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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. ****

    18 vote(s)
  3. ***

    30 vote(s)
  4. **

    22 vote(s)
  5. *

    3 vote(s)
  1. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Karen Carpenter knocked MADE IN AMERICA out of the park!

    P.S. I'm going to revise and redraw my respect factors regarding Karen and Richard Carpenter's magic. Each survey I change my vote to the very best!
    Jamesj75 and Geographer like this.
  2. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I don’t know what park your in, but MIA was a dud. 1st base maybe with “Want You”, “Touch Me” and “Beechwood”, but her finest performances of their era were left in the clubhouse for reasons unknown.
  3. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Forum members that know me...realize that your comment is just way too easy bait and I'm not bitin'.
    Oh and Tom, regarding which park I'm in...perish the thought and put mind to ease cuz you've already missed the game.
    I'm referring to the game where Karen Carpenter knocked MADE IN AMERICA out of the park. In CarpenterSland there are two types of fans. Those that HEAR and that are simply here.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  4. After reading others' comments on this album's mixing, especially vocals, I did some experimenting.
    It's well known how effective the SACD's mixing was, even for the [two] MIA songs.
    Well, when playing back in 'downmix to stereo' mode, the vocals really come forward.
    I also decided to go one step further, and turned on the dynamic processer on my reciever [in 'night' mode], producing a heavier, 'wall of sound' effect.

    I can't call this method 'better' from a Hi-Fi perspective, but it shows how well some systems can enhance surround mixes

    Touch Me When We're Dancing ~ Original Stereo Downmix
    Touch Me When We're Dancing ~ Processed 'Night-mode' Mix
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  5. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Wow Sean. I own the SACD and that's the closest I've heard it duplicated in stereo.
    Good work sir.
  6. :)
    It is the SACD still~ I just set my reciever to 'downmix' the surround sound into regular stereo! Then extra dynamic processing was added for the 'night mode' mix.
    ullalume likes this.
  7. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Yep. Nice work Sean. I had the same revelations when I did just about the same thing, allowing my equipment to downmix the SACD to essentially two channels, and reveling in the results. As I type this, I'm listening to the "Calling Occupants" downmix and getting goosebumps all over again, just like in 2012, when I posted about it here:

    Center recordings....from SACD
    Seán Pendlebury likes this.
  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    What strikes me about this (same as on the isolated SACD tracks posted on YouTube) is that there’s virtually no reverb on the vocals whatsoever, including Karen’s lead. Why is that? Would it have been caught by another channel on the SACD?

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    So looking forward to the RPO mix of Touch me when we're dancing and Those good old dreams.
    This would be the first time they've been remixed.
    I wonder if any criticisms fans have found over the years about MIA's mix will be taken into account
    (Not saying Richard has read these, but perhaps he'll bring Karen's voice more forward).
    We'll have to see and compare by the end of this year. :)
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  10. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    That’s why I’m really looking forward to hearing them :)
  11. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    Strictly Come Dancing finally did a version of Rainbow Connection for a waltz!
    newvillefan likes this.
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I was listening to Somebody's Been Lyin'......I like Karen's interpretation and
    the background vocals. The strings, too.
    But, I also very much enjoy the 2018 RPO versions of Touch Me When We're Dancing
    and I Believe You.
    Which brings me to an idea:
    An RPO version, along with re-mix, of this entire album.
    I would love to hear that !
    Mark-T likes this.
  14. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    The compression when the chorus comes in is rather jarring and the whole thing is pretty off-balance. In fact, the "pumping" is all over the place. That's just the effect of the processing that your system was doing to it. The guitar is louder though so that's interesting.

  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Call me crazy, but, a completely re-arranged
    Because We Are In Love,
    would make my day !
    I still believe this is a good song,
    with great Karen Carpenter lead-vocals,
    wrapped-up in a lousy arrangement.
    CraigGA and newvillefan like this.
  16. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Wow! Karen’s leads are way more upfront. Love it! Thanks for your work on this and for sharing it
  17. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    I missed this post...thanks...I really like this DBX version, pretty cool!!
  18. Jarred

    Jarred Active Member

    Hey Rick, why are you no longer "Chris"?
  19. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Internet handles are just that - handles. Rick changed his awhile back.
  20. Jarred

    Jarred Active Member

    I just thought his name was actually Chris because it had been Chris for over a decade.
  21. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    The discussion regarding the song "Now" has me listening to the LP Made In America.
    Some of the softer (and higher) vocal leads are found on this album.
    Somebody's Been Lyin gets rather quiet in places (and the "lows notes" are devoid of strength).
    Songs such as Beechwood and Want You Back in my Life Again are airier, thinner.
    On the other hand, the initially discarded Uninvited Guest, while soft, is incredibly haunting.
    When You've Got What It Takes (my least favorite) has nice background harmonies,
    but its arrangement is too elevator for my tastes (higher notes: ending "when you've got it").
    Comparison of Karen's higher notes in her solo song "If I Had You,"
    to higher notes found in later material, perhaps you will hear the weakness evident in
  22. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Worth another read (for many a reason):
    Billboard Magazine, June 20, 1981 Top Album Picks (page 76):
    CARPENTERS -Made In America, MM SP3723. Produced by Richard Carpenter.
    "The duo returns here to the mellow MOR pop which has brought it 18 gold singles and albums since 1970.
    The LP is an about -face from the duo's last studio collection, 1977's "Passage," which flirted with
    rock rhythms and failed to be certified gold. Included are pretty ballads by Burt Bacharach and Roger Nichols,
    who composed the pair's first two hits, "Close To You" and "We've Only Just Begun." The duo also returns to the Marvelettes' songbag, which brought its most recent gold single, "Please Mr. Postman," for "Beechwood 4- 5789."
    Daryl Dragon of the Captain & Tennille, once the Carpenters' chief rival for the MOR crown, contributes the synthesizer programming to "(Want You) Back In My Life Again," a punchy, mid-tempo Doobie-esque rocker which would be a strong second single. Best cuts: "Touch Me When We're Dancing," "I Believe You," "Those Good Old Dreams," "Because We Are In Love."
  23. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    I remember reading that review in ‘81 and being so excited for WYBIMLA to be released as the second single. I loved it and so did everybody I knew that heard it, thanks to me. :) I was shocked it only got to #72. Still love that song.
    newvillefan likes this.
  24. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I don’t think Richard (or Karen for that matter) has ever gone on record about his thoughts on the chart performance of their singles from the album. It’s almost as if they kept putting out song after song, hoping the next one would do something and the chart listings got progressively worse. Putting Beechwood out in March 1982 was just a waste of time and money. The album was nearly a year old by that point and they weren’t even a functioning unit able to promote it. I also wonder why no video was made for (Want You) Back In My Life Again when all the other singles had one.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  25. CarpentersToYou

    CarpentersToYou What I feel has come and gone before...

    It is interesting hearing Richard say that it is his favorite album. In many ways, I agree. Though I feel that The Wedding Song doesn't really fit on it very well.

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