Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Sep 23, 2006.
oh, to be you and know what you know !!!
To my recollection, Comin' Thru The Rye was an issue of clearance vs. performance with regard to the John Denver estate. I know there have been several issues over the years after John died pertaining to licensing this and that.
That was the whole deal with this album in general - most everything fell into one of three categories. Either it was good enough (Richard felt) to release, but Universal couldn't clear it, the recordings were owned by Richard but there were technical issues when he went back to the originals to do the doctoring so he wasn't able to successfully complete, or there simply was no issue with regard to clearance and the performance was on par, so it made the cut.
Do we know what copyright issues held up the album’s NA release?
The surprising thing about this album--as it relates to my personal opinion--
is that my two favorite songs here are from 1967:
NoWhere Man and California Dreamin'.....
Next in line,
And When He Smiles (1971) and the
Como Medley (1974).
These songs...Without A Song, You're Just In Love, Karen/Ella Medley, I Got Rhythm....
I prefer to listen to as I am viewing the 1980 Music, Music,Music Television Special.
That TV Special should have been released on DVD long ago.
The Medleys from 1976: Superstar/Rainy Days and Hits '76,
are nice, yet, I prefer listening to them as I watch the First TV Special.
So, Chris, in the studio version, is "Comin' Thru The Rye" also part of a medley with "Good Vibrations"? The background vocals on Vibrations are some of my favorite on any unreleased song by K&R.
It's the same version recorded for the '76 television special. And I'm with you on that - I remember years ago the first time I heard Karen come in with her doubled lead followed by the BGVs, I about fell on the floor!
"I'm picking up Good Vibrations...." Sublime!
More proof that Richard sure knew how to pick 'em and arrange 'em, even in '76. This is another one from the vault that I long to hear in pristine condition.
"Comin' Thru The Rye/Good Vibrations" is great....
so, I am left to ask, again and again,
What is stopping us from substitute another great male lead vocal into this song, for a release ?
Why has that not been attempted, if clearance can't be gotten for John Denver's part ?
Aside from the doubled and stacked harmonic vocals having been overdubbed, I'm not sure that replacing John's part could easily be done here. It sounds to me as if Karen and John's vocals were recorded live during the taping. But if this is the case, there would be no way to replace John without some degree of (probably drastic) leakage.
Makes me wonder if there was a plan to release the duet around the time of the special. Its not what I'd consider a strong hit single, but the power duet of how hot each of them were at the time would have guaranteed a top of the charts seller.
My gut and experience tells me probably not. The song was arranged and performed with the intention of wrapping around a television skit in a way that almost came off a little "campy" - like many of the ABC specials did back int he day. I'm with you - GREAT performance and arrangement. But at the very least it would have most likely been rerecorded for a more consumer based, radio-friendly audience if the intention was to release the song as a standalone.
I hope one day Richard will consider it for a future project- and my other unreleased wish list song, "Dance in the Old Fashioned Way" (with or without John Davidson).
I do recall Ray Coleman lamenting about the song (CTTR) being performed
in one of the duos UK Concerts. I'll have to dig that Melody Maker up.
Another one of my top faves from the television specials. Again, I remember the first time I watched the special on an old (probably 5th or 6th generation) VHS tape of that show and Karen came in with that low F sharp - good LORD!
So, this was done in Concert....
Ray Coleman, Melody Maker , November 20,1976:
"...a wretched encore with two improbable songs for the Carpenters,
Good Vibrations and--horror of horrors-- Comin' Thru The Rye."
She makes it all seem so effortless.
I often have thought to myself "How on earth did this woman wake up every day with THAT voice and question for one second her ability to measure up or be 'good enough'?" I mean, I get it but good grief...
Certainly, if Richard Carpenter has kept these concerts, then,
Comin' Thru The Rye/Good Vibrations is in his LIVE material vault,
as the duo performed same (per Ray Coleman) in the UK, late 1976.
It’s been reported a number of places in interviews that if Karen sang in your presence off mic, her voice was so soft it was almost inaudible. But put her on a microphone and the full magic was revealed. That phenomenon has always fascinated me. For me, the full beauty of her voice was revealed in the later remixes. In some cases, like Yesterday Once More, it seems like a completely different vocal because it sounds so much stronger, richer and fuller than the 1973 album version. Play the first 10 seconds of the original mix then the 1991 remix side by side if you don’t know what I mean.
Agreed. And I was thinking to myself as this thread has been developing this morning, just how much Karen had that mechanism built into her voice like many of the greats. In that, when you put that acoustical "space" (reverb, cross-delay) in there, there's another hair-raising layer to her vocal timbre that comes out. That paired with the richness of her low-register just allowed for so many dynamics, hence the Dance In The Old-Fashioned Way mix when she hits that first note - it's like, where did THAT come from?! Pure gold...
Has anyone heard the UK 1976 Live version ?
And precisely my point with regard to the space that was added to the playback, not to mention better EQ overall on the lead. It created that phenomenon with the richness of her voice paired with the reverberation added to the track in the mix.
I think that’s it Chris. I’ve never really heard it articulated before but I think you’re right. Adding reverb and giving the voice more “room to breathe” spatially in the remix phase (helped by the fact they had 48 tracks as opposed to 8 or 16) helped to add a completely unexpected new dimension.
Not being a musician in the least, I'll say the opening notes of "Baby It's You", "Hurting Each Other" , "Only Yesterday" , "Make It Easy on Yourself (1980) "and "Ordinary Fool" have that same wow factor impact on me as "Dance". (WOW- that list keeps growing the more I think about it.)