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

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Mar 8, 2013.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    18 vote(s)
  2. ****

    31 vote(s)
  3. ***

    7 vote(s)
  4. **

    1 vote(s)
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
  1. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Time for some love for these great album cuts. Personally, I love their Spectrum-days vibe; Richard and John just have a way with unconventional lyrical styles. In this same vein are other cuts like "Eve", "Maybe It's You", and "Crystal Lullaby". The arrangements and backing vocals are also a standout!

    Jamesj75 likes this.
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    All of these early album tracks are really special to me, it was songs like Saturday, Crystal Lullaby and One Love that endeared the Carpenters to me from that very first listen. For me, it happened in 1990. I'd heard Only Yesterday on the radio as an oldie and asked my mum who sang that. Karen's vocal stopped me in my tracks. I then went out and purchased Their Greatest Hits which at the time was riding high in the UK charts. Weeks later, I was babysitting a neighbour's little boy and came across some LPs stashed away in her cupboard and put them on her record player. I remember this very vividly - the albums were A Song For You, Carpenters and Now and Then. As I played them on the stereo, keen to see what else lay behind this gorgeous voice I'd heard on the radio weeks before, I was absolutely taken by all three albums, in particular ASFY. I fell even more in love with that voice, that sound and was hooked from that day.

    Since then, my obsession has grown to the extent that I visited Downey twice to see the Newville home (before half of it was bulldozed, an experience I will never forget as I rounded the corner), saw their star on the Walk of Fame, visited the Carpenter Performing Arts Center and touched the gold lettering on Karen's crypt in Forest Lawns. It's a lifelong obsession for me. One that has no signs of abating, I'm glad to say :)
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  3. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Great story. You sir, have just described a wonderful journey that I need to take. Time to ask my folks about a possible trip to California! :D
    GaryAlan and newvillefan like this.
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    This Album, the 40th Anniversary CD incarnation, begins my listening pleasure
    for this morning. I haven't finished the album, yet, so no commentary there---but,
    for one bit of laughter I note....
    The last Photograph in the booklet---Karen,Herb and Richard---is amusing, as here is Richard's description:
    "January 22,1972, with Herb Alpert backstage at the Anaheim Convention Center following our
    concert. The glass contains water by the way." (my italics)
    What about the lighted cigarette Richard is holding next to that glass?
    (You need a magnifying glass to catch it !).
  5. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    This is a case of water over the bridge... :)

    Incidentally, I may not have mentioned this previously, but this was my first Carpenters' album. It had been given to me by a friend. I had heard the hits on the radio that preceded this album, and I had bought those singles. But this was the first C's album I owned. Naturally, it didn't take long for me to acquire their earlier albums. Nor did it take long for me become a fan (an understatement if there ever was one). Back in the early 70s, when everything they touched turned to gold, this album contained 3 monster singles. In addition, it features other wonderful ballads: "Let Me Be the One," "One Love," and "(A Place to) Hideaway." There is much to enjoy here... No wonder I became a life-long fan...
    GaryAlan and theninjarabbit like this.
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Nice synopsis, James !
    Yes, 'water', indeed, over the bridge.
    At 5 am this morning, I was bemused that Richard's caption for the photo
    mentioned that the glass "by the way" held water ! A nice way to detract (?) from the other
    object being held in his hands ! (I was bemused, because--after all--why even bother about writing of the glass of water?).
    This album is a hit-or-miss for me, as you probably know.
    Sandwiched between Close To You and A Song For You, it pales in comparison. (My humble opinion.)
    I love the three Singles, of course. (Superstar, Rainy Days, For All We Know)
    Let Me Be The One, One Love and Hideaway are also high on my list.
    From there, it's downhill....for me.
    Saturday and Druscilla Penny I loathe.
    The Bacharach Medley--too short, too fast. (I'm simply not a Medley fan.)
    Sometimes...is nice, Karen performs beautifully; ultimately a filler song for me, though.
    The Album: 29 and a half minutes (29.26 to be exact).
    Thus, in terms of time I love roughly 62 % of the material !
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  7. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, GaryAlan!
    I appreciate your further comments on the photo Harry provided as well as your critique of this album, and I have to agree with you. In particular, I am not a big fan of medleys either. I suppose that medleys are in Richard's wheelhouse, and, no doubt, he arranges them par excellence.
    I also like your data regarding the length of the album (in minutes) and the percentage of the album you enjoy.
    I'm glad you revisited this album today, as it elicits nice memories for me.
    Along those lines, one other tidbit: it wasn't enough for me to play this album ad nauseam. I cut out the picture of Karen and Richard from the inside, put it in a picture frame, and displayed it in my room. Some things never change... :)
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
    GaryAlan likes this.
  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Yes, that inside photograph is a great one !
    The outer 'sleeve', well, yellow/tan/brown :not one of my favorites.
    Also, if I recall correctly, the temporal sequence in which I first heard entire albums runs as follows:
    Horizon, A Kind of Hush, The Singles 1969-1973, Passage, A Christmas Portrait, Now & Then,
    Carpenters, and then the others followed. Thus, the Tan album was further down the line for me,
    and by that time it just did not make a big splash !
    That being said, it has its moments, I simply wish it had more of those moments.
    I always felt (post-1980's) that this was a missed opportunity--apparently studio time was scarce:
    too little time was either booked, or remained from touring, for recording what should have been an awesome effort.
    But, I could be wrong.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    My USA CD of this album has DX 836 printed under the CD 3502 on the back cover upper left.
    On the actual disc DIDX 836 is printed under CD 3502 bottom center.
    And, of course, the audio master plus logo is centered bottom.
    I do not recall when I obtained this disc, and there is no date indicated anywhere.( that I can see)
    However, upon listening, it appears to be true to the original album mixes. (?)
    So, my question being:
    Are the codes above indicative of anything interesting regarding this disc ?
  10. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I've only seen the audio master plus logo on discs from the 80's, such as The Singles 1969-73 & 74-78 and the Christmas Portrait Special Edition.
  11. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    That old A&M CD contains two remixes. "Rainy Days And Mondays" and "Superstar" are both 1985 remixes. The original versions weren't released digitally until the Remastered Classic version in 1998.

