• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline! The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy will be available on November 16, 2021 and can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is being released January 14, 2022, and is available for ordering here.

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

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 14 13.3%
  • ****

    Votes: 24 22.9%
  • ***

    Votes: 40 38.1%
  • **

    Votes: 22 21.0%
  • *

    Votes: 5 4.8%

  • Total voters
    105

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I never thought about that until you wrote today, Newvillefan !
What was happening with this album ? as the single Touch Me When We're Dancing
should have been released before the album !
I see from Rick's post (#1305) that TV promotion began in the UK on June 24th. I would love to see those promos.
As I have remarked previously, Made In America was marketed with many, many, promotional items.
I have two posters: one is the inner album-sleeve photo and the other larger poster is the outer artwork.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Randy Schmidt also lists June 9th in his coffee-table book.
Also, per the Japanese “Karen in My Memories” CD, “Made in America” was originally released on June 9, 1981. Specifically, the CD reads: 93-3-1 (81-6-9), meaning that the CD was released on March 1, 1993 (10 years from Karen’s death, just shy of her birthday), but the album was originally issued June 9, 1981.

Edit: I cross-checked the dates on various Japanese CDs with the A&M Corner Carpenters Complete Resource Center, and the ones I saw have the same release dates.
 
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GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I am wondering why the release date is different on Richard's official webpage.
Needless to say, my fascination with this album continues unabated.....
 

Matthew Smith

Well-Known Member
I never thought about that until you wrote today, Newvillefan !
What was happening with this album ? as the single Touch Me When We're Dancing
should have been released before the album !
I see from Rick's post (#1305) that TV promotion began in the UK on June 24th. I would love to see those promos.
As I have remarked previously, Made In America was marketed with many, many, promotional items.
I have two posters: one is the inner album-sleeve photo and the other larger poster is the outer artwork.
I’m pretty sure I have one of those MIA visors around here somewhere….
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
So I just got in the mail yesterday a Test Pressing from the Santa Maria Plant of (Want You) Back In My Life Again (stereo/mono). Now then nobody wrote the song title on the label, so you have to listen to it to tell it’s the Carpenters song.

But I was also noticing that Richard’s background vocals seem to be either missing or buried so far in the mix that places where I was expecting them, they weren’t there, and there were only a few sections where you could hear them like we know. Also Karen’s background vocals weren’t as prominent, so overall the song was sounding flatter than what we’ve come to know. And it was the same on both the stereo & mono side.

Maybe this mix sounded better on studio tape, but then when they did a test pressing they discovered that it didn’t sound as good on vinyl as it did on tape, so they must’ve made a different album/single mix that pushed the background vocals higher.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
So I just got in the mail yesterday a Test Pressing from the Santa Maria Plant of (Want You) Back In My Life Again (stereo/mono). Now then nobody wrote the song title on the label, so you have to listen to it to tell it’s the Carpenters song.

But I was also noticing that Richard’s background vocals seem to be either missing or buried so far in the mix that places where I was expecting them, they weren’t there, and there were only a few sections where you could hear them like we know. Also Karen’s background vocals weren’t as prominent, so overall the song was sounding flatter than what we’ve come to know. And it was the same on both the stereo & mono side.

Maybe this mix sounded better on studio tape, but then when they did a test pressing they discovered that it didn’t sound as good on vinyl as it did on tape, so they must’ve made a different album/single mix that pushed the background vocals higher.
Which pressing plant did your test pressing come from? I also have one of these test pressings.
Oh I see it’s Santa Maria. That is where mine is from as well but mine is written the title name on the label. I’ll need to re listen to this to confirm.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
A&M sent out test pressings for a couple of singles from MIA and VOTH to radio stations, before sending actual promo copies out. It was a way of trying to get program and music directors to at least listen to the cut, before placing it in the rejection pile. Unfortunately they ended up there anyway. Mine all have a white sticker with song title and artist listed. Some come with a note from the promotions director for our area too, encouraging a listen.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Here is my test pressing, one side has writing and the other side is blank. The side with the title written is the mono side with mono etched in the run out. I'm not hearing any of the differences that Tom mentions above. I've compared it against all other versions I own on CD and LP. The backing vocals are all there, don't hear anything missing or less evident on this test pressing. What I suspect is that the mono is a much cleaner sound as Karen's lead is not buried but sounds very up close in your lap sounding thus taming all else in the mix such as the backing vocals and instrumentation. I still prefer the sound of the mono pressing.

