• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline! The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy will be available on November 16, 2021 and 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 being released January 14, 2022, and is available for ordering here.

⭐ Official Review [Album]: "LIVE IN JAPAN" (GSW 301/2 (LP), D50Y3155 (CD))

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 7 23.3%
  • ****

    Votes: 10 33.3%
  • ***

    Votes: 11 36.7%
  • **

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • *

    Votes: 1 3.3%

  • Total voters
    30

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
What am I missing?
I did not gather that meaning from my reading of Coleman.
I need to do some re-reading!
Thanks!
 

Joeyesterday

Well-Known Member
Do you think the other live tapes Richard had in his possession still exist or did they burn up in the fire as well?....and Chris, if you get another interview with Richard, please ask him. Thanks.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
" Both Richard and Karen demanded perfection from them on stage every night and
berated them for any flaw in their performance." ( Carpenters' touring band, page 119)
"When a note, a song, a routine, an announcement or a beat was out of step, Richard lost no time after the show in
hectoring the culprit. Equally, he and Karen would let fly at each other in such inquests
."
Quoted from Coleman Biography.
Hollywood Reporter: " Serious, often to the point of stage personality restriction, but, understandably so."
Coleman, page 122: Richard's insistence that their concert sound should reproduce the Carpenter's records
was made abundantly clear to the drummer who replaced Jim Squeglia in early 1973, Cubby O'Brien.
Richard Carpenter (1976): " I've always been concerned that we've not been accepted in concert as well as on record."
"There are people out there who don't sing as well as we do, haven't had our amount of hits, who aren't a
fraction as well known as us, but thet're getting the audiences going.
Thus far, we have failed in that direction. (page 223 Coleman)
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
Do you think the other live tapes Richard had in his possession still exist or did they burn up in the fire as well?....and Chris, if you get another interview with Richard, please ask him. Thanks.

To my knowledge Richard has all of the live stuff. It was studio multi-tracks that were temporarily moved to LA and stored there that were subsequently destroyed.
 

Joeyesterday

Well-Known Member
To my knowledge Richard has all of the live stuff. It was studio multi-tracks that were temporarily moved to LA and stored there that were subsequently destroyed.
Wow. A live collection for the 50th Anniversary would be great ... But I want it now!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
SO funny you mention this. I was going to also remark on the drumming. I HATE the live drums on much of their stuff (save for Karen's work of course). Those drum fills and even the timbre and tone was almost bombastic and downright ridiculous. They're over-played and just cheesy, which is why the above remarks never, ever made any sense to me! Did I miss something?

You nailed it Chris. Again, another reason why I don't like the live albums. Cubby O'Brien went way over the top in their shows and on TV appearances like the 'Tonight Show' in 1978. I thought Richard insisted on a note-for-note reproduction of their sound on stage? Well, that's not what the drum sound ended up when they played live.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I'm glad you all brought this up because I too thought Cubby went over the top on drumming, maybe Richard was looking for a more rock sound? If you listen and watch Karen's drumming in the yearly years before Cubby came on board, it was just the right amount of drum sound not too soft and not too loud. The tonight show is a perfect example of that especially with the medley ending. I guess I can understand it in the live shows because you want to reach that sound to the entire audience (even the people in the back and up in the balcony) but when listening to live material on CD's were all on the front row :laugh: and it's a bit too powerful at times.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Very interesting observations, Chris and Stephen !
And, yet, notice that Cubby O'Brien is credited (only)
for the song "Sandy" on the Hush album.
He also does drum work on Christmas Portrait,
although I cannot discern which songs he drums on.
Well, between concerts and studio recordings, I remain
perplexed at the decisions made regarding Drumming duties.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I like what Cubby (and Tony) brought to the live shows. They needed some flashes of "zip" to stop the show from being all soft music.
 

Guitarmutt

Well-Known Member
I'm glad you all brought this up because I too thought Cubby went over the top on drumming, maybe Richard was looking for a more rock sound? If you listen and watch Karen's drumming in the yearly years before Cubby came on board, it was just the right amount of drum sound not too soft and not too loud. The tonight show is a perfect example of that especially with the medley ending. I guess I can understand it in the live shows because you want to reach that sound to the entire audience (even the people in the back and up in the balcony) but when listening to live material on CD's were all on the front row :laugh: and it's a bit too powerful at times.
Well, it's live. You want to make an impression! It's a moment in time face to face. That's how you generate excitement. You dig in, you play harder. A lot of live playing does not involve subtlety, for better or worse. Your choice. If you're playing in the moment, you can't worry about the listeners 30 years later.

Rich did apologize for some of the bombast on 'As Time Goes By' in the liner notes, as being a live thing. I think that says it all. It is what it is.
 
