• The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available. Use this link to order, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

A 1974 Album? What Would It Have Looked Like?

Status
Not open for further replies.

JBee

Active Member
Thread Starter
1974 was a pivotal year for the Carpenters. They were literally at the "top of the world" professionally and in a sense physically/mentally as well (before Richard and Karen's personal issues overtook them). They were able to take a song that had been an album cut two years earlier (I Can't Last a Day Without You) to #11 on the Top 20, turn a Hank Williams country song from 1952 (Jambalya) to an international hit, and their cover of a Marvellettes song from 1961 (Please Mr. Postman) became their second #1 hit, a single that was huge all over the world. They also put out their second classic Christmas song (how many groups even have one?) in their version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town. They literally could do no wrong professionally, and the downwind didn't really come until later in 1975 when Karen's problem finally surfaced (leading to her collapse) and Horizon (a great album, but one loaded with ballads and downbeat songs outside of Postman, which had been released EIGHT months earlier and didn't fit on it thematically) started a downward trend in sales.

So, 1974 was a primal year for them professionally and personally (you just need to look at Karen from video in early 1974 when she was at a very healthy weight to how much slimmer - though still beautiful - she was in the Perry Como Christmas special at the end of the year to speculate that this was the year when you-know-what started). Yet no album. For the first time since signing with A&M - nothing. It was a over a two year gap between studio albums (Now and Then released in May 1973 and Horizon in June 1975) and even the best-selling Singles 1969-1973 was a 1973 release.

Richard has said in one of the documentaries that he questioned the wisdom then of not putting out the album, and the idea is basically ludicrous when thinking about it now ("You don't forget about the records and go touring all over the world" Richard says in the "The Carpenters:Only Yesterday" British documentary.) Particularly for a group that prided themselves of being a "recording artists" more than concert ones. According to Coleman, the Carpenters played 203 concerts in 1974 in a 365 day year. Considering at this period in time they were one of the best selling RECORDING groups in the world and millionaires several times over (by their own admission) this IS pretty ludicrous. Bettis has also said that the Carpenters toured more than any group with their kind of success did.

So what if they hadn't toured that much and actually put out an album in 1974 (even the end of '74 which would have given RC more time to work on Horizon, for a later '75 release date, which I believe he now says he could have used)? What kind of material would have been on it. Richard has said that the reason for the Oldies medley on Now and Then was he really didn't have new material, and a lot of the stuff on Horizon is really SLOW. I think the Carpenters took their downward turn when they stopped with more uptempo stuff after Postman and Only Yesterday.

Off the top of my head if I had to put a 1974 album together of songs I know the C's were familar with and Richard seems to have some kind of arrangement for (this is all predicated on if RC doesn't take his usual six months or so to do it and just feels the need to get material out there, which he now says he should have):
1. Please Mr. Postman
2. And When He Smiles (which should have been an album cut at some point and RC said they were going record it all the way back in the '71 BBC Concert)
3. Dancing in the Street (the original jazzy RC Trio version with Karen on drums, they really should have recorded THIS rather than the version they did for the '78 TV Special with its everybody else does it like this style).
4. Any Day Now, the version they did in concert during this period as part of a Bacharach medley that was included in the Anthology collection. KC sounds great and RC's arrangement is terrific. I actually think this one is single material even though its another oldie, it's that good.
5. A longer edition of Zodiac Medley from MYKOM (Richard was an expert at medley making and this was obviously one they had in the pocket.) So Good Day Sunshine, Wishin' and Hopin', A House is Not a Home, Trains and Boats and Planes, I Wanna Be Free, New World Coming.
6. Carpenter/Bettis song that would segue into the Zodiac medley ala Yesterday Once More. Another single material song.
7. Cinderella Rockefella - why not? It's another short song that already part of their concert staple. Album filler basically. It's short and they could use either Doug Strawn or a big name guest singer to duet with Karen (it would be weird for Richard to do it).
8. Another Carpenter/Bettis original.
9. Santa Claus is Coming To Town - hear me out on this. Yes, it is a Christmas song, but its one they are very confident in (the arrangement and the vocal are some of the best work they ever did) and I personally believe it is much BETTER than mere seasonal music. It's fantastic. It should have been an album cut somewhere (and never was until after Karen's death, and Old Fashioned Christmas).
10. ????? - mystery uptempo song that could be a third or fourth single cut from the album.

