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Official Review [Album]: "A KIND OF HUSH" (SP-4581)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jul 1, 2013.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    5 vote(s)
  2. ****

    14 vote(s)
  3. ***

    38 vote(s)
  4. **

    8 vote(s)
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
  1. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Not quite. But at the beginning of this song, there is only the cymbals and the "doo doo doo down doobie doo down down" vocals.

    Somewhere in the mixing stage, Richard or someone quickly reduced the left channel at the cymbal hits.

  2. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Only recently did I realize that "I Need to be in Love" has a different lyric than I've heard in the past. "I'm Hangin' on a hope, THAT I'm alright" is the actual lyric, whereas I always thought it was BUT. . .In fact in the live versions I think she does sing "but" and not "that". Either word works just fine.
  3. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Harry.

    besides wishing K&R recorded the slow boil Breaking Up, I wish they had released a studio version of Hush with the slow intro as in the Palladium recording. Love Karen's voice in the intro. "ALL over the world".
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Great idea, Mstaft !
    A slow intro on A Kind of Hush, as with the Palladium recording, would have put an
    entirely different musical spin on that tune. Although I love the existing single as it is,
    an alternate slower introduction would have set the song apart from the crowd.
  5. for the hush lp. it needs way less "champainge" and more red meat!
    Stronger drums and bass lines.
    Karen aka Miss PERFECTION Voice lol. Leave that part alone.
    Its just too soft. like was said earlyer Passage would have been a better follow up to horizon. hush was kookey soft.
    I enjoy the lp very much. it just wasnt a 1976 hit
    CraigGA likes this.
  6. FreddieB

    FreddieB Member

    I find it unbelievable that this album went gold within a month and didn't crack the Billboard top 20. It just seems odd to me. I have been looking at past Billboard charts and I am shocked to see how music like 'Andrea True Convention' charted higher (end of year stats 1976) than higher quality artists like Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and The Carpenters...It makes my brain hurt. Funny to see whose albums are still in print. Would anybody nowadays really listen to a K.C. and the Sunshine or Starland Vocal band studio LP from 1976?...YUCK......

    Carpenters, Linda, James.. oh yeah...people still listen to their older works.

    Richard and Karen are long distance winners for sure.

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
    Jamesj75 and A&M Retro like this.
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Good point, Freddie.
    Shipped Gold, then Certified Gold soon after, I remain puzzled as to the lower chart listing for the Hush LP.
    Those year-end chart stats from 1976, whence mediocre (and worse) albums (and singles) charted better than Carpenters
    music, baffles me.
    My understanding is that the methodology of compiling those statistics in 1976, differs (dramatically) from the methodology used today.
    And, sans later technology like Soundscan, it is my understanding that a certain degree of subjectivity played into the numbers,
    i.e., those numbers are not as 'black and white' and objective as they should have been (for chart placement indices).
    But, again, I could be wrong!
    Also, speaking of the single, "A Kind of Hush" , why Richard's distaste for the utilization of synthesizer in this song?
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    This album was my Sunday Spin, from the 30th Anniversary Set,
    here I offer, as of this date, my (nearly static) views on the album,
    ...for whatever its worth....
    I still love "Goofus", granted it is not single-material, but a great album cut!
    I still enjoy There's A Kind Of Hush, You, I Have You, One More Time, Boat To Sail,
    and, (especially) I Need To Be In Love.
    The remaining tunes : Sandy, Can't Smile Without You and Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
    are less successful, in my meager estimation. The Alternative version of Can't Smile is much
    better to my ears. (Although, I do not 'skip' these songs, as they do have redeeming qualities.)
    Finally, the inner sleeve photo- well, I've never liked it, and still do not.
    Oddly enough, my views regarding this album have changed little since I first heard the entire
    album back in 1976. Rather interesting, as I was only 14 years old then!
    Time does fly.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  9. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I don't see the problem with the inner-sleeve photo, but then it's a matter of personal taste.

    Hush3 (2).jpg

  10. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I like it a lot!
  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I suppose for clarification's sake, it behooves me to add that my one and only issue with that particular
    photograph from the Hush inner sleeve is that Karen does not look well.(IMHO)
    Am I the only person for whom this particular photo accentuates Karen's illness at that moment in time?
    I've seen the other photos from the Hush sessions (thanks to InsightsandSounds blog) and there are
    (or, at least in my opinion) much better pictures.
    After all, Karen was a very beautiful woman.
    byline likes this.
  12. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    GaryAlan, glad you're enjoying the photos on my blog!
  13. byline

