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Official Review [Album]: "HORIZON" (SP-4530)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jun 1, 2013.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    37 vote(s)
  2. ****

    26 vote(s)
  3. ***

    8 vote(s)
  4. **

    1 vote(s)
  5. *

    2 vote(s)
  1. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    both BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN and SOMETIMES were presented to them while they were playing las vegas.
  2. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    The whole model for this type of music variety show for American TV was born with the Smothers Brothers Show (CBS) of the late 60s. Tom and Dick would come out on stage, Tommy with his guitar and Dick with his stand up bass, start the show with a duet and then the "comedy" began. This consisted of Dick Smothers belittling Tom Smothers with witty jabs to the point where Tommy would blurt out "Mom always liked you best!" in a whining type fashion. This model was then used with the Sonny & Cher variety show on CBS in the early 70s. They would come out, sing a duet in front of a studio audience, and go right into the same routine. Namely, Cher folding her arms and cutting Sonny to ribbons with put-downs about the size of his nose, his mother, being Italian, etc. Sonny, a naturally affable guy was the perfect foil, they endeared themselves to their audience and received huge ratings. Then Donny & Marie came in with their weekly variety show on ABC, same formula used, Marie cutting Donny down after an opening duet. All of these shows followed the same blueprint. So when The Carpenters started to do TV specials in the late 70s this was the model for them to use more or less. Music numbers in between "comedy" sketches. They really didn't do anything truly distinctive on TV until their Music Music Music special when they jettisoned all the stupid comedy routines and presented what they do best, namely, create beautiful music.
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
    song4u likes this.
  3. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    Yes, the schtick was common at the time. And perhaps having Victor Borge and Charlie Callas was an effort to appeal to older viewers who would tune in to hear their music. I grew up hearing them. I think they were perhaps grasping at straws to kick start their popularity. Donny and Marie were very popular at the time too.
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Again, Richard Carpenter, in Ray Coleman's 1975 Melody Maker article:
    "There aren't many out of all the tunes we did that she (Karen) was against.
    But, there are a couple, Superstar is one and Solitaire is the other.
    She never liked Solitaire at all and it turned out that she, as far as the commercial ear goes,
    was right. It's the worst selling single we've had since Ticket To Ride.
    So,she may, commercially,have been right on that one--not may have, she was."
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Peaking at Billboard#4, this week in 1975:
    Only Yesterday.....
    remaining, to this day, my all-time favorite song.
    Today, then, I celebrate !
  6. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I remember my dad driving me to the department store where we bought records before the mall was built to purchase it in 1975. I was excited to see the polished, well in my mind it was polished, logo gray sleeve cover! Little did I know that in just a few months I would ride my bicycle to another store next to where the mall was being built to find Horizon on the shelf in its first week of release in June.

    Simple life in simple times! Life was certainly different! Not only did I play the record all the time, but would also listen on the radio for it to play by request!

    song4u, MorningOpensQuietly and Brian like this.
  7. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Here is a cleaner copy of a previously posted promo ad for Solitaire
    Record World Aug 02, 1975

    theninjarabbit likes this.
  8. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Carpenters Horizon Album Review
    Cashbox June 21, 1975

  9. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Gave "Passage" a break and listened to "Horizon" today. Once again, completely blown-away by Karen's vocal performance on this album. Temporarily obsessing about Desperado...always thought Linda Ronstadt had the "definitive version" of this song. But the more I hear Karen's reading, I am starting to question my conclusion. The entire work (album) is just a tour de force of KC. Absolutely love it!
    Don Malcolm, K.C. Jr and CraigGA like this.
  10. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Each song has Karen singing on each shoulder into each ear. The sound in 1975 was crystal clear and still today I can get that same feeling from a project that was created with extra care. When it came out on CD it was if that great sound was reborn. As I mentioned before, this is always my go to CD. I'm Caught Between Goodbye And I Love You and Love Me For What I Am along with Aurora and Eventide are 4 songs from Karen that settle my soul. Then I listen to it all over from beginning to end.
  11. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    "Horizon" would have been the CD for MFSL to do rather than "Song for You". It's the best-sounding album in Carpenters' catalog by far.