I also believe Karen should have recorded Perry Como's It's Impossible as an album cut (either in 74 or 75). The shortened version she does on the Christmas special is incredible. It could have been put in as a tribute to Como (a singer both Carpenters obviously admired and RC still does) who had recorded not one, not two, but THREE Carpenters songs on his 71/72 albums.

Any other thoughts about possible album choices OR what an album released in 1974 would have meant for the Carpenters professionally and personally at the height of their fame? Or even their legacy (it would have meant less touring which would have been VERY good for Karen, and it would have added to their dominance of the first half of the 1970s in terms of sales, and future catalog sales)?
 

Tapdancer

Well-Known Member
Excellent post, JBee!

(i) I've always believed that Santa Claus is so good, it's almost too good to be a Christmas song. I'd still only release it no earlier in the year than, say, September. Otherwise it's like having Hot Cross Buns available in the supermarket from January - nice, but loses a little of the meaning.

(ii) Their hectic touring schedule "killed" them - that's my opinion.

(iii) From the medley, Karen's singing in A House is Not a Home and Trains and Boats and Planes would have made both worthy as standalone tracks, with the former also a contender as a single release.
 

JBee

Active Member
Thread Starter
Excellent post, JBee!

(i) I've always believed that Santa Claus is so good, it's almost too good to be a Christmas song. I'd still only release it no earlier in the year than, say, September. Otherwise it's like having Hot Cross Buns available in the supermarket from January - nice, but loses a little of the meaning.

(ii) Their hectic touring schedule "killed" them - that's my opinion.

(iii) From the medley, Karen's singing in A House is Not a Home and Trains and Boats and Planes would have made both worthy as standalone tracks, with the former also a contender as a single release.

Tapdancer, your thoughts echo my own. I actually think a cobbled together end of 1974 album COULD have worked (if Richard didn't start a new album earlier in the year). Please Mr. Postman was released in Nov '74 and they could have let it hang there and release the '74 album containing it for Christmas (at the same releasing Santa Claus as a single, and it too would be on the album). This would also give them plenty of time to release at least two or more singles (one of which would almost certainly be a Carpenter/Bettis tune) going into '75, giving Richard breathing time to make Horizon the album he wanted it to be (he claims disappointment in it now).

As for the other points. Richard's issues with the sleeping pills, and Karen's battle with her weight may still have happened, but in many ways 74-75 were pivotal points in their personal and professional life. The way they were touring from 1972 to 1975 was almost inhuman especially given their success. It had to play a part in what was going on with them internally.
You can visually see Karen getting thinner in 1974, and by Sep '75 she would be under 90 lb, while Richard blames his personal issues from this time on the problems he sees in Horizon, HUSH, and Passage. Getting them off the road (203 concerts in one year for one of the top selling groups in the world! Really, Bash?) for even just three more months in '74 could only have helped them I think in some fashion.

I mention the Zodiac medley part because he obviously had a medley of those songs arranged going back to Make Your Own Kind of Music. Of course if you listen to the medley, it sounds so good coming from Karen that the temptation is to say, the heck with it, let's just record full length versions of Good Day Sunshine, Wishin' and Hopin', A House is Not a Home, Trains and Boats and Planes, I Wanna Be Free, New World Coming and just make THAT one whole side of the LP. In my head that's what I think should have happened. You could then fill the other side of the LP with Please Mr. Postman, And When He Smiles, Any Day Now, Santa Claus and perhaps one to two new original Carpenter/Bettis tunes. Boom! That right there is a pretty sizable (10-12 album cuts) and eclectic album full of songs that the C's and public already KNOW are good.

