• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy 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 available for ordering here.

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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 15 17.6%
  • ****

    Votes: 49 57.6%
  • ***

    Votes: 20 23.5%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.2%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    85

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
To commemorate 48 years of Now & Then (Now & Then turns 48 tomorrow, as it was released on May 9, 1973), I present to you:

The 1997 remix of the Now & Then "Oldies Medley"

and

The single version of "Yesterday Once More."

Enjoy :)

P.S. For those of you wanting to hear a clean "Our Day Will Come," without any DJ intro or outro, check out the 1997 remix link. I have the timestamps of each track in the description so you can hop to the song you want to hear. :)
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I like this performance, One Fine Day with Carole King on vocals and piano, quite entertaining:
I know that this is a Carpenters forum and not a Carole King forum BUT I believe that Ms. King performed "One Fine Day" in around 1980-1981 to promote her album Pearls: Songs of Goffin and King. It contains a lot of Goffin-King classics from the 1960s that Carole herself never recorded (the demos were given to other artists to record), so she released "One Fine Day" as a single in 1980 to promote the album. I have quite a few copies of that 45, and actually quite appreciate the B-side, which is impossible to find anywhere, called "The Rulers of the World" (also subtitled "Recipients of History"). Maybe if I can find the 45, I'll make a digital transfer once my new AT stylus comes in, but imho 45s are always so noisy compared to LPs... will share on my YouTube channel if anyone is interested. :)
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I have quite a few copies of that 45, and actually quite appreciate the B-side, which is impossible to find anywhere, called "The Rulers of the World" (also subtitled "Recipients of History"). Maybe if I can find the 45, I'll make a digital transfer once my new AT stylus comes in, but imho 45s are always so noisy compared to LPs... will share on my YouTube channel if anyone is interested. :)
If anyone is interested :)

 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
It’s interesting, but in the interview in the 1997 Reader’s Digest set, Karen mentions that they were considering releasing “Our Day Will Come, End of the world & Johnny Angel” as singles for ‘Now & Then’ but didn’t, plus there were other tracks that they wanted to release as singles from N&T.

It’s kind of surprising that those songs didn’t end up as B-sides.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
Rolling Stone ,July 1974: "When she really comes alive is when she sings; she changes completely. Joking or talking one moment, she becomes a different person the very next, as soon as she opens her mouth. Out comes that unique and wonderful voice, exactly as on record, expressing fascinating contrasts: chilling perfection with much warmth; youth with wisdom. Then she seems to be someone who knows something of life.
She must be aware of the transformation she brings about, yet when asked to describe what happens at such a moment,
all she will guardedly say is “I don’t know what you mean. I’m not thinking of anything in particular. I’m just . . . trying to get it right."
Karen is one of the extremely rare, unique voices that I have always been intrigued with, and sometimes downright baffled by with regards to what journalist Tom Nolan mentions in the Rolling Stone feature.

Forget about any of the presumed, psychological influences that may or may not have directly affected this, the contrast between Karen's singing voice at the technical level was so vast in comparison to her spoken voice, that it was a downright phenomenon in my humble opinion. I believe it comes down to two factors:

The first, was her ability to shift the diction between the two voices—transforming from twangy to svelte in a blink of an eye, depending on whether she was speaking or singing. And the second relates to the difference in tonal ranges between the two. Her spoken voice was quite misleading if one was to assume what she might have sounded like when she sang, as it was quite mid-rangy and even a bit high-pitched at times. As soon as she shifted into song, even if only for a few notes—sung anywhere between a sixth down to a lower second below middle C, out came the mysterious songbird, whom we all know today as Karen Carpenter.
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
For Karen, getting in right meant the right words on the right melody, all expressed with the right emotion that these two elements implied and demanded. In other words, sung as the composer(s) intended.

Her pronunciation, or diction, was near perfect and always so - even in her lowest range, way down there in the "basement", where lyrics tend to get a little muddled by sloopier, less competent singers, her words were always crystal clear and precise. As a great example listen to her as she glides so effortlessly and smoothly through the lyrics of the verses of "Where Do I Go From Here?", perhaps the most sustained and awesome vocal cruising she ever recorded in her lowest possible range.

