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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. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Brian, you and I hear the same stuff...I absolutely love Leave Yesterday Behind which I think gets very little credit as a long lost Carpenters recording. I also love The Rainbow Connection there is something about her vocals that really warm my heart when I hear her sing this, such a simple melody but I feel like a kid again. The vocal fry on the very last note always tears me up every time...it's my favorite part.
    Brian likes this.
  2. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I can never quite understand when fans are severely critical of some of the latter day songs that Richard spent the time to put together for us like "Leave Yesterday Behind". These are the same fans that said they would want to hear Karen sing ANYTHING, even a phone book. And yet, when Richard delivered the goods, it (the whole AS TIME GOES BY album) was met with a collective shrug - or so it seemed.

    I find just about everything on that album a total delight.
    John Adam and Geographer like this.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    As a cd, I love the collection of songs which appear on
    As Time Goes By
    In assessing Leave Yesterday Behind, my first inclination is to compare the song
    to For All We Know--that comparison seems quite 'logical' in my mind.
    The problem there is: whereas For All We Know is an instantly recognizable Classic,
    seems but a mere imitation. That is, I am NOT questioning Karen's lovely vocals,
    but, that the writers of the tune wrote a song which nearly replicates notes of the earlier "hit."

    Seems to me that the reason that the cd was a relative poor seller has nothing to do with
    the songs appearing on that cd (most--imho-- are fantastic).
    The timing of the release in USA was off (cd's were already on the decline),
    Japan saw an earlier release date and I know many (myself included) ordered it as an import.

    Only we "hardcore" fans want to hear everything Karen ever voiced--
    I doubt that the average consumer (then or now) ever cared enough to want more.

    By the way, and I have reiterated this time and again,
    my being "critical" of a song does NOT imply that there are not redeeming qualities,
    merely that the chasm between what I had hoped to hear, and what was ultimately delivered,
    are two different things.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  4. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Yes, it is indeed a "lesser" song, and its similarity is striking. Still, I'm grateful to hear it.
  5. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I think this was the first time that a one CD of the Carpenters (after Karen's death) reached the longest running time and tracks, with 15 tracks coming in at 1 hr 2 mins...Richard really went all out to give us the most he could on this release. Most CD's are only 40-45 mins tops some even less time. I remember being blown away at the track list and so many unreleased tracks that I didn't know at the time even existed. For this album, putting Karen's vocals aside, I just enjoy what was given and don't compare them against other songs in the past because in reality had Karen lived we most likely would never have had a collection of this material. I think the cover art is one of the best from the Carpenters if only Annie Leibowitz had done some of their earlier covers too.
    John Adam, Mark-T and Harry like this.
  6. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    ...and the kicker is that "And When He Smiles" track, hidden on the Japan release, but a standard track on the US release.
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Richard Carpenter, regards the song NoWhere Man (one of my favorites on this disc):
    "I just wasn't happy with my original intro, so in 1999 I rearranged and recut it.
    As the original piano on the demo was a spinet and locked into the mono mix...."
    Carpenters •• Nowhere Man

    I would love to hear that original intro... !
    A spinet is a small harpsichord--I love the sound of harpsichord !
  8. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    So this is not a true mono track so to speak, right? It sounds like the original recording was done in mono. So Richard took the strings, oboe and harmonica and mix them into a mono mix..did this essentially take this track from being a mono mix into a stereo mix?
  9. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I wonder how the song, "And When He Smiles" would have sounded on the Offering Lp? I think it would have fit in rather nice. Yet for some reason Karen's vocals sound much more polished on this song compared to the whole of Offering which might have made it stick out of place?
  10. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    A spinet is also a small upright piano.
  11. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    “Nowhere Man” was originally recorded at Magic Lamp. Unfortunately the master was destroyed in Joe Osborn’s 1974 house fire, and the only copy Richard had was a already mixed mono master acetate reference disc that he had denoised and transferred to 48 track for the ATGB sessions where he added a concert grand, strings, oboe and harmonica to give it a stereo sound.
    John Adam likes this.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    I agree with that. However, for the general public, it's not cohesive.
    [As a fan I listen to this one a lot, to be honest.]
    I think the shrug was because it's a potpourri of material, and takes a while for the bombastic qualities to grow on you.
    Richard made these songs far better quality than what they were intended for,
    but felt like something that should belong to a boxset.
    John Adam and Harry like this.
  13. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I think one thing that would’ve helped was for a single to have been issued here in North America around 2002 or even allowed a track to be in a movie (ie 2002 Spider-Man) or national TV commercial (ie Dancing In The Street, California Dreaming).
  14. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    The fans were very grateful and overjoyed to get this unexpected collection of gems, but the problem is that to the general public, it's a hotch potch of songs that aren't cohesive, are from different time periods and sound quite different from one another. The general public probably didn't appreciate just how valuable these tracks were to diehard fans. Richard went to an enormous amount of effort for a relatively small group of people. We have to be grateful for that.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    John Adam and WYBIMLA like this.
  15. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    It was the Richard vocals for Como medley and Star Wars piano that I could have done without for more Karen.
  16. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    It’s like disc five of the boxed sets.
  17. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I was just about to say that WYBIMLA hit it in the head, that AS TIME GOES BY is like the fifth disc in the box sets, and Mark-T beat me to it.
    WYBIMLA likes this.
  18. Song4uman

