• The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available. Use this link to order, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

Official Review [Album]: "NOW & THEN" (SP-3519)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 13 18.3%
  • ****

    Votes: 40 56.3%
  • ***

    Votes: 17 23.9%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    71

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^Agreed, on all three points you brought up. Especially, that piano interlude cannot be overstated, it literally "makes" the song. Pop music genius!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I think George Benson's version of 'This Masquerade' is very nice, but the Carpenters' version is just on another level and it was there for them to claim as the definitive take if they'd have chosen to release it as a single.
Not releasing it as a single is one of the bigger mistakes they made in my humble opinion. I know it’s longer than usual for a single at that time but it’s so classy that I think the gamble would have paid off and rewarded them with a hit. It’s there on many hits compilations today, masquerading (parson the pun) as a single and I’m sure many casual fans simply assume it was originally.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
Not releasing it as a single is one of the bigger mistakes they made in my humble opinion. I know it’s longer than usual for a single at that time but it’s so classy that I think the gamble would have paid off and rewarded them with a hit. It’s there on many hits compilations today, masquerading (parson the pun) as a single and I’m sure many casual fans simply assume it was originally.
Being the flip side of Please Mr. Postmsn was certainly a favor to Leon Russell, probably more so than if it was a hit on its own since Please Mr Postman as No 1 worldwide went to his financial advantage. Could there have been thoughts of a double sided hit?
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Not releasing it as a single is one of the bigger mistakes they made in my humble opinion. I know it’s longer than usual for a single at that time but it’s so classy that I think the gamble would have paid off and rewarded them with a hit. It’s there on many hits compilations today, masquerading (parson the pun) as a single and I’m sure many casual fans simply assume it was originally.
It’s been on hits compilations since the 1970’s. It appeared on the Canadian “Carpenters Collection” LP set and the “Carpenters ‘woodgrain’ Classics” LP in 1978.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
10 Essential Reggae Covers of Country Classics
With International Reggae Day turning 25, we look at great reggae covers of country tunes by Toots & the Maytals, Max Romeo, and more
10 Essential Reggae Covers of Country Classics

“Jambalaya,” Pluto Shervington

Cajun country-meets-Jamaican reggae and calypso in this slickly produced rendition of one of Hank Williams’ best-loved tunes.
From Shervington’s 1974 LP, Ramgoat Liver, this owes more than a little inspiration to the Carpenters’ country-pop version at the time,
but it’s still vibrant and fun.
 

Brian

Well-Known Member
I'm guessing there's already been a link to this Rolling Stone magazine review of 'Now and Then' from July 5th, 1973, (Page 65).

In his very opening sentence, the writer, Gordon Fletcher, makes fun of the cover that Richard hated so much.


Here's the review:-

'The Carpenters - a couple of hot-rod honchos? You'd better believe it, bub, 'cause it's right there on the cover. Now some may find the idea of Richard and Karen out cruisin' for burgers to be just this side of screamin' lunacy, but $#!^, we all gotta get down sometime.

Side Two's the big time here, where America's foremost schmaltzrockers get back to da rootz, pay their dooz and cop just about all them other similarissimo cliches. Skeeter Davis, Bobby Vee, Shelley Fabares - all them early Sixties musical institutions get whole heaps of homage paid to 'em. And hot damn, there's even this creaky old Top 40 DJ type running all this vintage AM gobbledygook down yer throat. You're supposed to get the idea that it's comin' out of a car radio.

'Fun Fun Fun' has got some badass Chuck Berry Guitar that really gets on the case. I'll be damned if it didn't blow me right off the stool first time I heard it. And while Karen's version of 'Johnny Angel' ain't exactly running Blue Oyster Cult off any of the local turn tables, at least it does get me feelin' sorry for myself whenever I hear it. A great song to get drunk to, and pretty good downer music too!

And humour, hell, this stuff's an endless guffaw when you're wrecked. Two buds and you start noticing how Karen sings real funny, sorta like she's turning up her nose at the material. Real proper-like (on Dead Man's Curve'?) reminds me of the time I saw a newsreel of Pat Nixon eating an ice cream cone - with a spoon.

