• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline for October 2021! The new book Carpenter: The Musical Legacy will be available on October 19 and can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is being released October 22, and is available for ordering here.

⭐ Official Review [Album]: "CARPENTERS" S/T (SP-3502)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 24 35.3%
  • ****

    Votes: 35 51.5%
  • ***

    Votes: 7 10.3%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.5%
  • *

    Votes: 1 1.5%

  • Total voters
    68

Another Son

Well-Known Member
"Imagine also if a full version of the A House Is Not A Home recording made at the time had found its way onto the album! Talk about the one that got away!"

I SO agree!
I don't know the full song, but the snippet that K&R performed on 'Make Your Own Kind of Music' is great, so I agree.

Someone's probably already said it, but 'And When He Smiles' is also a lovely, sunny song that could have appeared on 'Carpenters'. It might have appeared a bit out of place, being so bright and breezy, but I would have loved to have seen a studio version on one album or another. As it is, the live version is definitely good enough!
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I don't know the full song, but the snippet that K&R performed on 'Make Your Own Kind of Music' is great, so I agree.

Someone's probably already said it, but 'And When He Smiles' is also a lovely, sunny song that could have appeared on 'Carpenters'. It might have appeared a bit out of place, being so bright and breezy, but I would have loved to have seen a studio version on one album or another. As it is, the live version is definitely good enough!
Luther Vandros sings A House is not a Home incredibly well on a clip that can be viewed on YouTube that was taken from an awards show. It is the only one that reminds me of how great a song this is, and how much I pair it with the style that Karen and Richard created with the example we have although only a few phrases from it. I don’t think Karen knew how she created a masterpiece, and it seems natural with little effort to bring us so much in only a few phrases. I can’t tell you how many versions I have listened to because I wanted to hear more from the example of its quality given by K&R.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Luther Vandros sings A House is not a Home incredibly well on a clip that can be viewed on YouTube that was taken from an awards show. It is the only one that reminds me of how great a song this is, and how much I pair it with the style that Karen and Richard created with the example we have although only a few phrases from it. I don’t think Karen knew how she created a masterpiece, and it seems natural with little effort to bring us so much in only a few phrases. I can’t tell you how many versions I have listened to because I wanted to hear more from the example of its quality given by K&R.
I have quite a few CDs by Luther Vandross. One I used to listen to a lot is 'Dance With my Father'. In fact, I pulled that one out again only a few days ago.

I found his live version of 'A House Is Not a Home' on Youtube and listened to it right through. Now, I have an idea of how the whole song goes, although his live version was fairly 'free-form' - I'm not sure what you would call the style. Based on free-form jazz, but slow, I'm thinking.

I can see that the song suited Karen really well. That little snippet on 'Make Your Own Kind of Music' is wonderful. It emphasises what so many people have said, over the years. All that Karen and Richard needed, to be magnificent, was Richard's interpretation on the piano and Karen's voice and interpretation.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Tommy never got credit initially for playing that part. He was often associated with the famous Hollywood Wrecking Crew, and is actually credited as being the most recorded harmonicist in the history of American music.

As a side note, none of his parts for Rainy Days were ever re-recorded - all original takes, recorded for the "Tan" album - January, 1971.
Is Tommy Morgan the man filmed in that introduction in the Interpretations video?
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but "(A Place To) Hideaway" made me fall in love with oboes. The Tan Album is very heavy on reed instruments, which I really do appreciate a lot.

Incidentally, what you're hearing is a clarinet — played by Doug Strawn.

Jim Horn, who *did* play oboe on the album wasn't really known for his oboe playing, but more for his sax work.

Earle Dumler came in around 1972 and handled most of the oboe and English horn duties from then on. Richard even employed Earle to replace several of Jim's oboe parts on some of the original tracks years later, and considers him to be one of the top-5 oboists in the world.

If you want to hear some of Earle's incredible woodwind work, listen to the link (segue) into "I Just Fall in Love Again":


Chris
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Incidentally, what you're hearing is a clarinet — played by Doug Strawn.

Jim Horn, who *did* play oboe on the album wasn't really known for his oboe playing, but more for his sax work.

Earle Dumler came in around 1972 and handled most of the oboe and English horn duties from then on. Richard even employed Earle to replace several of Jim's oboe parts on some of the original tracks years later, and considers him to be one of the top-5 oboists in the world.

If you want to hear some of Earle's incredible woodwind work, listen to the link (segue) into "I Just Fall in Love Again":


Chris
Where’s that “we’re not worthy” gif from Wayne’s World when you need it? 🤩
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
@Chris May, I absolutely love the version of "One Love" on MYOKOM, where Richard has that beautiful piano showcase in the instrumental bridge. I would love for a future release to have either the version of "One Love" from MYOKOM, or an updated (As Time Goes By-style) re-vamped RC piano solo on "One Love." It was absolutely genius, and whomever decided to let Richard "ad lib" like that was a genius. I can tell on various MYOKOM performances that Richard is taking liberties in his piano accompaniment... I would absolutely die to be able to hear what that sounded like.

I continue to wish and hope and pray that RC continues to be in good spirits and in good health, and that he can continue to oversee Carpenters audiovisual releases, working with his colleagues.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
By the way, does anyone else's "Remastered Classics" Carpenters CD read "CAREPENTERS" on the CD? Mine does and am wondering if that's a rare misprint or if it's fairly widespread.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
It was also reissued in 2005 under the title “Superstar—-The Best of the Carpenters”, For some reason “For All We Know” wasn’t included.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
My ca. 1986 AM+ copy of “Carpenters” came in the mail today. My issue/non-issue with this release is the replacement of “Rainy Days” and “Superstar” with the 1985 remixes. (It’s the same issue I have with the AM+ version of “A Song for You.”)

