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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)

    13 vote(s)
  2. ****

    37 vote(s)
  3. ***

    11 vote(s)
  4. **

    8 vote(s)
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
  1. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Fantastic album! How Richard managed to create a cohesive statement from this disparate pieces, I'll never know. Great tunes with only a couple of duds that are still interesting to hear regardless. Richard's remixes of the solo tracks make sense too. The album design is also aces. Excellent record!

    byline, BarryT60 and GaryAlan like this.
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Makes me wonder if the Coleman quote was actually written by Coleman or dictated verbatim by Richard. It comes across as so self-gratifying.

    Whoever thinks they are 'inferior' needs to get their ears cleaned out. They're the best thing about the whole album! Rolling Stone got it spot on. Wonder what Richard thinks of their review?
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
    GaryAlan likes this.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Billboard Magazine, December 20,1986, page 65:
    Picks--Records with the greatest chart potential....
    Adult Contemporary:
    Honolulu City Lights
    "Import airplay prompted release of this orchestrated
    country/MOR ballad, previously unavailable in the U.S.,
    a flashback to calmer days."
    Must Hear This Album likes this.
  4. Nessie

    Nessie New Member

    This is up there again as one of my fav albums.
    IF I HAD YOU - incredible production and vocal harmonies I love to TRY and sing along to!!!!
  5. Out of all the post-apocalyptic releases, don't you think there is one great album if the right group of songs were put together? "Lovelines" is has some good stuff and some mediocre stuff. "When I Fall in Love" does not have the superb quality of "I Can Dream Can't I?" It does not fit with the contemporary sound of this album. "Little Girl Blue" is slightly better, but still does not fit. "The Univited Guest" is a gem like "One More Time" or "Two Sides." I'm going to listen to it again tonight.
    BarryT60 likes this.
  6. I have wondered how Rolling Stone defines "soul" and why all music has to have "soul" as they define it. "A Song for You" makes me cry. So does it have soul? "Rainy Days and Mondays" send chills up my spine. Does it have soul? "Desperado" makes me think, "God, does it get any better than this?" So does it have soul? Probaly not because the tempo is too slow? Not enough drums? Not enough...I'm sorry, Rolling Stone, but Karen showed her soul even when she sang "Sing."
    AnnaSock, BarryT60 and song4u like this.
  7. I need to learn to spell the word "probably." Sorry, folks.
  8. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    Don't ever let anyone or anything else, especially Rolling Stone(!), define your definition or appreciation of anything artistic. They have their platform; you have yours. We just can't keep on worrying about what others said! Just go with what you feel. Your compass is enough.
  9. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    Soul is Deeper than definition. I don't understand either, but I know that I don't know; I just feel or I don't feel something from the art, and that, for me, is enough!

    After all, that is what remains: the art!
    GaryAlan likes this.
  10. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    That's why I love these boards- the diversity of opinion on tracks. IMHO, "When I Fall in Love" is much stronger than "Little Girl Blue".
  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    that would make an interesting Poll/Survey Question:
    Which song, between When I Fall In Love and Little Girl Blue, off of Lovelines,
    is preferred?
    Both, according to Richard Carpenter, performed/recorded for the 1978 Space Encounters TV Special (air date May 17th)
    Looking at the credits on the Album I find,
    Peter Knight arranged and Orchestrated Both.
    Drums: Cubby O'Brien,
    Harp: Gayle Levant,
    Bass: Joe Osborn,
    Keyboards:Richard Carpenter.

    I (re)listened to both songs, closely, today.
    My preference is "Little Girl Blue",
    Karen seems to have opportunity of a wider vocal range on this song,
    and I love the Harp which weaves in and out.
    But, it is a tough choice !
  12. mr J.

    mr J. Active Member

    Did you get the term apocalyptic confused with posthumous?

    An Old Fashioned Christmas is the great posthumous album that you are referring to.Voice Of The Heart and Lovelines both contain some of K&R's best work-along with some mediocre material.

    Richard had twenty+ tracks to choose from when he assembled Voice Of The Heart.The tracks that weren't included on VOTH in 1983 were already destined for the final album-which became Lovelines.

    BTW- Welcome to the forum!

  13. mr J.

    mr J. Active Member

    "Little Girl Blue" is one of Karen's finest performances-and it highlights Karen's affinity for jazz singing(notice the time signatures). One of Peter Knight's best arrangements for K&R,also.
  14. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    I have to say that 'Little Girl Blue' is probably my least favourite track on Lovelines. Karen's reading of it is very well done, but I find the ostentatious arrangement to be too much and it's far inferior to their lovely take on 'I Can Dream Can't I?'

    The first version of the song I heard was by Diana Ross on her Touch Me in the Morning album, which has a far simpler arrangement that I still find easier to listen to now.
    Mark-T likes this.
  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    This is somewhat interesting, regarding the song Little Girl Blue:

    Alec Wilder, in his book American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950, describes Rodgers’ melody: “‘Little Girl Blue,’ a verseless song with an added ‘trio’ in ¾ time, has an odd shape, A-A-B/A, in which the A’s are twelve measures long and the B/A only eight. It’s another loving, tender song, containing in its simplicity only one note out of the F major scale, a c sharp. In it Rodgers once more uses the by now familiar device of returning to the same notes. In this case they are three f’s. He moves from the first three to a d, from the second three to a c, and from the third three to a b flat.”

