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

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 14 13.9%
  • ****

    Votes: 23 22.8%
  • ***

    Votes: 38 37.6%
  • **

    Votes: 22 21.8%
  • *

    Votes: 4 4.0%

  • Total voters
    101

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I think for Karen ....... on her solo Make Believe...in particular it sounds like she’s trying to emulate Olivia, but it doesn’t work because it doesn’t play to her strengths and she’s a superior vocalist.
Personally, ONJ’s vocals usually do not really touch me whereas Karen’s do so, deeply. In my opinion, ONJ really does sound like the girl next door, meaning that a trillion girls could have sounded like her, whereas Karen sounded totally unique, like nobody else. I agree with your comment about ‘superior vocalist’, Jarred - at least, Karen’s voice is more pleasing to my ear, personally - although I certainly don’t dislike ONJ’s voice.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Was there ever a poster that showed the front and back of the album cover?
Jonathan
There was a wallet card available through the fan club showing the front and back cover minus the song titles and print but I never saw a poster, Jonathan. The fan club MIA poster only showed the front cover.

The inner sleeve photo was also a poster for various projects and a small poster of that was available through the fan club.
 

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
Most of the songs on ‘Made in America’ certainly have low notes, or whole passages set in the lower register. Karen’s lowest note ever is often mentioned as ‘E’ below ‘Middle C’ but on ‘Because We Are in Love’, from memory, she brushes a ‘D’ below ‘Middle C’. Most of the other songs also have very low notes. Some of the songs on the album give the illusion of having high notes but that’s mainly because Karen seems to be singing more lightly than usual. For example, the main vocal line in the chorus of ‘Touch Me When We’re Dancing’ sounds high because of the way Karen is singing, but actually isn’t very high.

Actually, the first time she hits the low “D” on a lead is in “A Song For You.” Because she had a canker sore on her larynx during the entire taping of the leads for that album, she couldn’t really lay into it the way she normally would have.
 

Song4uman

Well-Known Member
There was a wallet card available through the fan club showing the front and back cover minus the song titles and print but I never saw a poster, Jonathan. The fan club MIA poster only showed the front cover.

The inner sleeve photo was also a poster for various projects and a small poster of that was available through the fan club.
Thanks. Yep I had or have the card.
a long horizontal poster would have been cool.
 

Cuyler

Well-Known Member
There is an ongoing, spirited debate on a similar thread about two of the tracks from this album, but my question doesn't relate to either of those two songs (I don't think so, at least).

I am hoping Carpenterologist @Chris May may be able to provide some insight.

I just realized yesterday that "Those Good Old Dreams" on the vinyl LP has a different electric piano and synth track than all of the subsequent releases (on 45, on pretty much all CDs, I think). So I digitized my MIA record yesterday and think it sounds pretty good, generally speaking. (I think I need a nude Shibata stylus but that's a different story.)

My question is twofold. First, are there any other tracks on this LP that are pretty much unique to this LP, as is the case with "Those Good Old Dreams"? Second, were any of these tracks actively remixed (excepting RPO) to the extent that, say, "We've Only Just Begun" was remixed? I know that a lot of these tracks became "louder" on CD (like "loudness wars"), but apart from the mastering process, is anything actually different between, for example, "Touch Me When We're Dancing" on MIA and "Touch Me When We're Dancing" on Gold?

Looking forward to seeing some of your responses :)
 

Cuyler

Well-Known Member
For those interested in hearing the results of "Those Good Old Dreams" from my record, here it is:


No pops or clicks were digitally removed :) what you hear is what I heard as I was playing the record last night.

I will make the video public when YouTube shows that it has finished processing.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
We've had lots of discussion about this particular song and its versions. You're correct that the version on the LP is somewhat unique as Richard got rid of some of the synth for nearly all other versions, including the single.

There are only two digital places to hear the LP version's synths:

1. The video as presented on YESTERDAY ONCE MORE / GOLD - however, the opening riff was repeated to allow more shots of the album being shrinkwrapped at the factory. That version was also shortened at the end to allow for the video segue to the next track.

2. The very rare UK EMI/A&M CD release of YESTERDAY ONCE MORE. The silver-colored UK LP, with a catalog of SING1, had a companion CD release that was pretty quickly removed from the marketplace. As a predecessor to the US' ice-blue colored release, with some new remixes, we think that the silver CD was pulled from the marketplace in deference to the new one coming out.

All of the silver CD/LPs used original mixes, and that includes "Those Good Old Dreams", so in reality, because of the duped start and faded ending, this CD set is the ONLY digital place known to have the original LP mix.

See Yesterday Once More (UK)
 
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Cuyler

Well-Known Member
We've had lots of discussion about this particular song and its versions. You're correct that the version on the LP is somewhat unique as Richard got rid of some of the synth for nearly all other versions, including the single.

There are only two digital places to hear the LP version's synths:

1. The video as presented on YESTERDAY ONCE MORE / GOLD - however, the opening riff was repeated to allow more shots of the album being shrinkwrapped at the factory. That version was also shortened at the end to allow for the video segue to the next track.

