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Official Review [Album]: "MADE IN AMERICA" (SP-3723)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Sep 1, 2013.

How Would You Rate This Album?

  1. ***** (BEST)

    11 vote(s)
  2. ****

    15 vote(s)
  3. ***

    27 vote(s)
  4. **

    20 vote(s)
  5. *

    3 vote(s)
  1. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Carpenters Fan Club Newsletter #67, May 1980:
    Q: "Has progress been made on a Carpenters' LP ?"

    CFCN #69, February 1981:
    "The album is being mixed as this is being written."
    ullalume likes this.
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    It took four months to mix the album?? They recorded Passage in three.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    ^ Sometimes The Carpenters story creates more questions than answers.
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    No telling how long mixing actually took, but, the delays in the album are detailed in
    Fan Club Newsletter #70, June 1981:
    "The album delay was due to several factors--
    A problem with monitor and tape machine during recording at A & M.
    A problem with computer board and interlocking device for the 24-track tape machine during mix-down.
    Unsatisfactory Test Pressings. Richard had to turn down three test pressings from various plants due to
    unacceptable surface noise and pops."
    Jeff and ThaFunkyFakeTation like this.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I'm not a big fan of the song
    (Want You) Back In My Life Again.
    However, I will say that the "clearest" version I have yet to hear seems to be
    the EMI-LP of Yesterday Once More (1985-UK).
    The drums are less-tinny-sounding and, the strings more prominently featured,
    in the mix.

    Is this my imagination playing tricks ?
    As I have not listened to the song in a while.
  6. There is what I'd call good mastering on the EMI LP and CD. Neither is maximized at all, so they sound pretty good.

    For another good-sounding transfer of "(Want You) Back In My Life Again", check out either the purple CLASSICS VOL. 2, or the ice-blue YESTERDAY ONCE MORE (85).
  7. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Yup, I just listened to (Want You) Back In My Life Again on every CD or LP I own and the best sounding version to me is from my purple 25th Anniv Classics Vol 2. The original 80's CD is also a contender but you have to really crank that one up and even then it doesn't have the same highs and lows as the Classics Vol 2 CD. I still remember buying those 25th CD's Vol 1 and 2 at the record store. I played them CD's out like crazy.
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I remember back in the late-90's asking the local record store where Carpenters Classics Volume 1 was, because they had got Vol. 2 in, and I realized that it was the same as the 1985 Yesterday Once More, however they didn't have a listing fro Vol. 1 or even have anything telling them where to look for Vol. 1.
  9. Here's hoping you've figured it out.
  10. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I love Harps,
    I love Gayle Levant.
    Now, this album makes much utilization (7 songs) of Gayle's performance on Harp.
    But, what I find curious--unless my ears are deceiving me--
    is that the Harp is "buried" in many of these songs.
    I wish I could hear the harp better on this album !

    Note: My guilty pleasure, one of my all-time favorite songs,
    Kenny Nolan, I Like Dreamin',
    displays prominent Harp in the intro (12 sec) and bridge (2:25)....
    Jamesj75 likes this.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    I like Want you Back in my Life Again!
    Hence the username obviously. :D

    I just noticed recently how Richard is prominent in the mix especially the first chorus. Interesting to notice little things about Carps songs after you think you've heard it all.

    I prefer the 25th anniversary classics vol. 2 master also. This song would make for a heck of a remix!
    newvillefan likes this.
  12. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I definitely agree with that. It’s strange that, with the exception of Those Good Old Dreams, which had that synth removed from the end, Richard has never subjected a single track from this album to any kind of remix.
    WYBIMLA likes this.
  13. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Double agrees. . .bring the synths and lead vocal way up.

    Richard did the bulk of his remixing between '85 and '94 .. .since MIA was relatively recent maybe he didn't feel the need to touch them up. Plus the instrumentation on the album is very dense and was presumably a real headache to mix the first time around. ..
    WYBIMLA, Jeff and newvillefan like this.
  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I really do not understand the entire "mixing" issues with MIA.
    After all,
    I Believe You , was finished in 1978, during the Portrait sessions.
    Yet, that 1978 song--I Believe You--
    sounds more like a product of the 1981 mixing than it does of a 1978 mixing.
    Nothing on Portrait sounds as muddled (lead-vocal-wise) as anything on MIA.
    Thus, it appears to me that the 1981 mixing issues are intentional for that MIA LP.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    ^ I think I see what you're saying. It was a certain aesthetic they were creating.
    It was an update and expansion on their sound...
    This is similar issue regarding the making of "Passage."

    I think Karen said it all when she said (I'm paraphrasing) "As an artist you want to grow, but you're audience doesn't want to let you spread."

    "I believe you" does sound different from what I know they were making in '78.
    "Slow Dance" and "Honolulu" don't have that same "MIA feel."

    I think the 1980s Medley has a similar dream-y, air-y sound, but obviously well received comparably.
    Maybe because it was intended to be mixed for Television? :shrug:
    Where Karen's voice couldn't help but be front and centre.

    Anyways, just thoughts here guys.

    It seems this LP has it's own unique sonic textures.
    Even "Time" or "City of Angels" or "As time goes by" never had the same qualities as prominent on MIA. "Rainbow Connection" is very fascinating because it doesn't sound like it was cut at the same time.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I recall picking this album up--late 1981--in Rockford, Illinois.
    What surprised me then, as now, is that I was not even aware that the LP was "released."
    In other words, promotion for this album---especially for a 'comeback' album,
    was virtually nonexistent. (And, if labelled a 'comeback', expectations are already set too high !).
    So, regardless of content, "even if" a better song selection had comprised this album,
    had the promotion remained the same, it was never going to do better on the charts.
    So, yes, re-imagine it if we will, but---as with the great album Lovelines--
    no promotion equates to no sales.
    WYBIMLA, David A, Malu Makana and 2 others like this.

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