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Official Review [Album]: "OFFERING"/"TICKET TO RIDE" (SP-4205)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jan 1, 2013.

How Would You Rate This Album?

  1. ***** (Best)

    12 vote(s)
  2. ****

    13 vote(s)
  3. ***

    16 vote(s)
  4. **

    7 vote(s)
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
  1. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    After my spin of Richard Carpenter's solo effort, "Time", I went back in time and
    gave a complete re-listen to "Offering".
    Love this album. The opening vocals with, "Invocation" are simply beautiful.
    Karen's early reading of "Ticket To Ride" is one of my favorite performances.
    So many interesting musical things happening with this album.
    The string arrangements are stunning, as is Karen's drumming and Richard's Keyboards.
    "All of My Life" and "Someday" are extremely well executed, on every musical level.
    I like the chic-phasing on "Get Together", '60s though it may be!
    For the most part, I enjoy every song on this album.
    What became of Gary Sims on Guitar? Did he leave the entourage?
  2. FreddieB

    FreddieB Member

    I quite like the Dutch Boy tracks on this one. 'Your Wonderful Parade' is just a lot of fun and 'Turn Away' is a nice mixture of Baroque and teenage boy angst. I like the spoken bits by Richard on YWP. I wish he would have at least did three songs on each album. Too bad after 'Now & Then' he didn't give us anymore Dutch Boy tracks. It seems to me that Richard sings more lead on this one than Karen. I must look at it again to see.

    I remember thinking that this group is called 'Carpenters', but why isn't Richard singing anymore?????? I like Richard's voice. I play this more than some of their later works.

    Kristopher, arthowson and Don Malcolm like this.
  3. Don Malcolm

    Don Malcolm Well-Known Member

    Richard leads: Your Wonderful Parade, Get Together, Turn Away, What's The Use, Clancy
    Karen leads: Someday, All of My Life, Ticket to Ride, Don't Be Afraid, All I Can Do, Eve
    Group chorale: Invocation, Benediction

    My fondness for OFFERING/TICKET TO RIDE continues to grow. Still not quite knocked out by "Get Together," but it has grown on me a good bit as I've come to appreciate/admire the song sequencing. Everything else is flat-out fantastic, even the early "Ticket to Ride" where Karen is much rougher with a few "pitch" issues. But more power/less nuance is, for the songs she sings here, definitely "a groovy thing"! (I think this might be another reason why so many are fond of Karen's solo album, because she pushes the envelope there. Perhaps she--and we--long for something beyond "mere" perfection.)

    As Harry has noted many times, there's a "group sound" here which is more dynamic and less "airbrushed"; R & K just flat-out embrace multitudes--so many different vocal arrangement variations! Unlike Brian Wilson, Richard (at least at this stage of things...) likes to start sparse and build the harmonies up through the course of a song, but when he goes for it, K & R summon up moments of beauty and complexity that give the great Beach Boys meister a run for his money! (Of course, Richard had the advantage here--as great a vocal ensemble as the BB's were/are, Karen might just be the greatest backup singer ever--and much of the evidence for such a claim can be found right here!!)

    Interesting to compare OFFERING with the BB's SUNFLOWER (which is called "an album offering" on the back cover...and let's not forget Karen's sunflowers on the original LP photo!). Much of the material on these two LPs was recorded in the same time frame, and it reflects a complementary take on an eclectic style of pop that at any other time might well have made solid inroads on AM radio. Intertwining those two LPs might make for some fascinating listening...
    Jamesj75 and GaryAlan like this.
  4. Add in another similar-sounding album, ROGER NICHOLS AND THE SMALL CIRCLE OF FRIENDS. Since acquiring that one, the similarities in sound became obvious to me. Both are albums I consider desert-island discs.

  5. arthowson

    arthowson Active Member

    i'm absolutely in love with richard's Get Together. I wish he'd remix it and remove the weird sonics. Also has Don't be afraid been remixed? Not the spectrum version
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Carpenter Web Site
    Richard Carpenter
    "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".
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  8. Don Malcolm

    Don Malcolm Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting that, Gary. It reminds me of just how strong a writing team Richard and John were at an early age. "Someday" is just a killer Broadway show tune: you can see Karen playing the lead role in the musical with this one (wouldn't that have been spectacular!!), and Richard's orchestration (despite his misgivings with certain details) is right up there with the big guns in that song genre--a reminder of the wide-ranging influences that can be found in his music.

