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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 14 18.7%
  • ****

    Votes: 41 54.7%
  • ***

    Votes: 12 16.0%
  • **

    Votes: 7 9.3%
  • *

    Votes: 1 1.3%

  • Total voters
    75

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I remember grabbing two copies of LOVELINES on vinyl, both promos, from the radio station that didn't want them. Years later, I gave one of them away to some online fan who really wanted one, so I now have just the one.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I had a friend who ordered his vinyl from a mall record store pre-internet, when a good record store / owner was worth its weight. I was happy with a CD! Still am over vinyl. With a good player and amp / speakers the warmth can be reproduced without pops, etc. I understand the value of vinyl but prefer CD. All this to say that it was not easy to find for Lovelines.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Lucky for me that I managed a local mom and pop record store back then. I bought the cd and the vinyl, but the vinyl is still sealed. The only lp I only have the one copy of other than Old Fashioned Christmas. Both kind of hard to find now. I’ll play the one from the box set instead. Pops and all.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I bought ‘Lovelines’ on CD the day it was released. I purchased my vinyl copy about a week later at the same store (Peaches Records). Guess I was one of the lucky ones! I think they just had the one copy.
 

Proudofyou

Active Member
I was studying in London and told my classmates I was going to the HMV in like Trafalgar or something (don't remember). I didn't tell them why I was going. Got it and was thrilled. That album always reminds me of the only thing that made me happy in that crappy dorm room. London was of course the best....just not the living arrangement.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
This has been discussed previously, but I confess to still being confused:
Are there two completely different "takes" of
If I Had You ?
And,
if that be the case, are there different "takes" of more (released and/or unreleased) solo songs ?

As much as I love the Lovelines version of the song,
if you take notice of what Karen is doing in the solo version,
her vocals are every bit as breathtaking.
The more I listen to the song (either version), the more I love it.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Are there two completely different "takes" of If I Had You ?
During recording sessions, it’s extremely rare than an entire lead vocal would be recorded in one take, and especially on a track as complex as this. Sure, Karen did it on Superstar, but this album was something completely different. There are so many layers to this song it’s unreal. On all of the multitracks from the solo album, there will be hundreds of drop ins and alternate snippets of vocals that Karen laid down while recording all of the tracks over a 12 month period. It’s likely therefore that for the Lovelines version, Richard went back in and trawled through the multitracks looking for alternate vocal takes that he felt were better than what he heard on the original track, in order to construct a new version. As is well documented, he’s done this many times before on Carpenters tracks, in his endless search for perfection. We hear alternate lines on tracks such as A Song For You, Maybe It’s You and I Believe You.

This is obliquely referred to in Little Girl Blue, when Randy talked about Phil Ramone being afraid that “Karen’s vision for the solo recordings might be lost if the entire project were subjected to this form of musical facelift”.
 
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Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
The album is totally worth it based on three great Karen vocalizations; You're The One (#2 on my all-time greatest Karen performance list), When I Fall In Love (breathtakingly beautiful rendition of an old standard), Where Do I Go From Here? (a gem introduced from the TV movie).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
^^^ I’ve mentioned this before but when I saw the “10 previously unreleased tracks” description in the album liner notes, I always assumed it meant the two songs that were featured in The Karen Carpenter Story (as in, I’d already heard them in the movie). You have to remember that we didn’t get the movie in the UK until December 31, 1989. It wasn’t until years later I realised the album came out before the movie in the US and that Richard was actually referring to Honolulu City Lights and Slow Dance, released in 1986 and 1987 respectively.
 
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Jarred

Well-Known Member
The album is totally worth it based on three great Karen vocalizations; You're The One (#2 on my all-time greatest Karen performance list), When I Fall In Love (breathtakingly beautiful rendition of an old standard), Where Do I Go From Here? (a gem introduced from the TV movie).
I’d include her reading of Little Girl Blue. I heard it just the other night and it does what the best of Karen’s vocals do, it takes me away, gets me lost in another world and offers up a lot of clues without much firm, solid insight into the narrator whom she’s “playing”. Her gift of not honing the edges of a lyric yet still allowing us the presence of her soul, as translucent as it may be, is what makes her artistry fascinating. She’s at once longing for us to notice her and her pain, but never for a second does it come at the expense of being a selfless narrator of the lyric and music. Karen is at once inchoate and full-bodied, and she offers up this paradox to the listener’s own primal, human existence.

