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Interview Richard Carpenter Interview 2014

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the the thoughtful analysis, Don--and, for taking the time to write them out so eloquently.

    (1) Of interviews, I am reminded of the (1982?) interview by Ray Moore of the Carpenters (I always write the "The"!).
    In that interview Richard Carpenter says :"Karen really has two separate voices."
    Then, the duo proceeds to describe the differences in those two voices.
    What is not said is that the'low' voice is the only--or,even best--voice, when comparing the two. Only that the other voice is most often
    heard in the background overdubs.
    So, again, I ponder: When was the public--at that time-given an overt opportunity to have a listen
    to that "other voice"? In fact, when--except in overdubs--was Karen given the 'go-ahead' to use primarily that upper register?
    (2) This brings to my mind Richard Carpenter's Lead vocals when he sang-- beautifully I might add--at Karen's wedding....in a low voice !
    I did not ever--before I saw that Karen Carpenter wedding video--realize that Richard's low voice was there (so prominently) !
    And, then, what....he did not utilize those same vocals on his own Time Album !
    (Additionally,we hear Richard's 'high' background vocals pitch on the recently unearthed Touch Me When We're Dancing 1981 performance).
    In the end, so it appears, once everyone (i.e. everyone who had a financial stake) realized that
    "the money's in the basement",
    that is all the risk anyone was ever willing to take.
    Excepting, of course, for Karen Carpenter herself.
     
  2. WYBIMLA

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    I hadn't really thought of it in my years of being a fan, but I think the "sense of self" comes into question (not to get too derailed in the discussion).
    In addition to the severity of her eating disorder, there does appear to be some crisis about her knowing who she was and how to express that. That's what I'm starting to speculate.
    It's not an uncommon feature for artists or actors. Sometimes you find out by experimenting. It's just a shame that exploration didn't turn out. It never really made it, but it tried.
    It paints quite a picture. All the events such as stepping from behind the drums, moving out on her own after a while, not as high chart success, solo project... etc...
    I can see how she would feel lost in that as she tried to get her feelers out for becoming other than "little girl blue". All this while in the public eye too.
    Sounds kinda frightening and then she would create justification for trying to grab control of something from that as well.
    Speaking of "the voice". I almost wonder about her having a disconnect from that. She knew how to use it, but unaware what gifts she really had. If that makes sense. I've heard her in interviews almost talking down about herself. "Close your ears"/"I just opened my mouth"/"I didn't think I could do anything". No credit as we know. It's sad, but that stuff could come through the music if you believe that. Whatever she was trying to get away from didn't make for music that translated well in '79. It sounds to me like someone who became conflicted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
  3. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    You know, it's interesting. For example, with this resurgence over the duo with regard to the PBS re-airing of the documentary paired with the Complete Singles release, it seems that in the same way the overall "business" of the music biz is continually morphing with regard to marketing, so is the case with groups like Carpenters. It seems that just when things settle a bit, another buzz gets created and up go sales and internet chatter. It's an interesting phenomenon that gets created every time their music ends up back in the spotlight, regardless of the platform. Will be interesting to see if UMG catches on and engages more fully. There's still SO much more that could be done with regard to web presence (i.e. an updated "official" website), etc.
     
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    This happened pretty much on a five year basis during the 80s and 90s, in the UK anyway.

    1985 - Yesterday Once More
    1990 - Their Greatest Hits
    1995 - Interpretations

    There were other in between and after this but these three are the ones I remember most because there were big TV promotional pushes to accompany them.
     
  5. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    And in the 90s, there was major resurgence following The Karen Carpenter Story. Of course these were also the days when we were seeing multiple releases of various compilations and unreleased material continue to surface. What baffles me is the constant rebirth of young fans. There's definitely something that happens when people become aware of their music for the first time. Not sure this will end any time soon so long as there is consistent marketing and attention. Imagine if master recordings started to be licensed more freely to various media projects (i.e. films, documentaries and such). Would really be a game changer I firmly believe.
     
    CraigGA likes this.
  6. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    Since we know Richard has officially ended all interviews and no longer working on any future Catpenters project (that would entail any new recordings or remixes) do you think Richard since then has ever questioned his decision? What I mean is do you think he has thought recently did I make the right decision to no longer release any more viable tracks in buried treasure or work on any new remixes, get back in the studio, do something to spark the interest back again in Carpenters like some of the prior releases have done etc..

    I know we were not expecting the US Singles collection to appear but that was existing material or a comp so to speak and I'm not sure he took that much time in the studio to create that collection.
     
  7. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    I can't really say for sure. The last time I heard from Richard was a couple of weeks ago related to a question I had regarding the early Magic Lamp single of Karen's . I have a feeling that he will surface at some point eventually. As to how or when, no clue unfortunately.
     
