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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)

    13 vote(s)
  2. ****

    16 vote(s)
  3. ***

    30 vote(s)
  4. **

    22 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. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    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. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    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.
  17. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    [QUOTE="GaryAlan, post: 176893, member: 2493
    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.[/QUOTE]

    Surprisingly, 'Made In America' got some promotion in Australia. There were bumper stickers in record stores, 'Made in America' pens with the 'Carpenters' logo, the film clip for 'Beechwood' got played on a trendy music show and I've got a feeling that there might have been a poster campaign, because I saw a giant 'Carpenters' logo, probably about six feet long, under some record racks in a record store in about July, 1981, (probably having just been taken off the wall). And 'Those Good Old Dreams' was played a couple of times a day on my local radio station. Mind you, neither the album, nor any of the singles, really did anything chart-wise.

    Not that long afterwards, at the end of 1982, there was a television and poster campaign for 'Very Best of The Carpenters'. That went to Number One nationally early in 1983.
    GaryAlan likes this.
  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    It is amusing that Tony Peluso is featured in the music videos of
    Those Good Old Dreams (the official promo and the "yellow brick road" version).
    However, he is nowhere credited on MIA LP as performing guitar work on this song !
  19. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    They often did that. . .Bob Messenger playing Tom Scott's sax solo on AYGFLIALS springs to mind. I think it was nice. . .keeping the band on the pay cheque since there'd been no live stuff in 3 years.

    As a side note he is credited with sharing electric guitar duties on the above song with Tim May in the Essential Collection liner notes.
    David A and newvillefan like this.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^I am unable to locate Tony Peluso's name with credit on Those Good Old Dreams
    under the Liner Notes of The Essential Collection....
  21. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    That's weird. I'd attach a photo of the text but, for my sins, I cannot work out how to attach an image on this website.

    It states:
    Acoustic Guitars : Tim May
    Electric Guitars : Tim May, Tony Peluso

    At work now, but I looked it up this morning. I'll check again when I get home.
  22. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^I double-checked my copy, Those Good Old Dreams (Essential Collection):
    Guitars: Tim May
    Pedal-Steel Guitar: Jay Dee Maness
  23. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    I do apologise Gary. . .and for me to get something wrong about one of my favourite tracks. I don't know where my head was. . .you're absolutely right, he didn't play on that track. My only thinking is that I was looking at Strength of a Woman where both he and May played electric guitar.

    Oh well, back to Carpenters University for me !!!
  24. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    To quote a rare Herb-Alpert-as-Dore-Alpert track: "Summer School, that ain't cool!"
  25. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    According to From The Top both May and Peluso also did guitars on Touch Me When We're Dancing. In the 1998 HDCD MIA booklet its clarified as Acoustic & Electric for both. (Want You) Back In My Life Again has May on Acoustic & Electric and Peluso on just electric; When You've Got What it Takes May-Acoustic, Peluso-Electric.

    Another single and video that Peluso appears in, but is not credited on the album is Beechwood 4-5789. May is credited with Electric guitar, and no other guitars were listed.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018

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