• 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]: "OFFERING"/"TICKET TO RIDE" (SP-4205)

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (Best)

    Votes: 16 22.9%
  • ****

    Votes: 22 31.4%
  • ***

    Votes: 21 30.0%
  • **

    Votes: 10 14.3%
  • *

    Votes: 1 1.4%

  • Total voters
    70

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Oh yeah I know about her cold but I still thought he would have used some technical trickery to make it all sound closer to how they wanted it to, vocally and technically. He still can I just wondered why if her “cold” sound kept him from going back.
When you listen to the last “Somedayyyy”, you can really hear Karen’s vocal just flatten from cold. In Richard’s view, the 1980 version is the definitive version.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
When you listen to the last “Somedayyyy”, you can really hear Karen’s vocal just flatten from cold. In Richard’s view, the 1980 version is the definitive version.
I disagree completely with him. Karen might’ve had a technically off vocal in 1969 but all of it including that last belt is sung with real passion which the sterile 1980 cut is without.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I disagree completely with him. Karen might’ve had a technically off vocal in 1969 but all of it including that last belt is sung with real passion which the sterile 1980 cut is without.
Here’s Richard’s response on the ‘Fans Ask’ on richardandkarencarpenter.com.


"Someday" I agree, is a heck of a song; hell I co-wrote it! But between Karen never being satisfied with the lead and the harp sweep into the second verse being distorted, something that rarely happened on our records, and it never really turning out the way Karen had planned singing it (she was quite young, 19 and had a cold at the time) and me not being absolutely delighted with the production work and the flute solo that's on it not being played very well, well that's why. Karen and I were planning on redoing two songs from the first album that were always near and dear to us, "Someday" and "Eve".​
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Here’s Richard’s response on the ‘Fans Ask’ on richardandkarencarpenter.com.


"Someday" I agree, is a heck of a song; hell I co-wrote it! But between Karen never being satisfied with the lead and the harp sweep into the second verse being distorted, something that rarely happened on our records, and it never really turning out the way Karen had planned singing it (she was quite young, 19 and had a cold at the time) and me not being absolutely delighted with the production work and the flute solo that's on it not being played very well, well that's why. Karen and I were planning on redoing two songs from the first album that were always near and dear to us, "Someday" and "Eve".​
Makes sense, but I think some tinkering in the 80s could’ve helped. I think Eve’s remix makes the song absolutely flawless. There’s nothing that needed fixing after that.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
‘Eve’ is phenomenal! I like to know that, on the original, Karen is playing bass, drums and performing most vocals, and is only 19. What a talent! And Richard also demonstrates his talent by co-writing, arranging, playing keyboards and, arguably, producing.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Makes sense, but I think some tinkering in the 80s could’ve helped. I think Eve’s remix makes the song absolutely flawless. There’s nothing that needed fixing after that.
I don’t think the technology used for RPO existed in the 80’s or it was in its infancy.
But really, would you want Richard to use auto tune on the tapes? (Mostly back then digital tape was for high quality storage and editing without losing a generation.)

As Richard said on “Baby It’s You” and it’s recorded static, the best way, back then to clean up a track was either to delete it or do a brand new recording of the instrument.

Considering that the “Offering” tapes are rarely touched (and it was the 73 re-record that was used in 2004; but if you remember Karen wasn’t fond of her 69 vocal, hence the re-record), the original analog tapes probably still exist so Richard could rebuild and remaster the album digitally and get rid of the analog mixing errors.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Someday.....What an interesting song this turns out to be.
Not appearing on either the Japanese Composer Series cd (highlighting "Carpenter/Bettis")
or the USA cd release of Carpenters perform Carpenter, and that absence speaks volumes to me.
But, even more interesting to me is the vocal comparisons as reflection of Karen's evolution as a songstress between 1969 and 1980.
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
When I hear this I always picture Karen alone at center stage, singing this in a single spotlight at some dramatic point in the middle of a serious Broadway musical...it would fit quite nicely into the soundtrack of "Les Miz".
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
@The Starclipse - one thing you will want to treat yourself to at some point in the near future is to compare the version of "Ticket to Ride" as found on "Offering" with the re-recorded version found on the album "Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra"...
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I did the first two Carpenters albums backwards. Though I'd heard and liked "Ticket To Ride" from hearing it on the radio, I got the CLOSE TO YOU album on release and explored it thoroughly over and over before getting OFFERING as a Christmas gift. And I really like what I heard on OFFERING - as Starclipse mentions, it's a group-sounding effort with the near-alternating leads.
 