  12. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    A Song For You MFSL has remixed tracks that were first introduced? The edits were described in the liner notes. It is the best version of the album. And, if you prefer the originals the Remastered Classics is my favorite for those. It has the best vocal clarity for I Won't Last A Day Without You, but it's missing Tony Peluso's guitar.
    As for Horizon, I agree that it always sounds great! The time Richard spent on it was well worth it! It even stands the test of time.
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool and Jeff like this.
  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    One thing which has forever disturbed me:
    Postman's video shows a Karen very much healthier than
    Only Yesterday's video.
    Do we have the actual dates when these videos were filmed ?
    Also, the Picture Sleeve for Postman utilized a 1973 Photo of the duo,
    Only Yesterday PS utilizes no photo, and Solitaire's PS sports the fantastic
    photo from Horizon's Outer Sleeve.
    Do we have a date for the Horizon photo sessions ?
    (After 1975 March 31st, I presume--as comparing with inside photo of Compendium Interview).
  14. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    As far as I'm aware, Postman was filmed in late 1974, whereas Only Yesterday was filmed in early 1975, which would explain the difference.
  15. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I wish Richard had continued on with the SACD's would love to hear Horizon on this format. Out of all the formats, strangely my LP sounds the best to my ears.
  16. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    Do we have any idea why Horizon seems to have fallen into the Public Domain in certain areas (resulting in "Radio Years" and "Only Yesterday Deluxe"? that sound like they were mastered from a worn out cassette tape).
  17. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    I have also wondered why HORIZON has continued to be repackaged. a year or so ago, I found a carpenters live dvd and best of cd called ANTHOLOGY. a beautiful package so I grabbed it. come to pass, it is the live in japan footage, which is ok, and another serving of scrambled horizon.
  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    My wake-up song this morning:
    What a way to start the day....
    Fantastic, incredible interpretation !
    Melts my heart.

    This song (The Single) is such an awesome vocal performance by Karen.
    And, the single version--such an arrangement--
    deserves to have gone much, much higher in sales and chart success....

    The stats, here:
    Carpe diem and Jeff like this.
  19. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Gary, you should have set it for Happy on wake up...perfect song for a Happy day!!
  20. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Speaking of Solitaire, came across an interview that has been around for awhile with lyricist Phil Cody (probably old news to some, but please indulge me...);

    Songfacts: Did you ever imagine that song sung by a female voice?

    Philip: Yeah. I did, actually. But when I heard Karen Carpenter, I had chills down my spine. As a lyricist, you want that thing where an artist owns your lyric. You can measure success by the amount of money you make off a song, but I measure the success of that song by that particular moment, when she made it totally her own. And it's still great. I sat down one day and I listened to all 90 versions of "Solitaire" that people have done, and of all the ones that are out there, Karen Carpenter's is still the one that is the benchmark for all the covers on that song.

    full interview here:
    Philip Cody : Songwriter Interviews
  21. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Karen's performance on 'Solitaire' is out of this world. Of all the recordings that I've ever heard by any artist, that is one of a handful that has blown me away and continues to astound me. It's probably the performance that's had the biggest impact on me, ever. It seems only right that the writer should recognise the magnificence of Karen's mastery.

    Interestingly, the one element of Carpenters' 'Solitaire' that I do not think is brilliant is the lyrics. The vocals, the harmonies, the melody, the instrumentation, the arrangement and the production are all outstanding. The idea of comparing the game of love to a card game..... It's never bothered me in the 42 years sine I fell in love with Carpenters' recording, until just recently, but it's other people's version, about the queen of hearts being well concealed and the character 'dealing them out again' that is jarring. I'm glad that Carpenters left that stanza out. This is one thing that makes their version so much better than others. But I think that even if Karen was singing the words of a menu on that one, her performance would still outdo that of everyone else.
    theninjarabbit likes this.
  22. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Having said the above, check out Aussie Simon Gallaher's version of 'Solitaire'. I believe he has one of the most beautiful male recorded voices. This is especially apparent on his album, 'Unforgettable'. True, the arrangements and production on his version of 'Solitaire' are uninspiring and his vocals are nowhere near as impressive as Karen's, (he doesn't invest the emotion), but you get a hint of how nice his voice is. His version, I agree, has nowhere near the atmosphere of Carpenters' recording. For full effect or to get an idea of his talents, listen to the 'Unforgettable' album.

    There's a live and a studio version of his 'Solitaire'. The live version also isn't particularly well recorded, which also pales it in comparison to 'Unforgettable'. I still maintain that his voice is beautiful, though.

    I guess what I'm saying, rather than "Simon Gallaher's version of 'Solitaire' is great" is, "Simon Gallaher has a beautiful voice".
  23. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    I think this is the one issue I have with it, too. Lyrically, it never quite rolled for me-- even though she enunciates and sings the words beautifully. All other aspects are brilliant. A "benchmark" indeed!
    Brian likes this.
  24. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    It would certainly have been card game lyric overload if they'd included that stanza, what with Desperado and Happy also containing card game references.
    Brian likes this.
  25. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    If Desperado and Happy were already in the can by the time they came to record Solitaire, maybe that's the reason they left it out.

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