2. The very rare UK EMI/A&M CD release of YESTERDAY ONCE MORE. The silver-colored UK LP, with a catalog of SING1, had a companion CD release that was pretty quickly removed from the marketplace. As a predecessor to the US' ice-blue colored release, with some new remixes, we think that the silver CD was pulled from the marketplace in deference to the new one coming out.

All of the silver CD/LPs used original mixes, and that includes "Those Good Old Dreams", so in reality, because of the duped start and faded ending, this CD set is the ONLY digital place known to have the original LP mix.

See Yesterday Once More (UK)
In this case, I am quite glad that my copy of MIA seems to be very lightly played; there aren't too many sonic abnormalities, although the few that are on there are much more audible using headphones.

Was this album ever released on 3.75 ips reel-to-reel, by any chance?
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
In this case, I am quite glad that my copy of MIA seems to be very lightly played; there aren't too many sonic abnormalities, although the few that are on there are much more audible using headphones.

Was this album ever released on 3.75 ips reel-to-reel, by any chance?
It was issued on 8-track (the last known 8-track was the 1985 YOM album) , but by 1981 most reel-to-reel was issued by mail order only. And apparently, in 1978, only 1//3 of new releases were on reel.
 

Cuyler

Well-Known Member
It was issued on 8-track (the last known 8-track was the 1985 YOM album) , but by 1981 most reel-to-reel was issued by mail order only. And apparently, in 1978, only 1//3 of new releases were on reel.
Shucks! I have "Passage" on reel-to-reel and it sounds decent.
 

Cuyler

Well-Known Member
One odd dream of mine, speaking of the music video for "Those Good Old Dreams," is to see the full music video (this one) but the original one, not with the MIA record pressing footage. I can tell that there is a different shot in the studio before Karen's first line, "As a child I was known for make-believin'..."


It's kind of hard to see, but this frame capture was taken during the fade between the record pressing footage and the "Those Good Old Dreams" music video. I can see two Karens (notice the yellow jackets); the smaller yellow jacket fades out, and the "YOM/Gold" video starts with the cut of Karen in the bigger yellow jacket.

I really would love to see all of the Carpenters' videos as they were before being altered to fade into one another. Just a straightforward presentation, just like the "Interpretations" DVD. And, in addition, I propose that the film be rescanned at 4K or higher, and that the video be re-transferred at a higher resolution (I do understand that the NTSC source tapes have 525 lines; however, I recently saw a Criterion Collection Blu-ray with a taped daytime talk show in the "Extras" section, and it looked really good. I don't know how they made standard 1980s/1990s tape look so smooth and not pixelated. *sigh*)
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I really would love to see all of the Carpenters' videos as they were before being altered to fade into one another. Just a straightforward presentation, just like the "Interpretations" DVD. And, in addition, I propose that the film be rescanned at 4K or higher, and that the video be re-transferred at a higher resolution

Think of the cost of unearthing the original tapes (if they even exist), reinstating them back to their unedited format, upgrading them to 4K and then packaging them up for distribution and sale. Who would buy it? Probably nobody but the diehards. The only reason Interpretations was released on VHS at all was that they had a hit with the album during a resurgence in the UK. Even the Christmas DVD, with some rare HD-quality clips included for the first time, had to be released through a quasi-crowdfunding exercise via PBS. The demand today for such things really isn’t there among the record-buying public.
 
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Cuyler

Well-Known Member
This would cost a lot of money to go back to these tapes, restore them to their original versions in 4K and then repackage for sale. The question is: who would buy it? Probably nobody but the diehards. The only reason Interpretations was released on VHS was that they had a hit with the album during a resurgence in the UK.
I respect this opinion; however, if these were remastered and released in 1080p, 2K, or 4K on YouTube (different medium), just consider that an unofficial fan upload of "We've Only Just Begun" from 14 years ago has amassed 42 million views. If the quality were better, and the videos were monetized and uploaded to an official Carpenters YouTube account, I'm certain that they'd have millions of hits per song.

From an archival standpoint, archives are rarely just collections that remain untouched; the job of archivists is to maintain the integrity of the archive's content, context and structure. Heck, as an archivist-in-training, I would volunteer and sign an NDA in a heartbeat if I could have a hand in making this all happen for the Carpenters' legacy.

Sorry for the tangent, everyone :sweating:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
So, I took time out to listen to Made In America.....and, I must confess, I am enjoying this album more than usual.
Maybe, that is because it is my least-played album. But, that will have to change.
Cuyler's audio transfers, the ones that I have heard, sound excellent (Touch Me, Beechwood, Those Good Old Dreams).
In particular, I still so love Those Good Old Dreams. The RPO version of Touch Me When We're Dancing reinforces how
the song, in its day, should have charted much higher. It's a great single.
Beechwood 45789, which a lot of people discount, is a fun listen.
I wish I could hear the SACD version of I Believe You. The RPO version suffices, though.
When It's Gone and Because We Are In Love still score high on my list of recommendations.
I like Somebody's Been Lying and, as is well-known in these parts, I love Strength of A Woman.
My opinion of this album has changed greatly over the years, I like it more now than ever before.
 
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