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

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 14 15.6%
  • ****

    Votes: 20 22.2%
  • ***

    Votes: 30 33.3%
  • **

    Votes: 22 24.4%
  • *

    Votes: 4 4.4%

  • Total voters
    90

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
When you think of it that photo with Richard in the yellow shirt and Karen with the Phoenix on her shirt, was also used on the Silver Eagle YOM LP set in 1984 in a modified form.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
A few people have commented that the inner picture of the record would have been better used as the front cover. The 1983 Australian “Very Best Of” compilation did just that. What do you think?


The Very Best of the Carpenters - Wikipedia
I’m always amazed at how broad Richard’s shoulders are here. He was always tall-looking and lanky but maybe it’s the contrast of Karen’s withering frame that we see his robust features. Oddly this is a visual demonstration about the dynamic that went into making this album.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I’ve always thought the same. It’s like he elbowed her out of the way physically and musically.
I go back and forth on the albums effectiveness, but part of it is more than just how he used her voice and more about the arrangements and material itself.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
It’s to bad that Richard didn’t have his own track on the album. It might’ve made the album more interesting. And it would’ve shown them as a duo and not a solo act.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I’m always amazed at how broad Richard’s shoulders are here. He was always tall-looking and lanky but maybe it’s the contrast of Karen’s withering frame that we see his robust features. Oddly this is a visual demonstration about the dynamic that went into making this album.
I’ve always thought the same. It’s like he elbowed her out of the way physically and musically.
Now think for a minute about this. Do you honestly think that Richard intentionally muscled his way to the forefront so that he would dominate the picture?

Isn't it more likely that of the many photographs taken in the session, this was the one chosen because it had the best facial features/expressions/smiles?
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Now think for a minute about this. Do you honestly think that Richard intentionally muscled his way to the forefront so that he would dominate the picture?

Isn't it more likely that of the many photographs taken in the session, this was the one chosen because it had the best facial features/expressions/smiles?
No, I don’t personally believe this nor do I think my friend here does, but it makes for an unintentional visual metaphor for the dynamic that was happening. A real life “symbolism” or whatever you want to call it, something that on the surface aligns with what’s happening underneath without intention.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Yes! I’ve thought the very same thing since 1981. The inside sleeve was the one they should have chosen for the cover for MIA.
Incidentally, that album hit Number One the week of Karen’s passing. The odds are good that she knew about this wonderful chart position with how closely both studied the charts each week! Small consolation for what happened shortly afterward, but it’s still pretty awesome.
👍👍👍👍
How about this?



Ed
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
Harry your bad...don't you know this will be all over goggle images now, where can I find this remixed version?

How about a tweak on the title:
"Made in America, Karen's remixed version"
(up close and personal like you've never seen/heard her before)
:laugh:
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
How about this?

I love this! The end result is still somewhat corny, but that’s down to the photo and not your efforts. Most of their photoshoots from 1980/1981 produced similar material so there really isn’t much getting away from that. This is a huge improvement on what we actually got!
 
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Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
There is another nice photo that could have been used on the MIA album in Randy new book page 107, would have made a nice inside photo. Karen is very beautiful in that close up shot.

There is also the alternate shot shown on the back inside cover of The Complete Singles inside jacket, Karen's hands are folded on her knees, that one would have made a great back cover on the LP as well.

Nice work Ed!!!
 
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John Adam

Well-Known Member
This video (not of great quality) shows Karen and Richard performing Close to You and a snippet of We've Only Just Begun in Brasil 1981.
Watch until 4:10, then it goes into (Want You) Back In My Life Again, which I have seen before. It's strange seeing the 1980's version of Karen singing these early 1970's songs. I'm assuming these are mimed.

 

Donn

Member
I like MIA and always thought Richard was attempting to replicate what had worked for them in the past: Those Good Old Dreams (similar to Top of the World), Beechwood 4-5789 (Please Mr Postman), Somebody's Been Lying (a Bacharach tune = Close to You), Because We Are in Love (a wedding song = We've Only Just Begun). Of those tunes that did not make the album, Rainbow Connection (Sesame Street = Sing). Have I missed any?
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I like MIA and always thought Richard was attempting to replicate what had worked for them in the past: Those Good Old Dreams (similar to Top of the World), Beechwood 4-5789 (Please Mr Postman), Somebody's Been Lying (a Bacharach tune = Close to You), Because We Are in Love (a wedding song = We've Only Just Begun). Of those tunes that did not make the album, Rainbow Connection (Sesame Street = Sing). Have I missed any?
You missed quite a few. “The Uninvited Guest, You Baby Doesn’t Love You Anymore, Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night, Leave Yesterday Behind, Prime Time Love, Make Believe It’s Your First Time, Two Lives, At The End Of A Song, Honolulu City Lights, Slow Dance, Where Do I Go From Here & Look To Your Dreams” are all from that 1978-1981 period that were meant for albums.

But what came out was terrible. MIA should’ve stood for “Missing In Action”. As we’ve seen, the majority of MIA’s songs should’ve stayed in the vaults.
 

Donn

Member
No, what I meant was Richard, in selecting material for MIA, went back to the tried-and-true formula for what had worked for them in the past - to me it's obvious that he did this - and yes, thanks for reminding me about another one: Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore (a Ruby and the Romantics tune, just like Hurting Each Other)
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Really the only song from Richard’s “tried & true” formula that should’ve stayed on the album was “Beechwood 4-5789”, Otherwise the others you mentioned should’ve been vault material. Dreams I have a hard time comparing to Top. Sure they may have a country feel and are both Carpenter/Bettis compositions, but otherwise Dreams is slow and plodding whereas Top is fast and SpriteLy. And both Lying and Wedding are so slow and depressing, they can’t even compare to CTY and WOJB which are uplifting and cheerful.
 

Donn

Member
Carpenters Fan Club newsletter #69, February 1981: "Those Good Old Dreams is a catchy upbeat song which creates an aura reminiscent of Top of the World and is certainly destined to be a chart topper." And I was not really comparing Close to You to Somebody's Been Lying per se, just stating that the latter was the first time Richard included a Bacharach song on an album since ten years earlier. And both We've Only Just Begun and Because We Are in Love are wedding songs, whether they are similar or not. My point is that Richard looked back at what was successful over the previous ten years and tried to duplicate that.
 
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