• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy 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 available for ordering here.

A Kind of Hush Album Revisited

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Hello Friends! Tomorrow on my Insights and Sounds blog, I'll post a new review of the Carpenters 1976 album, A Kind of Hush.

I'm going through all the albums one by one, ten plus years later after my first round of reviews. With time, perspectives change. And this time, I've dug even deeper.

In addition to sharing a few rarely seen photos and music trivia, this one holds something very, very special that you won't want to miss. Thank you to all of you who sent me photos of rare promotional items.

As a rehash in preparation for this, you may want to read my fresh look at Horizon- the story continues from there.

I hope you enjoy it, and I'd love your feedback. Blessings to you and yours.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Hello Friends! Tomorrow on my Insights and Sounds blog, I'll post a new review of the Carpenters 1976 album, A Kind of Hush.

I'm going through all the albums one by one, ten plus years later after my first round of reviews. With time, perspectives change. And this time, I've dug even deeper.

In addition to sharing a few rarely seen photos and music trivia, this one holds something very, very special that you won't want to miss. Thank you to all of you who sent me photos of rare promotional items.

As a rehash in preparation for this, you may want to read my fresh look at Horizon- the story continues from there.

I hope you enjoy it, and I'd love your feedback. Blessings to you and yours.
Looking forward to your new take on your favourite album.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Mark,
I have now read your "fresh look" at the Hush album.
I can only say, excellent and provocative piece of writing !

Listening now to Boat To Sail:
 

GDBY2LV

Well-Known Member
Great job Mark. I already told you my personal feelings about the album, and life experiences at the time, not so happy. Glad you could include the pics of the mobiles I have for the article. I’m still disappointed that “You” was not the 3rd single. I have to say that Hush got me through those times though. I wore my vinyl & 8- track out. Had to buy new vinyl and a cassette instead.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Thank you, @GDBY2LV, for your comments and your photos. It is interesting that that season was a happy one for me, but a tougher one for you. Funny how we attached ourselves to music, or it to us.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Terrific write-up Mark. In many ways we had similar and different experiences "together" with A KIND OF HUSH. In 1976, I was still working at my first radio station, and it had abandoned all pop music by that point and gone in a progressive rockier direction. Bonus for me: Carpenters A KIND OF HUSH promo albums went unwanted and I got to bring two of them home.

Other than a hole in the cover, everything else was pristine, and I've detailed before how I set about playing both at the same time on my two turntables, resulting in an incredible phasing sound on the "beyond your eyes" part of "You."

We differ in that I really loved "Goofus". I feel like I'm one of the few who "got" what Richard and Karen were going for. In retrospect though, I can certainly admit that it wasn't the smartest choice for a single.

I too loved the artwork, but I thought some of the songs were still a bit sleepy - perhaps the reason why a slightly more alive song like "Goofus" stood out to me.

But for sure, your write-up is superb. I love the photos and the terrific clarity of them. Good job.
 

Portlander

Well-Known Member
Though I really liked the album, the photograph on the cover has never been a favorite. By 1976, the Carpenters had 16 top 40 hits to their credit and had achieved an incredible amount of Platinum and Gold record certifications to go along with 3 Grammys and an American Music Award. Being the top selling artists at A&M should have given Karen and Richard the well earned right to choose what represented them on their album covers by this time.

Richard, on numerous occasions has stated his disdain for most of the covers and how A&M failed to market them properly. Well, this cover shows them smiling side by side with the album's romantic title in the foreground which gave the critics continued justification to slam their image. The "Horizon" album cover was an improvement over previous ones and it seemed like they were trying to shake the goody four shoes label.

Curious to know if Richard had a say on "Hush" or was it another "learn to live with it" response from the marketing execs at A&M? Or was it possible that Richard was going through his issues at the time and just threw his hands up and excepted it? The follow up LP "Passage" was a total departure from "Hush" and I was actually surprised the first time I saw it in the record store!
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Terrific write-up Mark. In many ways we had similar and different experiences "together" with A KIND OF HUSH. In 1976, I was still working at my first radio station, and it had abandoned all pop music by that point and gone in a progressive rockier direction. Bonus for me: Carpenters A KIND OF HUSH promo albums went unwanted and I got to bring two of them home.

Other than a hole in the cover, everything else was pristine, and I've detailed before how I set about playing both at the same time on my two turntables, resulting in an incredible phasing sound on the "beyond your eyes" part of "You."

