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[Album] Karen Carpenter

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Kacfan

Active Member
He mentioned them as an influence I believe in an 80s interview.
I watched two 80’s mj tv interviews on YouTube around the time he died, no way I can find them now. In one of them, he mentioned that he liked to listen to the carpenters. In another one, he talked about hearing Karen’s passing on the news and calling a friend to let him know.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I watched two 80’s mj tv interviews on YouTube around the time he died, no way I can find them now. In one of them, he mentioned that he liked to listen to the carpenters. In another one, he talked about hearing Karen’s passing on the news and calling a friend to let him know.
I didn’t see the second one, but it shows that he did feel some kind of connection to Karen and her music if he did that. And I believe they did meet in 1979 in NYC during her recording.
 

Kacfan

Active Member
I didn’t see the second one, but it shows that he did feel some kind of connection to Karen and her music if he did that. And I believe they did meet in 1979 in NYC during her recording.
Oh yes that is right, they met in 1979. I think anyone with sadness in their heart is likely to be touched by Karen. And Michael definitely had sadness in his heart. His brothers also mentioned carpenters as an influence on the jackson five harmonies.
 

Kacfan

Active Member
'Gone Too Soon': The Many Lives of Michael Jackson's Elegy note this paragraph:
Warwick proceeded to sing a moving rendition of a song co-written by Buz Kohan and Larry Grossman. It was called "Gone Too Soon."

Jackson said he wept as he watched. He had grown up with the music of the Carpenters. Their songs were part of his DNA. But that song—there was something deeper about it that he connected to.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
It seems to me that the overall viewpoint has boiled down to this:
No matter what Karen Carpenter would have released in 1980,
her solo album would have gotten little, if any, airplay.
Then, the issue of whether or not the material is suitable, and suitable for her vocal range becomes, a moot point.
But, we can say more than that-- given the tenor of radio from the mid-70's onward:
No matter what the Carpenters would have released, the outcome for their career would have been the same.
So, whether songs such as: A Kind of Hush, Goofus, Occupant, or, Beechwood 4-5789
mattered--or not (should have been recorded and released as singles)
becomes a moot point, because NOTHING would have gotten airplay-- regardless of how good or bad it was.
That is a sad commentary, indeed.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
There are two important facts that make the argument:

1. All of the groups you mentioned were still "hot" at the time of the solo ventures. Carpenters were cold and getting colder at the time Karen did her album. When the Beatles were breaking up, they were still top of the charts with every release.

2. She still had that nasty "image" problem, deserved or not, and the style of their music only enhanced it. The artists you mentioned were still "red hot" and didn't have that issue.

If you've never heard Chris May's "The Download" podcast interviews with John Bettis, I highly recommend a listen. In the second part, he goes into great detail about why Karen's album was not released, and it had nothing to do with any gratitude for sales, or about anybody's feelings. It wasn't released because they didn't think it would sell.
THEIR loss! And they undoubtedly regret that decision now. It’s a great album and it’s EXACTLY what Karen and the ‘Carpenters’ brand needed at that very moment.

GRAVE ERROR.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
It seems to me that the overall viewpoint has boiled down to this:
No matter what Karen Carpenter would have released in 1980,
her solo album would have gotten little, if any, airplay.
Then, the issue of whether or not the material is suitable, and suitable for her vocal range becomes, a moot point.
But, we can say more than that-- given the tenor of radio from the mid-70's onward:
No matter what the Carpenters would have released, the outcome for their career would have been the same.
So, whether songs such as: A Kind of Hush, Goofus, Occupant, or, Beechwood 4-5789
mattered--or not (should have been recorded and released as singles)
becomes a moot point, because NOTHING would have gotten airplay-- regardless of how good or bad it was.
That is a sad commentary, indeed.
I disagree completely! They had a number 16 hit that got plenty of airplay just one year later. And that same tune (TMWWD) was NUMBER ONE on the AC chart for many weeks.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Plenty of airplay ? How is that 'plenty' determined ? My recollection of that time period begs to differ.
Yes, there was airplay, simply not enough to make a dent in their career. Only Yesterday sold 600,000 copies (peak #4),
Touch Me When We're Dancing is lucky if it managed to sell 150,000 copies.

Year-End stats for 1981:
Top 200 Singles, Touch Me When We're Dancing comes in at #120.
Algorithm: " by combining data from the respective singles charts of Billboard, Cash Box, and Music Vendor/Record World magazines.
... rankings through a point system based on a single's peak position and weeks on the chart. "
Source:
https://rateyourmusic.com/list/goldwax317/the_top_200_hits_of_1981/2/
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
At our radio station, "Touch Me When We're Dancing" got a small bit of airplay while it was on the charts, and once it started to drop - off! Never to be heard from again. Stations only grudgingly played it due to its chart action. and then relegated it to the dustbin of history.

Doesn't this thread all sound very familiar? Same posters, same thoughts, same characters, same story. Only the evil witch Agnes hasn't shown up yet. Nor will she. Thread closed.
 
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