Side One (the Now side) ain't quite as exciting, but it's got its moments, including that runaway blockbuster AM smash hit called 'Sing', where the Carps are joined by this viscerally homogenous boys' choir singing in the higher ranges of castrato. This song's got that Lawrence Welk feel from start to finish, so you just know it's gonna be getting tons of ink come Grammy time.

'Now & Then' covers the present and the past - what about the Carpenters' future? Well, rumour has it that their next album's titled 'The Carpenters Go Slumming', and if you think this one's ace, 'Slumming' will absolutely burn yer eyeballs out'.
 
My favorite song from the album is jambalaya because it's a fun up beat version of a classic. I also like this Masquerade because of its jazz vibe my favorite thing from this album is that is was done just by Karen and Richard alone. I really love the drumming in this album.
 

goodjeans

Active Member
I'm guessing there's already been a link to this Rolling Stone magazine review of 'Now and Then' from July 5th, 1973, (Page 65).

In his very opening sentence, the writer, Gordon Fletcher, makes fun of the cover that Richard hated so much.


Here's the review:-

'The Carpenters - a couple of hot-rod honchos? You'd better believe it, bub, 'cause it's right there on the cover. Now some may find the idea of Richard and Karen out cruisin' for burgers to be just this side of screamin' lunacy, but $#!^, we all gotta get down sometime.

Side Two's the big time here, where America's foremost schmaltzrockers get back to da rootz, pay their dooz and cop just about all them other similarissimo cliches. Skeeter Davis, Bobby Vee, Shelley Fabares - all them early Sixties musical institutions get whole heaps of homage paid to 'em. And hot damn, there's even this creaky old Top 40 DJ type running all this vintage AM gobbledygook down yer throat. You're supposed to get the idea that it's comin' out of a car radio.

'Fun Fun Fun' has got some badass Chuck Berry Guitar that really gets on the case. I'll be damned if it didn't blow me right off the stool first time I heard it. And while Karen's version of 'Johnny Angel' ain't exactly running Blue Oyster Cult off any of the local turn tables, at least it does get me feelin' sorry for myself whenever I hear it. A great song to get drunk to, and pretty good downer music too!

And humour, hell, this stuff's an endless guffaw when you're wrecked. Two buds and you start noticing how Karen sings real funny, sorta like she's turning up her nose at the material. Real proper-like (on Dead Man's Curve'?) reminds me of the time I saw a newsreel of Pat Nixon eating an ice cream cone - with a spoon.

Side One (the Now side) ain't quite as exciting, but it's got its moments, including that runaway blockbuster AM smash hit called 'Sing', where the Carps are joined by this viscerally homogenous boys' choir singing in the higher ranges of castrato. This song's got that Lawrence Welk feel from start to finish, so you just know it's gonna be getting tons of ink come Grammy time.

'Now & Then' covers the present and the past - what about the Carpenters' future? Well, rumour has it that their next album's titled 'The Carpenters Go Slumming', and if you think this one's ace, 'Slumming' will absolutely burn yer eyeballs out'.
Richard sang lead on Deadman's Curve, whomever wrote this review. Pay attention.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Another case of a dumb-a** critic or reviewer knocking down whatever Carpenters recorded or put out. There were so many that got off on bashing our favorite duo, it got very tired and old. Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times was right up there. Little kind words in their glory days. I think that’s one reason they turned so much of their intentions to Japan and Great Britain where the respect and admiration was better received and respected Unfortunately they didn’t take off outside the U. S. and Canada until Yesterday Once More was released, 4 years after Ticket to Ride. Only after Karen’s untimely passing have the critics been more thoughtful here. It’s really a shame the way it was back then. Another reason it was so hard to be an outspoken Carpenters fan. The response was almost always negative. Never going to change my mind no matter what anyone writes or says. All the negative words and bashing on here needs to be toned down as well. It just creates bad feelings and resentment from the real and die hard fans. They NEVER made a bad album. Some are better than others of course, but I love anything they sang or recorded. There are a few cuts I skip sometimes. Not every song is Only Yesterday or Superstar. Every group or singer eventually looses their mass popularity, and record sales slow. That doesn’t mean their music is bad. Tastes change. Fans grow up. Priorities change. Spending habits change.
I truly believe we have been so fortunate and blessed with what we have. So much more than I had ever hoped for after Karen died. We can all hope for more. There is more. Whether it ever sees it's way to the market is up to Richard, UMG, and the Carpenters estate. Fingers crossed. Forever grateful.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Another case of a dumb-a** critic or reviewer knocking down whatever Carpenters recorded or put out
The reviewer was also writing for Rolling Stone, of course, so he was writing for their audience. It wasn't long after that when the famous full-length article came out in RS and finally gave them more of the respect they deserved. The magazine took some heat for it too... I remember a couple of critical notes in the letters section a couple issues later.
 

