• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 49 49.5%
  • ****

    Votes: 34 34.3%
  • ***

    Votes: 12 12.1%
  • **

    Votes: 2 2.0%
  • *

    Votes: 2 2.0%

  • Total voters
    99

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I would like to go on record and recant what I said earlier re: speed issues. I do think there are minor speed issues with various Carpenters album pressings. However, ever since I've gotten my c. 1986 "Made in Japan" smooth-edged disc (matrix: 1A1 64), I don't perceive a speed issue. I don't know if it's in my brain or what, but it is a different disc ID with (minorly) different track durations from the other AM+ disc I was referring to earlier (which has an IFPI number, so the one I was feeling oddly about was pressed post-1994). Comparing in Adobe Audition, the 1986 Japan-for-U.S. AM+ disc is a hair slower than the 1994 U.S.-for-U.S. disc, but it shouldn't be enough to make a sonic difference.

In any case, this Japan-for-U.S. disc and I are good buddies. Highly recommend if you can get your hand on a copy.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
That 1A1 64 disc is the A&M copy of HORIZON that I own.
I brought mine to work today. Imho, this pressing in particular is such a joy to listen to. Horizon has such a smooth, but bright, sound. It honestly sounds like an album that would have been mixed/mastered in 1977 (like a Rumours or Aja) rather than 1975, because of how masterfully it's done.
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I brought mine to work today. Imho, this pressing in particular is such a joy to listen to. Horizon has such a smooth, but bright, sound. It honestly sounds like an album that would have been mixed/mastered in 1977 (like a Rumours or Aja) rather than 1975, because of how masterfully it's done.

It really is their best album sonically. Nothing else in their catalog touches it.

Ed
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
At the request of another user here, I used a guitar tuner. "(I'm Caught Between) Goodbye and I Love You" does run fast, according to the guitar tuner.


I used the violin fade-out from around 4:00 to get a good clean tone. This was slowed down by 1.4%.

Make what you will of it -- I don't want to say what's "right" or "wrong" anymore, but this is just a presentation of an alternate audio that is informed by a guitar tuning app that uses the A440 chromatic scale. I hope you enjoy it -- if you do, feel free to download it. If you don't, that's great too!

My personal take -- Karen's "basement" shines in this song.
 
Last edited:

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Record World June 28, 1975:
Page 52, England: "The Carpenters' just released album, "Horizon," should hit -the top of the album chart within days of being available,
after a reported massive initial ship-out which even topped sales currently being notched up by Elton's "Fantastic" and Stylistics' "Best Of" albums.
A&M also plans an extensive TV advertising campaign to support other promotion and marketing efforts."
Here:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Cashbox, June 21, 1975:
British Respond To Carpenter LP
"Horizon, the Carpenters new album which has been shipped this past week, has the biggest-ever advance British sales of any Carpenters LP,
according to A&M sales manager Bill Groves. The group's Singles 1969-1973, on the British charts for 72 weeks and recently back to number 3,
has become their biggest album seller to date with 1.3 million units. ‘
Horizon, Richard and Karen Carpenter's first new studio album in two years, contains their current single "Only Yesterday
and their recent world wide hit, "Please Mr. Postman.” According to Groves, A&M will be promoting Horizon
via 30-second television spots throughout the United Kingdom, plus extensive retail store displays.
The Carpenters make their return to Britain on Nov 14 with a tour already scheduled."

Source:


Cashbox Album Review, June 21, 1975:
"HORIZON — The Carpenters — A&M SP 4530 - Producer: Richard Carpenter. The natural vocals of Karen and the arranging genius of Richard have combined to make the Carpenters' sound a classic in the easy listening market. This successful musical formula continues on "Horizons” as the Carpenters turn their finely toned talents to proven outings on "Only Yesterday” and "Love Me For What I Am " Also highlighted is a thoroughly laidback cover of "Desperado. "
Other top cuts include "Eventide," "Happy” and "I Can Dream Can't I." The Carpenters once again prove themselves the listen of the century."

Source:
 
Last edited:

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
In the November 24, 1973 issue of Billboard magazine (page 24), there is a brief note about artists
needing to keep their singles at 3:30 length or shorter, if they want their single played on radio and have a chance at becoming a "hit."
As much as I do not care for the edited Only Yesterday, the single release, at least it makes sense why that song was edited for release.
Also, it is perhaps no surprise that Solitaire fell short of the top ten, simply due to its length.
At the same time--by the time Horizon was released-- Captain & Tennille were making big waves and disco was catching on.
Mixed in with some bad press and Karen's health issues and you have the perfect storm in 1975.
That Horizon managed to get to #13 in the USA is almost a miracle.
In many ways, it is a gutsy album for its time.
So, I place it back on my pedestal. My favorite Carpenters' album.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
“Desperado” might’ve done better as a single than “Solitaire”, as “Desperado” was 3:35—they could’ve faded out a little early to get under the 3:30 time limit.

But on ‘Horizon’, the only tracks under 3:30 were “Aurora/Eventide”, “Please Mr. Postman” & “Love Me For What I Am”. “Happy” is 3:50, so they might’ve faded out the last 20 seconds to make it a single (it should’ve been released over “Solitaire”).

