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Official Review [Album]: "VOICE OF THE HEART" (SP-4954)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Sep 30, 2013.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    14 vote(s)
  2. ****

    22 vote(s)
  3. ***

    26 vote(s)
  4. **

    6 vote(s)
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
  1. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    ^I agree with you and aaflyer98. "At The End of a Song" is one of my favorites and one of the most meaningful choices on Voice of the Heart.
  2. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    It's sweet. In my MIA Redux album that I always listen to instead of the orginal, this track replaces I Believe You.

    With regards to the line "don't sell me stories that music's a lady" I think it's referring to the idea of music being decent/proper/a positive force. . . .since clearly once its over it leaves Karen feeling very empty.

    Vocally she sounds gorgeous. . .proof positive that she could sound just as "creamy" as ever when given the right song and produced in the right way. I get chills with the line "But like every promise you made, it broke before long".

    I do feel that the song would be far improved with their block harmonies, however. The choir doesn't work on this song. Had they included this on MIA I'm sure the parts taken by the choral would have been done by K and R.
    BrandonBarry likes this.
  3. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I've always loved the guitar on this song in addition to her vocals.
    BrandonBarry likes this.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    I had a suspicion that's what it meant. It's nice to read other thoughts on that line.

    I agree it would have been more special with KC and RC backing vocals instead.

    To hear Karen sing "you should start singing again" is quite reassuring. In the way it's done it's like a "keep going" kind of message.

    It was included on the "Carpenters perform Carpenter" compilation and a UK release as well.
    That alone shows me how that song meant something to Richard... and to Karen that she wanted to record it too.

    So, there were songs on "VOTH" that were meaningful to her like "Look to your dreams".
    When you think about it, it does serve as a nice tribute.
    ullalume likes this.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Here is an exercise, the Copyright Dates as listed on the inside sleeve of the album:
    (John Bettis/Richard Carpenter Compositions underlined)
    Sailing On The Tide,1983
    You're Enough,1983
    Make Believe It's Your First Time,1978
    Two Lives,1977
    At The End Of A Song,1983
    Ordinary Fool,1975
    Prime Time Love,1979
    Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore,1965
    Look To Your Dreams,1978.

    Which brings me to my question:
    When is the decision made to Copyright a Song ?
  6. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    In general, anytime an author/songwriter deems necessary for legal covering. However when with a record label, generally there is a system in place for that with someone that handles the process once the song is committed to pre-production and/or a recording session more or less, regardless of whether or not it ever gets officially published and released.
  7. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Which basically means that those tracks dated before 1983 had been released (or at least tracked/recorded) previously by other artists, whereas those dated 1982/1983 were not recorded/tracked by anyone before the Carpenters.
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    Which is odd (especially in the case of Sailing On The Tide as that song was quite far along on another album for backing vocals by Karen and Richard to have been recorded) as those tracks with 1983 copyrights should've been applied in 1982 or earlier, since from what Richard has said their last recording session was sometime in 1982. As far as I'm aware, neither of them were in the recording studio in January 1983.
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    The Lewiston Daily Sun - Google News Archive Search ยป

    Here is an interesting bit December 11th, 1983 , Voice of The Heart article:
    " Carpenter had booked time in their favorite Los Angeles studio starting February 11th,
    it was busy earlier this year.

    My question:
    Does this statement imply that they wanted to record material in January 1983 ?
    (I had simply assumed all involved thought Karen was still too ill to resume recording.)
  10. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    They weren't in the studio any time after April 1982. I may be wrong but maybe the copyright process can also kick in for songs once they reach post-production stage as well as pre-production.
  11. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    With "Sailing", considering it's got backing vocals, it's almost like it was cut from MIA or whatever album it was originally intended for, right before final mix down. And considering that other songs like "LookTo Your Dreams" have earlier dates, but were clearly cut after being recorded, it's odd that a song so far along would have an extremely late date.
  12. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    Sailing On The Tide was actually cut initially in '77 during the recording of Passage, however due to its difficulty put aside to complete work on the rest of the album.

    Again, this is the beauty of the Carpenters' attention to detail and work ethic in the recording studio. It sounds simple, however the song has a lot going on in it - time changes, syncopation and pushes, and a lot of layering with regard to Tony's guitars. Very difficult to pull off indeed!
  13. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    So I wonder why it wasn't copyrighted in 77? Maybe the paperwork hot lost in the mail.
  14. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Speaking of "Sailing on the Tide" I have this unmixed version that runs 4:17 it appears on a CD full of unmixed tracks (the same one that Honolulu City Lights appears where Karen speaks at the very end) but this unmixed version of Sailing sounds so different. Most of these unmixed tracks appeared in mixed form on As Time Goes By but supposedly these were the unmixed versions before they were mixed.
  15. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    Typically you renew the copyright when the work is published. So it may have had a pending copyright in '77 - or perhaps it hadn't yet been filed at the time they were tracking the song. Either way it most likely would have gotten the latter date at the time the recording was released.
  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I'd be interested in a voting comparison/contrast
    regards to the two versions of:
    Make Believe It's Your First Time.
    (three versions--if you want to include Bobby Vinton's released Single !).

