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40th anniversary of "Music, Music, Music"

Without A Song

Member
Thread Starter
To paraphrase the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" album, it was 40 years ago today ... Yes, 40 years since the Carpenters' last special aired on ABC, May 15, 1980.

While it's truly sad that there were no more specials to follow because of Karen's tragic and untimely passing in 1983, "Music, Music, Music" showed that even with all the ups and downs in their career and personal lives up to 1980, Karen and Richard both still had what it took vocally and instrumentally to make music that was transcendent.

True, John Davidson and the legendary Ella Fitzgerald added their voices to the program, and Ella is fantastic, especially when singing with Karen! But it's the talents of Karen and Richard, alone and together, that stand out the most for me when I watch this show.

What is your favorite part of this special? For me, it's the closing medley. If this was fated to be the Carpenters' last special, at least it ended on a wonderfully high note!
 

Chris Mills

That was funny....like the dark vomited up
The one thing that really stands out in this special is Karen's vocal, her rich velvety tones were captured beforehand in the recording studio so that Karen could lip-sync. Karen sounds incredible, the background vocals are also just lush, so well blended. So for me, the best part of the show is the overall vocal sound.
 

Chris Mills

That was funny....like the dark vomited up
One of my favourite parts of the show wasn’t actually included in the final edit. From This Moment On showcased both their musical talents, Karen singing and Richard playing piano, both with impeccable timing.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
One of my favourite parts of the show wasn’t actually included in the final edit. From This Moment On showcased both their musical talents, Karen singing and Richard playing piano, both with impeccable timing.
I’ve never seen this surface anywhere online. Would be great to see again. All I’ve got is the VHS tape languishing somewhere in a box.
 
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Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
For me, that duet with Ella is etched in time. Yes, Karen singing off a soundtrack and Ella performing live. Why Karen's part could not have been a live give and take between the two women seems inept. I sensed a chemistry between the two and Ella saying something along the lines of "so beautiful" as Karen moved along side her...chill inducing. Karen did a fine medley on the first special and there were a few memorable performances in the Christmas specials.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Why Karen's part could not have been a live give and take between the two women seems inept.
We’re all aware of the backstory as to why their vocals on these TV specials were pre-recorded but I’ve always wondered whether they - and Karen in particular - didn’t feel embarrassed miming in front of their musical heroes who were singing live. We have Richard’s explanation that they were “studio animals” but nothing on the record from Karen. I don’t for a second believe that was anything other than his call. The end of the Karen/Ella Medley always jars with me because they’re slightly out of sync in places and because Karen is locked into the studio vocal, there’s nothing she can do about it. I’d much rather have seen them both performing live as true vocal sparring partners.
 
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Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
That link is just the entire video of INTERPRETATIONS. It's been available on VHS and LaserDisc since 1995, and on DVD since 2003 and looks even better there.
 
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Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^ Thanks Harry for the heads-up. That is definitely something that I would want to add to my Carpenters library!:)
 

Chris Mills

That was funny....like the dark vomited up
I know lip-syncing is frowned upon, but if Karen & Richard hadn't gone into the recording studio to lay down the vocal tracks for Music Music Music, we would have missed out on some great tracks that were later released after some additional recording and remixing. For example:

Without A Song (As Time Goes By)
I Got Rhythm (As Time Goes By)
Karen/Ella Medley (As Time Goes By)
When I Fall In Love (Interpretations) (vocal recorded 1978)
You're Just In Love (As Time Goes By)
Medley (From The Top)
From This Moment On (Interpretations)

These tracks could have made great album just on their own.
 
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