(I’d also say that all of her performances on this album are incredibly top notch and rank aside her best.)
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
^^^ I’ve mentioned this before but when I saw the “10 previously unreleased tracks” description in the album liner notes, I always assumed it meant the two songs that were featured in The Karen Carpenter Story (as in, I’d already heard them in the movie). You have to remember that we didn’t get the movie in the UK until December 31, 1989. It wasn’t until years later I realised the album came out before the movie in the US and that Richard was actually referring to Honolulu City Lights and Slow Dance, released in 1986 and 1987 respectively.
When I first read those liner notes, I thought the same as you. Back then I don't think it was clear to most people - even fans - which were the two tracks that had been previously released.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
The album is totally worth it based on three great Karen vocalizations; You're The One (#2 on my all-time greatest Karen performance list), When I Fall In Love (breathtakingly beautiful rendition of an old standard), Where Do I Go From Here? (a gem introduced from the TV movie).
I agree that 'Where Do I Go From Here' is a fine performance, even if it's not single material. I've never really connected with the other two tracks though. 'You're The One' takes too long to get going - it's not until it gets to the 'Only you could move me enough...' line that the song seems to take flight. 'When I Fall in Love' is a nice version, but it's one of those songs where the original version is definitive and just can't be beaten.

I've always been a sucker for 'Slow Dance'. It may have come from a slightly dubious source, but it's a lovely playful track. Definitely my favourite of the non-solo album songs on Lovelines.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I like the melody and vocals on Slow Dance, but the lyrics are to cutie-ish to be serious. It could be in a Disney cartoon. I love everything about Where Do I Go From Here. I enjoy You’re the One, but I have to agree that the strongest section is the bridge. It’s a very challenging vocal song to sing for it takes a skilled voice and ear to get those interval jumps in the verses so perfect.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I like the melody and vocals on Slow Dance, but the lyrics are to cutie-ish to be serious. It could be in a Disney cartoon. I love everything about Where Do I Go From Here. I enjoy You’re the One, but I have to agree that the strongest section is the bridge. It’s a very challenging vocal song to sing for it takes a skilled voice and ear to get those interval jumps in the verses so perfect.
But why can’t it be just cute? It’s supposed to be about a sweet romance, it’s just that Karen’s voice gives the song a darker dimension as it always does.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I enjoy You’re the One, but I have to agree that the strongest section is the bridge. It’s a very challenging vocal song to sing for it takes a skilled voice and ear to get those interval jumps in the verses so perfect.
I’d go as far as saying I believe this song is harder to sing than Solitaire. Karen’s breath control, phrasing and measured vibrato in those elongated sections are just stunning. Listen to the line -

You’ve grown so deep inside of me
You’re everything I feel and see


It’s just two lines right? Try singing it in one go at the same tempo as the song. Karen sings for a full THIRTEEN seconds without taking a breath.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I’d go as far as saying I believe this song is harder to sing than Solitaire. Karen’s breath control, phrasing and measured vibrato in those elongated sections are just stunning. Listen to the line -

You’ve grown so deep inside of me
You’re everything I feel and see


It’s just two lines right? Try singing it in one go at the same tempo as the song. Karen sings for a full THIRTEEN seconds without taking a breath.
Yeah, "You're The One" is infinitely harder to sing than "Solitaire". The leap between "And Solitaire's..." isn't slight by any means but "You're the One" is far more range-y. Karen sails through it because she's Karen. Parts of it are overproduced for me but that's Richard's style. He also knows quite well to stay out of Karen's way and let her work her magic. I've always felt that "You're the One" is miles better than "I Just Fall in Love Again" in terms of song craft. I know Richard wanted a single to go to radio but given his treatment of that song (and songs in general at that point), that wasn't going to happen. He put "I Just Fall In Love" firmly in the elevator and over-produced it, so it wasn't going to get on the radio. "You're the One" is easily the better song, the better production, and the better vocal performance between the two, IMHO.

Ed
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
“Where Do I Go”, “When I Fall In Love”, “You’re The One” and “Little Girl Blue” I found to be the weakest tracks on ‘Lovelines’. The album starts with such a BANG with “Lovelines”, but LGB is a whimper of a closer (of course it was probably put there for the LP and works with the LP’s dynamic range at that part of the record). ()

Aside from Karen’s solo tracks, 4 stand-out tracks are the ‘Made In America’ outtakes, “The Uninvited Guest” & “Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night”! Why these were shelved in 1981 for the songs like “Strength of a Woman” and “Because We Are In Love” is perplexing.

And then you have “Honolulu City Lights” & “Slow Dance” from the aborted 1978 album, and why “I Believe You” was chosen to be finished and released as a single in 78 over either of these is also perplexing.
 
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