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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 19 31.1%
  • ****

    Votes: 33 54.1%
  • ***

    Votes: 7 11.5%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • *

    Votes: 1 1.6%

  • Total voters
    61

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
Album reviews not withstanding ( i.e., Rob Horning's above):
I have always been a staunch advocate of Richard's arrangements.
Overall, I consider Richard Carpenter a musical genius when it comes to pop music arrangements.
Although, some (especially the professional music critics_?_) decry his lush, sentimental arrangements, it has always been my personal
opinion that his use of instrumentation and 'filling-up' a song with those lovely strings,keyboards, horns, oboes, drums (etcetera) always
(or, nearly always) enhanced Karen's vocal delivery of their recordings. He enveloped her vocals with an added layer of beauty.
I find it hard to fathom another who could have pulled off , so brilliantly, the arrangements of, say, We've Only Just Begun,
Superstar, Only Yesterday, to name just a few.
Obviously (at least, to me), they can't all be pop music masterpieces (and who maintains a perfect batting average,anyway?),
but Richard Carpenter comes pretty close to perfection for my ears.
If Karen is The Voice of Carpenters, Richard is the mastermind behind so many brilliantly arranged songs.
THIS is the reason I did the recent interview with Richard. People who don't understand the marriage concept of vocal PLUS arrangement/production value (not to mention ability to write and pick a great song) are missing it completely. Was Karen the very best there was?! Absolutely!!!! Did she front the group?! YES! But I think even tho there are so many who might say that without Karen there would have been no Richard, and all of the past interviews focus on Karen and her life and tragedy, there DEFINITELY would not have been a Carpenters without Richard - and I'm not referring to the last name. That was Richard's interview... :wink:
 

Guitarmutt

Active Member
Richard, mate - You're such an idiot! Do you actually realise you nearly ruined all those songs with your sappy arrangements?? Do you? Not cool man, not cool.

And if it wasn't for your kid sister's amazing voice, both of you would have been consigned to the dustbin of music history. Read the reviews, man! Yeah, consider yourself very lucky. In fact, you should have had nothing to do with the music. I mean, do you know anything about arranging? Anyone who was "where it's at" could have done a better job. And who knows? With Karen, they might have even had a Top 10 hit along the way.
You made me laugh so hard! Thank you!
 

scottb

Member
I posted this elsewhere upon discovery, and it took me years to figure out, but the "envelope" flap on the tan album is actually supposed to be inverted to form a stand-up picture frame.

View attachment 413View attachment 414

And that's why when it was later reissued in the UK, they just used the unfolded picture as the cover:

View attachment 415

Harry
Oh boy and for all these years I kept the mini LP sleeve just like it came thinking it should remain flat with the front cover properly inserted into the flap . Now I have to open it up and have it properly displayed!

Scott B
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
From July 4,1974 regarding Bacharach Medley:
One of the Carpenters' first gigs was a charity show where they met Burt Bacharach, who complimented them lavishly and asked them to prepare and perform a medley of his tunes for another upcoming benefit. Initially he gave them carte blanche, but when he heard the medley Richard had arranged he dictated all kinds of changes the day before the show, necessitating frantic all-night work from the group, who had to learn a radically different medley from the one they had been rehearsing for weeks.

When Richard first told this story, the confusion and hurt he felt at the time lay heavy in his words, but as Karen embroidered the incident, essentially repeating what he had said, his attitude reversed completely and he finished by denying any thoughtlessness or folly on Bacharach's part, as if it were necessary that he officially remember his relationship with the man who wrote "Close To You" as nothing short of perfect.



Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-carpenters-up-from-downey-19740704#ixzz3KIvOfJiO
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
From July 4,1974 regarding Bacharach Medley:
One of the Carpenters' first gigs was a charity show where they met Burt Bacharach, who complimented them lavishly and asked them to prepare and perform a medley of his tunes for another upcoming benefit. Initially he gave them carte blanche, but when he heard the medley Richard had arranged he dictated all kinds of changes the day before the show, necessitating frantic all-night work from the group, who had to learn a radically different medley from the one they had been rehearsing for weeks.

When Richard first told this story, the confusion and hurt he felt at the time lay heavy in his words, but as Karen embroidered the incident, essentially repeating what he had said, his attitude reversed completely and he finished by denying any thoughtlessness or folly on Bacharach's part, as if it were necessary that he officially remember his relationship with the man who wrote "Close To You" as nothing short of perfect.



Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-carpenters-up-from-downey-19740704#ixzz3KIvOfJiO
I think that's the first time I've read of anyone actually standing up to Richard and demanding alterations (and implying criticism) of his work. For a perfectionist that had to have stung.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
Not surprising at all. Burt Bacharach is another perfectionist.