  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I hope he does resurface at some point, I always enjoy his interviews and hope there may be more music to come, even if just the odd track or two more.

    Are we allowed to ask what your question was Chris (if that's not too impertinent a question itself)?
     
  9. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    On my copy of the single, there is a very faint (almost invisible) star with the number "4" stamped on the A side label. I asked if this was something that was part of a numbering system they had with certain copies of the single. He wasn't sure what it was meant to convey, as he wasn't personally aware of it but happy I had a copy in such great shape.
     
    newvillefan likes this.
  10. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I always wondered if he second-guessed himself on the number of compilations that were released. Some of them were really good, others not so much -- like Interpretations, that was pretty much a guaranteed non-starter. But looking at our resource pages, it's downright amazing the number of compilations there are, most of which contain (to the casual observer) a lot of the same material. On the other hand, a guy wants to keep his act's name out there, so.... once you're done with "new" stuff there's not much else to do but keep re-releasing the hits.

    I still think a good project for Richard would be to "embrace" the iTunes/download era. That way he could release anything and everything, unfinished or not, and let people pick what they want. He could also create standalone versions of the songs that had segues on the original LPs, if they haven't already appeared. Look how excited people were to get the non segued version of "I Kept On Loving You" when it came out on the singles set recently.

    Maybe he's one of the many successful guys who just decided he was going to retire and be done with it all, except for the occasional "for fun" or "for a good cause" project. There's always that possibility. Everybody retires differently -- and some don't retire at all (Herb Alpert, Sergio Mendes being two A&M examples).
     
    Must Hear This Album likes this.
  11. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    Maybe I missed it but was there ever a compilation or set released where Richard donated the proceeds to The Karen Carpenter memorial foundation or proceeds of sale going to further research and help those recover from anorexia/bulimia in Karen's honor?
     
  12. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    I've personally never heard of nor been aware of that. Perhaps someone else here can shed some light if any?
     
  13. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Here's a link to one of my YouTube uploads where he talks about that very compilation.



    Dare I say it, I think he's too set in his ways to even consider it. I know we the fans would love them but you only have to look at the official website. It's not been updated in years now, so what hope do digital-only releases have? I just don't think he's even all that interested, which is a crying shame.

    To my knowledge he's never done that. The most I've seen is the address of the foundation included in album liner notes like Lovelines.
     
    Chris May likes this.
  14. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    I know it's probably too late at this point but a compilation properly titled and in full control of Richard's involvement could have proved quite successful in terms of sales, what a statement it could have left in the overall catalog. A compilation of songs known to be some of Karen's favorites ever recorded, 15 or 16 songs personally selected by Richard and fresh new liner notes detailing why these were Karen's favorites to either record or sing at their concerts over the years.

    I'm sure Richard has stories of different things Karen either said or tidbits in the studio about recording certain songs and how she felt about them and what they meant to her. It would need to have an appropriate title, probably the hardest part of all...."Carpenters, a selection of songs in Karen's honor". Richard marketing the new compilation in honor of his sister with full proceeds being donated to The Karen Carpenter Memorial Foundation or some research foundation to help those suffering from anorexia/bulemia. I just see something like this making a huge impact not only in the Carpenters fan base but for the public in general, it could have sparked new interest in the Carpenters back catalog and bring in new fans into the fold. The inner booklet could have contained 1 or 2 photos never seen before and a personal journey of Karen's rise to fame in discovering her "voice" and who better to know all about this than her own brother who was a witness to seeing her voice develop right before his eyes. I think if done properly a compilation like this could be in print forever, garnishing wonderful reviews and heartfelt love for the Carpenters music.

    I don't know maybe I'm feeling too sentimental but I think a project like this would be well received by both the public and the fans. Who wouldn't want to buy a compilation (with a possible new or remixed track as bonus) of some of Karen's favorite Carpenters songs, endorsed and marketed by Richard himself with proceeds going to benefit a good cause in Karen's honor? I'd probably buy 10 in the first swoop.
     
  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I would venture that so long as the present conditions in the music business remain, fans can expect nothing more from "Carpenters".
    As has been driven home to me many a time, the 'business' takes precedence over the artistry.
    Unless he is financially rewarded, I remain (sadly) convinced that Richard could care less at this point in time.
    And yet, for all the sales of "compilations" throughout these years, how many of us true-blue fans have purchased virtually
    everything that has been released. (And, I know many who have purchased much more than I ! Which, when I think about it,
    is an astounding amount of money spent over these many years !).
    And, yet, if a new recording was offered.....I'd buy it in a heartbeat !

