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Official Review [Album]: "TIME" (SP 5117/CD 5117/DX 1687)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Nov 13, 2014.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    7 vote(s)
  2. ****

    11 vote(s)
  3. ***

    19 vote(s)
  4. **

    8 vote(s)
  5. *

    4 vote(s)
  1. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    My own take on this is that he has been operating more as a museum keeper than a musician/arranger/producer since his sister's passing. She's been gone about 30 years and what do we have? A solo album, re-recorded parts and remixes on original albums that IMHO never should have been tampered with, some occasional guest appearances, a stalled Xmas album project, occasional work on other artists' albums, and that's it. I just don't get it. And I agree completely. There are some other artists who had rather unusual musical backgrounds who went on to score film music, just as one example (I'm speaking of former Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman who has gone on to score many well-known films). Richard's background is more traditional and he would have been a natural scoring films. He was a great producer and arranger; think of his talents applied to so many other singers. Or returning to his roots and performing jazz, even "lite" jazz, in his own style.

    I hardly call myself a musician or any other type of "artist," but I know if I were doing it for a living, I'd go absolutely bat-sheet crazy if I weren't creating.
    Jamesj75, GaryAlan and 1979lee like this.
  2. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    So KC never could have made her own "Physical" video like ONJ? :D
  3. Dutch

    Dutch Member

    Maybe Richard had burnt himself out in the 70's with the sheer amount of touring, TV and albums that the Carpenters did. It's difficult for some people these days to realize how different the music industry was. They were both worn out towards the end. The same happened with the ABBA girls after they split, Agnetha especially just wanted peace and quite and not even listen to music, she stated this in a TV interview in Norway/Sweden recently. Richard didn't really get over Karen's death and he started a family. I can understand why he took a back seat in music for a long while.
    byline likes this.
  4. mr J.

    mr J. Active Member

    You forgot to mention the three posthumous Carpenters albums that he produced & assembled:Voice Of The Heart,An Old Fashioned Christmas and Lovelines-and these three albums feature a good portion of K&R's best work.

    I absolutely agree that Richard should've returned to his jazz roots after Karen's passing.(He did a couple of exquisite jazz instrumentals on "An Old-Fashioned Christmas"-including a swinging version of "My Favorite Things").It would've been fantastic if he put together a new RC trio(or quartet) and recaptured what he did in the mid-60's with the original RC trio.
    Jamesj75 and 1979lee like this.
  5. Dutch

    Dutch Member

    I think he should have just recorded albums like Barry Manilow, after all, on paper there isn't that much difference between Barry & Richard, both piano players with very similar voices. It's just one of those things though, the public, especially women love Manilow, but I think Richard always got bad press and alot of people don't like him. I never really got it, after all - all the big Carpenters albums: Close to you, 'tan' album, a song for you, now & then and Christmas Portrait have Richard singing lead on at least one track. And his harmonies are amazing.
    Walkinat9 likes this.
  6. It seems recording is the milieu he loves and the studio is a place he definitely always felt comfortable......a natural type of transition would be/would have been into a Jim Brickman or Chris Botti -type artist; that is, an instrumentalist creating instrumental music featuring him as pianist with a few guest vocalists here and there. He swung the pendulum to both extremes with his two solo albums when the best idea might have been to settle somewhere in the middle - primarily instrumental, singing a little, featuring other singers at times. There's my pointless speculation. Someone else's turn!
    byline likes this.
  7. Dutch

    Dutch Member

    It does work for Jim Brickman, but I don't know why, it always sounds like he's just the piano player , and Richard did get very annoyed about that issue
  8. manilow has a far better voice than rc. I in no way am bashing rc nor be hurtful. i kept on lovin' you is my favorite rc lead.
    aaflyer98 and ThaFunkyFakeTation like this.
  9. Dutch

    Dutch Member

    If I had to choose it would be the other way round. I liked Manilow in the 70's, but not really much since then, although I did download a greatest hits package of his about a year ago which is really nice. 'I write the songs', 'Mandy'. 'Weekend in New England', 'Even now' oh there are quite alot of great songs by him aren't there? His versions of 'Can't smile without you', 'Trying to get the feeling again' and 'Where do I go from here' are, sad to say better than the Carpenters. I also have him singing 'Close to you', 'solitaire' and 'we've only just begun' and they are all good versions, certainly better than most I've heard! He's a good singer but I also think Richard is better than often given credit, even by himself I think.
  10. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I've said it before but I don't mind saying it again - I think Richard's all time best lead vocal is his version of 'You'll Never Know', that he re-recorded for his and Karen's own personal collection following the wrap of the studio sessions for the 'Music, Music, Music' TV special. This should have been included on 'As Time Goes By'. It's an absolute gem and shows that with the right song, he actually can sing really well. I often wonder what Karen thought of his performance and also why he didn't include it on ATGB. I'd challenge any non-hardcore fan to correctly name the singer if you played it for them.

