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Official Review [Album]: "LOVELINES" (SP-3931)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Oct 31, 2013.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    12 vote(s)
  2. ****

    36 vote(s)
  3. ***

    9 vote(s)
  4. **

    8 vote(s)
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
  1. Lovelines is the superior of the posthumous releases. This album was SO GOOD compared to Voice of the Heart (which I rank down around A Kind of Hush). At least four potential single releases on that album. This should have been the album (sans Karen solo songs) that came out in '83 instead of the weak, VOH.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  2. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Richard, I think, from things I read and watched, he was trying to put together 2 albums to satisfy a contract with A&M. It would have been nice to have them in a different order, but thankfully we have them, and it seems people have been asking for Thank You For The Music since 1999 according to the last get together that is now on YouTube.
  3. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    I think most fans agree that the cold ending of 'If I Had You' on the remix on Lovelines is an improvement on the original version, but I think it's important not to over-state the amount of work that was done to the four solo tracks on the album. Richard didn't do anything to 'If We Try' or 'Remember When Lovin'...', and his remix of 'Lovelines' is a bit mixed - it's nice to hear Karen's vocals a bit more upfront, but it also takes away the slightly dream-like feel of the original mix that's quite key to the song's arrangement, and the editing down of it by over a minute seems unnecessary.

    The same is true of his remix of 'My Body Keeps Changing My Mind' on From the Top - it's interesting to hear, but I don't think it really makes any improvements compared to the original mix.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation and GaryAlan like this.
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I remember reading that My Body Keeps Changing My Mind was slated to be the opening track on side 2 of the album, until he changed his mind and picked Remember When Lovin’ Took All Night. I think he made the right decision on that. The former is too out-and-out disco for the album and would have spoiled the theme and great sequencing.
  5. LondonRobert

    LondonRobert Active Member

    I really like the lovelines album but i do slightly prefer VOH. Lovelines feels as though it's tracks from all different time periods and to me a little bit like it doesnt flow that well. However, VOH feels like an album that was conceived and when i bought it when it came out i had no idea it wasn't all new tracks that were unreleased and ready for a new album.
  6. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    “Body” and Loveliness” are the only Richard remixes I don’t love. He just slathered reverb on “Body” and he edited down “Loveliness”. I do like that he moved her lead vocal further forward as leaving it where it was feels like a mistake and not an artistic decision. “If I Had You” is far better. He replaced the lead (as you said) and came up with an actual ending as opposed to the rather lazy fade-out on the solo album. I never listen to that version.

  7. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    It must be people's computers or phones set to "auto-correct" but I REALLY dislike reading posts where "Lovelines" has an extra "s" on the end, making it a completely different word, "Loveliness".
  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    It is the auto correct. My phone tries to correct it every time, but I always manually change it as “Loveliness” is a pet peeve of mine too :)
  9. motownboy

    motownboy Active Member

    I actually like Richard's mixes of the solo album tracks better than the originals. I am surprised that the song "Lovelines" in it's original mix was used because you can barely hear Karen on the verses. It is Karen's voice that draws one in to the song. What I don't like about the solo album version of MBKCMM is that slap echo given to some of the instruments. Richard gave it a lush more exciting mix, which to me, is more in keeping with the mood of the song. Still I can enjoy both the original and Richard's mixes.
  10. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Richard just bathed the whole thing in reverb which, to my ears, is far more unpleasant. I do agree that the drums could use something to make it sound a bit more upfront and less pristine but drowning the whole thing in hall reverb wasn't it.

    newvillefan likes this.
  11. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    I recall seeing an article and posting on here that Karen met one of the writers of the song in Vegas in '75 when the song was written and performed by the lady in question. Karen always liked it and presumably brought it to the table in early '80 when they were planning MIA.

    As for the BG vocals, I get the impression that there's "some BG Karen" but not all. At times it seems it's just Richard, at times she's doubled, and also Siedah Garrett does a great job of mimicking her style.

    I would have released this as the last single from MIA ( replacing TGOD and Beechwood). You could also edit out 15 secs between 2:33 - 2:48 which would have made it more radio friendly and brought it in at around 3:45.

    I really like it.
    goodjeans and Mark-T like this.
  12. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Siedah Garrett is an amazing session singer and songwriter. She wrote “Man In The Mirror” and was told by Quincy Jones when she presented the cassette to him that it was the best song he had heard in ten years.

