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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)

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    That makes sense though.
    I remember him saying in one of the documentaries that tripling their vocals really didn't add that much.
    So, why would they spend more time in the studio if they didn't have to?
    If it's the same pitch there's really not much need I'd think.

    I find the production notes from fans interesting. I have some of them myself. Lol
    The choir functioned to expand their sound and sometimes to fill out the areas obviously he couldn't finish in the 80s.
    It gets the point across. I mean at least we get to hear it! :)
  2. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    I think "I Believe You" is all Karen - lead and background. I don't hear Richard anywhere in that stack. I also don't think Richard did those background arrangements; I think it was Paul Riser. He arranged everything else on that track too.

  3. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    This link isn't official but it states that I Believe You was arranged by Paul Riser but orchestrated by Richard (including the backing vocals). I've never noticed before that the backing vocals don't sound like Richard is anywhere on there. I can't hear him either but these notes do seem to indicate he's on there. I can't imagine Richard letting someone else arrange Karen's backing vocals.

    B1 I Believe You

    Arranged By – Paul Riser
    Arranged By [Vocals] – Richard Carpenter
    Congas – Jerry Steinholtz
    Engineer – Ray Gerhardt
    Written-By – Dick & Don Addrisi*

    Arranged By – Richard Carpenter (tracks: A1 to A5, B2 to B5)
    Backing Vocals – Karen Carpenter (tracks: A1 to B4), Richard Carpenter (tracks: A1 to B4)
    Orchestrated By – Richard Carpenter (tracks: A1 to A4, B1 to B4)

    Carpenters - Made In America
  4. I'm not sure why we're discussing "I Believe You" in a VOICE OF THE HEART thread, but I certainly hear Richard in the backing vocals. He's there, using his higher register.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    I hear him more prominently in the "ooos" just before that great break.
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    As culled from various sources, I have a 'short' list of "work leads" (as 'quoted' from Richard Carpenter):
    April 1982:
    Two Lives
    Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore
    Make Believe It's Your First Time
    Rainbow Connection

    Leave Yesterday Behind
    Jan 1975:
    Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again
    Superstar (Japan Anthology 1989)

    Regarding Voice of the Heart,excepting for one song, Now,
    " only
    Now would have made any bona fide follow-up to Made In America..."
    and, of the others, ".....All these years later, I feel differently; the songs are outtakes..."

    Which brings me to two questions:
    (1) Is the song You're Enough a work lead ?
    (as it was apparently recorded when Now was recorded--?).
    (2) The version of Superstar (Anthology) is a work-lead;
    Is every version, we hear, utilizing the same work-lead ?
  7. I believe the answer to that is yes. Back in 74 we were all astounded to read the liner notes on SINGLES 1969-1973 for "Superstar":


    As that track sounded pretty much identical to what was on the tan album, and all subsequent versions sound liked the same lead to me, I've always been of the impression that all studio recordings and mixes of "Superstar" utilize that same work lead.
    David A likes this.
  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    The answer to both questions is yes. The 1982 sessions were just about laying tracks down to try them out with work leads from Karen. She was only home two weeks that month before she went back to New York so I doubt there was any time at all to polish the tracks up and for Karen to re-record her lead as the finished article.

    The lead on Superstar is, as far as I'm aware, the same on every single mix ever released. There's no way Richard would mess with that magic.
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Thank You & Thank You, Harry and Stephen !

    ..pun intended...
    another question regarding...Now...

    Why this Answer given, from the Q&A on the Official website ?
    Q:After Karen came back from New York in 1982, did she do any singing at all,
    other than her last performance at Buckley School for her god children?
    A:"Richard Carpenter... With the exception of "Now", no."
  10. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Richard contradicts himself there because at other times he's confirmed that You're Enough was the other 1982 track recorded. Apparently there are two more in the vaults.
  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Speaking of possible Singles,
    I believe
    Two Lives
    is a great song--which, if it had been given the full Carpenters' treatment--
    (sans background choral, heavier on the steel/pedal guitar, beef it up a bit).
    Now, it is a "work lead,"
    so, it really is a special song.
    Another favorite.
  12. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Voice of the Heart Album Review
    Cashbox Oct 22, 1983


    Make Believe Single Review Cashbox Oct 15, 1983

    David A, GaryAlan and theninjarabbit like this.
  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Nice to read--and, to see (Thanks Rick)--the above Review of Voice Of The Heart.

    As with
    Strength of A Woman on MIA,
    I believe that the song
    Two Lives,
    is a neglected gem.
    (It occurs on only two compilations: Anthology and Sweet Memory).

    If the chorus were ditched on the song ,
    Two Lives is a great single possibility (imho).
  14. David A

    David A Active Member

    Two Lives is one of the C's songs that resonates with me like a movie soundtrack song. I can see the credits crawl at the end of the movie, with this song playing.
  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Can't remember if I posted the Liner Notes for this Album, as culled from 40th Anniversary Set:
    Richard Carpenter...
    "At the time of Karen's passing the songs that would make up the album needed quite a bit of
    arranging and production work to bring the album to completion. This proved difficult at times,
    but I believed that Karen would have wanted these songs released, and I felt the same.
    My favorite is 'Now' , the vocal was recorded in April of 1982, and Karen's voice was never lovelier

    Those notes are quite interesting to me.
    My least favorite from Voice LP is the song Now !
    Ordinary Fool, At The End Of A Song, You're Enough, Two Lives....just a few
    songs where I believe Karen's voice is far "lovelier" than song "Now" !