I started working in the Mall in 1969 and I went to JC Penney's every Tuesday because that was when the new releases came out. And even though we had a dedicated record store in the Mall, the best selection was in the small record department in JC Penney's. When the Mall opened they would only allow one type of each specialty store and that went to Record World. I think as a workaround, Camelot opened the record store in JC Penney's. In any case, one day I went there, and they had "Offering." I snatched it up, fully intending to buy it. But then I looked at the cover. I thought they looked so weird. Made me think of the Flying Nun. I even wondered if they were religious or something. That wouldn't have put me off, but the cover did though. Not sure why though. Maybe peer pressure. But regrettably, I put the record back and didn't buy it until the Carpenters were more successful and it was re-released as "Ticket to Ride"

I confess that this is my least favorite Carpenters album. I only recently gave it another spin after not hearing it for nearly 50 years. The songs did sound kind of muddy to me. But I wish I had bought the album that day, if only because it is so rare. But I think I still wouldn't listen to it much. Still hasn't grown on me.
 
Just wanted to add that the versions of these songs that are on the box sets sound substantially better to me. I think if those versions had been on the original album, I would have liked it more.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Just wanted to add that the versions of these songs that are on the box sets sound substantially better to me. I think if those versions had been on the original album, I would have liked it more.
You have to remember that what appeared on the various box sets are demo versions from before A&M or remixes from 1987 or even straight re-records. Also, not all the tracks from Offering have appeared on compilations. “What’s the Use” & Benediction” have never been anthologized, so they are exclusive to Offering/Ticket To Ride. “Invocation”/“Don’t Be Afraid ” are remixes on TTR (and an analog generation away) from the same 4-track Magic Lamp master as the demo on From The Top/The Essential Collection. “Your Wonderful Parade” demo was from the ML 4-track, but then the 4-track was transferred to 8-track in 69, for additional recording, and thus the TTR version is at least 2 generations away and noisier than the demo (and of course the version on the PBS set is a vinyl rip as the original 69 mono mix couldn’t be located).

“Someday/Get Together” are also exclusive to TTR but have completely different recordings on FTT/TEC.

And then you have “All of my Life” & “Eve” that were remixed with new re-recorded parts for in 1987 for the Japanese “Treasures” set that have appeared on other sets, and in 87 Richard even mentioned that for the CD they were trying to make the songs sound like they had been recorded digitally in stereo, hence the deletion of the bass line from the first verse of “Baby It’s You” from Close To You because of static that was noticeable in digital but not in analog, and the number of re-records of the piano and other instruments into stereo at that time (although “Your Wonderful Parade” was left as it appeared on TTR).

Suffice it to say, the TTR album has never received a complete remix since 1969.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
From the first moment I heard it, OFFERING has been a treasure for me. Do I hear distortion? Oh yeah. Did from day one. But even the efforts to re-do or improve the sound on box sets, RPO's and re-records does not diminish my love for OFFERING. It's one of my desert island discs.

Now, I also have a fondness for the 1973 SINGLES update to "Ticket To Ride". It's a superb effort and gets to me every time, but I still love the old, original, some say "raw" recording on OFFERING.

Every time I get a new iteration of the album, I check to see if some of the distortion is reduced - it never is. I've gotten the TICKET TO RIDE cover version, the pink UK later version, the A&M CD, the A&M Rebound CD, the UK box set, the Japanese box set. That distortion is there for eternity at this stage of the game. Like hearing a click in a favorite record, even when it's not there anymore, I'll probably always hear the distortions in my head on OFFERING. But I still love it. Nothing's gonna change that.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
The pink UK version you can really hear how rough sounding the analog tapes are, since you had Close To You & We’ve Only Just Begun, which have a low signal-to-noise ratio but then every other track has an extremely high signal-to-noise ratio, that was only compounded by the fact that in 1979 MFP was probably using an analog copy that was at least a generation from the album master in the states (unless it was prepared in the states and MFP just pressed the vinyl from supplied metal masters).

It would be nice, since the analog masters most likely still exist for “Offering”, if Richard would go back and do a 55th anniversary release where he made a clean remix, where the analog masters were transferred into a computer from their earliest masters and the album was rebuilt with just the 60’s tracks, but cleaned up like the RPO set was cleaned up so that there are no squeaky doors or air conditioners in the recording and any generational noise from the analog tapes is removed, since he wouldn’t be doing analog mixing, but digital mixing.
And maybe at the same time he could do a DTS 5.1/PCM 2.0 mix for a DVD or PCM 5.1 for Blu-Ray release. Or maybe it could get a release on a Nintendo Switch game card in 7.1 PCM.
 