    I don’t think it’s any coincidence that she sounds like Karen. She probably did that intentionally. She was a master at mimicking Michael Jackson as well. If you listen to their duet on I Just Can’t Stop Loving You, it’s sometimes difficult to tell whether it’s her or Michael singing.

    Kiss Me is a firm favourite of mine too Neil :righton:
    ThaFunkyFakeTation and Mark-T like this.
  13. LondonRobert

    LondonRobert Active Member

    That's the main thing I don't like about the remixes. Richard lost the true, natural, uniqueness of that voice in its honest delivery when he smothered it in reverb and echo. I won't last a day at the beginning just has a huge amount of reverb.
    I was excited to get now and then side 2 without the dj but then its got the awful artificial kick drum and tons of reverb.
  14. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Karen's definitely back there on "Kiss Me". Siedah was used like Carolyn Dennis was - an additional texture that worked incredibly well. The string arrangement is just made for the elevator, though, and it ensures that it never would have gotten on the radio at that point had it been released. I like the tune but I'd like it a whole lot better if it were stripped of some of that production.

    newvillefan likes this.
  15. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Karen had me at the opening line.
    goodjeans likes this.
  16. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    The opening lines of this and Look To Your Dreams are very similar.

    - “To say I’m romantic would be quite semantically true”
    - “Serenade me by the light of the moon/let’s sing and dance as lovers do”

    Both songs start out with rhyming lyrics about love, romance and serenades - but they take off in two completely different directions. The former is wistful, heavy with choir and features a downbeat chorus and doleful interpretation by Karen. The latter, on the other hand, features a sparkling arrangement, a sensuous lead, great backing vocals (thankfully including Karen, which makes all the difference) and a great, soaring hook in the chorus.

    Imagine if Richard had included Kiss Me on the 1983 album and given it the same arrangement as Look To Your Dreams, with the syrupy choir and all? It would have completely killed the song. This is what I meant the other day when I posted about the 1989 album - and Richard’s production of it - having benefited from a healthy distance from Karen’s death and how that made it a much better collection.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
    Mark-T likes this.
  17. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I wholeheartedly agree!
  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Again, this is analogous to comparing apples to oranges:
    Look To Your Dreams was finally recorded during the Christmas Portrait sessions,
    as it was composed/written in 1974, it was arranged by Peter Knight.
    The song was most certainly given its sequential placement on the VOH album intentionally--
    that is, as the final song of the album,
    with the addition of the piano solo and chorus (OK Chorale) ---both added on in 1983....
    Rumbahbah likes this.
  19. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. The ornate arrangement of 'Look to Your Dreams' was clearly deliberate in keeping with its slightly 'show tune' feel and was quite appropriate both for the song itself and for its placement as the final song on Voice of the Heart.

    'Kiss Me...' wasn't that sort of song and wouldn't have worked at all with that arrangement - indeed, as ThaFunkyFakeTation noted earlier, it would probably have benefited from an even leaner production than it was given to remove some of the MOR feeling that is evident. It's a step in the right direction production-wise, but would have been all the better if more restraint had been shown (ironically, I think the same is true of the production on the similar-sounding 'Touch Me When We're Dancing').
    ThaFunkyFakeTation and GaryAlan like this.
  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    That’s my point though - the finishing touches were put together in 1983 and given that treatment for inclusion on the album once Karen was gone. When they originally recorded it in 1978, it would have consisted of just bass, drums and piano and probably sounded very different. If he’d finished it off in 1989, who knows what it would have sounded like.
    GaryAlan likes this.
  21. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    All of the stuff from "Made in America" is atrociously overproduced. The songs can't breathe underneath the stuff Richard suffocated them with. Everything's got an orchestration - even "Want You Back" which is an 80's dance thing. It's not just a string issue, though that's most of it. Richard just wouldn't allow the songs to stand on their own on this record. Worse yet, Karen as the centerpiece of very little of it. She was a cog in the machine. That's certainly true of "Kiss Me" from "Lovelines".

    newvillefan likes this.
  22. arthowson

    arthowson Active Member

    I wish there was a way to remove the "Just Okay Chorale" from all of their songs!!!
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  23. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Six o'clock in the morning and I've got LOVELINES starting my day. The Uninvited Guest still knocks my socks off!
    LondonRobert and newvillefan like this.
  24. LondonRobert

    LondonRobert Active Member

    Definitely, I agree. The Uninvited Guest is my favourite track on the album
    Jeff likes this.
  25. I think Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night is absolutely perfect the way it is.

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