    And, like most of us, I would love to be able to hear re-recorded versions of this (and "Eve" as well), but in the case of the latter song, I just happen to think that it's among Karen's best vocals. I love the extra power in her voice on this track, particularly in the bridge; that, and Richard bringing in some guitar "underchording" in places, makes this into a truly dynamic ballad further filled out with some stellar "group vocal" harmonies. It sure makes sense to me that they loved the track and it would have been fascinating to have a later version as a point of comparison.
  9. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I might be disowned here, but Someday is not one I really care for. But I'm discovering a common thread. The Broadway style show tunes just don't do it for me. Look to Your Dreams being the exception.
  10. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I think this is precisely why I actually wouldn't want to hear remakes of these two tunes. The rawness in Karen's vocals is what makes them special, especially Eve. I fear that a 1980 version would have come off schmaltzy and weak-sounding. And probably with the dreaded chorale that Richard was still using on 'Music, Music, Music'.
  11. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I agree, Karen was singing in a whole different style and Eve would have lost that raw edge that makes the song perfect the way it is. Now Someday is something I wish she had finished. I still find it hard to believe it wasn't.
  12. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

  13. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    That's funny. Great find! I read somewhere, maybe here, that the promotional kit for DJ's at that time had something to do with a toolkit.
  14. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    They did have some catchy slogans on these ads, "made a thing of beauty" they hit it right on the head of the nail. LOL If only they could have been as good at positioning them in photo shoots in the beginning. Ha
  15. Keep 'em comin' Chris. Added this one to the Resource too!

  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I notice news outlets, February 5, 1983,referencing Ticket To Ride/Offering:
    "...they recorded an album that proved moderately successful, selling 200,000 copies...."
    None of the news outlets (of the time) give any sales figure for their 'last' album Made In America.
    And, of course, Coleman (The Untold Story, page 80) writes of the consensus at A&M to dismiss the duo, saying:
    "It was no big deal for a record company to be faced with a release that stiffed.
    The Carpenters had been a gamble, Alpert's indulgence."
    "..Innocuous at the time, Offering carried the credit line--produced by Jack Daugherty.
    Richard let it pass. Daugherty and Sulzer--two valued aides, did not get along."
  17. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Interesting to note that Ed Sulzer remained in the Carpenter camp throughout the years. He even gets a credit on Karen's solo album.

    "Production associates - Ed Sulzer, Michele Slagter, Laura Lonchteaux & Karen Ichiuji"
  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    That is interesting, Stephen,thanks!
    There is this, too:
    Billboard Magazine 12 July 1980, Page Six....
    "Ed Sulzer leaves his A&R representative post at the Carpenters Organization,
    based in A&M Records in Los Angeles office. He is replaced by Gary Sims,
    the group's former audio engineer."

  19. mr J.

    mr J. Active Member

    The sales figures mentioned for Ticket To Ride aren't accurate. The album sold 250,000 copies by 1975-and 400,000 by 1992.

    As I've mentioned several times before-don't believe everything you read in newspaper/magazine articles.

    Made In America-sales figures,courtesy of Richard,were given on other threads.
  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    How do you know?
  21. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I might add:
    At that time--1983--in many instances the only information that the general public could rely
    upon was the "Newspapers", for better or for worse.
    And, as I noted in my last posting,
    it was the newspapers being quoted on February Fifth providing the information on Carpenters sales.
    Also, quoted, was their their publicist Paul Bloch.
    Many news outlets could not decide upon the total sales figure--
    60 Million or 80 Million--both being mentioned.
    At that time, without further supportive evidence, accurate figures were hard to come by.
    Every once in a while Billboard Magazine would slip it in (July 11,1981 :Sales Worldwide 77 Million).
    Of course, without access to that Magazine, the general public is still at a disadvantage pertaining
    to accurate,reliable, information.
    Well, the above diatribe is simply a lesson in History.
    As for Today's environment:
    Multiple sources, additional to the internet, serve as repositories for information.
    Thus, any time I 'quote' from a source, the reader is encouraged--and, should feel
    compelled-- to seek out further evidence in support of my data or thesis.
    In 1983, that figure of 200,000 for their first album,"Offering", sales would have been
    extremely difficult to verify ( for the general public)--and, in reading the Article at that time,
    there would be no reason to doubt the number (Who would create that specific sales figure out of thin air?).
    The real Question put forth--in reading from 1983--is:
    Why NO sources provided or mentioned a sales figure for
    Made In America--their last album ?
  22. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    At the end of the day, 60 million or 80 million, what does it matter? The great thing is we're all here today, nearly 50 years after the Carpenters' career began and this forum is busier than ever. If the facts and figures can't be accurately determined by sources like the press, what hope do we the fans have? I'm sure even Richard doesn't know accurate worldwide sales figures. We're never going to know for sure and it doesn't make any great difference. What's more important is that we're here enjoying the debate :)
    song4u and GaryAlan like this.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Of course, Stephen, you are right.
    Sales figures, for fans, are not a gauge of the music, or the importance.
    It really does not make a difference !
    I only wish Karen and Richard Carpenter had been less of a
    slave to those sales and chart barometers during the 1970's.
    Unfortunately, obviously, the Recording Companies decide an artists' fate
    on precisely those barometers.
    Personally, I do not care for 'sales figures'...they reveal nothing about the music,
    merely statistics for the 'masses' !
  24. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    That's the case now more so than ever. Can you imagine what the world would have missed out on if Herb had been persuaded by others to drop the Carpenters after 'Offering'?
  25. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    If sales figures or general popularity were of importance to those of us who were avid Carpenters listeners back in the early days, we wouldn't have been such avid fans. Especially considering how uncool their music was considered to be by our teenaged peers. :phones:

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