I remember back in the early 70's that I used to listen to "Don't Be Afraid" and I liked it. It was the B side of one of the singles. But when I went back and listened to the album Ticket to Ride after all those years, the version on the album was not the version that I remembered. The version I liked had a cleaner brighter cheery sound. Was the single version different than the LP version? Or maybe I have the version from "From The Top" stuck in my head.

I really didn't know there were "alternate mixes" out there until I started coming to this forum. I guess I never listened to two albums that had different versions on them close enough together to ever notice. And besides I never knew that record companies let artists do that. I thought that once a version was out there, then that was the version that was out there for most of eternity. I've heard of an occasional alternate task showing up on an album...sometimes as a mistake. But it didn't see like the norm.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
@The Starclipse - one thing you will want to treat yourself to at some point in the near future is to compare the version of "Ticket to Ride" as found on "Offering" with the re-recorded version found on the album "Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra"...
I greatly prefer the original 1969 vocal and overall version over the 1973 ‘Singles’ version and the RPO version.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I, too, am very fond of the ‘Offering’ / ‘Ticket to Ride’ album. It demonstrates both Karen’s and Richard’s talents to the full.

Karen sounds incredible. I like her singing style, which she changed as she got older.

‘Don’t be Afraid’ was the ‘B’ side of my first-ever Carpenters 45 and I played it relentlessly. ‘Get Together’ was on my first-ever album ‘Great Hits of The Carpenters, Vol 2, 1969-1973’ and I loved it.

Some of the remixes of individual songs that have been done since then, I haven’t really liked. I’m glad that the album, as a whole, hasn’t been touched.

The album is full of exuberance and joy and celebration of the love of music. I enjoy it just as it is.
 

David A

Well-Known Member
I, too, am very fond of the ‘Offering’ / ‘Ticket to Ride’ album. It demonstrates both Karen’s and Richard’s talents to the full.

Karen sounds incredible. I like her singing style, which she changed as she got older.

I've often wondered how much of Karen's vocal changes over the course of her career were by 'choice' and how much was the natural evolution of her vocal sound as she matured. Clearly both were in play; how much of each, probably never know.

Someone please correct me if I am misremembering this, but I believe Karen is on record as saying (or Richard has stated that she said) she was generally inclined to re-record her earliest vocals as she felt she sounded a bit "husky" on them. I believe that statement was made specific to TTR, actually.
 

byline

Well-Known Member
I've often wondered how much of Karen's vocal changes over the course of her career were by 'choice' and how much was the natural evolution of her vocal sound as she matured. Clearly both were in play; how much of each, probably never know.

Someone please correct me if I am misremembering this, but I believe Karen is on record as saying (or Richard has stated that she said) she was generally inclined to re-record her earliest vocals as she felt she sounded a bit "husky" on them. I believe that statement was made specific to TTR, actually.
My sense is that it's both, and that there were mixed results with the re-recordings. I loved the re-recording of "Ticket to Ride" (the song). For me, that's as perfect a marriage between Karen's warmly intimate voice and Richard's imaginative focus on the song's ballad quality. I was less happy with the re-recordings of "Merry Christmas, Darling" and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town". I loved Karen's huskier voice on the first recording of "Merry Christmas, Darling"; she brought such a soulful yearning to that version. Same with "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town". Karen's voice was smoother, by this time, but the first version had a lot more energy thanks to the jazzy brass accompaniment. The re-recorded version, with its modified arrangement, sounded "sleepy" to me, somehow. But I'm sure that Karen believed all the later versions better reflected her more mature voice.

Karen is quoted as saying she over-sang as a young vocalist. I disagree. I love the passion her younger voice brings to those early recordings. Whether she deliberately hit the "mute" button later on, or her physical condition meant that she couldn't push her voice like that, I don't know.

Having said all that, I have always loved "Ticket to Ride (the album). It showed so much promise in what Karen and Richard could deliver. It's interesting that it's the one album where she and Richard share lead vocals almost equally. In that, I think the album suffers a bit. Karen should be singing most of the lead vocals, with Richard shining on a few songs. That's a mistake I felt they made later on (in the opposite direction), in deciding that the albums were to be Karen pretty much solo on lead vocals. I liked the contrast Richard's lead vocals brought to their albums, even though Karen was clearly the superior singer.

I also like the fact that Karen drums on this entire album. I have never understood the criticisms of her drumming, but maybe it's because I have never heard her drum tracks for the "Close to You" album contrasted with Hal Blaine's. Maybe if I heard that, I would understand the difference.