Harry
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
We have Burt Bacharach, who had been composing hit songs since, at least 1957 (early to mid-1960's, over a hundred)---a perfectionist.
We have, Richard Carpenter--another perfectionist, who had vacillated on wanting to record Close To You when first suggested by Heb Alpert.
Neglecting to include Any Day Now, for the Medley on the Tan Album.
Richard Carpenter is brilliant, no doubt. And, I will reaffirm that he is my mentor, musically, of sorts.
However, that being said, evidence --time and again--points to a man difficult to work with, and, unlike the song's lyrics:
"..but like the young trees in the wintertime, I'll learn how to bend."
--Richard did not want to "bend" for anybody.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Neglecting to include Any Day Now, for the Medley on the Tan Album.
I think that's one of the biggest mistakes he made, the medley would have been much better for its inclusion and there was definitely room left on side B to make the medley that bit longer. Whilst Richard has since said they truncated it due to time and pressure to release the album, it can't have been that hard for them to knock out the full length medley instead of what we eventually got. After all, they'd performed it live so many times, they probably could have gotten it in one take.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I think that's one of the biggest mistakes he made, the medley would have been much better for its inclusion and there was definitely room left on side B to make the medley that bit longer. Whilst Richard has since said they truncated it due to time and pressure to release the album, it can't have been that hard for them to knock out the full length medley instead of what we eventually got. After all, they'd performed it live so many times, they probably could have gotten it in one take.
I like what we got. The "medley" is Vegas-y but it's full of cool ear candy. Ear worm that darned thing is...LOL!

Ed
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
This morning I (re-) listened to the Remastered Classics cd of this third Carpenters' Album.
Thoughts which entered my mind, either anew, or reiterating already expressed opinion(s):
(1) Another-- ask Richard Question--: Why Any Day Now excluded from the Medley?
(2) Why the piano 'interlude'--which is heard on One Love from the Make Your Own Kind of Music-- not included?
(3) The inclusion of Druscilla Penny breaks the continuity of the entire listening experience for me--Why bother ?
(It is one of, perhaps, five Carpenters' songs I still do not enjoy!).
(I see, also, where it was the flip-side of "Sing"---not funny!)
(4) And When He Smiles, Why was this one, also, excluded?

In short, and because the entire album is too short, I do not listen to the album as much as I should.
Some great things on the album, for sure, but it cries out for more --and, better--material.
This album seems to be an anomaly , when situated, among Offering, Close To You, A Song For You.
With Superstar, For All We Know, Rainy Days and Mondays, Let Me Be the One....the strengths of these superb
songs need to be complemented likewise with the remainder of the album---lose Saturday and Druscilla Penny--replace them
with something else.
My attitude toward this album has changed somewhat.
Difficult to place into words, but it simply did not rise to the expectations of Close To You or A Song For You.
Still, thank God it's there!
And, the greatness that remains is still a joy.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
This version of One Love has Richard Carpenter playing a bit different
in the piano interlude (around 2m10s), I wish it were available on cd:
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
This version of One Love has Richard Carpenter playing a bit different
in the piano interlude (around 2m10s), I wish it were available on cd:
Thanks for posting that, I'd never noticed that difference before. It's like that because Richard is actually playing live over the pre-recorded album track, although Karen is lip-synching. Weird.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Aha, Chris, I do actually have a copy of the above advertisement.
I noticed Produced by Jack Daugherty under the 1-2-3-4.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Chris, I just awoke this morning to a whole load of threads updated with these Billboard ads - they're great! I've not seen any of them before. I think the above is my favourite, with Karen and Richard sat atop the 'For All We Know' title. Some of them would make great framed posters :)
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
Chris, I just awoke this morning to a whole load of threads updated with these Billboard ads - they're great! I've not seen any of them before. I think the above is my favourite, with Karen and Richard sat atop the 'For All We Know' title. Some of them would make great framed posters :)
That's exactly what I was thinking, some of them are really good and could warrant placing them into a frame. I really like the Rainy Days & Mondays above, although it's kinda plain, it sure gives a pop if you were to turn the page, something about that blue and white and how it makes the silhouette of the duo, although I've seen it before....seeing it above with the promo verbiage makes for an art exhibit. Since I have already provided the exact date the promo sheet appears in Billboard it would be easy to pick one up from ebay or the like.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
And thanks to Chris, who's been diligently seeking these ads out, I've gone ahead and added the ones he's found so far to our relevant pages in the Carpenters Complete Recording Resource. They make a great addition. Thanks Chris!

Harry
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Years ago, there was a site called PaperBoyNews, it no longer exists.
However, I had purchase three of those Billboard Ads:
For All We Know,
Sing,
and, (my favorite)
Bless The Beasts and the Children.
I've been searching for the " Passage" Advertisements.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Chris, It'll take some doing on my part, as my scanner is not working.
I will try to locate a pic in my files!
But, I will work on to it !
(By the way, the Ad uses the photo of Karen and Richard on a swing,
Richard looking straight-ahead, Karen glancing left and grasping the swing ropes.)
 

Jamesj75

Well-Known Member
I will strongly second the kudos to Chris for posting all these ads!

And I will further send along additional well-deserved kudos to GaryAlan "who's been diligently seeking" out newspaper articles, online reviews, book excerpts, Carpenters' fan letters, etc. for close to a year and a half now!

The readers/posters at this terrific site are blessed with such well-intentioned and thoughtful members! :)
 
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