Apart from that though… I have to say, I quite like the warm, flat transfer sound of it. The tape imperfections can be heard on “(A Place To) Hideaway.” The tape is relatively loud, as can be seen on the spectrogram. Some view that as a defect; I view it as the warmth of analog. (On the contrary, I hate it when noise reduction is used too liberally, as it muddies the sound.)

“For All We Know” shines on here, as does “Hideaway.”

Maybe this is an unpopular opinion… I quite like the 1985 remixes of “Rainy Days” and “Superstar,” so I don’t *mind* that they’re on here; I would prefer that the CD have the original mixes tho, and am glad Messrs. Carpenter and Grundman chose to remedy this on the “Remastered Classics” releases.

To add to the unpopular opinion. I like the weird drum line on the 1985 mix of “Superstar.” It’s kind of delayed at some times. It’s odd, but it’s refreshingly imperfect/human for a perfectionist duo.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Hi all,

Is there an early early CD pressing without the 1985 remixes of “Rainy Days” and “Superstar”?
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
No. Part of the weakness of the original A&M issues of Carpenters albums were the inclusion of some "questionable" versions. Since Richard had come of the emotional highs of remixing some songs for YESTERDAY ONCE MORE, when it came time to prepare the full albums for Compact Disc releases, he issued a few of his favorite remixes instead of the original tracks. The tan Carpenters album had both "Rainy Days..." and "Superstar" in their newly remixed form. The rest of the album was all original.

A SONG FOR YOU first came out with the original title song, then the single version of "Top Of The World", then all originals through the end of the side. Side Two was all original except "I Won't Last A Day Without You" had the single version substituted. So really, that first version of A SONG FOR YOU wasn't so bad. Most people prefer the single versions of both of those songs.

Then MFSL came along and almost the whole album was remixed. A&M then co-opted those remixes and every repressing from then through the 90s had the remixes all over the album.

"Rainy Days And Mondays" and "Superstar" however, were sort-of stuck in remixed form for another decade and a half, when the tan CARPENTERS finally was the last one released in the Remastered Classics series. I remember being finally overjoyed to get the original mixes on CD for the first time.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I remember being finally overjoyed to get the original mixes on CD for the first time.
I can only imagine! As a newer fan, I started with what was in-print (at the time, "Remastered Classics") then worked my way backward (with a few exceptions). I found that "Rainy Days and Mondays" on "Remastered Classics" ran a little bit slower, so the pitch is a little flat compared to the 1985 remix. However--I can definitely imagine your joy with hearing the original "Superstar" on CD for the first time. There are so many mixes of that song. No other mix out there is quite like the one on the original "Carpenters" LP.

Is it just me, or were lots of elements of "Superstar" re-recorded for "Singles: 1969-1973"? (The harp and oboe/clarinet? sound re-recorded to me.)
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Yes, there were changes for the SINGLES 69-73 album version of "Superstar".
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
I was curious about the Japanese 20th anniversary box, and those cuts. Manufactured by Pony A&M AM+ series. On ASFY TOTW single mix, GDBY2LV, the Karen singing in a tunnel version, IWLADWY, album version. Interesting choices. Carpenters- Rainy Days sounds pretty normal, but Superstar is definitely a remix. It really makes you wonder who was in control, or authorized what cuts to use on various recordings, and compilations. Richard, the label, the engineers? It’s kind of like the quad releases. Just random choices by whomever was putting the CDs and records together. Have any other major artists done this ongoing remixing of their catalogue to this extent?
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I was curious about the Japanese 20th anniversary box, and those cuts. Manufactured by Pony A&M AM+ series. On ASFY TOTW single mix, GDBY2LV, the Karen singing in a tunnel version, IWLADWY, album version. Interesting choices. Carpenters- Rainy Days sounds pretty normal, but Superstar is definitely a remix. It really makes you wonder who was in control, or authorized what cuts to use on various recordings, and compilations. Richard, the label, the engineers? It’s kind of like the quad releases. Just random choices by whomever was putting the CDs and records together. Have any other major artists done this ongoing remixing of their catalogue to this extent?
^ these questions are one of the reasons why I inquired about A&M Records recordkeeping... I assumed there would be memoranda (paper trails) authorizing X action on Y tapes, but I'm not sure of the answer when it comes to the Carpenters, to be honest.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Have any other major artists done this ongoing remixing of their catalogue to this extent?

I’ve often wondered that and asked that very question two or three times on this forum. I can’t think of another back catalogue that has been so extensively facelifted like theirs. It’s kind of unprecedented.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Listened to the 30th Anniversary Japanese collection, black box; blah. The sound is mediocre at best. The only great thing is the thin cardboard reproductions of the original album covers, and Offering instead of TTR cover. The 40th is simply amazing. The SHM box. Closest thing to the SACD ever released. Clean and clear. Music separates into 5.1 stereo surround when I use the DTS setting. So much of the music and background vocals come out of the rear and rear center speakers. Highly recommended when the price is right. I hear the oboe and horns, violins, separated in the surround speakers. It’s beautiful.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I have not listened to any box-set cd's lately, so I pulled out the tan album (my least played) from the 40th Set.
In any event, I was not altogether convinced that the disc sounded amazing. Could be my hearing, though.
As I get older I find myself returning more to the Vinyl, that's when it gets amazing to my ears.
While the tan album has its proponents, it remains one of my least played Carpenters' albums.
 
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