But my pragmatic side says in reality Richard would probably lean towards a medley he had already charted out at some point ala the Bacharach medley and the Oldies medley (both of which had been done previously in concert before being recorded on LPs).
 
Last edited:

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I wrote the fan club about It's Impossible. Ev loved it too but said it was too late to include on the new album.
 

K.C. Jr

Well-Known Member
"It's Impossible" was a missed opportunity. Such a great song for Karen, and full of goosebumps. Too bad they never did the whole version.
And please forgive my ignorance, but does anybody know why that medley is called "Zodiac"? :confused:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
The so-called 'Zodiac' Medley is bits of songs melded together, taken from the television program
Make Your Own Kind Of Music (1971).
It is not (to my knowledge) an actual Medley put together (arranged) by Richard Carpenter.
The Medley arises (only) when the different instances of the song snippets--which occurred at
different television airings--- are run together seamlessly. (Caveat: if otherwise is known, please correct me !).
In other words, Richard Carpenter did not have an entire Medley arranged, as we hear it now.
It is found on Youtube under Medley-Carpenters Make Your Own Kind Of Music (4 min 38 sec).

Interesting, though: I have never--or, am unable to recall---an instance where the touring back-up
members claimed that the duo were touring "too much". (They, in their twenties).
Again, this seems to be contentious: Sherwin Bash, for instance noted that no one---at the time--
complained about touring too much, or turning down any venues due to overwork (from 1970-1974).
 

theninjarabbit

Well-Known Member
I think it's called the "Zodiac Medley" (by fans) because they performed it in front of a background with the Zodiac signs on it.

 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I have never--or, am unable to recall---an instance where the touring back-up
members claimed that the duo were touring "too much".

I would say the song "Road Ode", written by two of the touring members, is a pretty good summation of the too-much-touring situation.

Harry
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Richard Carpenter, Road Ode Liner Notes: "...written in Carbondale, Illinois, 1971 obviously at the end of a long tour"
That does not imply a "summation" from 1970 to 1974; as I specifically delineated that "time-frame" 1970-1974 in my post.
Perhaps, then, Karen Carpenter really did let "Rainy Days And Mondays" get her down.
Perhaps, "Goodbye To Love" really was Karen's lament. Ad infinitum. for any of the duo's songs....
Perhaps.....
As Richard Carpenter has pointed out, we should not (especially at that time) read (auto)biographically into their recordings.
(The only documented exception, apparently, being I Need To Be In Love).
Also, the Melody Maker Article from 1975 contains nothing except Richard Carpenter gloating over
the amount of money the touring was bringing them.


Rolling Stone Article 1974:
Richard Carpenter:
And yet . . . I can't complain. This is what we worked for. It's all stuff I want to do.
I want to play the Warsaw Concerto with the Boston Pops.
I want to record a new album. I love to go out and perform.
The Carpenters: Up From Downey »
 

K.C. Jr

Well-Known Member
Thanks! I never noticed that before. :)


UOTE="theninjarabbit, post: 149237, member: 2811"]I think it's called the "Zodiac Medley" (by fans) because they performed it in front of a background with the Zodiac signs on it.

[/QUOTE]
 

JBee

Active Member
Thread Starter
The so-called 'Zodiac' Medley is bits of songs melded together, taken from the television program
Make Your Own Kind Of Music (1971).
It is not (to my knowledge) an actual Medley put together (arranged) by Richard Carpenter.
The Medley arises (only) when the different instances of the song snippets--which occurred at
different television airings--- are run together seamlessly. (Caveat: if otherwise is known, please correct me !).
In other words, Richard Carpenter did not have an entire Medley arranged, as we hear it now.
It is found on Youtube under Medley-Carpenters Make Your Own Kind Of Music (4 min 38 sec).

