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

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, May 2, 2013.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    13 vote(s)
  2. ****

    36 vote(s)
  3. ***

    16 vote(s)
  4. **

    1 vote(s)
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
  1. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    The laughs on "Jambalaya", ever since I first heard it on the Singles 1974-1978 CD I've thought of as Richard's "evil" laugh. I was just listening to the 74-78 CD on Saturday, and those laughs seemed to be perfect for Halloween.
  2. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I always assumed it was Tony Peluso as the demonic laugher.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Karen Carpenter's drumming on this album is fascinating to discern.
    Especially comparing such to her drumming on the Offering album.
    I'm rather surprised that the track for Jambalaya wasn't redone with Karen on drums.
    (Not that Hal Blaine isn't great; merely for the purpose of maintaining continuity throughout the album.)
  4. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    That's because it was cut during a previous session that Hal was already drumming on.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Thanks, again, Chris May !

    Richard Carpenter does say:
    " The rhythm track to our version was recorded in 1972, and put aside.
    In the coming months, our schedule became ever tighter and,
    as I did not have enough time to listen to and/or write as many new songs as I would have liked,
    we completed this track in early 1973, for inclusion in our upcoming Now & Then album."

    Needless to say, as the 'track' was not completed until 1973, I still ask why the rhythm part could not
    have been re- done (by Karen) whilst they were recording the (background??) vocals to finish the song.
    Or, was the Lead vocal also recorded in 1972?
    (Richard Carpenter: ".....by completing a track we had recorded in 1972, Jambalaya..").

  6. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    Because the other foundational instrumentation was already in place, having been played at the time the drums were recorded. In order to re-cut the the drums, Richard would have deemed it necessary to re-cut everything else that was already in place, as the "groove" was established around and with Hal's playing. I also don't know that there was a master plan to make sure that Karen played everything on the next album. I think it worked out that way for the 'season' that most of those tracks were recorded if that makes sense. By then they'd appeased Herb and Jerry with having Hal on the previous records/singles.
  7. NowhereMan

    NowhereMan Active Member

    I like this mix of "Sing" that I heard on YouTube today. It has the children's choir eliminated so that we can hear Karen's guide vocals for the kids. I never would have thought that Karen was under all that! It does remind me of watching the Japanese concert rehearsal where she sings with the local children.

  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the "Sing" , above !
    I've always felt--in its own way--that "Sing" was one of Richard Carpenter's inspired arrangements.
    And, of course, Karen sings "Sing" sublimely. It is a fascinating song, more complex than generally realized.
    (I wish the arrangement of Rainbow Connection had been more in line with this one--children's choir as example).
    On another note:
    Given my anathema to the ending of This Masquerade, in particular the final Richard Carpenter vocal, "lost in a masquerade...",
    I noticed his 'end-note' vocals appearing elsewhere:
    The end (preceding the harmonies) of Want You Back In My Life ("...want you back in my life...")
    or, on the 4:10 version of Only Yesterday--his final vocals ending the song with '...Only Yesterday..."
    Are there other instances in song where he is largely absent in Lead,
    and then pops in at the last moment?
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  9. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    He's there all the way through Back In My Life Again on the choruses :)
  10. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Good point, Stephen, as he is all over the choral parts.
    However, there is that one instance near song's end where he is alone in singing "...want you back in my life...",
    then the final chorus. Also, in particular, that last "lost in a masquerade", Richard sings near that song ending has always
    set less than well with my ears. Same happens on Only Yesterday, the one instance at song's end when he sings "... Only Yesterday..."
    Admittedly, I can listen to any of his harmonizing with Karen, but, for whatever reason
    whenever it is just his vocal near the end of a song--it doesn't sit well with me. (Exception: he sounds great on Only Yesterday).
    Well,I may be a bit harsh in my assessment. Let's just say I prefer Richard's voice to be conjoined with Karen's !
    I suppose for me, the harmonizing is great, however, when Richard sings alone--specifically at song's end--it tends to bug my senses.
    (Sort of like the way the choral parts on Ave Maria bug me--it doesn't destroy the beauty, it just doesn't complement the song in a
    meaningful manner for me.Whereas the harmonizing--Karen and Richard-- is always meaningful.)
  11. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Here is a slightly different version of the Sing Promo Ad
    Cashbox Feb 24, 1973