One of the biggest highlights of "Ticket to Ride" is that it showcases those magnificent overdubbed vocal harmonies between Karen and Richard, which should have been their signature sound throughout their entire career (rather than, later on, having choruses try to mimic that sound ... always to disappointing effect, at least for me). It was such a distinctive sound. Karen's voice was a big part of that, yes. But those overdubbed vocal harmonies, with Karen's lead voice, were the distinctive Carpenters sound.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
My sense is that it's both, and that there were mixed results with the re-recordings. I loved the re-recording of "Ticket to Ride" (the song). For me, that's as perfect a marriage between Karen's warmly intimate voice and Richard's imaginative focus on the song's ballad quality. I was less happy with the re-recordings of "Merry Christmas, Darling" and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town". I loved Karen's huskier voice on the first recording of "Merry Christmas, Darling"; she brought such a soulful yearning to that version. Same with "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town". Karen's voice was smoother, by this time, but the first version had a lot more energy thanks to the jazzy brass accompaniment. The re-recorded version, with its modified arrangement, sounded "sleepy" to me, somehow. But I'm sure that Karen believed all the later versions better reflected her more mature voice.

Karen is quoted as saying she over-sang as a young vocalist. I disagree. I love the passion her younger voice brings to those early recordings. Whether she deliberately hit the "mute" button later on, or her physical condition meant that she couldn't push her voice like that, I don't know.

Having said all that, I have always loved "Ticket to Ride (the album). It showed so much promise in what Karen and Richard could deliver. It's interesting that it's the one album where she and Richard share lead vocals almost equally. In that, I think the album suffers a bit. Karen should be singing most of the lead vocals, with Richard shining on a few songs. That's a mistake I felt they made later on (in the opposite direction), in deciding that the albums were to be Karen pretty much solo on lead vocals. I liked the contrast Richard's lead vocals brought to their albums, even though Karen was clearly the superior singer.

I also like the fact that Karen drums on this entire album. I have never understood the criticisms of her drumming, but maybe it's because I have never heard her drum tracks for the "Close to You" album contrasted with Hal Blaine's. Maybe if I heard that, I would understand the difference.

One of the biggest highlights of "Ticket to Ride" is that it showcases those magnificent overdubbed vocal harmonies between Karen and Richard, which should have been their signature sound throughout their entire career (rather than, later on, having choruses try to mimic that sound ... always to disappointing effect, at least for me). It was such a distinctive sound. Karen's voice was a big part of that, yes. But those overdubbed vocal harmonies, with Karen's lead voice, were the distinctive Carpenters sound.
I agree that Karen's earliest recordings were amazing. I love the sound of her voice on all the songs that we've heard, from 1966 onward. She had a very distinctive sound when she sang a bit more forcefully and exuberantly, in her young years. Even back then, no-one sounded like her.

I was just thinking that, maybe, she considered her later more intimate style 'better' because a lot of her heroes, such as Perry Como and Matt Munroe, sang in a very quiet, intimate style. Maybe she later aimed to mirror this, whereas, in the 1960s, perhaps she was more influenced by some of the rock that was around her at the time on the radio, etc.

Ella Fitzgerald, who we know that Karen and Richard admired greatly, certainly has her share of very intimate recordings, along with her scat-singing and joyous jazz celebrations, etc.

Any number of recording artists from the era when Karen and Richard were growing up, when they obviously formed much of their opinion of what was 'good' and worthy of following as an example, sang in an intimate style, rather than singing out. Some that I can think of are Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Julie London, Nat King Cole, Mel Torme.... the list would go on and on. (Some of these would also record 'louder' vocals, at different times of their careers).

Personally, I find Karen's re-recording of 'Ticket to Ride' almost contrived, whereas her original, 1969 recording hits me as a much more honest and in-the-moment reading. I don't mind her re-recording of 'Merry Christmas, Darling', although I also love her original. I think both versions are probably equally good. To be honest, I didn't know that there had been an alternate vocal recorded for 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'. I think the 1974-era sultry, languid vocal is superb - couldn't be better. (I know K & R recorded the short, upbeat version on 'Christmas Portrait').

I don't mind the sharing of lead vocals on the 'Offering' / 'Ticket to Ride' album. I agree that this gives character and variety. However, I also agree that the album could have been better, had Karen taken all or most lead vocals. I love the original 'Get Together' with Richard on lead but the 'From the Top' version, with Karen on lead, is irresistible, as are her shelved recordings from around the same time, that weren't released until 'From the Top' and 'As Time Goes By'. Having said all that, the album is what it is, and I love it for what it is.

The 'Offering' / 'Ticket to Ride' album really is a treat in its very own category, as some of the ingredients for Carpenters albums changed quite quickly, after this.
 
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