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

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Sep 23, 2006.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    8 vote(s)
  2. ****

    24 vote(s)
  3. ***

    24 vote(s)
  4. **

    5 vote(s)
  5. *

    2 vote(s)
  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    I dunno...I'll take those fat drums and bass, stacked horns and Karen's doubled lead any day of the week! :wink:
    CraigGA, Jeff and newvillefan like this.
  2. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

  3. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

  4. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    They were both extremely nervous - especially Richard!
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Of course, as "reported" in the 1978 Fan Club Newsletters
    Dancing In The Streets
    was a serious contender to being recorded for single release.
    This really would have been fascinating !
    (1) One wonders if that arrangement would have been accomplished by Richard or Paul.
    (2) One also wonders Why that never materialized, especially after being 'advertised' in the Newsletters.

    And, by the way, I like both renditions--1968 & 1978.
    However, I really love the earlier performance--how could I not ? It's as "live" as it gets,
    whereas the 1978 televised version is not a signpost to future endeavors.
    1968 shows us where these two talented musicians are headed,
    1978 shows us where they have been--not what lies ahead.
    In other words, while one serves as predictor, the other serves as capstone.

    They may have been nervous in that 1968 Program,
    but what comes through is pure talent and energy.
    Not a big deal: that,Karen's vocals weren't perfect, she was still maturing as a vocalist.

    I want those imperfections.
    It humanizes them.
    The duo become real, live, musical performers.
    Don Malcolm and Eyewire like this.
  6. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I wonder if this meant the version heard on Space Encounters was considered for single release. Because as it stands, it's less than two minutes long. Richard's comments from ATGB liner refer to the reason why:

    "From our third television special, "Space Encounters", videotaped on April 7, 8 and 9 of 1978 and broadcast on May 17. This Motown classic was featured as part of a medley Karen and I were performing at an imaginary hop. This explains its brevity".

    This begs the question whether the song was originally longer in duration and chopped down for the TV special. Surely they couldn't have considered releasing a song that was only 1:45?

    There are a lot of things that were mentioned in the newsletters which then never materialised. Like the solo album :laugh:
    Jeff likes this.
  7. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I think they would have had to record an entirely different version if they were going to release 'Dancing in the Streets' as a single. If there was a longer version, I believe that Richard would have included that on 'As Time Goes By', instead of the 'Space Encounters' version. I'm sure that they wouldn't have released a two-minute single. I can't imagine a recording anything like the 'Space Encounters' version generating any interest or sales. There are some Carpenters recordings that I love and some that I don't like quite as much, for various reasons, but the 1978 'Dancing in the Streets' is about the only one that I actually dislike, (apart from Richard's 'Daddy's Home', 'Man Smart, Woman Smarter' and one or two of the solo songs from both Karen and Richard). I also think the skit from 'Space Encounters', with the aliens in grey granny wigs dancing around, is hideous. :)
    Jeff likes this.
  8. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    In 1978, the newsletter also mentioned the possibility of Carpenters releasing ABBA's 'Thank you for the Music' as a single. I think that this could have been a good idea in the US. Karen and Richard's performance of the song on the Tonight Show demonstrated that the recording could have turned out nicely, with the chance of some nice deep and warm tones from Karen's voice. Whether the song was exciting enough to generate sales at the time is anybody's guess but it does have appeal.

    'Thank you for the Music' probably wouldn't have worked in territories where ABBA's version was well known, which was just about everywhere except for the US, although their version hadn't been an 'A' side. Releasing a remake of an ABBA song in most places would have been pointless as ABBA was so huge, (although on a downward slide by that time in some territories. Still on the 'Up' in the U.K.).

    I know this isn't really related to 'As Time Goes By', but I am mentioning this because I think 'Thank You For the Music' suited Karen's voice a lot better than the ATGB version of 'Dancing in the Streets' and therefore would have made a better single. Later, David Bowie and Mick Jagger had a hit with this old Motown song but they had the pull of two big stars who were still massively popular. They also added a new dimension to the song with the interactive 'party' feel of their recording. Karen and Richard's version, in my opinion, was more bland and Karen's voice was mixed in a way that it became characterless. As I've said, I'm sure that a different version would have been recorded if this were to be a single.

    If Karen and Richard had been able to attract creative and exciting writers who were able to tailor original songs that were just right for the duo and for the market at that time instead of considering remaking old songs that weren't ideal for them, Carpenters would have had more chance of having a successful single.
  9. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    Also all the audio may be locked into a mono track, so even if Richard had another K vocal, it would be hard to lift Karen's original.
  10. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    I dunno.... I think with a little more attention to detail on the arrangement, DITS may have given them the soft lead that they needed in to a more popular vein of music on the radio at that time... I would have never seen the Carpenters as a disco act - but a dance tune out when dance tunes were so in vogue, may have been the "Postman" of 1978...