    Exactly at what point in the recording process does the "arranging" get completed ?
    I had always assumed that an arrangement was "in Richard's mind" at the time in
    which the duo would first enter the recording studio and lay down the lead vocal.
    Apparently, my assumption is quite wrong, as one infers from the above Liner Notes.
  16. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    The arranging of a song, in popular music terms, usually means the addition of strings, brass, woodwinds and other orchestration, but is not always limited to this. It could also include the addition of background choirs or vocalists as well to complete an arrangement. Often, Richard had this all inside his head before he even started in the studio. Ron Gorow, who over the years would prove invaluable, would be responsible for extracting this from Richard's head and down onto paper in written musical form for orchestras and choirs to perform their parts.

    From Wikipedia:

    "Popular music recordings often include parts for brass, string, and other instruments which were added by arrangers and not composed by the original songwriters. Popular music arrangements may also be considered to include new releases of existing songs with a new musical treatment. These changes can include alterations to tempo, meter, key, instrumentation, and other musical elements"

    Arrangement - Wikipedia

    The arrangement is probably deemed to be "completed" when all of the above elements have been added to the arranger's (and producer's) satisfaction and the song would then be handed back to its producer and mixing engineer for final mixdown and mastering. Except in Carpenters' case, more often than not, Richard was the arranger and producer (as well as composer and conductor. Hence the title of his second solo album). :)
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Oh....I just had to "plug" this LP today...
    contrary to Richard's (and others') later-day opinion,
    the songs on this Album do deserve wider distribution:
    (1) Ordinary Fool and Sailing On The Tide.....simply incredibly great songs,
    (2) Two Lives and Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore.....almost "hit" single material--
    had they been more properly arranged, I see some real winners in these two songs,
    (3) You're Enough, At The End Of A Song, Look To Your Dreams....excellent Carpenter/Bettis compositions,
    again, the arrangements are the only drawback (e.g., choirs).
    (4) Now, Make Believe It's Your First Time and Prime Time Love...with better arrangements,
    these are very good songs.

    So, that is my current take on this Album,
    a far cry from songs which are throwaways !
  18. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Listening to "Fool" as I type- just amazing!
  19. Song4uman

    Song4uman Active Member

    Two Lives could have been a single if the chorus was gone. Bonnie Raitt's version is very good.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    In my quest to acquire more 45-singles, I did find (and, acquired) a
    Test Pressing of
    Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore.

    Can't wait to receive it, as my Test Pressing of
    Those Good Old Dreams
    is stunning !
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool and Jeff like this.
  21. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Gary, Do review upon first listen. I'd enjoy the critique.
  22. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Gary, I have that test pressing 45 as well.
    I also have test pressing 45's of Goofus, Touch Me When Were Dancing and (Want You) Back In My Life Again :)
    GaryAlan likes this.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I must add that as tempting as it is , the forthcoming vinyl set is not
    ---at this moment in time--of enough interest for me to consider purchasing.
    With no new " unreleased" material, I really remain on the sidelines regarding
    any new releases--be they vinyl or cd.
    (Although, the entire Karen Carpenter solo on Vinyl LP would heighten my interest).
    In fact, I have too much fun acquiring the older vinyl....

    Be that as it may, I was wondering if the "test pressings"
    are considered rare (or, scarce).
    Also, how "rare" are the white-label promos ?
    For that matter, how do we define rarity ?
  24. By definition, a test pressing is just that. Something that was pressed for evaluation of the sonics by the label, perhaps the artist or producer. Once they're OK'd, they are supposed to be destroyed, but enterprising record promoters would deliver them to radio stations to get their record circulated on-air as quickly as possible. That's how they got into the public's hands.

    As for how desirable or valuable they might be, those are often two different things. Since test pressings are the earliest examples of vinyl, then they can be sonically better than records pressed later from the same stamper, perhaps only infinitesimally better. To a collector with high-end equipment, it might be detectable.

    There's also the matter of who and how many others might be seeking that particular pressing. If there's not a lot of demand, then it's just a slab of vinyl that might make a collector happy, but not a lot of money. If on the other hand, the record is highly sought-after in the collector market, then it can be worth whatever someone else is willing to pay for it.

    White label promos are a little more common, as the record company might have pressed hundreds of those to mail out to radio stations in general.
  25. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    "Ordinary Fool" is gorgeous on all counts. Karen's vocal is perfection and it's proof that when Richard really works for the good of the song, few are better. The ending is just chill-inducing. I would love to have heard a full album of Carpenters doing material like this without worrying about chart action. It is, for me, one of the best tracks Carpenters ever did.

    The rest of the record, IMHO, was rightfully left on the shelf and there are no hits here, though "Sailing..." is very charming. Still, most of it is far better than what we got on "Made in America".

    Geographer and Rumbahbah like this.

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