Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by KACE, Dec 12, 2015.
Oh yeah, we know.
Guess the search feature isn't so good. Looked up Crescent Noon with and w/o "demo" and had no indication of media. Oh well...
What an awesome find!! I've never heard that before. Where did this come from?
This is from an LP that was cut, what a find to own that one huh? It's a great listen to hear Karen so young and what a strong voice she had.
I recently joined Facebook's "Karen Carpenter's Friends and Fans" group; there are quite a number of "new" (to my eyes and ears) media posted.
Really??? Wow!! Cut by whom? So does this recording pre-date Offering? I didn't know R&K ever recorded anything prior to that other than the Magic Lamp single, Richard Carpenter Trio and Spectrum. I also had no idea that "Crescent Noon" wasn't newly written for the Close to You album. This is really quite amazing and fascinating stuff. I like her phrasing on some of the lines better on this than on the Close to You version.
I've had this, it is amazing she sings higher here. Same time as When I Die. I think. You hear the progress from here! Belting to crooning or something Bing Crosby did the same. Living, ageing.
Loving? Oh yeah!
This is from the Cal State University Of Long Beach chorus album, one of those that schools commission and then give or sell copies to members. I still have my high school chorus album.
Obviously it is quite rare .. probably less than 200 ever made, and who knows how many have survived.
It is nice that the chorus recognized that Karen was good enough to be a soloist on a few tunes.
Since we are talking about really old stuff, I found this website that really goes into detail about the early stuff and also contains a photo of the album Battle of the Bands Hollywood Bowl of which I had never seen before. It would be cool to see what the Cal State Chorus Choir album cover and LP looked like perhaps someone that has it could share a photo.
Check out this website and some good reading.
Here is a partial.
"Other recordings made during that summer featured Karen singing for the first time, including a ballad interpretation of The Beatles hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and “The Sweetheart Tree.” However, she was far from pleased with the end results, as Richard explained: “There came a time when I started writing tunes and I really became interested in how Karen would sound. This was right around the time she was 15, and she had this tiny little voice – it was in tune and pleasant, but not outstanding by any stretch. She really didn’t like what she heard (on tape), and it took her a while.” Reflecting on her early attempts at singing, Karen gave a brutally honest account to Melody Maker in 1975: “I used to sing in this upper voice and I didn’t like it. I was uncomfortable, so I think I would tend to shy away from it because I didn’t think I was that good, and I wasn’t.”
huh? I never knew Karen had recorded I Want to Hold Your Hand and The Sweetheart Tree, I wonder if they still exist? Interesting stuff.
Here is the full link and credit:
Thanks for reminding me about that terrific blog post, Rick--a fascinating glimpse into the overlap between Spectrum and the Carpenters...the story that (IMO) if told properly, would be one of the catalysts for a re-evaluation of Richard & Karen in the eyes and ears of those in the present-day music world. I think Richard tends to downplay these efforts, in part because he quickly became very fixed on commercial success once it came their way (and possibly because, like so many exceptionally gifted musician/arrangers, he became enamored with the innovations in technology that provided a more elaborate aural canvas on which to paint). But sometimes the ingenuity and inspiration that is built around production constraints produces something uniquely beautiful, as is the case with "Crescent Noon."
Now more than ever there is a need to more thoroughly collect the early works in order to provide a way in for the vast majority of music listeners who were never able to connect with this material. I think if it is presented properly, it can't help but remind everyone of just what unique and wide-ranging talents Richard and Karen really were. They both evolved from exceptionally promising raw talents to full-fledged artists with an eclectic but still somehow integrated sound in an amazingly short period of time.
I have several of the cuts from the LP and it's interesting stuff indeed.. In fact, the original Goodnight (those who own a copy of From The Top might remember Richard's note about having to edit for the box set). The track is from the LP, and obviously has the mistake. It's interesting to listen to.
I never heard that take before. I'm guessing Crescent Noon might have been considered for Offering, but held over until their next album.
Interesting to hear Karen's slightly different phrasing. She sings beautifully. After all my years of listening to Carpenters I'm still making discoveries thanks to other fans! Thank you!
I've thought recently about that moment Richard discovered her voice to be what it was that we ultimately heard on record.
I'm not sure when that was, and it must've matured quite rapidly.
Which song was it actually? I've heard it was "You'll love me" when Richard heard the change when he lowered the key, but "All of my life" was used in the biopic to display that moment. Idk maybe it was never really a singular moment thing it was probably more of a gradual shift. Who am I to doubt an intrinsic part of their story? It sounds good anyhow to tell that story.
Even in some of these findings of early, early recordings there's indications that it always was a beautiful voice. I don't think I've ever heard the "Before" voice really that Rich describes.
I mean there's some contrast and the pronounced husky belting on the offering album. It's always been rich sounding to me.
I feel like Carpenters talked in terms of such perfection and nuance that to most people you don't even know what the heck they're talking about. Lol
A musical mistake or outtake from Carpenters isn't a horrid thing at all. In general, we can all nitpick quite well... yes, but in reality the music coming from Carpenters overall was always good.
That's quite substantial to think that for so many years they were making the same quality music that we know and love.
I think there was a photo included on the original DVD release of "Close To You Remembering The Carpenters" in the discography section.
You've got me curious. What was the mistake?
Karen's vocal on this 1960's version of 'Crescent Noon' is incredible! She sounds amazing!! If you heard a teenage girl with a voice like that, you'd be rushing her in to the recording studio to record as much stuff as possible! Just to get that heavenly sound preserved forever!!
My choir performed the SATB arrangement a few years back. Will be doing it again on our winter concert in December. It is published by Walton Music Company. It is Richard's choral arrangement
I just watched that video. Creepy! Just the performance and the photo editing was giving me the creeps.
My 1st listen. My first take? Exquisite.
Love it! Thanks for posting. I do miss Karen & Richard harmonizing on "somewhere in a fairy tale forest...". Incredible sound; Definite chill factor!
That snippet gets routine airtime for my ears.
As Harry indicated above, this version of Crescent Noon is from the CSULB Choir album. I believe there are altogether 3 tracks on the album that featured Karen: Crescent Noon, Goodnight (an edited version of which appeared on From The Top, as Chris May indicated above), and And When I Die (a duet with choir member Wanda Freeman).
I'd urge anyone who hasn't already heard Karen's rendition of And When I Die to seek it out: Karen in her very rare gospel music mode is something to behold.
Found on YouTube. I had never heard "Goodnite" by Karen before. What a pleasant surprise...