The medley looks like it was filmed at one shot and then cut into pieces for different episodes. Someone can correct me on this but I think all 8 episodes of MYOKOM were filmed in a brief week or so period. Is the applause real or canned? If canned it was added after the fact to cover the edits. Maybe Richard hadn't arranged this medley in the manner he did with the Bacharach pieces but these seemed to be songs both C's were familiar with, especially since all the pieces seemed to fit not only Karen's voice perfectly (which was something Richard was looked out for) but even Richard's bit on New World Coming is a good fit and ending. I just think that even if he didn't have set arrangements, this was the kind of piece that RC could have expanded (by a few more minutes) and made into another Bacharach/David medley or Oldies medley (both of which I believe were added to their respective albums due to lack of original material). At 4 and a half minutes, the Zodiac Medley is already only a minute shorter than the Bacharach/David medley that appeared on the Carpenters album.

As for the touring - no, it probably wouldn't have stopped until there was a crisis like what happened to Karen (though hopefully not to such an extreme). Both siblings were in their 20s and healthy (at least in '74) and as Bettis has said - there was basically money being thrown at them at this point to tour all over the place. But as Werner Wolfen put it (in one of the documentaries) they also had management who "profited greatly" off of them continually touring. We can see now that it was bad for them, even if they couldn't see it then. Road Ode (such an underrated song) may be not be strictly autobiographical but it sure sounds accurate as to what they were going through for two-thirds of the year.

My thought is the same as Richard Carpenter's. That not having an album out in 1974, for a duo that regarded themselves as "recording animals" first and foremost and live performers second, in a period when they were at their professional height on the Billboard Top 40 was dubious at best, and ludicrous at worst. As far as I can tell Please Mr. Postman (an oldies from the 60s that NO ONE could have predicted would go to #1 all over the world) and Santa Claus (a seasonal release and already classic song, albeit a superior one) were the only new material they released that entire year, which means they went TWO years not only between studio albums but between releasing original new songs. It is ridiculous when you think about it.

They should have released SOMETHING for that year, even if they didn't have the same time as usual to prep, just to have material out there in the wake of Postman's huge success. As it was, it would be eight whole months (the better part of a year) after Postman before Horizon (aka the album Postman finally appeared on) was released, an album Richard says he felt rushed on and is now no longer happy with. Having an album in '74 (even late '74) would perhaps have given RC the time he needed.

As far as It's Impossible goes, its hard to believe they would record something like Goofus (and make it both an album cut and a single), but never do a full recording at some point of a song RC knew Karen sounded fantastic on, especially given that both Carpenters were fans of Como (who himself had recorded Carpenter songs). It's not like they didn't record other songs that either were just work leads never meant to see the light of day, or (as in the case of the MMM special recordings) just for their personal collections. Just like not having an album for 1974, in retrospect a full version of It's Impossible's absence in their catalog is inexplicable.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Certain it is that I agree wholeheartedly that an Album should have been recorded and released in 1974.
And, there were many missed opportunities, especially considering Karen Carpenter's vocals were at an
astounding timbre. From all appearances both she and Richard were "fit as a fiddle" in 1974.
My only issue--and, I have documented this elsewhere--is the oft-quoted explanation that the reason such an
album was not recorded was due specifically to too much touring on the part of the duo.
Scrutiny of the available documented evidence---from that period--simply does not support that thesis.
I am not implying that the duo were not tired from tours---which they would have been tired from them (also) in 1970,1971,1972,1973 !
yet the duo managed studio albums in those years ! I am asking why suddenly 1974 was different from the preceding years in
that respect. They were still in their (very healthy) Twenties.
As we saw, and heard, with our own eyes,and ears---Karen's stamina was remarkable; as she performed live in 1978 in the UK,
and went on a whirlwind promotional tour in 1981---both instances where she was clearly in physically awful condition.
So, yes, I agree--1974 a huge opportunity for a great album.
I merely note that the standard reason given for its absence ("too tired from too much touring") is less than satisfactory in my eyes.
 

K.C. Jr

Well-Known Member
The other missed opportunity for recording as a full song is "I Wanna Be Free" from the Zodiac Medley. Karen absolutely nailed that, her reading is so intimate and emotional.
YES!!! "I Wanna Be Free" was one of her best vocals ever!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Karen's voice was at its absolute peak in '73 (Yesterday Once More) and '74 (Carpenters/Como Medley). It's a tragedy they didn't record an album in '74. With the right material and no touring it would have been potentially their best album of all.

