Charter A&M Corner Member
[Moderator: Posts about the KAREN CARPENTER STORY were moved to that thread in the Insider Forum.]
Fantastic interview of a legendary song. For all of his obvious talent, Richard's question to Paul about the song proved that he didn't get it. That alone should have told him not to go near it. He didn't get it and Karen sang it like she didn't either. Kermit's version is absolutely perfect. Sarah McLachlan's version is about as good as it gets otherwise. Have a listen:Paul Williams discusses Rainbow Connection...Richard Carpenter mentioned at 8 min:
So many things about Kermit's version are right; it's not just about Jim's vocal. It's also Paul Williams' production, the arrangement (w/ banjo front and center), Ian Freebairn-Smith's string arrangement - it's all just spot-on. The modulation to the last verse packs far more of a punch on this version than on any other by a wide margin. That it managed to become a decent-sized hit is pretty amazing in and of itself and just shows us the popularity of the Muppets back then.So, I have never heard the entire Kermit rendition of Rainbow Connection until today,
I gave it a listen. Also, to be honest, I had not listened to Karen and Richard's version in quite a long while.
Notwithstanding that the Kermit original is perhaps without equal (Sarah McLachlan and Kenny Loggins do nicely,
I like the duet Kermit does with Debbie Harry),I will add that Karen's 1980 work lead is incredibly good.
Let me emphasize: it is a work lead !
The only thing I would change for Richard's arrangement is the choir--
it should be (imho) a children's choir--
although the O.K. chorale (added: 1999) is adequate !
Ultimately, Karen sings beautifully and I like Richard's overall arrangement.
In the direction Richard was heading at the time (1980) I can see why he chose the tune.
If you notice on Youtube, the Carpenters' version is highly viewed and well received (comment section).
I am glad we have it (even if Karen disliked it !).