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Official Review [Album]: "CLOSE TO YOU" (SP-4271)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 37 55.2%
  • ****

    Votes: 24 35.8%
  • ***

    Votes: 5 7.5%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.5%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    67

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Richard Carpenter,
40-th Anniversary Liner Notes:
"The first two songs recorded were Love Is Surrender (Drums: Karen)
and,
I'll Never Fall In Love Again, Dionne Warwick's version had not yet been released as a single;
if it had, I would not have chosen to record this song."
 

dave-LIVE

New Member
This thread was a great read for me - much appreciative for everyone's comments and shared knowledge :)

What I was hoping to find was some more information about "Love Is Surrender". I've always loved Richard's arrangement of this song as well as of course loving Karen's vocals - I'm guessing Ralph Carmichael did not since I can find no mention of his thoughts anywhere. I'd love to know how it came about since I've now learned it was one of three songs recorded prior to "Close To You" and the subsequent rush to finish the album.

Thanks in advance to anyone who might be able to provide any additional info :)
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
This appears in the lyric/music book for the Close To You/Ticket To Ride:
"Not so unusually, the second Carpenter album has been titled under the single Close To You.
It is, like
Offering, produced by Jack Daugherty, with vocal arrangements by Richard and
some pretty vocal by Karen, who plans to continue drumming with the group despite
her popularity as a singer
."

I wonder who wrote this bit.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Fan Club Newsletter #67, May 1980:
Karen plays drums on these cuts, Close To You Album....
Love Is Surrender
Mr. Guder
Another Song
I'll Never Fall In Love Again
.
 

John Tkacik

Active Member
Fan Club Newsletter #67, May 1980:
Karen plays drums on these cuts, Close To You Album....
Love Is Surrender
Mr. Guder
Another Song
I'll Never Fall In Love Again
.
I'm surprised that she wasn't on the drums for "Help". I had always assumed that she played the drums on both the Your Navy Presents recording and on the album recording.
 

Guitarmutt

Active Member
Here is an original recording by Ralph Carmichael & The Young People.

Wow, I've actually never heard that version before. The changes Richard made are far beyond just the words. The tempos, the swing, the harmony. Sorry, much better. The meaning still comes out of you want it, but it is more universal, if you will.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
The changes Richard made are far beyond just the words. The tempos, the swing, the harmony. Sorry, much better.
This is a classic example of Richard being at the top of his game. His arrangement takes the song into a completely different territory and it’s almost unrecognisable compared to the original. Fast forward to 1978, when he seemed incapable of rendering anything other than carbon copies of original songs that they went on to cover...

B’Wana She No Home, Slow Dance, I Believe You, Touch Me When We’re Dancing, Beechwood 4-5789, All You Get From Love Is A Love Song, (Want You) Back In My Life Again, Calling Occupants, Man Smart Woman Smarter...


...the list goes on.
 
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David A

Well-Known Member
This is a classic example of Richard being at the top of his game. His arrangement takes the song into a completely different territory and it’s almost unrecognisable compared to the original. Fast forward to 1978, when he seemed incapable of rendering anything other than carbon copies of original songs that they went on to cover...

B’Wana She No Home, Slow Dance, I Believe You, Touch Me When We’re Dancing, Beechwood 4-5789, All You Get From Love Is A Love Song, (Want You) Back In My Life Again, Calling Occupants, Man Smart Woman Smarter...


...the list goes on.
How much of this was due to his Quaalude's addiction, I wonder.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
One of the more interesting aspects of this album is Karen's vacillating between singing
softly (i.e., Close To You) to more forcefully (i.e., Help),
to a mixture of the two 'styles' (i.e., We've Only Just Begun).
Softly (Maybe It's You),
more forceful (Another Song) and,
a mixture (Reason To Believe).

Almost my favorite album....
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Anyone have a quad copy of this album ?

According to one source, this album,
Close To You,
does not exist as a Quad LP.
But, only as an 8-Track Tape version.
Info:
"8Q-54271 Close to You....
THE LISTED TITLES DO NOT EXIST ON AN A&M QUAD LP
THEY WERE RELEASED AS QUAD 8 TRACKS ONLY
THEY MAY ERRONEOUSLY SHOW UP IN PRICE GUIDES FROM TIME TO TIME"
Source:
A&M Quadraphonic Checklist & History
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
Here is a promo ad that is new to me....it ran for half the page...pretty cool but why would marketing allow an Offering photo for the Close To You Single? Maybe it was a UK thing? It's also interesting they are plugging the flip side as well.

Aug 1, 1970 UK Record Mirror

 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Here is a promo ad that is new to me....it ran for half the page...pretty cool but why would marketing allow an Offering photo for the Close To You Single? Maybe it was a UK thing?
If you think about it, there is very little photographic evidence that they did any proper photoshoots in 1970, aside from the album cover (which, I agree with Richard, is "crappy"). They really only started doing proper shoots with their third and fourth albums. Google "Carpenters 1970" and all you see are a few shots from 1969 and then most from 1971 onwards.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
If you think about it, there is very little photographic evidence that they did any proper photoshoots in 1970, aside from the album cover (which, I agree with Richard, is "crappy"). They really only started doing proper shoots with their third and fourth albums. Google "Carpenters 1970" and all you see are a few shots from 1969 and then most from 1971 onwards.
Your right, it’s like they were saying how are we going to market these...a brother and sister you would think it was the first brother and sister singers of all time. Ha It really became an issue that even up to 81 on the Merv show Karen was still talking about brother sister vs husband wife. This should have all been nipped in the bud the moment they emerged in 69, 70 and should have never have been an issue ever again.