While on AKOH the shortest track is “Breaking Up”, followed by “A Kind of Hush”, and “Goofus”.
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
In the November 24, 1973 issue of Billboard magazine (page 24), there is a brief note about artists
needing to keep their singles at 3:30 length or shorter, if they want their single played on radio and have a chance at becoming a "hit."
As much as I do not care for the edited Only Yesterday, the single release, at least it makes sense why that song was edited for release.
Also, it is perhaps no surprise that Solitaire fell short of the top ten, simply due to its length.
At the same time--by the time Horizon was released-- Captain & Tennille were making big waves and disco was catching on.
Mixed in with some bad press and Karen's health issues and you have the perfect storm in 1975.
That Horizon managed to get to #13 in the USA is almost a miracle.
In many ways, it is a gutsy album for its time.
So, I place it back on my pedestal. My favorite Carpenters' album.

Its sonic perfection plus "Love Me for What I Am" placed it on mine years ago and it's never leaving...LOL!

Ed
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
If you have the book, The Musical Legacy,
you will see immediately that Jerry Moss,
in his letter to Richard regarding LP Horizon,
is exactly right. Jerry's is a perfect assessment of LP Horizon.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Hearing the album in full again, I don’t think the issue so much is that it’s ballad heavy (as many feel), but rather that the ballads often feel sterile and lacking variety/color in their arrangements, which is almost certainly a result from Richard’s incredible fatigue. It’s all very same-y and monochromatic in tone. Majority of their ballads before and after had variations that kept them engaging even if they were longer. Horizon’s often feel almost too sparse and clean.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I have Tryin’ to Get the Feelin’ Again on my Horizon playlist and I have to say I’m really happy the tape was lost back in ‘75 to be rediscovered twenty years later because the updated, harder edged 90s flavor likely helped it from sounding lukewarm. But also Karen’s incredible vocal sounds different than the other ballads, her phrasing isn’t of that overly smooth variety I bitched about earlier. Was it because it was a work lead?

Something else I just caught after hearing it was the sound of the page turning not only gives a real, almost charming kind of live-in-the-studio feel, but fits with the lyric Karen sings of reading every book to find the solution to kindle an old flame. She’s still literally searching even as she sings about it. I don’t know if that’s been talked about here but I love it.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I have Tryin’ to Get the Feelin’ Again on my Horizon playlist and I have to say I’m really happy the tape was lost back in ‘75 to be rediscovered twenty years later because the updated, harder edged 90s flavor likely helped it from sounding lukewarm. But also Karen’s incredible vocal sounds different than the other ballads, her phrasing isn’t of that overly smooth variety I bitched about earlier. Was it because it was a work lead?

Something else I just caught after hearing it was the sound of the page turning not only gives a real, almost charming kind of live-in-the-studio feel, but fits with the lyric Karen sings of reading every book to find the solution to kindle an old flame. She’s still literally searching even as she sings about it. I don’t know if that’s been talked about here but I love it.
Honestly, I just think the lyrics are clumsy and probably not as pleasing to heard sung.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Honestly, I just think the lyrics are clumsy and probably not as pleasing to heard sung.
I always remember you didn’t like the baroque-ness of it all, or just the words. I think it really feels organic, certainly at least coming from Karen. She complicates the meaning of it all. The only odd lyric for me is “re-be his lover” which is something that people might say casually but isn’t a “proper” statement, but I think that’s okay. I like the casualness of it and it feels specific and individualized to the narrator.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
I have Tryin’ to Get the Feelin’ Again on my Horizon playlist and I have to say I’m really happy the tape was lost back in ‘75 to be rediscovered twenty years later because the updated, harder edged 90s flavor likely helped it from sounding lukewarm. But also Karen’s incredible vocal sounds different than the other ballads, her phrasing isn’t of that overly smooth variety I bitched about earlier. Was it because it was a work lead?
Richard and I have talked about the resurfacing of the master and the opportunity it gave him to finally get the arrangement that he wanted. He wasn't sure what to do with it in '75, and of course confirms that whatever he would have come up with back then, it wouldn't have sounded anything like what he ultimately came up with in '94.

As for the phrasing of the song, it's more or less baked into the composition of the tune itself, and something that has always sounded a little "off" to me. I've never particularly cared for this one and only listen to it about every third blue moon.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Richard and I have talked about the resurfacing of the master and the opportunity it gave him to finally get the arrangement that he wanted. He wasn't sure what to do with it in '75, and of course confirms that whatever he would have come up with back then, it wouldn't have sounded anything like what he ultimately came up with in '94.

As for the phrasing of the song, it's more or less baked into the composition of the tune itself, and something that has always sounded a little "off" to me. I've never particularly cared for this one and only listen to it about every third blue moon.
I imagine it would’ve been something much more sparse, without much steady building towards the kind of guitar fuzz climax we get. It sounds contemporary and fresh without resorting to anything too mid90s grunge or the like, which would sound dated soon. Some sounds from that era hold up, but for me it’s more engaging in a time capsule kind of way given how wildly different the late 90s sounded.

Interesting that the song has its detractors. I get it, but I think it’s all pulled together so well. It has the chill factor Richard searched for post 1974 especially (there’s a fascinating mix of tones and textures), and Karen doesn’t sound like she’s doing a rough cut at all. Possibly her performance sticks out to me because I take issue with her vocal style in ‘75 on some other tracks and this feels like her old self with an even greater maturity. I like that the composition got her to alter her phrasing a bit (“at an-y moment…but baby be-lieve me…” ) and overall she sounds much more engaged than on, say Caught Between GBAILY or LMFWIA.
 
Top Bottom