We differ in that I really loved "Goofus". I feel like I'm one of the few who "got" what Richard and Karen were going for. In retrospect though, I can certainly admit that it wasn't the smartest choice for a single.

I too loved the artwork, but I thought some of the songs were still a bit sleepy - perhaps the reason why a slightly more alive song like "Goofus" stood out to me.

But for sure, your write-up is superb. I love the photos and the terrific clarity of them. Good job.
You're so right, Harry! Goofus does stand out for not being sleepy. Good observation. Thank you for the kind comments. I always like sharing these write ups because they give my friends here 1- something new to read about K&R, 2- a bit of insight into me as a person since I really never get to meet anyone face to face for coffee, and 3- a chance to post some of my many photos I've collected over the years (and in this case, the beautiful slice of wallpaper).
 
Nice work Mark! I think I read the original review. I didn't see the link to the new update until just now. So I will read they updated one tomorrow. My tastes ran a little differently than you on some songs. But I should listen to the album again before I commit my feelings, because I have found my tastes have changed over the years. I just listened to the Carpenters Tan album, and I found that I liked all songs. When the album first came out, I thought of it as their in-betweener album: half magical, the other half still learning to be magical. But like I said I like it all now.

I do know that I like the Kind Of Hush album when it came out. I didn't think of it as weak or a mistake or the end of their career anything. I might But I do wish they had done the ballad version of "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" though.
 
It was a good review, Mark. Saw some photos I hadn't seen and learned a few things I didn't know.

I liked this album at the time. I saw some review at the time where they called "Horizon" superb and "Kind of Hush" sublime or something like that. Of course I was happy to read that and believe it.

Took another listen last night and these were my thoughts...

I think the album has a softer sound. Probably not as strong a selections of songs as the previous albums.

My choices for singles would have been:
A Kind Of Hush
You
Can't Smile Without You
One More Time

While listening to Can't Smile Without You, I'm sure I heard the song modulate into different keys at least twice and maybe three times. At the time, I was disappointed that they released "I Need to be in Love" as a single instead of this one. That let Barry Manilow pick it up before they could release it. I do like Barry's version as well, though. The sheet music in the song book Kind Of Hush songbook also modulates several times, Not proof in and of it self. It could just be a stock print and not their version.

As for the other songs:

Sandy is nice. Pleasant. But not a really memorable song. The verses are actually stronger that the chorus, I think. The chorus isn't all that effective. It lacks a good hook. But it is still a nice song.

Goofus is a fun, goofy song. I don't mind it. But I wouldn't have minded if that had chosen something else either. I mean, if they recorded it, then I would have wanted to hear it. But I think "I Only Have Eyes For You" would have been nicer. And I think it was written by the same composers.

I Need to be in Love is special because Karen liked it. And it is better than I remembered, but I still don't think it is as strong as some of their hits. But a nice effort.

Boat to Sail is kind of a throw away song for me. I don't mind it. I don't dislike it. But it would never make my list of Carpenter favorites.

I Have You Save My Day is a nice song.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do. I wish they had done the ballad version. I was waiting for it when I played the album for the first time, but then I heard this up tempo version. But listening to this song last night, I have to say this version is still pretty nice. I like the accompaniment. At the end it kind of reminds me of a Safari with all the sounds going on.

So on the whole, it's still a good listen. And these are just my thoughts and feeling. They are not intended to offend anyone who might feel different.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Thanks for writing down your thoughts, @3Favorites!

I like your single choices too, but I do wish for a different (hit worthy) arrangement for Can't Smile.

You're absolutely right on Sandy's verses being stronger than the chorus. Maybe that's the problem I have with it.

I Only Have Eyes for You by Art Garfunkel is one of my favorite songs ever. Oh my- I would have loved to hear Karen sing it!

The Hush album is still a good listen- and its still better than 95% of what makes the radio today.
I'd take Hush 2.0 in an instant!
 
I was wrong about who wrote "I Only Have Eyes For You" and "Goofus".

I Only Have Eyes For You was written by Al Dubin and Harry WArren.

Goofus was written by Wayne King, William Harold and Gus Kahn.

Still would have been nice for Karen to sing "I Only Have Eyes For You."
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
ABSOLUTELY! I can hear her sing I Only Have Eyes for You in my head- just like the ballad version of Breaking Up is Hard to Do.
 
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