By the way I do love that promo ad above.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
The marketing was even more obfuscated than simply brother-sister
singing love-songs....vs. husband-wife singing love songs (being easier to visualize).
In the early years Karen was at the drums, and exhibited a stronger physical persona than her brother--
here, Richard 'sitting' at his piano, singing backup vocals.
So long as she remained behind the drums ( back then, a male-dominated instrument)
and sang lead vocals, she would appear to the public as the stronger personality.
Note, too, Richard was quite lean much of the time, sometimes more-so than Karen,
so, that too, would pose a visual issue !
There was more going on marketing-wise besides the brother/sister persona !
(Karen--recall- was quite athletic--pitching in softball, for instance).

Karen was always a beautiful woman, I really believe (and I'll be crucified for this)
that Karen should have been the only person photographed for all Album Covers.
(Save the duo photos for the inside, and record co. promos).
Of course, keep "Carpenters" logo, simply emphasize Richard as Arranger and Producer.
 

Jamesj75

Well-Known Member
Karen was always a beautiful woman, I really believe (and I'll be crucified for this)
that Karen should have been the only person photographed for all Album Covers.
@GaryAlan! Ditto on Karen's beauty! And, dare I say, Richard was a handsome man... Yet the level of attractiveness shouldn't matter, even though many artists capitalize upon, and market, their looks. Karen undoubtedly had the incomparable "voice" and outgoing, vivacious stage persona, but it goes without saying that Richard and Karen both contributed to their sound and success as a duo. It was the meshing of their talents that served them and their fans well and created the magic!

So keep them both on the album covers! I certainly won't crucify you, GaryAlan, but it often takes a carpenter to build a cross.... :)
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
The marketing was even more obfuscated than simply brother-sister
singing love-songs....vs. husband-wife singing love songs (being easier to visualize).
In the early years Karen was at the drums, and exhibited a stronger physical persona than her brother--
here, Richard 'sitting' at his piano, singing backup vocals.
So long as she remained behind the drums ( back then, a male-dominated instrument)
and sang lead vocals, she would appear to the public as the stronger personality.
Note, too, Richard was quite lean much of the time, sometimes more-so than Karen,
so, that too, would pose a visual issue !
There was more going on marketing-wise besides the brother/sister persona !
(Karen--recall- was quite athletic--pitching in softball, for instance).

Karen was always a beautiful woman, I really believe (and I'll be crucified for this)
that Karen should have been the only person photographed for all Album Covers.
(Save the duo photos for the inside, and record co. promos).
Of course, keep "Carpenters" logo, simply emphasize Richard as Arranger and Producer.
Without Richard, we don't get those vocal arrangements. They have saved some real dross. He is responsible for the dross, yeah, but the vocal arrangements saved quite a bit of it. He has more than earned his space next to Karen on the album covers. That's as it should be, IMHO.

Ed
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Keep in mind, I am only approaching my above post
purely from a "marketing" angle.....that is, marketing the Albums.....

I am not implying that Richard Carpenter was not the musical architect of "the Carpenters" !
Especially those background vocals he arranged---I've always marvelled at that !
So, I want to make clear I am not demoting his talents in any manner.
But, I am implying there had to be a better way (of marketing, that is).
Why did no one put thought into it !
 
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Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
^^Keep in mind, I am only approaching my above post
purely from a "marketing" angle.....that is, marketing the Albums.....

I am not implying that Richard Carpenter was not the musical architect of "the Carpenters" !
Especially those background vocals he arranged---I've always marvelled at that !
So, I want to make clear I am not demoting his talents in any manner.
But, I am implying there had to be a better way (of marketing, that is).
Why did no one put thought into it !
I'm sure there was a better way, although I don't think the answer was to feature Karen only on the album sleeves. What they needed was to stop photographing them in terrible outfits with identical cheesy smiles. It would have taken a bit of imagination, but as the photo used for the redone cover of Ticket to Ride shows, it was possible to get an image of them that didn't have them frowning, but also didn't make them look like 'goody-fourshoes' or husband and wife.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
As late as 1976, Coleman writes of an interview....
Karen:
"He's so talented it just makes me weep that everybody just walks right by him."
"They never give him any credit, but he does everything. He's the brains behind it
."

Then:
"This frustration over recognition for Richard --and, her reluctance to accept that--
(as Richard says the starring role was hers), never left Karen." (page 151, Coleman).


I suppose my comment (above#269) regarding the album covers is going overboard.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
Karen was always a beautiful woman, I really believe (and I'll be crucified for this)
that Karen should have been the only person photographed for all Album Covers.
(Save the duo photos for the inside, and record co. promos).
Of course, keep "Carpenters" logo, simply emphasize Richard as Arranger and Producer.
They kind of tried this...on VOTH. Karen was the only one on the front cover. Turn it over, and Richard is on the back...a subtle "nod" that Karen was the front man (person, woman, whatever, don't get all PC on me) and Richard was "behind the scenes" in a sense.
 
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