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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)

    15 vote(s)
  2. ****

    24 vote(s)
  3. ***

    30 vote(s)
  4. **

    6 vote(s)
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
  1. As a fan from Close To You on, I felt Voice of the Heart was an incredibly beautiful gift from the Carpenters at the time of its release.
  2. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I, too, think this album has a special warmth. Seeing as it has a number of out-takes and work leads on it, it's not 100 percent perfect, but it certainly has emotional impact. It offers a totally relaxing and satisfying listening experience. Whoever would have thought that the art of patchwork could create such a fine garment, overall? Richard must be the original dream weaver.
    jaredjohnfisher, Mark-T and Jamesj75 like this.
  3. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    That's even more true of Lovelines. It holds up incredibly well as a collection and doesn't sound at all like a hotch potch of outtakes, solo tracks and songs from their TV specials.
    jaredjohnfisher, Mark-T and Brian like this.
  4. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    Definitely. I agree.
  5. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I think it holds up well because its got a number of very strong tracks that should've been on Made In America.
    Brian likes this.
  6. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    Yes, an amazing collection of strong tracks on 'Lovelines'. I do especially love six out of the ten tracks on 'Made and America', though, and a seventh is not too bad at all - so I wouldn't change that album TOO much, personally.
  7. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I'd disagree. Made In America only has 3 strong tracks (Beechwood 4-5789, (Want You) Back In My Life Again & Touch Me When We're Dancing. Otherwise, Lovelines is what Made In America should've been!
  8. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    That's interesting! We all have different tastes. I was going to list '(Want You) Back in my Life', 'Beechwood' and 'Strength of a Woman' as the three weak tracks from 'Made In America' that are almost forgettable. (Well, not forgettable. They have some merits, imo). 'Touch Me When We're Dancing' is the track that I think is pretty good but not as appealing as the remaining six, which are my favourites.
  9. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    If you look at the thread about Your MIA, you'll see that if I had been the producer for the Carpenters in 1980/81, Made In America would've looked a heck of a lot different. (Want You) Back In My Life Again I can easily see as being the direction to have taken for the 80's. Still kept the ballads, but arranged them in a way that it was more upbeat, something in the vein of Air Supply, or even later in the 80's Tiffany's Could've Been or the theme to Dirty Dancing, I've Had The Time of My Life (I think I posted this once, but I actually had a dream about Karen and Richard shooting a music video for I've Had The Time Of My Life and I could see Karen sitting at a piano, and Richard was next to it in a rocking chair with a baby in his arms (and all three were infront of green screen, with graphics like the Calling Occupants green pant suit video with images of the different galaxies and nebulaes, except the grand piano was white), and I could hear Richard singing the Bill Medley portions, and Karen the Jennifer Warnes parts. It was so beautiful.)
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  10. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I am reminded of another reason for which Voice Of The Heart
    stands apart (and, another reason I like it quite a bit),
    the number of first take, or one-take lead vocals by Karen:

    You're enough
    Two Lives
    Your Baby
    Two Lives
    Prime Time Love

    Have I missed any ?
    Hopefully I am correct on the above list...
    If not, chime in...
    Jeff likes this.
  11. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    What a great collection to assemble Gary.
  12. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    'Make Believe It's Your First Time' - although previously recorded in the other version.
  13. So, I've been watching this thread for sometime and VOTH keeps getting compared to MIA; how, in summary, VOTH was a better or stronger album than MIA and how MIA should have included already-recorded songs that came out on VOTH. Being of the opinion that MIA is a much better album than VOTH, I often thought that VOTH would have been stronger should more stellar tracks that appeared on LOVELINES had been chosen. For instance, the track list on VOTH should have looked more like this:
    1. Now
    2. Kiss Me the Way You Did Last Night
    3. You're Enough
    4. Ordinary Fool
    5. Slow Dance
    6. Two Lives

    7. You're Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore
    8. Where Do I Go From Here
    9. Uninvited Guest
    10. Honolulu City Lights
    11. You're The One
    12. At The End of a Song

    Now this would have been a stellar album!

    The "left-overs" could have made up the "As Time Go's By" album (or some alternately titled album) that would have looked like this:

    1. Without A Song
    2. When I Fall In Love
    3. Sailing on the Tide
    4. Rainbow Connection
    5. Make Believe It's Your First Time

    6. Prime Time Love
    7. Leave Yesterday Behind
    8. Tryin to Get the Feeling Again
    9. Little Girl Blue
    10. Look to You're Dreams

    The rest (such as Nowhere Man, California Dreaming, Richard's piano-only songs, and the other "TV special" recordings...Ella and Como medleys) could have shown up on any of the many compilation and "themed" albums like INTERPRETATIONS.