And her vocal tone was indeed "unique and wonderful". Many, many people consider her voice the most beautiful in the history of popular music. One sees this comment all the time in reviews of, or reactions to, her recordings. People say that they "could listen to her sing for hours, or all day". But they also frequently say that her voice is relaxing, or calming, or stress relieving - like a vocal tranquilizer. One guy even thought that there was some sort of primal physical connection that developes between her voice and something fundamental and deep seated within our brains...and there is no doubt that there is a warmth and peace and serenity that overcomes one when listening to her sing, where one stops what one is doing and closes one's eyes and simply allows the feeling to wash over one on its way to the heart...this experience I think is the secret source to her tremendous appeal as a singer...she could be singing almost anything - her Things To Do Today list - and one would feel this drug like effect...
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Her voice is a complete paradox. Dark and light, thin and thick (thin in the passagio, but thick in resonance), heavy but light, straightforward but filled with emotion, simple yet complicated, happy yet pained.
I find those contradictions to make her so much more interesting than one-dimensional artists/singers.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I hope this isn't a dumb question, but... who is the Golden Mystery Group?
 

LyndaK

Well-Known Member
Here's the digital transfer of the quadraphonic disc of Now & Then, QU-53519, for your listening pleasure:


The original disc was noisier than anticipated, but I think it still sounds pretty good!
Thank you for sharing the files! I listened with headphones and it seems Karen's voice is only heard in my right ear (not sure how the channels work when listening via headphones). I hear the percussion more than usual with this album in the quadraphonic disc you digitized.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thank you for sharing the files! I listened with headphones and it seems Karen's voice is only heard in my right ear (not sure how the channels work when listening via headphones). I hear the percussion more than usual with this album in the quadraphonic disc you digitized.
You're absolutely welcome! I'm not sure why Karen's voice is only in your right ear. I took a listen to the first few tracks in my AirPods and can hear her voice in both channels. However, I do think I hear some phasing or "bouncing" between channels at times, which I know bothers some folks.

I've also noticed that the percussion and drum lines are much more prominent on the Carpenters' quad recordings, at least when listening to them through a stereo setup. I quite like it!
 

LyndaK

Well-Known Member
You're absolutely welcome! I'm not sure why Karen's voice is only in your right ear. I took a listen to the first few tracks in my AirPods and can hear her voice in both channels. However, I do think I hear some phasing or "bouncing" between channels at times, which I know bothers some folks.

I've also noticed that the percussion and drum lines are much more prominent on the Carpenters' quad recordings, at least when listening to them through a stereo setup. I quite like it!
I like it as well! I tend to be sensitive to percussion and bass, therefore it is always enjoyable when they are more prominent.

I'm going to listen again with my AirPods. There could have been a problem with the old EarPods I used, which have been experiencing some contact problems.
 

LyndaK

Well-Known Member
Karen is one of the extremely rare, unique voices that I have always been intrigued with, and sometimes downright baffled by with regards to what journalist Tom Nolan mentions in the Rolling Stone feature.

Forget about any of the presumed, psychological influences that may or may not have directly affected this, the contrast between Karen's singing voice at the technical level was so vast in comparison to her spoken voice, that it was a downright phenomenon in my humble opinion. I believe it comes down to two factors:

The first, was her ability to shift the diction between the two voices—transforming from twangy to svelte in a blink of an eye, depending on whether she was speaking or singing. And the second relates to the difference in tonal ranges between the two. Her spoken voice was quite misleading if one was to assume what she might have sounded like when she sang, as it was quite mid-rangy and even a bit high-pitched at times. As soon as she shifted into song, even if only for a few notes—sung anywhere between a sixth down to a lower second below middle C, out came the mysterious songbird, whom we all know today as Karen Carpenter.
I always thought her speaking voice was quite soft, compared to what one might expect after hearing her sing.
 

LyndaK

Well-Known Member
You're absolutely welcome! I'm not sure why Karen's voice is only in your right ear. I took a listen to the first few tracks in my AirPods and can hear her voice in both channels. However, I do think I hear some phasing or "bouncing" between channels at times, which I know bothers some folks.

I've also noticed that the percussion and drum lines are much more prominent on the Carpenters' quad recordings, at least when listening to them through a stereo setup. I quite like it!
I just listened with my Jabra over ear headphones (instead of my AirPods) and now I can hear Karen's voice in both channels. 👍 In Yesterday Once More, the sound changes in the chorus when Karen sings "still shines" and when she sings "as they melt the years away". Maybe they were trying to achieve something with the overdubbing.
 
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