By 1975 her vocal was still great but had lost something...I can't put my finger on it. Tiredness? Lack of that "bell like" quality? Too soft? Material too draggy? All of the above.
 

Don Malcolm

Well-Known Member
I think the answer to why there was no LP in '74 is a combination of all the reasons noted in the various posts:

--The cumulative effect of a brutal touring schedule over the previous three years;
--A downturn in productivity for the Carpenter-Bettis songwriting team;
--Richard coming up dry in the search for more contemporary-sounding songs to cover, which would have advanced their image as opposed to typecasting it as an oldies act;
--The ongoing chart success of songs culled from A Song From You, which made it possible to delay the decision-making about what course to take after having jumped onto the oldies bandwagon with the elaborate medley on Now & Then.

JBee's ideas for a '74 album are persuasive in their enthusiasm and show a wonderful command of the C's arcana, and make for a wonderful read. But do note, please, that such an album calls for suitable Carpenter-Bettis songs to round out the lineup, and it appears this was the key missing ingredient necessary to bring forth a new LP for that year.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
The singer-songwriter era of the early '70s probably hurt their search for great songs as well. This was the period where traditional songwriters were themselves, picking up the microphone and making their own records from their own songs. We've talked about Carole King here, but there's also the Joni Mitchell's and the James Taylor's and the Elton John's - they were all writing songs that would have fit into the Carpenters mold had they not already been big hits for themselves.

Even Paul Williams, who'd written some Carpenters earlier hits (with Roger Nichols), was at the time himself recording his own songs on the A&M label. That possibly put more pressure onto Richard to either find songs or write them. And we've all gone through mental blocks.
 

JBee

Active Member
Thread Starter
I think the answer to why there was no LP in '74 is a combination of all the reasons noted in the various posts:

--The cumulative effect of a brutal touring schedule over the previous three years;
--A downturn in productivity for the Carpenter-Bettis songwriting team;
--Richard coming up dry in the search for more contemporary-sounding songs to cover, which would have advanced their image as opposed to typecasting it as an oldies act;
--The ongoing chart success of songs culled from A Song From You, which made it possible to delay the decision-making about what course to take after having jumped onto the oldies bandwagon with the elaborate medley on Now & Then.

JBee's ideas for a '74 album are persuasive in their enthusiasm and show a wonderful command of the C's arcana, and make for a wonderful read. But do note, please, that such an album calls for suitable Carpenter-Bettis songs to round out the lineup, and it appears this was the key missing ingredient necessary to bring forth a new LP for that year.

I put at least one (or two) Carpenter/Bettis songs on my potential album track list because I think at this point (1974) they would not have released any album that didn't contain at least one song from the duo. It wasn't until Passage, when Richard was his deepest in the sleeping pill problem, that an album contained NO Carpenter/Bettis tune. That's not to say it would have been "Top of the World"/"Goodbye to Love" good (and Richard and John did eventually write "Only Yesterday"for Horizon, specifically designed to be a commercial hit, which it was) but there would have been something on any '74 LP.

I do agree with GaryAlan though, that while non-stop touring had a role to play, that wouldn't account for everything. The Carpenters still released Now and Then (which was not as strong as A Song for You) in 1973 despite a dearth of new, original material (hence the Oldies medley). Yet they have a #1 hit in Nov 74 with Postman (after an album track from a two year old record hit #11 earlier in the year) and did....nothing...to capitalize on any of that momentum. By the time Horizon was released in mid '75 (filled with ballads and slow songs, and where Postman seems like an outlier) the momentum was dead (minus the success of "Only Yesterday" released in March '75). It's bizarre.