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Jeff

Well-Known Member
Change of heart and after the Plalladium spin day last i revise to give JAPAN the 4 as voted and London Palladium will come in at 3. More exuberance in the japanese effort where the Ken and Mitzi welch thing offered little more than rush thru singles medley, Warsaw Concerto, drum rata a tat tat and althought this is the general quality of my Feb 17 , 1978 last concert and saubsequent meeting it lacked the charge of the earlier effort.

Jeff
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
As of October 1976, Fan Club Newsletter #50,
Live In Japan earned Gold Record Status
through King Records in Japan.
Correct me if wrong,
isn't that sales of 200,000 copies ?

Total (all artists and formats):
Unit Sales 1975 was 203,665,000.
Unit Sales 1976 was 231,341,000.
http://www.riaj.or.jp/e/data/quantity/
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Live In Japan has Medley's occupying 43.71% of total Concert Time,
Live At The Palladium has Medley's at 53.61% of total Concert Time.
If one continues that trend, eventually the entire concert would become a Medley !
But, taking a more serious approach, my own feeling is:
cut down on the Medleys.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Another question:
On the Live In Japan Album (and cd)
the Oldies Medley is immediately preceded by Hurting Each Other,
itself preceded by Yesterday Once More.
The Video of Live at Budokan goes directly from Yesterday Once More
to the Oldies Medley. (No Hurting Each Other sandwiched in-between).
Any thoughts ?
( I'm assuming this is an edit from the concert for the Album/CD ?).
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Richard Carpenter:
"Not many live shows were recorded, only two: 'Live in Japan' (1974)
and 'Live at the Palladium' (1976). Both have been released on CD,
but the former will probably be easier to obtain.
Japan is the source to look for both .
These were never released in the U.S.
at my request,
as I'm just not much on live albums by anybody."
 

aaflyer98

Well-Known Member
Richard Carpenter:
"Not many live shows were recorded, only two: 'Live in Japan' (1974)
and 'Live at the Palladium' (1976). Both have been released on CD,
but the former will probably be easier to obtain.
Japan is the source to look for both .
These were never released in the U.S.
at my request,
as I'm just not much on live albums by anybody."

See the power he had? Even when a "Live" album had the potential to make money for the label? Apparently Karen should have grabbed her power by the horns in 1980. Aw...sad.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Listened to the Vinyl Japan Concert, this morn:
Certain things which strike me about this Concert Recording....
first, it seems as is they 'race' through the songs,each a tad fast for me.
The drums on Top of The World are a bit different compared with the studio recording.
The (fine) Saxophone use on Jambalaya is a bit saltier, jazzier, in this Concert.
And, still, I get a charge out of the intro "...ladies and gentlemen....The Carpenters..."

As Coleman recounts (from Doug Strawn, page 119):
"...she'd persist on doing (singing) it her way, and Richard would
be back stage wailing. Toward the end of Rainy Days she'd take her pause to the maximum,
and they'd get into a shouting match."
Thus, there may be merit to the view that without the control
--as can be exercised in the studio as contrasted with 'Live' spontaneity--
of the vocal sound, there would be resistance to release of (more) Concert material.
(Are there any extant documents presenting Karen's view on releasing "live" material ?).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
As Coleman recounts (from Doug Strawn, page 119):
"...she'd persist on doing (singing) it her way, and Richard would be back stage wailing. Toward the end of Rainy Days she'd take her pause to the maximum, and they'd get into a shouting match."

The pause at that moment is one of the best things about Karen when singing Rainy Days live. The longer she held it the better. I don't know why Richard kicked up such a fuss.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I saw virtually every iteration of their live show, and in virtually every case, they raced through the songs. It's one of the things that always bothered me about their live shows and recordings. We saw the Valley Forge Music Fair (PA) version of the same concert as LIVE IN JAPAN and they raced through the songs the same way.

And as for the long pauses and embellishments on songs, I never cared for those either. Frankly, I've never cared much for ANYONE's live recordings, always preferring the way a recording could be perfected in the studio.

Harry
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Was this a purposeful intent ? That is, 'racing' through the songs in Concert--was that
a format specifically chosen to de-accentuate the ballad (i.e., slower) nature of many of their songs,
and thus keep the audience alert?
What would Solitaire have been sped up to--if performed in concert ?
Concert Medleys, also, are rather brisk--and, if memory serves, Richard wanted it that way---but, in the end
he realized opposite in referring to the Medley recorded for the Tan Album.
( "My regret is that we didn’t, I guess couldn’t, take the time and record the entire medley at the proper tempos,
along with an orchestration I had fashioned. What’s on the album is very polished, but just too fast."Richard Carpenter).
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Speeding through songs is sometimes considered to be a dubious sign of accomplishment. "Look how fast I can play this song."

I also think that in a concert setting, speeds increase with nervousness, and not with any forethought or intentions.

Harry
 
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