    Sans the dancing aliens on the special, however....

    Then a lovely ballad like I Believe You - may have automatically gotten more airplay from the jump - had a top ten tune preceded it.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
    Brian likes this.
  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I wish this CD was re-released as an LP:
    The cover photos as cover photos for a Vinyl Album would look awesome.
    All of these songs on Vinyl--how wonderful to listen to !
    Some of these songs are favorites:
    Nowhere Man
    California Dreamin'
    Como Medley
    Ella Medley
    And When He Smiles

    Gee, it had not dawned on me how
    Medley --heavy this cd is...
    Five of them (Como/Ella/Hits 1976/StarWars/Superstar),
    perhaps that played into its relative lack of sales (?)
    as those Medley's take up a lot of time on this cd....

    The beginning...Without A Song...is perfect....

    There are two songs that fail to excite me:
    Leave Yesterday Behind
    The Rainbow Connection

    Karen, of course, sings them with perfection....
    however, I do not care for either arrangement, but,
    still nice to hear them.
  12. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I love the 1978 version, so I guess I'm in the minority.
  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    One of my treasures is an 8X10 photo from the Fan Club,
    Karen at the drums...I believe during the
    I Got Rhythm
    The brilliance of that song,
    as viewed on the original Television Special,
    is difficult to replicate on the CD, it being merely audio.
    So, here we have Karen drumming in 1980....a pleasure to watch and hear.
    Richard's performance on the song reminds me of his creativity at keyboards in earlier days,too.

    Music,Music,Music .....why no official DVD release ?
    Jeff and Brian like this.
  14. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    They've been unsuccessful in clearing the rights to use the footage, I believe with the Ella Fitzgerald estate but could be mistaken on the last part.
    Jeff likes this.
  15. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I believe John Davidson demanded an extortionate amount of money to have anything of his included, which put the block on at least the audio releases. Thank God Richard and Karen had those ref discs cut with their own vocals replacing John and Ella.
    Jeff likes this.
  16. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    That was it! I think you're right...I'd forgotten about the John Davidson piece of that equation.
  17. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I agree. I would like to see that. (An official DVD of 'Music, Music, Music', I mean).
    Jeff likes this.
  18. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Plus, there's Richard's You'll Never Know missing from these sessions. That one inescapably obvious song on the vaults. So folks there is more. So Karen and Richard had these ref discs. I'm wondering if Karen had recorded Ella's part from the medley? They did it for Without a Song. On Karen's 30th birthday 1980. Just thru that in for a trivia point that I've always thought cool. In a recording studio for a birthday present. How much fun I would have listening to myself croak along with my lala LA LA la's and baby babys.
    GaryAlan likes this.
  19. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I think that the Davidson camp wanted the MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC DVD cover to look something like this:

    JOhn Davidson DVD.jpg

  20. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    BUAHAHAHA!!! Oh Lord I've seen it all now! Good one @Harry :biglaugh:
  21. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Love love the sequencing. Like TICKET where Karen and Richard share leads. Leading off with full length Without a Song. Holy hell. Knocked me off my seat to the floor.
    A&M Retro likes this.
  22. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    Besides "You'll Never Know", Richard's "Toyland" is also missing.
  23. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    LMAO!!!! Very nice, Harry. And so true.
  24. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Rainbow Connection...

    (1) We know with fair certainty that Karen was less-than-impressed with recording the song.
    Thus, the arrangement which we ultimately hear was begun (?) and completed, long after 1980.
    Singers and Orchestra added in 1999. Happily, Karen's 1980 work lead is beautiful to hear.
    (2) We know with fair certainty that Paul Williams was unhappy with some of those chord-changes effected
    by Richard Carpenter.
    So, I do wonder if Paul Williams suggested initially--to Richard--that the duo should record the song.
    In other words, why did Richard even have the song in his sights ? After all, Ordinary Fool--from 1976--
    another great Paul Williams song, remained on the cutting-room-floor !
    (3) I've always been puzzled by the audible break in Karen's vocals--at the very end of the song.
    In this instance, we know, Richard Carpenter apparently does not hear the same !
    But, given his "perfectionism" I find his contention that no such can be heard rather bizarre,
    as it is clear as a bell in the recording--is this some kind of edit he does not care to acknowledge ?
  25. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    I love this album. Such variety in musical tastes. Much like Offering. Richard and Karen swapping leads, duets, piano showcased, drums . Fine production values. Nothing less from the labels top act.

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