    Chris Mills likes this.
  12. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Now & Then Album Review
    Cashbox May 26, 1973

  13. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I have never seen this promo ad for their single "Yesterday Once More"
    Cashbox June 09, 1973

    goodjeans and K.C. Jr like this.
  14. Tapdancer

    Tapdancer Active Member

    Being able to write a great song meant for children should be something to be proud of.

    Did the Beatles lose cred with Altogether Now, Goodnight or Yellow Submarine ?
    Did the Seekers (with number ones 'Georgy Girl', 'Carnival is Over', 'I'll Never Find Another You') have to apologise for their other #1 Morningtown Ride ? Of course not.

    Given the emotional depth which characterises much of the Carpenters output - especially after being given the 'Karen' treatment - anyone who thinks Sing is only light fluff may be missing the point.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
    JBee, Don Malcolm, Jamesj75 and 2 others like this.
  15. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Cashbox Ad for the UK
    Feb 15, 1975
  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    My big purchase for the month (actually, today):
    a $25 Quadraphonic copy of Now & Then.....
    Well, I had to own at least one copy of a Quad LP !
    (So, a little less gasoline for the car next month to stay within budget ! )
    theninjarabbit likes this.
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    As I listened to the Richard Carpenter Interview from 2015 on that (recently posted)
    Car Radio Show, I was interested in those comments made by Richard regarding the Album cover for
    Now & Then

    Given that this was a tri-fold Cover,
    it must have cost a bit more to assemble--not to mention, it got an inner sleeve.
    But, in terms of the Cover photo,
    I remember in a previous interview Richard said he just doesn't smile while driving--
    thus the look on his face. Now, we learn, there were other reasons--I defer to the interview.
    (1) Why did they allow themselves (Karen and Richard) to have "matching" outfits ?
    At least implicitly, this gives the impression of no autonomy between Karen and Richard.
    (Would anyone sensibly expect them to "dress" alike --here, identical shirts ?)
    (2) And, regards Richard driving.
    They never would have photographed Karen in the driver's seat !
    (Thus, even with Richard's broken wrist, it wasn't going to be photographed any other way.)
    Not only was this the first-produced LP after firing Jack Daugherty--it was the first LP that
    implicitly said "I'm in the driver's seat" !
    Just some random musings...
    MissK likes this.
  18. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I was kind of surprised when Richard said that he had a broken wrist and was driving a car that "drove like a truck". In that instance I think Karen should've been in the driver's seat, since she would've had better control over the car. Richard was more than angry---itr seems like he didn't care whether he drove over the photographer.
  19. LondonRobert

    LondonRobert Active Member

    I read somewhere that Richard wasn't happy with the way the corner window cut across Karen's face and obscured it.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    In case you missed it, here is Randy Edelman's recording of his song,
    I Can't Make Music
  21. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Here is a really nice article of Karen pressed about the time Now & Then was released.
    Record World May 19, 1973

    Graeme and theninjarabbit like this.
  22. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I can't find the Official Review Thread for Singles 1969-1973 but here is an alternate promo ad.
    Record World Dec 08, 1973

  23. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Rick, for all these scans!
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  24. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    1991, From The Top
    Quoting Richard Carpenter, Liner Notes:
    "Beginning with our 1972 Summer Tour we included an "Oldies" Medley
    in concert. It met with such favorable response that we decided to include a
    similar Medley in our forthcoming Album and limit the selection to 1960's vintage."

    No mention here of having to do a Medley
    on the Now & Then LP due to forced time constraints,
    or lack of studio time due to constant touring.
  25. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    This forum is a treasure trove of information! Thanks for all the graphics, photos, and articles. I thought I had exhausted the internet about The Carpenters but so much of this I had not seen before.
    David A likes this.

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