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⭐ Official Review [Album]: "AS TIME GOES BY" (UICY-1060)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 8 10.7%
  • ****

    Votes: 30 40.0%
  • ***

    Votes: 30 40.0%
  • **

    Votes: 5 6.7%
  • *

    Votes: 2 2.7%

  • Total voters
    75

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I actually agree with Harry.

I've listened to both tonight many times, I brought up files in Audacity of both the Como Special and the German Christmas Portrait and Carol of the Bells sounds like a different piano version on the Como special.

If you listen closely at 20 seconds to 27 seconds and at 1:17 to 1:23 I hear Richard playing a bit differently. The CD version the piano pressure of the keys is much more pronounced, direct and uniform but on the Como show I hear some irregularities in his pressure and also timing. You have to really listen to each side by side to hear it. I don't think they are exactly the same.
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
Re: Carol of the Bells... they are totally different performances. As Rick has noted, on the album version, Richard played it more forcefully and precisely, than how he played it for the Como special. I noticed the difference immediately.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Re: Carol of the Bells... they are totally different performances. As Rick has noted, on the album version, Richard played it more forcefully and precisely, than how he played it for the Como special. I noticed the difference immediately.
I’d point out the DVD is using a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 48khz 256kbps compression for audio whereas any CD is Uncompressed 44.1 @ 1.5 Mbps. (That’s an 80% difference in bit rate, better than the 90% with a 192kbps bit rate, but still low end for DVD—-DVD can hold uncompressed 48khz 1.5Mbps audio). And I’ve got the DVD playing right now and some of the music is flatlining as if it had gone over 0 dB on the analog tape into distortion territory and the digital conversion was cutting it.

Suffice it to say, the DVD’s audio may be making things sound different and messing with dynamic range,

But Carol of the Bells still sounds like the album version minus the singers.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
Regards the allmusic review of the disc,
some of us do care about Richard's arrangements !
I do.
Do I care for every arrangement ? Of course not.
But, Richard's arrangements have always fascinated me,
andat times you will find me calling them brilliant.

Agreed! I like Richard's arrangements as much as I like Karen's vocals. In fact, among the songs I like least are the ones where he farmed out his arrangements to someone else like Peter Knight (although, I don't "hate" them; they just aren't among my favorites).
 

David A

Well-Known Member
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Agreed! I like Richard's arrangements as much as I like Karen's vocals. In fact, among the songs I like least are the ones where he farmed out his arrangements to someone else like Peter Knight (although, I don't "hate" them; they just aren't among my favorites).

I agree regarding Richard's "farming out" to Peter Knight; this mostly transpired when Richard was having his own personal issues, if memory serves. Richards loss was keenly felt.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
This morning I re-listened to this "album" As Time Goes By:
My opinions haven't changed much over the years on this one.
Two things I reiterate: I think the album's songs should have been sequenced chronologically--
although the start with "Without A Song" should remain in place and Rainbow Connection could have been the final selection.
The only real issue is the preponderance of time occupied by Medleys.
The best songs (imho) remain: NoWhere Man and California Dreamin'.
All-in-all a difficult project to assemble, so with my issues duly noted,
still a nice complement to the existing catalog.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Does anyone else listen to the first ballad section of California Dreamin’ and then end the song, wishing that Karen had done the whole song in that tempo? She sounds so amazing in that early part then the faster part ruins that mood.
 

David A

Well-Known Member
Does anyone else listen to the first ballad section of California Dreamin’ and then end the song, wishing that Karen had done the whole song in that tempo? She sounds so amazing in that early part then the faster part ruins that mood.

Hmmm that's an interesting thought - similar to how Ticket was treated, as a ballad from start to finish. I bet it would sound amazing. On the other hand we certainly have a ton of Carpenters ballads, it's nice to have a few more rock-style songs as well. Most of which seem to come from their earlier days.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Hmmm that's an interesting thought - similar to how Ticket was treated, as a ballad from start to finish. I bet it would sound amazing. On the other hand we certainly have a ton of Carpenters ballads, it's nice to have a few more rock-style songs as well. Most of which seem to come from their earlier days.
Yeah—-after “Goodbye To Love” they seemed to stop going into rock territory.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^ "That's the Carpenters doing a Jimi Hendrix song!" :laugh:

What Tony Peluso said on a documentary (I don't know which one off hand), that he heard from a DJ after GTL was played.
 