    And of Hart’s lyrics Wilder says, “Only a master such as Hart was would have dared to begin a lyric so prosaically and know that its effect would be poetic: ‘Sit there and count your fingers, what can you do?’ And the next time he totally captivates by saying: ‘Sit there and count the raindrops falling on you.’”

    Hart was unquestionably a genius with words. Philip Furia analyzes “Little Girl Blue” in his book The Poets of Tin Pan Alley: A History of America’s Great Lyricists. “Hart’s characteristic stance in these lyrics is a tenderly masochistic one, underscored by subtly oppressive rhymes that unfold from the most ordinary turns of phrase.... In a line like ‘No use, old girl,’ Hart uses Rodgers’ octave drop in ‘No use’ to emphasize ‘u’ enough so that it rhymes softly, but insistently, with ‘blue.’ In between those rhymes he deftly strings a sequence of double rhymes:

    You may as well surrender,
    Your hope is getting slender.
    Why won’t somebody send a tender
    Blue boy
    To cheer a
    Little girl blue?

    As the double rhymes come more quickly--‘send a/tender’--they underscore the motif of passing time which runs throughout the song.”

    William Zinsser in his book Easy to Remember further praises Hart’s lyrics: “Among their many felicities of language, their internal rhymes and repetitions, these lyrics are deeply musical, perfectly tuned to the melodic line.”
  16. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I think 'Little Girl Blue' is the weakest song on the whole album and I never listen to it. Richard said it "befittingly closes 'Lovelines'". I'd disagree, it's a standard yes, but a total sleeper of a recording. A forerunner to the schmaltz that would plague them from the MIA sessions onwards.
  17. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I skip it quite often as well.
  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Fantastic input regarding this album. Really gets me to thinking.
    The song I often skip is "Slow Dance", it simply does not resonate with me.
    Of course, I love the Four taken from the Solo album.
    The two left-over from the MIA Sessions (Kiss Me, Uninvited Guest) are much better than many included on that recording.
    Where Do I Go From Here and Your'e The One are incredible on all fronts.
    I love Honolulu City Lights....especially in light of the 'unsweetened' version....Karen's, "That was good"...an understatement.
    And, then the two from the TV Recordings, arranged by Peter Knight...Little Girl Blue and When I Fall In Love.
    I must say, out of the entire album, Slow Dance and When I Fall In Love are the two I listen to least.
    But, given the entirety of the album, a very interesting accomplishment.
    Too bad there was no inner sleeve with lyrics and photos.
    Too bad there was so little marketing, although I guess the TV Movie was taking up Richard's time.
    I notice that much more time was spent on Television from 1976 onward, the Weintraub Management style....
    ....and taking time away from the recording studio.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  19. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    I never skip 'Little Girl Blue' :hide:

    This song now reminds me of the blue cover of Randy's book (which I love and have a poster of) I also envision myself on a carousel at Disney World and I'm sitting on the prettiest horse (a pure white one with flowing mane with lots of ribbons and I'm being a kid at heart) and I'm hearing Karen sing this....
  20. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    I was trying to decide where to post this and I guess Lovelines is the right place since it's from this album the song charted. I've been reading Billboard Magazines lately online (free pdf files) not all years are available but most and it's been fascinating reading through them since I was not a collector or ever picked up this magazine.

    Check out this scan I took from Billboard Magazine Hot Adult Contemporary Top 50 songs for week ending Jan 13, 1990


    Page 15 shows this:
    If I Had You (obviously from Lovelines but one of Karen's solo tracks)
    Hit's #21 this week and it was 21 again the prior week, so #21 and weeks on the chart is 8
    It would be cool to see prior issues of Billboard from late 1989 to see how it charted.

    But this is amazing, how one of Karen's solo tracks charted this well on Billboard, it makes me excited to think if her solo album had been released could it have reached #1 on Billboard, with proper promotion.

    Oh and another cool thing, Karen and Olivia both on the charts in 1990 how cool is that, Olivia is #50 with "Reach Out For Me"

  21. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    I was giddy at this charting then and now. Ta think! My TOWER RECORDS operative supplied IF HAD YOU on promo cassette as well as promo cd. I felt elated and certainly Karen did too from her listening post. If memory serves I think that maybe the tune charted even higher than 21. Could be mistaken but I remember being flabbergasted at its success and yes indeeddeedoo airplay.

  22. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    WOW! I never realised this song crept up to #21 on Billboard! It reached #18 at its peak (according to wikipedia), which answers Jeff's question above and also yours Chris :)

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
    BarryT60 likes this.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    And, if one takes a good look, and listen, to the songs on the above Billboard Chart---
    Karen Carpenter's If I Had You---is superior( in many,many ways) to most of those tunes!
    A&M Marketing, please!
    Don't ever forget those sage words: "...not a hit on that album..."
  24. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    AHA! Thanks cuz upon a smoky recollection I was unsure if the brain cells sparked accordingly regarding chart action.
  25. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    The wonderful Ned Nickerson on Youtube has a Television Spot for the Album:
    Don Malcolm and Jeff like this.

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