goodjeans

Active Member
The reviewer was also writing for Rolling Stone, of course, so he was writing for their audience. It wasn't long after that when the famous full-length article came out in RS and finally gave them more of the respect they deserved. The magazine took some heat for it too... I remember a couple of critical notes in the letters section a couple issues later.
Thank you for sharing this Mike. I bought that mag. hot off the press and really liked the article. Even when Karen was approached by a pile of napkins to autograph and said f?3k. Finally they seemed real.
 

Brian

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately they didn’t take off outside the U. S. and Canada until Yesterday Once More was released, 4 years after Ticket to Ride. Only after Karen’s untimely passing have the critics been more thoughtful here. It’s really a shame the way it was back then. Another reason it was so hard to be an outspoken Carpenters fan. The response was almost always negative. Never going to change my mind no matter what anyone writes or says. All the negative words and bashing on here needs to be toned down as well. It just creates bad feelings and resentment from the real and die hard fans. They NEVER made a bad album. Some are better than others of course, but I love anything they sang or recorded. There are a few cuts I skip sometimes. Not every song is Only Yesterday or Superstar. Every group or singer eventually looses their mass popularity, and record sales slow. That doesn’t mean their music is bad. Tastes change. Fans grow up. Priorities change. Spending habits change.
I truly believe we have been so fortunate and blessed with what we have. So much more than I had ever hoped for after Karen died. We can all hope for more. There is more. Whether it ever sees it's way to the market is up to Richard, UMG, and the Carpenters estate. Fingers crossed. Forever grateful.
I agree with a lot of what you’ve said, GDB2LV. With all respect to you, though, Carpenters did take off internationally long before ‘Yesterday Once More’. In Australia, for example, in 1970, ‘Close to You’ had the same impact as it did in the US. It was on the charts for eight months, reached Number One, where it stayed for four weeks, and was the SECOND biggest hit of the year. Carpenters then had two other Top Tens within seven months.

Six further singles hit the Top 30 within a 14-month period, from early 1972, (and there were other hits in between).

‘Top Of the World’ was another massive smash quite a while before ‘Yesterday Once More’, once again, with four weeks at Number One and over six months on the charts.

It took longer for K&R to have a smash album in Australia, their first one coming in mid-1972, reaching Top 3 and spending ten months on the charts.

Australian charts would be a consideration for major international artists because really big albums have been known to sell well over a million copies and it hasn’t been uncommon for albums to sell 400,000, if successful.

As for what you said about bashings on here..... I have sometimes thought that some comments about Richard have been a bit unfair. I’ve always been a huge admirer of his talent. I think it’s important that people feel comfortable to express their honest thoughts and opinions about what worked or didn’t work musically, though, in regard to both Karen’s and Richard’s output and performance, or in regard to what listeners liked or didn’t like, or opinions about promotion or management choices, etc. It has to be a free, open discussion - within reason.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
To continue, the threads have been so negative and mean the last few weeks I needed to speak up. I really don’t care what you think about me or me opinions. I just thought this was a place to share experiences and knowledge of our favorite group. Not a continuous Richard and Karen bashing. They are/were human. We all make mistakes eventually. What happened to Karen was crushing. What’s happening here is just sad sometimes. I’m an older fan. Started my infatuation and admiration in 1971. I was privileged to see them perform 6 times and Richard once after Karen passed. I went to the memorial service at the Downey Methodist Church to help with the loss. I visited her site in Cypress Ca. on the 5th anniversary of her death, a week after getting my cassette of the solo album, which I still have, and cherish. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs. That’s what this is for, but some of the things people say is just hateful.