  12. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    Here is a promotional ad and album review that are new to me. Bless The Beasts & Children promo ad is pretty cool, I didn't know that one existed.

    Cashbox Album Review Nov 13, 1971
    Cashbox Promo Ad Dec 11, 1971
    K.C. Jr and GaryAlan like this.
  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    The song,
    "...written in 1966 in a practice room in the music department CSULB...."
    (Japan issued-Treasures CD).

    I am not a 'fan' of this song.
    Now, I see why: it is not a good "fit" to this album.

    My two cents.
  14. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Ah, but it resolves with "Let Me Be The One" perfectly!
    Chris May likes this.
  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Oops....slip of the pen....Saturday written 1967......

    I see, too, on Treasures (1987) it is followed (still) by Let Me Be The One,
    Yes, the two songs flow together nicely.....
  16. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    Cashbox June 12, 1971
    Recording Studio 3rd Album, "Carpenters"

    K.C. Jr and Eyewire like this.
  17. Eyewire

    Eyewire Well-Known Member

    I love this album! Of course, the standouts are the usual suspects: Rainy Days and Mondays, Superstar, For All We Know and Let Me Be The One, but I also adore (A Place To) Hideaway. I even like the medley, even though I feel it's a bit rushed.

    I think these are all from the photoshoot for this album if I'm not mistaken:
    74255695.jpg 74255919.jpg 74256429.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2016
  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    The Single Rainy Days and Mondays, released 4/23/1971 is not sporting the Logo, yet.
    Album released May 13, 1971.....sporting the famous Carpenters' Logo.
    Superstar, released 8/12/1971 seems to be first Single to sport the Logo.

    We can almost nail down the exact date when the logo was first "created"
    with these release dates. (Sometime in late April 1971 ?).
    70sFan likes this.
  19. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Well, we can nail down when it was first USED, at any rate. It's quite possible that it was developed earlier than the April/May date for the album cover and held back from the advance single of "Rainy Days And Mondays" so as not to spoil its album debut.
    70sFan likes this.
  20. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    And just to give it a little context, Craig Braun (of Craig Braun and Associates) created the logo:

    Craig Braun.png CarpsStencilBraun.jpg
  21. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

  22. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Craig Braun and Associates should be most proud of that Carpenters Logo.
    I'd love to hear the story on how they arrived at that creative Logo.
    (Amount of time it took to come up with the end result, did they try other designs,
    was this the firs, or only,Logo to arise ?).
    Thanks for the photo, Chris May.
    By the way, when did Mr. Braun leave us ? Information is hard to find....
  23. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    The classiest logo in all of pop music!
  24. 70sFan

    70sFan Member

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