    May 6,2016 BPI News:
    Graham Henderson, President and CEO, Music Canada
    , said:
    “The value gap is a striking example of how wealth has shifted from those who create content - our artists and their partners -
    to the large companies that build their platforms on that content. Creators are worse off today than they were when digital came into their lives."
    Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive told delegates that the number of people streaming music in the UK doubled in 2015,
    resulting in a 70 per cent increase in payments from services such as Spotify and Apple to record labels, helping to propel the market to overall growth.
    However, while UK streams of music videos almost doubled during the same 12 month period, the revenues paid to labels flat-lined,
    rising by less than half of one per cent.
    This disparity neatly encapsulates the market distortion characterised by the IFPI as the "Value Gap".
    Taylor added: “The rising flow of royalties that should be nurturing artists and labels has slowed to a trickle,
    as platforms that rely on safe harbors use consumer demand for our music to grow their own businesses at the expense of creators.”
    Source:
    https://www.bpi.co.uk/home/value-gap-growing-according-to-new-uk-figures.aspx
     
    Joeyesterday likes this.
  16. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    What's kind of funny to me, as an "ex-retailer" of music, is that the retail community screamed loud and clear that the download business would generate less $ than physical product. But the digi-fans kept crowing that "but with digital, your song can reach the WHOLE WORLD at the same time! Think of the money!" Yeah, but they also didn't think about (1) piracy, which is still just as rampant as ever; and even non-piracy things like YouTube, where you can pretty much listen to anything you want to for free; and (2) the fact that a "song" or two from an artist brings in about 1/10 the revenue that an album of 12 or more songs does....downloaded or physical.

    Can't even begin to count how many CDs I might have bought by artists who were familiar to me, or new/recommended artists, but when I listened to the sound samples on the download sites I decided not to buy.

    So now the music industry is a shell of its former self. Sure digital numbers are going ahead of physical numbers now, but the money isn't what it used to be.

    Imagine how many less copies Fleetwood Mac's Tusk would have sold if people could listen to sound samples beforehand. Sure it's a classic now, but at the time it was released, it was hailed by a few but hated by many. The same thing could be said about Carpenters' less loved albums, like Hush or Made In America.

    I would say you are right, since the man himself said (in Chris May's interview) that he is "done." Plus, the present conditions in the business are just going to keep moving more in the same direction, so in the future, there'll be even less money to be made than there is today.
     
    Joeyesterday likes this.
  17. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    Well said Mike, and case in point referencing another thread where I voiced my own frustrations about a couple of videos that were posted here at the forum - for stream only. Those got ripped and re-uploaded with not even the slightest consideration given to the source (that being A&M Corner staff).

    Can you imagine how Richard must feel knowing that literally nothing he/UMG releases is truly safe? And when I asked him his thoughts on the business today, his response was "I try my best not to think of it. I can only imagine how much ANY artist has lost over the years, let alone how much Karen and I have lost on bootlegs. AND NOW, it's so incredibly easy...I'd rather not think of it. What am I going to do?"

    I hate to say it, but can anyone really blame him?

     
    WYBIMLA and Joeyesterday like this.
  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    (1) Of course, nothing has ever really been safe !
    (Glancing, as I am, at the "do not tape-record" insignia's on those 1970's recordings !).
    (2) But, of course, I don't blame Richard Carpenter for his decision to be "all done".
    (even though, the PBS offering did surprise me---a USA Singles CD Set could have been done long ago !)
    (3) My only question has basically hinged on if--at all-- his decision is based entirely on
    prevailing conditions in today's music business; that is, assuming "the business" had not
    become what it is today, would Richard Carpenter still maintain this ("all done") stance ?
    Or, is it that he is simply tired of putting out any more (unreleased) Carpenters' product ?
    (4) By the way, apparently ( at least according to the news article I posted) the Record Company
    is making the money from digital music. It is the Company (here, UMG) reaping the financial rewards, not the artist.

    As I have reiterated, time and again, many decisions regarding career of Carpenters has confounded me.
     
    Tapdancer likes this.
  19. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    A discussion on the upcoming release of the vinyl made me think back on something related to the masters, particularly in a discussion I had with Richard a few years ago in this interview.

    Iron Mountain is where a majority of the original multitrack tapes have been stored on the Carpenters catalogue, and I was able to find a news story CBS did on these guys a few years back:

     
    newvillefan, Jeff and GaryAlan like this.
  20. Interesting. The report states that they "digitize" everything to send out. Could this mean that the original masters that were destroyed in the fire at Universal were saved by this process?
     
  21. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    From my understanding most everything was transferred over to digital format (ProTools, etc.) at one time or another. Former manager David Alley told me about a year ago that any time he would request masters for any given remix project in years past, he always transferred the tapes over to ProTools for back up at the studio during the period that the remix sessions were going on. So we know that at least a majority of the tapes, if not all of them at some point made it to digital.
     
  22. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Thank God he did - I think Richard has a lot to thank David Alley for if he was responsible for doing that.
     
    Chris May likes this.

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