NOTE: One sentence at the end of this post has been removed by the moderation team. No political content please.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Brian

Well-Known Member
The writer of the ‘Rolling Stone’ review, above, just sounds idiotic. Take this whole section:- “And while Karen's version of 'Johnny Angel' ain't exactly running Blue Oyster Cult off any of the local turn tables, at least it does get me feelin' sorry for myself whenever I hear it. A great song to get drunk to, and pretty good downer music too! And humour, hell, this stuff's an endless guffaw when you're wrecked. Two buds and you start noticing how Karen sings real funny....”
As Mike said, above, he is trying to pander to what he sees as the magazine’s readership, trying to be as outrageous as possible. Making it clear that he didn’t like The Carpenters, in his mind, was probably another ploy to show just how cool he, himself, was.

Still, he inferred that he listened to ‘Johnny Angel’ several times.....
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
Even though Now & Then is not my favorite it is one I listen to a lot. For every reason I like the Carpenters is present in Now & Then. From the vocal color shading of Karen’s overdubs to the exquisite drumming and the vocal strength in Karen’s singing in such a mature sound (This Masquerade) and pleasant tone (as in the oldies) and the hit single Yesterday Once More, a Carpenter/Bettis selection, my favorite Carpenters’ song, this album has all the ingredients that put them at their best. It’s not A Song For You or Horizon, but it is a solid offering, nonetheless. For an album at the highlight of their career, it represents some favorite selections that are Carpenters. Anyone who speaks against it just does not like easy pop or soft rock! For what it is - it’s the best example of it! Carpenters pleasure!
 

Brian

Well-Known Member
...... every reason I like the Carpenters is present in Now & Then. From the vocal color shading of Karen’s overdubs to the exquisite drumming and the vocal strength in Karen’s singing in such a mature sound (This Masquerade) and pleasant tone (as in the oldies) and the hit single Yesterday Once More, a Carpenter/Bettis selection, my favorite Carpenters’ song, this album has all the ingredients that put them at their best. It’s not A Song For You or Horizon, but it is a solid offering, nonetheless. For an album at the highlight of their career, it represents some favorite selections that are Carpenters. Anyone who speaks against it just does not like easy pop or soft rock! For what it is - it’s the best example of it! Carpenters pleasure!
Well expressed, CraigGA! Great harmonies, wonderful arrangements, brilliant musicianship and Karen’s beautiful tones.

Favourite songs for me, (and there are a lot of them), are ‘Yesterday Once More’, ‘This Masquerade’, ‘I Can’t Make Music’, ‘The End Of the World’, ‘Johnny Angel’ and ‘Our Day Will Come’ - all fantastic performances by Karen.

I also don’t mind at all ‘One Fine Day’, ‘Jambalaya’, ‘Da Do Ron Ron’ and ‘Sing’.

Btw, has anyone else ever heard grown men going about their business singing the chorus section of ‘Sing’ to themselves, in different, modified forms? I’ve heard it a few times.

Also, a friend of mine, when her son was young, said to me, “Karen Carpenter has a lot to answer for!” Her son was going around, constantly singing the “La la la la la” section over and over. I’d never played the song to him so not sure where he picked it up. Still, I used to love the song when a young boy, too, (and for many years after). Still don’t mind it.

‘Jambalaya’ was given quite a bit of airplay on my local radio station, when it was a single. I remember that my pre-teen self thought it was a live recording, because of the hand-clap, ‘Yee-hah’ and vocal noises section. I used to like the song a lot back then - still don’t mind it.

I also remember that the whole of Side 2 of ‘Now and Then’ was played on the local radio station one Sunday afternoon when my family was going for a country drive, probably 1973 or 1974. Not yet ten, I sat up and listened to every note. It must have been a heavenly experience, seeing as I can remember it so clearly, all these years later.
 

goodjeans

Active Member
Well expressed, CraigGA! Great harmonies, wonderful arrangements, brilliant musicianship and Karen’s beautiful tones.