I don't what it was - bad management, overwork, hubris at making so much money with the concerts, exhaustion, creative drought - but doing nothing but concerts (they only even made 3 appearances on TV that year, one of which the Como special in December, and one was the PBS Evening at Pops for Richard's concert performance), is mind-boggling for a duo that considered themselves even then as "recording" artists first and foremost.

By 1975 her vocal was still great but had lost something...I can't put my finger on it. Tiredness? Lack of that "bell like" quality? Too soft? Material too draggy? All of the abov

Didn't Karen make a conscious choice to sing "softer" in the mid-70s? She thought she oversang earlier in her career. I disagree, I think Karen Carpenter from 69-74 had one of the best voices ever put on vinyl, but she apparently didn't like it. And of course by the end of her life, there was definitely something missing from her voice, it was MORE softer and weaker (although it still sounded great). Richard has said that the illness never affected her voice, and I think he's convinced of that, but I also think he's wrong.

I also think the material Richard started choosing starting with Horizon (though I think its a fine record overall) was lacking the verve and experimentality earlier records showed. Except for some songs from Passage the Carpenters from 1975 on just melded into ballads and songs like "Solitaire" and "I Need to Be in Love" (which while great in themselves showed a trend in the kind of maudlin stuff RC was having KC sing, mostly no more happy upbeat tunes - no wonder the radio DJs got tired of it - so by the time a great catchy song like "All You Get From a Love Song" comes out in '77 it drops into the market like a stone.).

It's also partly why I think 1974 was such a pivotal year. Just three years later, the C's couldn't buy a hit even with good material, and yet in 1974 they could send two year old album cuts into the top 20 and a cover of a 60s oldie into #1. 1974 might have been their last time to dominate the charts, it should have been their year.
 
Last edited:

Must Hear This Album

Well-Known Member
Certain it is that I agree wholeheartedly that an Album should have been recorded and released in 1974...I merely note that the standard reason given for its absence ("too tired from too much touring") is less than satisfactory in my eyes.

Agreed. I think the delay was the possibly the result of a calculated career strategy: up to 1974, the duo had devoured the singles charts while garnering little-to-no support from “rock” critics, other than a few nods of appreciation to Karen’s voice and Richard’s arranging talents in an odd review or two. At the time, and probably even today (I have no idea, as I’m not in the business), it was something popular musicians thought about. Linda Rondstadt noted as much in a recent interview, about how everybody was trying to be “in with the hip crowd,” and that rock press had much to do with that. I surmise the musical-political tides to have been changing for the duo, based on what I recall being written about the duo in 1974 (hell, they even scored the coveted COVER of Rolling Stone magazine that year and an almost completely sympathetic article).

For the top-selling American act of the early part of the 1970’s, I think a lot was riding on their next move, in terms of finally achieving some semblance of rock cred (and continued sales success), and I suspect they were both a bit nervous to be shooting from the hip as they had with their last few, tour/record/tour/record-scheduled albums. The next album needed to be THE ALBUM of their careers: it must have hits AND credibility. It must point to new horizons! Ugh. So sorry about that, but I sincerely believe that’s why they, 1.) took so long making Horizon, 2.) included so many “serious” songs on it, and 3.) posed for the most moody (and probably best) album cover of their career up to that point (and maybe ever?). Note: it’s well-documented that “Only Yesterday” was Carpenter's and Bettis’ most calculated attempt at aiming for the radio at that time, and I believe there’s evidence to suggest that was their approach to the entire album. Actually, Richard was quoted as saying that every song on Horizon was approached as if it could be a single.

Maybe they should have just stuck to their art. Another lesson in “to thine own self be true,” perhaps?
 

JBee

Active Member
Thread Starter
Agreed. I think the delay was the possibly the result of a calculated career strategy: up to 1974, the duo had devoured the singles charts while garnering little-to-no support from “rock” critics, other than a few nods of appreciation to Karen’s voice and Richard’s arranging talents in an odd review or two. At the time, and probably even today (I have no idea, as I’m not in the business), it was something popular musicians thought about. Linda Rondstadt noted as much in a recent interview, about how everybody was trying to be “in with the hip crowd,” and that rock press had much to do with that. I surmise the musical-political tides to have been changing for the duo, based on what I recall being written about the duo in 1974 (hell, they even scored the coveted COVER of Rolling Stone magazine that year and an almost completely sympathetic article).