    John Adam and byline like this.
  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Perceptive commentary, as usual, by thoughtful members !
    I readily concur with Mr.J., What did happened to those early Jazz influences to Richard's later output?
    Why did he abandon the arrangements which favored--
    favored especially in the very early stage of his career---saxophones, et.al. (Richard--or is it Dick--Carpenter Trio) ?
    I'm also with Newvillefan, Richard could do a nice lead vocal on a song befitting his range, Why did Richard maintain the higher range on LP Time?
    Richard was incensed during a 1975 Billboard seminar when he was referred to as "Carpenters' piano player", and, yet, offered little more on stage than
    piano playing. In interviews he claims to 'understand' why he is perceived as merely a 'band member' and Karen 'the star of the show'---the simple
    fact of the issue, from a show-business perspective, is that Karen Carpenter possessed "it"--that is, star quality---Richard could never possess the "it".
    And, the later, re-vamped stage show, merely reinforced the so-called piano-player status in the public's mind.
    (if his Warsaw Concerto at "The Boston Pops" had not already accomplished that.)
    He certainly got the Album Artwork correct on LP Time, Why was that level of Album creativity missing from the earlier Carpenters' albums?
    Regrettably, I rarely listen to this album--and that as an avowed Carpenters' fanatic.
    I can not imagine the thoughts of a 'regular Joe Q. Public' regarding the album.

    Thanks for indulging in my musings.
  12. Dutch

    Dutch Member

    Thanks for supplying the video link to Richard's performance of 'You'll never know', I have never heard it before and yes I agree it should have been on the 'as time goes by' album, it's wondeful! I also loved his version of 'I need to be in love' sung on Japanese television. But I'm going to state again quite strongly....the Carpenters didn't have brilliant harmony vocals because Karen had a good voice, Richard was a huge part of the sound, you only have to listen to the backing vocals on 'Your baby doesn't love you anymore', it's all Richard!. It was the brother/sister, alto/baritone range that blended so well when Richard sings at the top of his range. I bet alot of people don't realise which of them is actually singing which parts on Carpenters harmonies, alot of the time the low voices were Karen not Richard.
    byline likes this.

  13. I think you'll know this one:

  14. Dutch

    Dutch Member

    You know if you keep on supplying stuff like this you're only confirming that Richard is really a good singer!
  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    A&M Compendium,July 1975:
    C:You probably rank higher getting a record on top 40, than anyone.
    RC: "I think its Elton John and us. I'm really proud of that."
    "I really like singles. I think the single is really an important thing, even though
    it doesn't make you the kind of money an album does."
    "Save them..singles..for promotional things
    Coleman Biography (1994):
    RC: "For artists like us, a top five sell-through single is required before album sales go nuts." (page 277)
    Time (LP) was a highly credible, melodically strong collection. (page 328)
    The performances of... some excellent songs were strong, and the album sold moderately well. (page 329)
  16. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I agree about "You'll Never Know" this is proof that with the right song he can sing lead and it sound pretty good. There are some high notes in that one and it works good for him unlike some of his higher vocals on the album Time. I know it's just a demo track but the background track is too loud (orchestra, is it even a real orchestra? I've often wondered this too) the backing track and his vocals seem to fight to see who gets heard first. It's too bad this was not corrected and released as a proper studio track.

    What's interesting about their career is that early on Richard contributed a lot of his vocals (as lead) to the group in recording solo tracks. I always thought that is what worked so well on Ticket to Ride and Close to You. For me it was like of course I loved the Karen tracks with her as full lead but when the Richard tracks came on they were really good as well. Even with the blockbuster album hit of Song for You Richard was still contributing lead tracks, however as time went on we got less and less of Richard's vocal leads and it became all Karen. Yes, we can still hear the harmonies and Richard backing vocals but albums like Made in America, Voice of the Heart and Lovelines again yes Richard is heard in backing vocals but for me the albums and songs is all about Karen.