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Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
"Man Smart, Woman Smarter" is pretty "rock-y" for a reggae-type tune.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Hmmm that's an interesting thought - similar to how Ticket was treated, as a ballad from start to finish. I bet it would sound amazing. On the other hand we certainly have a ton of Carpenters ballads, it's nice to have a few more rock-style songs as well. Most of which seem to come from their earlier days.

I think if Karen’s voice was more developed than the rock part would have sounded better and not as jarring.
 

TimeWarp

Member
I always felt this was a nice offering by Richard (no pun intended). I personally really appreciate having some of the medleys on an album because I would often watch some of the specials just to hear those medleys. Being able to listen to them everywhere is fantastic. I also LOVE "Nowhere Man", which is a song I never cared for from a Beatles perspective.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Back when AS TIME GOES BY was new, somewhere in an order from Japan, a kind fan sent me a flyer that Universal had for the album. I've finally gotten around to scanning it - here it is, both sides. It also pictures the "Rainbow Connection" single.

AsTimeGoesByJapFlyer01.jpgAsTimeGoesByJapFlyer02.jpg
 

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
The single mix of Postman has the majority of vocals and handclaps mixed to the Center. Whereas what you are talking about for compression for TV occurs after the mixing stage so that the signal doesn’t overmodulate and distort. It depends on the production. Sometimes it’s addEd during editing or at the station when it’s airing. So it would be on the tape, but otherwise it’s the mono single mix of Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town.

And with Carol of the Bells I’d disagree, as I’ve listened to both quite a bit, and aside from the singers, Richard’s piano sounds the same, just in stereo on the album version.

The version of "Carol of the Bells" featured on the Christmas Portrait album was recorded in the afternoon of February 9, 1978 at A&M Records, Studio D.

Hopefully this helps clear up any confusion @tomswift2002. :)
 

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
I still say they sound the same.

They should sound the same! It’s the same piano arrangement, albeit totally different performance.

Sync the two up side-by-side and you’ll find the tempos don’t even line up.
 

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
I believe that Richard AND Karen had the ability to easily repeat any performance to the point that it sounded identical. And it was ESPECIALLY true when they were really trying to do that.

Not to belabor the subject, but there are a few distinct differences between the piano performances, which are the telltale.

First off, the piano on the Como special isn't tuned as precisely as the Steinway at A&M used on the album version, demonstrating fairly obvious discrepancies between the two pianos. Secondly, Richard's execution of the "staccato" note figures throughout the Como performance are more pronounced as far as the attack (i.e. the "short" notes played in various figures are even more abbreviated on the live version). And lastly, in several places he's actually not playing the same chord inversions on Como as heard on the album cut. Richard clearly refined his performance for the latter, recorded version, moving certain chord inversions around to make way for the completed album orchestration. In other words, there are some significant differences between the two, not to mention Richard's overall performance is a bit more relaxed and "loose" on the Como special. In fact, if you listen carefully, he actually misses a note or two occasionally.

To sum it up, the album cut was tighter and much better produced, as should be the case with all serious album recordings. :)
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I ripped all the music from the Como DVD and over the holidays compared "Carol of the Bells" from both Portrait and Como special and they are definitely not the same. The music from the Como special (about 12 mins) makes for a nice "Carpenters Christmas EP"
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Not to belabor the subject, but there are a few distinct differences between the piano performances, which are the telltale.

First off, the piano on the Como special isn't tuned as precisely as the Steinway at A&M used on the album version, demonstrating fairly obvious discrepancies between the two pianos. Secondly, Richard's execution of the "staccato" note figures throughout the Como performance are more pronounced as far as the attack (i.e. the "short" notes played in various figures are even more abbreviated on the live version). And lastly, in several places he's actually not playing the same chord inversions on Como as heard on the album cut. Richard clearly refined his performance for the latter, recorded version, moving certain chord inversions around to make way for the completed album orchestration. In other words, there are some significant differences between the two, not to mention Richard's overall performance is a bit more relaxed and "loose" on the Como special. In fact, if you listen carefully, he actually misses a note or two occasionally.

To sum it up, the album cut was tighter and much better produced, as should be the case with all serious album recordings. :)
I’d disagree about Richard’s staccato notes. With the DVD it could be due to the compression on the audio that they sound slightly different. The DVD is using a lossy Dolby Digital 256kbps vs CD’s uncompressed 1500kbps. Dolby Digital at that bitrate is comparable to a low bitrate MP3.

Had the DVD used an uncompressed PCM track, then maybe I would agree. But as it is, the difference in Richard’s staccato notes could very well be from compression issues.
 
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