    For the record, I tried to 'get through' (listen to) Bobby Vinton's version....no way....!
  17. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    I never could figure out, aside from the arrangements, what was different between the two versions. But, otherwise on both albums the song is one of the weaker one's.
  18. Song4uman

    Song4uman Active Member

    I would love to hear this album with the chorale removed.
    Chris Mills and Jamesj75 like this.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Richard Carpenter writes, regarding
    Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore
    "....Our rhythm track was recorded in 1980, along with Karen's work lead. It was then shelved...."

    This--to my ears--
    was another missed opportunity.
    As I am assuming it was 'completed' in 1983,
    when, in fact, this song would have been great if completed in 1980.

    Why wasn't it ? What held Richard back from this song's inclusion/completion in 1980 ?

    Also, I always felt it should have been the lead--off Single for Voice of the Heart.
    Mark-T likes this.
  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I do wonder if with hindsight, Richard wishes he'd rounded out the 1980 shelved tracks with KC/RC backing vocals. For the most part the OK Chorale reduces some half decent songs to pure schmaltz.
  21. Some songs on VOTH do feel empty and schmaltzy because of the time constraints and the forced use of the Choarle. Lovelines has a much richer sound, soninically, in general.
  22. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Lovelines contains no less than 7 tracks (almost 60% of the whole album) which feature either or both Richard and Karen. On Voice Of The Heart, that number drops to only 3 tunes (30%). The reason Lovelines sounds richer and warmer is quite simply that Karen's vocals feature an awful lot more throughout. Her absence on Voice Of The Heart is really noticeable when it comes to the background vocals.


    RC/KC backing: 3 tracks
    KC only backing: 4 tracks

    OK Chorale-type backing: 2 tracks
    Solo KC lead: 3 tracks

    Voice Of The Heart

    RC/KC backing: 1 track
    RC only backing: 2 tracks

    OK Chorale-type backing: 5 tracks
    Solo KC lead: 2 tracks
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  23. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    I've had this album on a few times during the past few days. Funny, but I see that by the first post, we just passed the 33rd anniversary of this album's released on October 17.

    One thing which I've noticed about this album, that I recall noticing when I first heard the album about 10 years ago, are the drums. I'm not sure whether Richard just recorded them in a different manner or what, but the drums sound like they were recorded in true 2.0 stereo, whereas on the Carpenters other albums (even the other posthumous albums) the drums sound like they were recorded in mono and then panned from left to right to create that stereo sound. Or maybe it's just that Richard placed the drums more forward in the mix, but on this album the drums really have that "meaty" sound of wood hitting drum skin, and even when the drummer goes across the tom-tom's on tracks like Two Lives or the opening to Prime Time Love and the hitting of the tom-tom's with the drums really come out of the left speaker and then go to the right speaker, the drums really go right across the stereo channels and give you that "live" drum sound.
  24. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    After a thorough re-listening of Made In America,
    I took another listen to Voice Of The Heart.
    As much as I have grown to appreciate the effort on Made In America,
    I have grown to really love Voice of The Heart.
    And, it seems to be closer to the album I wish we had gotten in 1981---sans choral parts.
    The sax solos abound: Ordinary Fool, Prime Time Love, Your Baby
    (Ordinary Fool much in the Solitaire vocal frame.)
    Guitar solos: Sailing,You're Enough
    The entirety of the Carpenters' "sound": Sailing On The Tide
    The Carpenter/Bettis Magic Touch: Look To Your Dreams, You're Enough, At The End of a Song
    The "hurting songs": Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore,Two Lives (two great songs here !)
    (Both reminiscent of Hurting Each Other and Strength of a Woman, respectively.)
    Look To Your Dreams compares to Because We Are In Love, Carpenter/Bettis songs, arranged by Peter Knight.
    And, as has been noted by another astute listener, the drums accentuate the songs nicely.
    The two songs I have not as favorable of an opinion are Now and Make Believe It's Your First Time.
    (I like the songs, but I do not like the arrangements--far too soft.)
    I'm sure I've forgotten something !

    In short, I really enjoy this Album.
    Must Hear This Album likes this.
  25. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I agree Gary Alan! I love this disc.

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