Favourite songs for me, (and there are a lot of them), are ‘Yesterday Once More’, ‘This Masquerade’, ‘I Can’t Make Music’, ‘The End Of the World’, ‘Johnny Angel’ and ‘Our Day Will Come’ - all fantastic performances by Karen.

I also don’t mind at all ‘One Fine Day’, ‘Jambalaya’, ‘Da Do Ron Ron’ and ‘Sing’.

Btw, has anyone else ever heard grown men going about their business singing the chorus section of ‘Sing’ to themselves, in different, modified forms? I’ve heard it a few times.

Also, a friend of mine, when her son was young, said to me, “Karen Carpenter has a lot to answer for!” Her son was going around, constantly singing the “La la la la la” section over and over. I’d never played the song to him so not sure where he picked it up. Still, I used to love the song when a young boy, too, (and for many years after). Still don’t mind it.

‘Jambalaya’ was given quite a bit of airplay on my local radio station, when it was a single. I remember that my pre-teen self thought it was a live recording, because of the hand-clap, ‘Yee-hah’ and vocal noises section. I used to like the song a lot back then - still don’t mind it.

I also remember that the whole of Side 2 of ‘Now and Then’ was played on the local radio station one Sunday afternoon when my family was going for a country drive, probably 1973 or 1974. Not yet ten, I sat up and listened to every note. It must have been a heavenly experience, seeing as I can remember it so clearly, all these years later.
..."Deadmans Curve" came on the radio upon the album release. My Mom was driving us somewhere and the screeching of tires scared the h#ll out of her. She was so mad when she realized it was the radio. Ahhh, what memories, what memories.:cool:
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
I wonder if Richard Carpenter heard the 1972 song "Run To Me" by The Bee Gees & heard the lyric "Now and then you meet someone older" & decided to call the album "Now & Then"?? Matt Clark Sanford, MI
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I wonder if Richard Carpenter heard the 1972 song "Run To Me" by The Bee Gees & heard the lyric "Now and then you meet someone older" & decided to call the album "Now & Then"?? Matt Clark Sanford, MI
The idea for the album’s title came from none other than Agnes Carpenter, after she found out they were doing one side of current songs and one side of oldies.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
To continue, the threads have been so negative and mean the last few weeks I needed to speak up. I really don’t care what you think about me or me opinions. I just thought this was a place to share experiences and knowledge of our favorite group. Not a continuous Richard and Karen bashing. They are/were human. We all make mistakes eventually. What happened to Karen was crushing. What’s happening here is just sad sometimes. I’m an older fan. Started my infatuation and admiration in 1971. I was privileged to see them perform 6 times and Richard once after Karen passed. I went to the memorial service at the Downey Methodist Church to help with the loss. I visited her site in Cypress Ca. on the 5th anniversary of her death, a week after getting my cassette of the solo album, which I still have, and cherish. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs. That’s what this is for, but some of the things people say is just hateful.

NOTE: One sentence at the end of this post has been removed by the moderation team. No political content please.
What negative things have been said moreso than usual?
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
To continue, the threads have been so negative and mean the last few weeks I needed to speak up. I really don’t care what you think about me or me opinions. I just thought this was a place to share experiences and knowledge of our favorite group. Not a continuous Richard and Karen bashing. They are/were human. We all make mistakes eventually. What happened to Karen was crushing. What’s happening here is just sad sometimes. I’m an older fan. Started my infatuation and admiration in 1971. I was privileged to see them perform 6 times and Richard once after Karen passed. I went to the memorial service at the Downey Methodist Church to help with the loss. I visited her site in Cypress Ca. on the 5th anniversary of her death, a week after getting my cassette of the solo album, which I still have, and cherish. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs. That’s what this is for, but some of the things people say is just hateful.

NOTE: One sentence at the end of this post has been removed by the moderation team. No political content please.
"NOTE: One sentence at the end of this post has been removed by the moderation team. No political content please."

Thanks for that!!

The day that we start getting political in this forum is the day it will start being BORING!!! Let's not ever let this get boring...It's too much fun.
 
Top Bottom