Some of the prominent backing vocals can be heard around these marks and I'm hearing them on all versions including this mono test press.

1:46-1:52 "oooohhh want you back in my life again"
2:46-2:49 Karen's backing vocal "want you back in my life again"
2:58-3:04 "know that I want you, I know that I need you" then Richard is heard backing "I need you back in my liiffe"
The very ending vocals of Karen and Richard sound all the same on all pressings to me.

Oh...I like to think Karen wrote the track title on MY label with that fancy writing...:laugh::love:

Spbe8QD.jpg
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Here is my test pressing, one side has writing and the other side is blank. The side with the title written is the mono side with mono etched in the run out. I'm not hearing any of the differences that Tom mentions above. I've compared it against all other versions I own on CD and LP. The backing vocals are all there, don't hear anything missing or less evident on this test pressing. What I suspect is that the mono is a much cleaner sound as Karen's lead is not buried but sounds very up close in your lap sounding thus taming all else in the mix such as the backing vocals and instrumentation. I still prefer the sound of the mono pressing.

Some of the prominent backing vocals can be heard around these marks and I'm hearing them on all versions including this mono test press.

1:46-1:52 "oooohhh want you back in my life again"
2:46-2:49 Karen's backing vocal "want you back in my life again"
2:58-3:04 "know that I want you, I know that I need you" then Richard is heard backing "I need you back in my liiffe"
The very ending vocals of Karen and Richard sound all the same on all pressings to me.

Oh...I like to think Karen wrote the track title on MY label with that fancy writing...:laugh::love:

Spbe8QD.jpg
I also said that the vocals were missing or buried on both sides, meaning both stereo and mono.

Also on both sides the song has an overall flatness to it that’s not on any of the LP or CD versions.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Also on both sides the song has an overall flatness to it that’s not on any of the LP or CD versions.
I agree, which is why I probably like the mono version. The mono version makes the song feel less "over produced" if that makes sense. I still think Richard should release a true mono set of singles, they sure made enough of them in the 70's & early 80's. I feel it would make a cool set to own. I'd also be interested in what he would have to say about them in the liner notes, especially after reading that really cool article here.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Yeah, the mono version on the promo single has a bit of that "pinched" sound, not quite as drastic as the "Please Mr. Postman" single, but in that direction.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Yeah, the mono version on the promo single has a bit of that "pinched" sound, not quite as drastic as the "Please Mr. Postman" single, but in that direction.
No not a pinched sound. Overall the dynamic range of the song sounds flat. If it was from now, I would assume that I was hearing sound as being clipped at 0 db (if I took it into an audio editor I would only see a rectangle of sound, there would be no peaks and valleys).
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
No not a pinched sound. Overall the dynamic range of the song sounds flat. If it was from now, I would assume that I was hearing sound as being clipped at 0 db (if I took it into an audio editor I would only see a rectangle of sound, there would be no peaks and valleys).
So your saying there are no peaks and valleys on your mono test pressing of WYBIML?
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Can you post a pic of your waveform.
I haven’t digitized it. I’m saying the sound is very flat, almost like it had been mastered in digital but had been driven to where everything is clipped at 0 db. But considering the age of the 45, and what we know of how the singles were mastered in analog at the time, it doesn’t make senses. Compared to other analog and digital versions the dynamic range is very limited, and very flat sounding.
 
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