    I think that is some of the shock when his solo album came out because he wasn't really solo-ing as an artist with his vocals and then when it came, the range was too high and the album just doesn't ring true as the Richard Carpenter vocals we grew accustomed to in the early Carpenters career. I also have wondered if smoking took any toll on his vocal range or ability, I know there has been photos of him back in 81 in Brazil smoking those More brand but I didn't realize he was still smoking all the way up to producing Akiko album, City of Angels. There was a recent photo I saw of him and Akiko in the studio and you could clearly see the More cigarettes brand on the counter. I would think as a singer the worse thing you could do to your voice long term is pick up this habit.
    byline, Jeff, Jamesj75 and 1 other person like this.
  17. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    That was a decent vocal. He really got into the vocal and it sounds good. I believe that he was "home for good" and that he'd "never leave [her]". His absolute best lead, in my opinion.

  18. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Yeah that's definitely a real orchestra...Richard wouldn't scrimp on synths for a special as lavish as that :)

    You only have to listen to Dionne Warwick singing nowadays to hear the damage smoking does to your voice. Hers is ruined, she'd down to virtually no more than one octave in range now and 'speaks' her way through many lines.
  19. byline

    byline Active Member

    I agree. Daryl Hall was a longtime smoker who quit only fairly recently. I suspect it did indeed damage his voice, but he has such amazing pipes that he's been able to compensate. He doesn't have the same upper range he used to, but his voice still has a lot of resonance and power ... so he's one of the lucky ones. Richard never had that kind of voice, so it could be that smoking set him back even farther because his starting point wasn't the same. Still, I agree with those who point out that Richard actually had a very nice voice. Not the one-of-a-kind voice that Karen had, but listening to Richard sing on the videos posted earlier, you can really hear influences that are similar to Karen's: phrasing, enunciation, etc. Maybe that's part and parcel of the Frank Pooler method of singing, and that's what we hear coming through in both voices.
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  20. Randy M

    Randy M Member

    Well, here's a totally serious, I'm not kidding, but off-the-wall thought: Another forum that I follow is David Bowie. David recently popped out a jazzy interesting one-off song (Sue) with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra. Toss Richard & Bowie into a room together & see what happens. They are both the same age & Bowie used to smoke like a chimney. Really! I like the Carpenters & I like Bowie, amongst many other artists, too. I started thinking about this after seeing Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga perform a show on TV together.

    Jamesj75 likes this.
  21. Dutch

    Dutch Member

    It wouldn't be the smoking as much as the age, once you've over 63 you're voice goes into decline fast, you lose control and range. I am interested in stuff like this, I was trained as a singer myself (not that old yet!). There was a great BBC 4 radio programme in England earlier this year on this. Johnny Mathis was being interviewed on the subject. Some singers can keep a decent voice over 63, but it generally changes, like Glen Campbell's voice in the last decade. But Dionne Warwick's has completely gone, her performance on that (dreadful) ITV Carpenters tribute several years ago showed how much her voice was failing. And Richard might have been pitched too high on TIME but it was the 80's, everyone seamed to screach back then!
  22. byline

    byline Active Member

    FWIW, Daryl Hall is 68 now. His range is different; he can't hit the really high notes like he used to. But he's still got a resonant, powerful voice that I enjoy listening to. In some ways his voice sounds warmer now than it did when he could hit those high notes. Here's the Live From Daryl's House show he did with Rumer back in 2012; it shows what a lovely live voice Rumer has, as well.
  23. Dutch

    Dutch Member

    It's different for the guys, somehow there voices don't suffer as much with age. I still think the Eagles sound really good. As does Neil Diamond. But with women, they lose too much range and control, I don't know why. But I really think once you hit 63, give up!. I'm now reading that Frida is recording again at 69. I do hope her voice hasn't gone!
  24. Dutch

    Dutch Member

    Just found my copy of 'Time', so I've played it again. 'I'm still not over you' is wonderful and I love 'In love alone', it's such a beautiful song, it's a shame it wasn't written for Karen.
  25. byline

    byline Active Member

    I think part of it is that many male singers at least potentially start out with a wider range. They have the falsetto as well as their natural range. So when age-related limitations set in, they have a diminished range ... but they started out with a wider set point.

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