For the top-selling American act of the early part of the 1970’s, I think a lot was riding on their next move, in terms of finally achieving some semblance of rock cred (and continued sales success), and I suspect they were both a bit nervous to be shooting from the hip as they had with their last few, tour/record/tour/record-scheduled albums. The next album needed to be THE ALBUM of their careers: it must have hits AND credibility. It must point to new horizons! Ugh. So sorry about that, but I sincerely believe that’s why they, 1.) took so long making Horizon, 2.) included so many “serious” songs on it, and 3.) posed for the most moody (and probably best) album cover of their career up to that point (and maybe ever?). Note: it’s well-documented that “Only Yesterday” was Carpenter's and Bettis’ most calculated attempt at aiming for the radio at that time, and I believe there’s evidence to suggest that was their approach to the entire album. Actually, Richard was quoted as saying that every song on Horizon was approached as if it could be a single.
Ironically Richard seems to dislike Horizon now. And although "Only Yesterday" was a successful manufactured radio hit (and their last huge one), outside of Postman (which came out in 1974) and "Happy" (which should have been a single) Horizon is not really a rocking album. Rather the opposite, in fact. I think more songs with a beat during this period would have kept the momentum going.

Maybe they should have just stuck to their art. Another lesson in “to thine own self be true,” perhaps?
Quite. As Bettis has said they were just middle-class kids from surburbia, not counter-culture rebels. While it was true as Karen said that "even Mickey Mouse" couldn't live up to the image that had been stamped on them, it often even seemed (and this comes out in interviews, not just the Rolling Stone story) they were desperate to prove how un-square (i.e. look we believe in legalized marijuana and pre-marital sex, like all the cool rock kids, heck, we don't even like milk!).
Yet after Horizon, they followed up with HUSH (with the first single a cover of a Herman Hermit's song, the second flooded with the OK Chorale, and the third was...Goofus) and then there was the TV specials and the refurbished concert which was very much a Vegas entertainment act. After the decisions made under Weintraub's management, all those protestations about how cool they were really were obviously going to fall on deaf ears by the music press and the media. They were still being asked about their "squeaky clean image" (to quote Joan Lunden in GMA) by the press in 1981 - even though at point it had been three years since their last album!
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Richard stated in the liner notes of one of the compilations that there simply wasn't time to make an album in 1974. But, then he added, 'Nor was I in the mood'.

It's too bad they were worked so hard for so long with so little time left to themselves. Their burn-out just happened at the wrong time. Not their fault, really. They were very much human, and that's what happens, unfortunately.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the reference, A&M Retro: "....Nor was I in the mood..." (I had forgotten that snippet!).
I must say, this (thread) is fascinating from an historical--if not, historiographic--perspective.
After (re-)reading the entirety of the 1974 Fan Club Newsletters--I remain clueless !
Nothing in those Newsletters hints at the possibility of No 1974 Album. In fact, no indication is
given of "lack of time" to record a 1974 Album. Nothing there says No Album. (And, correct me if such is located!).
In fact, the European Tours take up much of those Newsletters. And, they were not about to slow
down on that touring---this from the Newsletter's descriptions. If the touring was sapping their
recording strength and studio time, there is no indication whatsoever in the official Newsletters.
The sales strength and chart time of The Singles 1969-1973 obviated any need on the part of
the record company (or the duo) to have to have an album (any album) in 1974.
(Although, the Newsletters mention the possibility of "Live Album", taken from the Japan Concerts.)
And here, in America--on the televised first American Music Awards---voted them Pop#1......and, they were overseas.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
As much as I would have liked a 1974 album, given how busy they were, I'm glad there wasn't one. After the mega successes of years past, a rushed project would have downgraded their career. "Horizon" was an excellent album even if filled with ballads.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom