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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 47 50.0%
  • ****

    Votes: 32 34.0%
  • ***

    Votes: 11 11.7%
  • **

    Votes: 2 2.1%
  • *

    Votes: 2 2.1%

  • Total voters
    94

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Record Mirror (UK)
Horizon LP Review
June 28, 1975

WgcHPFH.jpg
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Apparently, that review fell on deaf ears, as Horizon performed exceptionally well on the UK chart.
I wonder if that reviewer felt the same regards the Tan-Carpenters- LP ? Timing at 29 minutes, 36 sec.
That review misses far too much of the best qualities of the album. For instance,
while Only Yesterday may have been released (by that time) as a single--the version on the album
is not the same as the single version--the reviewer fails to note the difference.
"value for the money," I do not know how the reviewer defines that term.... !
Horizon album sounds incredible. I rarely--if ever--think of its brevity.
Jerry Moss apparently felt the same:
"To have that voice on A&M records was really a thrill.."
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^You make an excellent point !
Curiously, Coleman writes this:
" A letter congratulating Richard on his production of Horizon came from an unexpected source,
Jerry Moss." (page 181).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Curiously, Coleman writes this:
" A letter congratulating Richard on his production of Horizon came from an unexpected source,
Jerry Moss." (page 181).

I always interpreted that as meaning Jerry Moss didn’t have a lot of time for Richard.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Here's something interesting. We know that the 1975 Japanese and European tours were cancelled. Here is a ticket stub that was generated but due to the tours being cancelled stub was unused. What's interesting is that it says on the bottom of the ticket stub:

"A Hiroshima TV Presentation 1975"

So I would have to imagine that had this tour not been cancelled that many of the concerts in Japan would have been filmed for broadcast on TV. It's also possible that it could have been made into a VHS tape or DVD like what happen with Live at Budokan. It's also very possible that since this tour was to promote the album that we would have live versions of many of the songs off the Horizon album. Can you imagine?

This ebay listing is specifically saying this stub was for the Horizon tour (maybe lotus can help with some of the Japanese wordings)
See here for all 6 pics.
THE Carpenters 1975 Horizon Cancelled Japan Tour Ticket Stub(Hiroshima) Rare!! | eBay

s-l1600.jpg
 

adam

Well-Known Member
Here's something interesting. We know that the 1975 Japanese and European tours were cancelled. Here is a ticket stub that was generated but due to the tours being cancelled stub was unused. What's interesting is that it says on the bottom of the ticket stub:

"A Hiroshima TV Presentation 1975"

So I would have to imagine that had this tour not been cancelled that many of the concerts in Japan would have been filmed for broadcast on TV. It's also possible that it could have been made into a VHS tape or DVD like what happen with Live at Budokan. It's also very possible that since this tour was to promote the album that we would have live versions of many of the songs off the Horizon album. Can you imagine?

This ebay listing is specifically saying this stub was for the Horizon tour (maybe lotus can help with some of the Japanese wordings)
See here for all 6 pics.
THE Carpenters 1975 Horizon Cancelled Japan Tour Ticket Stub(Hiroshima) Rare!! | eBay
HI
According to craig halsteads bookCarpenters all the top 40 hits.Horizion topped zimbabwe Album charts for 9 weels.Quite impressive
s-l1600.jpg
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Returning to the Horizon review above (Chris, post #551),
entitled "Short Cut Carpenter." The reviewer does an injustice to the album, in my opinion.
Is the shorter (by 5 min) 1971 self-titled Tan album held in higher esteem ?
Not to knock the tan album, but, it still appears to me that having three hit-singles
on an album (Superstar, For All We Know, Rainy Days and Mondays) does not automatically
make it a better album. I love those three songs, but an "album" is more than just that !
Horizon is so much more than just hit singles or playing time.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Returning to the Horizon review above (Chris, post #551),
entitled "Short Cut Carpenter." The reviewer does an injustice to the album, in my opinion.
Is the shorter (by 5 min) 1971 self-titled Tan album held in higher esteem ?
Not to knock the tan album, but, it still appears to me that having three hit-singles
on an album (Superstar, For All We Know, Rainy Days and Mondays) does not automatically
make it a better album. I love those three songs, but an "album" is more than just that !
Horizon is so much more than just hit singles or playing time.

Agreed. The writer was just looking for something to bitch about. He knows the album is top notch.
 

Jarred

Your resident analyst right around the corner.
Hearing the album again as a whole after a long while I’m beginning to understand the faults people have with it, besides the technical which no one can deny is pristine.

As @newvillefan has mentioned Karen’s voice is as lush and warm as ever but her approach here is almost too lush, too dreamy and lacking the stridency we hear in 73/74. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue but it kind of expands upon the issues with some songs instead of alleviating them. Because the ballads are generally “draggy”, her voice underlines that either the arrangements or songs themselves don’t really grab you like you wish they did. The contrast in tone (vocally and musically) from two years prior is staggering as their baroque era was overall over. I think another issue is that some arrangements are almost too sparse, too clean so to speak, they don’t always build drama or tension like they should, and we’re back to Karen’s laid back approach which doesn’t quicken the pace any.

Highlights are still Desperado (she doesn’t quite sing it with the direct yearning I remember but with a resigned acceptance despite her plea), Only Yesterday (still glistens and shimmers with life even if I can see why some find it too produced), Postman (doesn’t belong anywhere on the album but still a classic), I Can Dream (the dreamy approach is completely justified here as it should sound like a dream), and Goodbye and I Love You (suffers from a kind of bland arrangement but still feels fresh and a great lyric).
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Speaking for myself, an album that I revisit very often (say, once a month).
The production quality , especially for 1975, is startling.
The album artwork is superb in all respects.
The ballads are beautiful.
The vocals are extraordinary.
A great album, a favorite album ever since 1975.
No complaints from me about the album, period.
 

Jarred

Your resident analyst right around the corner.
A fine album I seldom listen to and one to be added to the iPod. Perhaps one ballad too many for my liking.

I rarely hear it all together, if I want to hear Horizon tracks I usually mix them up with different ones from other albums in one sitting.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
Speaking for myself, an album that I revisit very often (say, once a month).
The production quality , especially for 1975, is startling.
The album artwork is superb in all respects.
The ballads are beautiful.
The vocals are extraordinary.
A great album, a favorite album ever since 1975.
No complaints from me about the album, period.
For someone interested in the Carpenters and if they desire to hear a great vocalist I always point them to Horizon for all of those reasons that you listed. Karen is at her peak, vocally! It usually provides a path to other projects that they made.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
For someone interested in the Carpenters and if they desire to hear a great vocalist I always point them to Horizon for all of those reasons that you listed. Karen is at her peak, vocally!

For me it’s her 1972/1973 period. Her voice was rich and still strident. On Horizon, Richard resorted to double tracking her lead on many songs to achieve the same stridency, a trend further entrenched on A Kind Of Hush. And there are too many ballads. It’s a beautiful album (and their best album cover by far), but that period between the rougher vocal quality of Offering and that of Horizon hits the sweet spot. But I digress...ignore me :laugh:
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
For me, it’s 72-75. I Can Dream Can’t I and the verses of Solitaire and the verses of Only Yesterday and I’m Caught Between, and the Eventide and Auora are the finest examples. The years you mention have their doubles, too. The doubles and vocal stacks are fun for listening to me, so I enjoy all recording techniques. I hear what you mean, and I don’t necessarily disagree, for example Santa Clause live in 1972 is as good as Santa studio version in 1974. Even, the early stuff has its appeal and some that is not heard in later years. I like the all ballads, and that’s what brings me Horizon. Richard claims Love Me For What I Am is not doubled, it was just an effect in the tape or it’s transfer to vinyl (can’t remember which) for some reason. I know it’s a matter of taste. I agree that in 1976, there is more doubling, but it was the trend then. Even the single of A Kind of Hush was doubled and sped but not so much in the compilation versions. Others like 1978 Karen best, and there are examples of that too, as Where Do I go From Here and I Believe You. From This Moment On is pretty solid and strong too and in 1976 that is a fine example of what was present earlier, and live recordings in those days always seem to suffer in sound quality, yet it still sounds good.

A Song For You is my next favorite and only one song separates it from being a tie with Horizon in my view. Horizon also is a great compliment to the Hits/Singles album. Hush, is too easy and soft, but still appealing. Passage is my next favorite, with Close To You / Carpenters tie for 4th with Now and Then rounding my favorite top 5. So I shared your favorite until Horizon, I was right there with you. All these albums just shed a different aspect of an amazingly talented singer who could give us a unique delivery in each album.

One thing is certain: there are no pitch machine corrections that are heard as in today’s celebrated artists. I can’t stand to hear those machines working on a voice and can’t for the life of me understand how some of those are ultra famous. It hurts my ears! Studying music in college trained my ear to the point of not enjoying out of tune voices. Playing instruments also help an ear hear harmonics in a tone. Hearing notes right under pitch hurt and hearing them adjusted feel (hurt) the same to me. Karen is listening pleasure at every sensory level and without the need of correction tools. Some of my favorites singers as a child I can’t revisit, but with Karen the quality is always amazing.

A Song For You and Bless the Beasts and the Children were perfect in 1972 and those two songs were never sung better, so I understand your point. I just include Horizon in vocal quality.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Richard claims Love Me For What I Am is not doubled, it was just an effect in the tape or it’s transfer to vinyl (can’t remember which) for some reason.

I’ve never heard that before, where did he say that? I know I’m not remotely qualified on this but he’s saying the lead wasn’t double tracked? I don’t buy that. Vocals don’t phase to that degree unless there’s more than one of them there.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I’ve never heard that before, where did he say that? I know I’m not remotely qualified on this but he’s saying the lead wasn’t double tracked? I don’t buy that. Vocals don’t phase to that degree unless there’s more than one of them there.
I think it’s from an interview, one of the ones in England from last year. I think the first portion when they talk ( the Interviewer and Richard) about Love Me For What I Am being a fan favorite. The special with the alphabet of songs. I’ll try to find it and listen for it to be certain. It was last year that I heard it and I think from there.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
There are different phasing effects in the song "Love Me For What I Am". One of them happens with Karen's vocals on the chorus. To me it sounds like an attempt to double her vocals by laying one copy on top of itself, slightly delayed, but at the same speed. This creates that unnatural sound that borders on phasing, as one sound beats against the other, creating slight cancelling of some frequencies to one degree or another.

The other occurrence is on the fuzz-guitar solo where one layer of the overdubbed sound is slightly faster than the other, creating a moving phasing effect. That's the same kind of sound that occurred on the end of "Your Wonderful Parade."

A number of music fans often have the mistaken notion that it is "stereo" that creates phasing. Actually, it's what happens to common sounds when they beat against themselves. A song could have all of the instruments on the left and right, leaving only the vocals in both channels (centered). When that recording is played back on a tape machine with poor stereo head alignment, the vocals will sound "phased" - when listened to in mono. This is what the whole CSG thing was about - an effort to provide stereo radio stations a foolproof way of not having phased vocals on their audience's mono radios.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^That was a good catch !
So, as Richard Carpenter says, regarding
Love Me For What I Am...phasey effect..."it wasn't intentional."
That type of information needs to be highlighted.
 
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