    byline Active Member

    You are not alone. At the time I had no idea what was wrong, other than the publicized statements about Karen's weight loss and taking time off due to exhaustion. All I knew was that she did not look well. And, to add insult to injury, as time has passed I have seen many more photos from those sessions, most of which are far more flattering than that one. I don't know what was going on with A&M's PR department. Sometimes I almost think they were doing everything they could to undermine Karen and Richard's image, rather than support it.
  14. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    Um, how about men shouldn't wear jumpsuits as a fashion choice. :hmmm:
    Song4uman and Jeff like this.
  15. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    And I don't see a problem at all with the whole album! I am one of its staunchest supporters. For me, the album is right up there with Horizon. Here are some reasons:
    • The lead single, "There's a Kind of Hush," is one of my all-time favorite Carpenters' recordings. So what if it is yet another remake. It's catchy and fun.
    • "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," yet another remake of yet another Sedaka song. Sure, I would have preferred the slow version, but another slow song on this album would not have appeased its critics.
    • Most fans would agree that "You" is one of their best ballads, an underrated gem that might have excelled as a single. Another one of my all-time faves!
    • Karen's favorite song, "I Need to Be in Love," is a beautiful, haunting piece (another all-time fave of mine).
    • "I Have You" is a "pretty" song that features Karen's virtual self-harmony. The later use of other backup singers detracted from the enjoyment according to most fans, but Karen harmonizing with herself is too much heaven.
    • "Can't Smile Without You," a huge hit for Barry Manilow, stands on its own with the different lyrics, although I prefer the version on Singles: 1974-1978.
    • "One More Time" and "Boat to Sail" are fan favorites that have grown on me over the years. I get it now!
    • "Sandy" is pleasant---Richard C obviously LOVES this one---and "Goofus" isn't as terrible as some argue. Maybe not the best choice as a single, but it's different.
    • The album cover itself was a novel piece of artwork.
    PS: I didn't intend to list every song, but as I continued writing, I couldn't help myself. :)
  16. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    OMG, where would we be without, "I Need To Be In Love" one of the best songs ever!!!
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  17. FreddieB

    FreddieB Member

    I am starting to like this album again. I remember really liking it back in the day, so maybe I have been too hard on it. I am going to put it on again tomorrow afternoon. 'One More time' and 'I Need to be in Love' still get me after all these years. I do love the cover, album package design, including the awesome picture graphic on the vinyl LP. Something about it makes me sad. I have to admit whenever I see the 'Hush' cover I kind of get chocked up. I see it here and there around the UK and it just kind of tears me up.

    'Boat to Sail' is a good one too...very sexy Karen track......

    Jamesj75 likes this.
  18. motownboy

    motownboy Active Member

    As a collective work, the album showcases that Richard and Karen were struggling creatively. Individually, there are many nice moments like "I Need to Be In Love", which had it existed in 1973 would have been a big top ten and possibly #1 single. No other song on the album, for me, had that potential, even if released back in the 1972-73. "A Kind of Hush" had the next best chance (in my opinion). My appreciation for "You" grew after becoming acquainted with Jane Olivor's version that came out several years later. It brought me back to Karen & Richard's version. Over the years, my appreciation for the album has grown a lot. I even enjoy "Goofus" now. :)
    byline and Jamesj75 like this.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Wow, I finally found an answer to why "Ordinary Fool" did not find its way on to this album:

    Richard Carpenter: "..Ordinary Fool, from Paul Williams, dates from 1976. The tape kind of got misplaced.
    It was somewhere in the Tape Library. I was delighted to find that. I think it's really a nice tune and one of
    Karen's best readings
    ." (November 23rd,1983 Nevada Daily Mail).

    byline and Rick-An Ordinary Fool like this.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Jamesj75 likes this.
  21. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Incredible....thank goodness it was found, talk about a lost treasure!!! If Karen could only hear how it turned out, surely she would say, "way to go Rich!!"
    byline likes this.
  22. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
    byline likes this.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    "The Tape kind of got misplaced." Richard Carpenter's comment took me completely by surprise when I read that line from 1983.

    It rather astounds me, the amount of 'new' information which comes to light as the years progress.
    Obviously, many of the longtime forum members will not find all that much from my posts) to be 'news' to them,
    but, I am humbled to bring anything of import to the attention of all.
    Many members possess a much more intimate knowledge of Carpenters, and Carpenters' music,
    than I will ever be able to assimilate.
    I, not only enjoy 'discovering' long-forgotten newspaper articles--but, also knowing that it enriches
    the outlook for those who might take time ,once in a while, to read these historical artifacts.
    And, I return the thanks,
    in learning something new every day from all members.
    byline likes this.
  24. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Statistics, as one metric,
    Billboard Magazine, December 25,1976:
    Singles Artists, top 1976 Chart
    #65 Carpenters (3)
    Albums Top 100 Artists 1976
    Carpenters are not listed among the top 100.
    Singles/Albums Duos/Groups for 1976: Carpenters not in Top 10.
    Producers: Richard Carpenter #47 among 100 (3 charted singles).
    Almo Publishers #3 (21 charted singles)
    Gross Receipts from Stadiums(20,000 seats plus) Festivals (6,000-20,000) Auditoriums (under 6,000): Carpenters not listed in top 15 (min$50,000.)
    (NB: London Palladium Concerts not included in USA figures)
    Easy Listening: Carpenters#4 ( with 3 charted singles)
    1976 A&M had three Gold and 11 Platinum Awards RIAA (among independent companies).

  25. Song4uman

    Song4uman Well-Known Member

    I don't like that inner sleeve either. You are not alone.

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