    I know this would mean we would have only had two posthumous albums instead of three, but they would be better product in my opinion. Karen's solo work could have stayed where it was...on her solo album.
  14. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    I think there are exactly no strong tracks on that album save "I Believe You" which wasn't even recorded for that album. Richard seriously blew it with that one. "Voice..." is far better. In fact, every other record is far better, IMHO. "Made in America" is the worst of the batch by a long shot.

    Rumbahbah likes this.
  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    According to Billboard, initially Voice Of The Heart had been intended for a Summer 1983 release.
    Of course, we got it in the Fall.
    Be that as it may, the song " Now ," either needs another arrangement,
    or needs to be kept off of this album (Voice) entirely.
    I would place " Now" on the As Time Goes By album !
    Then again, I'd omit Leave Yesterday Behind, leaving it on the shelf !
    Regards the two songs: Now and Leave Yesterday Behind,
    Karen does her best, but the songs (IMHO) are mediocre,
    neither arrangement adding anything creative.
    That being said, Karen does her best, so I would like to hear them a cappella.
  16. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    I think 'Touch Me...' is worth saving too, but I'd agree that of the three albums that contained songs recorded during 1980/1981, Made in America is the one that's most in need of an overhaul in its tracklisting.

    has a couple of weaker tracks (ironically the Carpenter/Bettis penned ones) and might have benefited from having 'Slow Dance' added in somewhere (I think this was considered for inclusion by Richard in 1983?), but by and large hangs together fairly well as it is.
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^ I love the various opinions regarding this Album !
    Amusing, too, because I believe that the Carpenter/Bettis tunes are great:
    Look To Your Dreams
    At The End Of A Song
    You're Enough

    That being said, I actually would prefer
    Look To Your Dreams
    without the Richard Carpenter added piano or choir !
    Seeming that he thought so little of it (from 1974)
    as to deem it unworthy of release (or completion) until 1983,
    I remain astounded at that decision !
    Composed 1974....
    Karen's vocals recorded 1978 (at her behest)....
    Arranged by Peter Knight.....
    Completed 1983....

    What a circuitous route for a wonderful song !

  18. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Ah, I was referring to 'You're Enough' and 'At the End of a Song' as the weak Carpenter/Bettis tracks - 'Look to Your Dreams' is a fine song.

    It's not that surprising that 'Look to Your Dreams' didn't appear in an album earlier though. There was only one album put out after it was recorded in Karen's lifetime - Made in America - and that already had two big show-tune-esque songs on there ('Somebody's Been Lyin' and 'Because We are in Love'), which was at least one too many as it was, so it couldn't have been put on there as well.
    Jeff likes this.
  19. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    The opening to Somebody's Been Lyin' I thought would've worked better had it been attached to a version of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, as that opening reminds me of someone creeping up or down some stairs.
    newvillefan likes this.
  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Great observation!
  21. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    However I remain grateful these recordings are released as produced by Richard. Imagine the noise that would shake the rafters had one not seen the light of day. God forbid all we'd have is bootleg.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  22. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    It makes an interesting comparison and contrast to listen to the three in succession:
    Made In America, then,
    Voice Of The Heart, then,

    Of Those Three, the last is my favorite.
    But, given the time of release (and of completion), Voice Of The Heart is a very good Album.
    Now, is it chock-full of hits ? Apparently, not...but, as a coherent whole, a very good album.

    I will defend its release to the end !
    Were I to interview Richard Carpenter, I would ask why he believes only Now.
    as worthy of release after MIA.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I am still firmly convinced that given the proper finishing touches on:
    Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore,
    Two Lives....

    By finishing touch, I mean this :
    proper background vocals by both Karen and Richard,
    and some additional touches on the arrangements.

    Listening to the press-test of Your Baby, especially,
    convinces me that it should have gotten more attention previous to
    1983's completion and inclusion on Voice Of The Heart.
  24. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Leafing and reading in the 40th Anniversary Set,
    in the Voice Of The Heart Booklet:

    " Now" is Richard's favorite on the entire album.
    He says: "I believed Karen would have wanted these songs released."

    And, a photo in this booklet (not the Passage booklet) from May 24th, 1977:
    " Wes Jacobs sits in, along with the Philharmonic, for the recording of
    Don't Cry For Me Argentina."

    Nice to know, then, the date of recording for "Argentina."
  25. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    It's interesting to note that some years later, Richard would go on to say they wouldn't have released any of these tunes if Karen had lived; that they would have moved on to other recordings and shelved these tracks. If that had been the case, I'd still like to think that tracks like Ordinary Fool would have made it to some sort of commemorative career retrospective box set.

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