    Song4uman Well-Known Member

    A spinet is a small upright piano.
  19. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I don’t think it was the “potpourri”, I think it was the lack of promotion. I wonder what would’ve happened had Universal run say a month long ad on TV or radio to get the word out.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Newville fan hits the nail on the head (imho):
    "Richard went to an enormous amount of trouble for a relatively small group of people."

    Much as I love this disc, there is no way it would appeal to a base much larger than "hardcore fans." (in USA).

    Firstly, the general public does not care about hearing
    Dizzy Fingers or Close Encounters/Star Wars Medley.
    Much as I enjoy Richard's instrumental pieces, it probably would not interest the masses.
    The Medley heavy setlist,
    this might be detrimental to "the masses" : That consists of vocal tracks #2, 8, 11, & 14.

    My favorites on this disc remain:
    NoWhere Man
    California Dreamin'
    And When He Smiles

    Obviously, I am thrilled Richard completed all these ATGB tracks;
    Also, it did sell 100,000copies in Japan,
    recall that Rainbow Connection was used in a television program in Japan, 2001.

  21. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    You're Just In Love also gets airplay on Sirius XM. :)

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    ATGB was a Japan thing... I mean let's be real. haha
    If it weren't for the many fans in Japan where would Carpenters fans be?! :laugh:

    I appreciate this album a great deal.
    There is a very "Television" quality about it though.
    The stuff that's really appealing is: "Nowhere Man," "Leave Yesterday Behind," and "Rainbow Connection."
    I like "California Dreamin," yet it's missing that Carpenters sound, imho.
    Mind you hearing Karen on her own is nice too.
    I liked the stereo imagery of "Without a song" as it was on Interpretations, but really awesome moments on this album overall.

    It's delightful to hear Perry Como and Ella Fitzgerald. Plus the way Karen delivers these subtle, wonderful changes on Carpenters classics with Richard.
  23. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Really I think it would have been OK to have just released As Time Goes By either as part of a box set or as a Japan-only release. By its very nature it was never really going to appeal much beyond the fanbase.

    It was nice in a way that it got a belated US and UK release, but I'd imagine that the sales from these territories were pretty minimal as most hard-core fans had already picked up the Japanese import, assuming that it would never get a wider release. However, it still seems to be in print in the UK at least.

    It's a nice curio in the catalogue. The quality of the material is variable and I can't say I like all the selections (I don't care for the Perry Como medley, for instance), but there are a couple of crackers on there - 'California Dreamin' in particular is a revelation and the Ella medley is a treat.
  24. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    So are some of you saying that ATGB should not have been delivered as an Official Carpenters Studio album in their discography? But rather released as a bonus disc from a Carpenters collection? There’s a big difference between these 2.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    ^That's the implication, yes.

    It's surprising how much they recorded in their career.
    I guess there wasn't anywhere else to put these songs.

    And we don't know what else could've made it on ATGB.
    I suspect this was the bottom of the barrel of unreleased tracks... and left fans wanting more.
    In theory, this should've made us feel like we heard it all. 15 tracks, over 60 minutes of music is a good deal!

    In reality, there may only be less than a handful of unreleased titles to this day
    [with completed vocals]. Apparently, there's reason why they were left out.
    So, it's not true that there's a long list of Carpenters songs being held from us.

    This project, save for the ones I mentioned above, didn't feel like "Voice of the Heart" or "Lovelines."
    It was a different presence here. Simply because a lot of these weren't originally intended for CD release.

    Still enjoyable! :)
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018

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