• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline! The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy will be available on November 16, 2021 and can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is being released January 14, 2022, and is available for ordering here.

2021: I’ve Got A Lot Of Living To Do!

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
In the past few months, given what’s been going on around the world, I’ve had quite a bit of spare time outside of my job to reflect on things and it’s regularly taken me back to memories of my childhood and teenage years. I’ve been on a bit of a nostalgia trip recently, hankering after things I had when I was a kid and I started looking on eBay and the like for items that I owned when I was young. Three weeks ago I spotted a mint condition Aiwa hifi system for sale that was identical to the one I owned when I was 18. I bid on it - and won. It felt like buying back my childhood. Last night I set it up. This is the first time I’ve owned a turntable in around 30 years and tonight I pulled out a few vinyl Carpenters albums I’ve picked up in the last 20 years (but never played). At the time I bought these, I carefully went for mint condition copies and to my delight, it was more than worth it. Almost no pops, no crackles - including an original, immaculate copy of Offering.

The first one I put on though is the first Carpenters album I ever heard when I was 16...A Song For You. I’ve told this story before but I first discovered this album one evening when I was babysitting my neighbour’s son. Up to that point, the only song I knew was “Only Yesterday”, which I’d heard on the radio some weeks before as part of the promotion for the 1990 “Only Yesterday” compilation. My neighbour kindly told me she had a couple of their albums amongst her collection and to have a listen if I wanted to. One LP in particular caught my eye, one with an all-red cover and a white heart in the centre. I turned it over and stared at the back cover, which contained no less than 13 tracks. Now here, was an entire album I’d never heard. I put it on and from the minute the needle hit the vinyl, I was mesmerised. That’s the album I’m listening to tonight, and it sounds better than ever. The one thing I’ve really noticed is that these LPs - when played on a really good sound system - sound infinitely better than any online downloads. It’s only now that I realise how tinny and weak these albums sound on online steaming sites such as Spotify, even when played through a decent sound system. Karen sounds way better on vinyl.

One side observation: I gave one LP a spin that I just had to revisit (and which used to be my favourite): Made In America. After hearing it on vinyl again for the first time in 20 years, the thing that really struck me is the juxtaposition between the closing tracks on side A and B. “Because We Are In Love” was Karen’s wedding song, but within a short time, the song “Somebody’s Been Lying” became a much more fitting summary of the last two years of Karen’s life.

Anyway, that’s a very long-winded way of asking: have you listened to Carpenters more than usual in the past few months and what has the music meant to you?
 
Last edited:

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
In the past few months, given what’s been going on around the world, I’ve had quite a bit of spare time outside of my job to reflect on things and it’s regularly taken me back to memories of my childhood and teenage years. I’ve been on a bit of a nostalgia trip recently, hankering after things I had when I was a kid and I started looking on eBay and the like for items that I owned when I was young. Three weeks ago I spotted a mint condition Aiwa hifi system for sale that was identical to the one I owned when I was 18. I bid on it - and won. It felt like buying back my childhood. Last night I set it up. This is the first time I’ve owned a turntable in around 30 years and tonight I pulled out a few vinyl Carpenters albums I’ve picked up in the last 20 years (but never played). At the time I bought these, I carefully went for mint condition copies and to my delight, it was more than worth it. Almost no pops, no crackles - including an original, immaculate copy of Offering.

The first one I put on though is the first Carpenters album I ever heard when I was 16...A Song For You. I’ve told this story before but I first discovered this album one evening when I was babysitting my neighbour’s son. Up to that point, the only song I knew was “Only Yesterday”, which I’d heard on the radio some weeks before as part of the promotion for the 1990 “Only Yesterday” compilation. My neighbour kindly told me she had a couple of their albums amongst her collection and to have a listen if I wanted to. One LP in particular caught my eye, one with an all-red cover and a white heart in the centre. I turned it over and stared at the back cover, which contained no less than 13 tracks. Now here, was an entire album I’d never heard. I put it on and from the minute the needle hit the vinyl, I was mesmerised. That’s the album I’m listening to tonight, and it sounds better than ever. The one thing I’ve really noticed is that these LPs - when played on a really good sound system - sound infinitely better than any online downloads. It’s only now that I realise how tinny and weak these albums sound on online steaming sites such as Spotify, even when played through a decent sound system. Karen sounds way better on vinyl.

One side observation: I gave one LP a spin that I just had to revisit (and which used to be my favourite): Made In America. After hearing it on vinyl again for the first time in 20 years, the thing that really struck me is the juxtaposition between the closing tracks on side A and B. “Because We Are In Love” was Karen’s wedding song, but within a short time, the song “Somebody’s Been Lying” became a much more fitting summary of the last two years of Karen’s life.

Anyway, that’s a very long-winded way of asking: have you listened to Carpenters more than usual in the past few months and what has the music meant to you?
Well, welcome (back) to the wonderful world of vinyl, Stephen! 😉

I can almost feel your refound nostalgic joy :) Although, being a vinyl addict myself, it's hard for me to imagine not playing one of my vinyl records for multiple decades (embracing the convenience of CDs and digital files at the same time, mind you). I even find it a bit of a shame living without being able to play my acoustic 78s after the springmotor of my gramophone broke. These just sound better with a steel needle, I think. But luckily, enough of other ways to play music and other era's to immerse myself into.

Since getting back on this forum, I have been revisiting some Carpenters music a bit more often, mainly because of some of the things discussed here.
Interesting observation about those last tracks on both sides of MIA. I discovered a similar thing I never really noticed, by listening to the beginning of side 2 of the '71 album; I guess it's all too obvious, but I never realized that Druscilla Penny is like a sequel to Superstar, the former narrator criticizing the latter :-o
Besides the occasional K&R revisit, I thoroughly enjoy listening to old radioshows on Mixcloud.com , picking those from around chart appearances of Carpenters or Olivia singles and hoping one of them will be played on them. That way reliving a past I was too young for the first time around (being born when K&R sang A song for me, didn't discover their music until '87) :)

Anyway, put another record on and enjoy the nostalgia! :phones:

Greg
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Both "Druscilla Penny" and "Saturday" mirror each other in the way that they fit into the tan album. Each song very musically leads to the next song on the side. "Druscilla Penny" glides effortlessly into "One Love", and "Saturday" resolves itself with the first chord of "Let Me Be The One", and in neither case is there an actual overlap or segue.
 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
Both "Druscilla Penny" and "Saturday" mirror each other in the way that they fit into the tan album. Each song very musically leads to the next song on the side. "Druscilla Penny" glides effortlessly into "One Love", and "Saturday" resolves itself with the first chord of "Let Me Be The One", and in neither case is there an actual overlap or segue.
Oh yes, I love such effortless glidings, especially Saturday into LMBTO. It's kind of strange hearing it on the flipside of RDAM, followed by surface noise only.

I used to do that myself sometimes, when making mix tapes (or rather, mix CDs), for instance have "Buggin'" by Dane Bowers segue into "Out of your mind" by Victoria Beckham. These two are very similar and just asking for each other's follow-up. Such a shame that my CD-R from 2001 has suffered from "rot", so I'd have to do it all over again, if I wanted to. Putting them in a digital playlist back to back just doesn't do the trick.

Did Richard have such "DJ moods" on other albums as well? Maybe on a compilation? (not counting medleys or something like the Superstar-medley on the 1973 Singles album...
 
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