage" a bit more.

    Ed
     
  15. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    It's really interesting to read the liner notes from Richard on the Passage album from the 40th Collectors Box set. He talks about the lackluster sales that Horizon and A Kind of Hush brought and how concerned Jerry Moss was about low sales. Richard put it that it was the equivalent to a manager coming down on a team when they lost the game. I guess that pressure was then put to Richard and Karen. Richard says how he was not 100% then so he was perfectly willing to let someone else take over his role for the next album. However no one major producer would sign on....indicating he was a tough act to follow. Did A&M Moss or Alpert really put the signals out in the music industry that the Carpenters were looking for a producer on the next album? Interesting to think about this.

    It's interesting that Richard had got to the point where he was actually willing for another producer to step in and take over as producer of the next Carpenters album. I wonder...if another producer had stepped in would Passage be a different Passage then what ultimate became "Passage"? The album really is quite different than what they had recorded up to this point.

    Richard admits that he did remain as producer and that Passage became somewhat different than prior recordings.

    Definition of "Passage" - the act or process of moving through, under, over, or past something on the way from one place to another.

    I guess one could say the Passage album was like the Carpenters moving from one time in their career to another...a new beginning?
     
    Jamesj75 and Chris Mills like this.
  16. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    I'm not surprised no one else would do it, honestly. Carpenters were cold by then. Nothing to gain by doing the project other than a paycheck. They were also terminally uncool and I think that might have been an issue as well.

    Except that it wasn't, really. It was just a detour. When they recorded "Made in America", they went right back to the safety of the elevator. As I said earlier, I think it would have been cool to see the Carpenters really turn left. Likely due to Karen's cancelled solo album, they had to return to the familiar in order to offset the loss. "Made in America" probably did that but it took a long time as it wasn't a strong seller.

    Ed
     
  17. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    After listening to the Compact Disc Collection CD with headphones, not only is B'wana brighter but the whole CD sounds better than my copy of the original A&M CD. Occupants has been remixed so obviously it's sound is improved, but the rest of the tracks are original mixes that sound very clear. I haven't played the Compact Disc Collection CD for many years as I never liked the packaging, so after years of playing my original CD, I was really surprised to hear a difference.
     
  18. Since these kind of comparisons are largely subjective, we'll agree to disagree. I've run "B'wana" from both the A&M CD and the COLLECTION CD through some analysis and the tracks line up pretty exactly. The COLLECTION disc track runs .531 seconds faster than the A&M, and is some 2.xxx DB louder. Once those factors are compensated for, the two waveforms look identical and stay in sync the entire time.

    To my ears, they sound identical after level matching them. One of the hallmarks of the "loudness wars" in CD mastering is that subjectively, listeners nearly always pick the louder version as sounding "better".

    I'll stick with my analysis that "B'wana" is essentially the same-sounding track on both COLLECTION and the old A&M CD.
     
    Chris Mills likes this.
  19. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Would the loudness level have any influence on the high frequencies?
     
  20. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    as I remember, nick decaro had agreed to produce but dropped the project saying he did not feel he could get the responses from Karen as Richard could. it was to Richard's credit that he was willing to release control. Richard said he had already proven himself and he wanted to experience what another producer could achieve.
     
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  21. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Well, how about giving
    Jack Daugherty complete production duties .....there's an idea !
     
  22. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    It's to bad that Richard never thought to do a special dance mix of either "Love Song", "B'Wana" or "Man Smart". Maybe a disco mix or at least a mix that was designed for dance clubs.
     
  23. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    Or maybe they should've done a disco remix of "Goofus".
     
  24. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    Producer Joe Wissert was really the only one who was given any strong consideration for production duties on Passage. Not sure how that would have turned out, but of course he has an impressive catalog to say the least.
     
  25. It has an "apparent" effect. In this case, you're probably listening specifically for the high frequencies, since that's what's largely denied you in the other recordings. With just a couple of DB boost in the COLLECTION disc, you "think" that the highs are better because they are simply louder. Adjust the two to the same level and you'll likely hear no difference.
     
    Chris Mills likes this.

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