Ordinary would've played well over Portland's FM Kink smooth jazz.
As I recall from somewhere else, apparently the AM+ logo was first used by A&M on high quality vinyl pressings of the late-70's, early-80's to indicate that the mastering and production was of higher quality than the regular vinyl pressing. And when CD's came out, A&M just slapped the logo on to indicate that CD's offered a better sound quality. It was A&M's version of the warning that you saw on a lot of CD's of the time (I can think of Michael Bolton's The Hunger and Burl Ives' Have A Holly Jolly Christmas, with Ives' CD I just picked up about 8 years ago, having notes saying that CD's offer a higher resolution for audio than the "old" analog tapes, and you might hear limitations on the CD) that were coming from analog copies.In another thread, Ed mentions the " audio-master-plus " series,
and, many of my cd's are stamped with that insignia.
My Voice Of The Heart cd, is an "audio-master-plus, "
and, it sounds so very good to my ears.
So, whether or not " audio-master-plus " has any sonic significance,
(outside of marketing),
I still believe that Voice Of The Heart is a very good album !
but, in its own way, a very nice listen.
I'd like to think that the new 2017 vinyl set with increase appreciation of these three LP's:
Passage, Voice Of The Heart, and
Billboard's album and singles reviews were often quite superficial, but aside from 'Look to Your Dreams', I think they've picked out all the key tracks on the album there. I'd also agree that overall it was their best album since Horizon, strange when you consider that it was largely 'outtakes' (and in fact two of the weakest tracks were the two non-outtakes recorded in 1982).In case you missed it....Voice Of The Heart.....
Billboard Magazine, October 29, 1983...
SP4954. Produced by Richard Carpenter. This is a collection of previously unreleased studio tracks cut
between 1976 and April, 1982, 10 months before Karen Carpenter's death. It's the duo's strongest album
in a decade and contains a few cuts that rank with their all -time best. The most radio -worthy are
"Two Lives," a rock -edged ballad previously recorded by Bonnie Raitt; "Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore,"
a brooding, slow -boil pop piece in the tradition of "Hurt So Bad," and "Make Believe It's Your First Time," the soft reflective ballad which is the first single. But the most gripping cut is "Ordinary Fool," a Paul Williams ballad which
features the bluesiest vocal of Karen's career."
Did they even do any research before publishing this article?CashBox ,Feature Picks, 10/22/1983
VOICE OF THE HEART — The Carpenters — A&M SP-4954 — Producer: Richard
Carpenter — List: 8.98 — Bar Coded
Completed before Karen Carpenter’s death earlier this year, this LP will probably be
the last and most remembered collection of new songs by the brother and sister duo.
One cannot help feel sad about the void she has left, but the songs featured on this LP
are some of the best the duo has recorded in some time and the uplifting messages in
their lyrics demand that “Voice of the Heart” be taken as a message of happiness and
optimism. This is a fond farewell from a great singer who will be long appreciated for
her inspirational and strong love for the music she sang. Recommended cuts Include
the single, "Make Believe It’s Your First Time,” the nostalgic “At The End Of A Song”
and the escapist “Sailing On The Tide.”
If you mean why didn’t they realise this was an album full of outtakes rather than an album “completed before Karen Carpenter’s death”, Richard didn’t really give that impression during interviews at the time. He certainly never mentioned that many of the songs were tracks they’d previously abandoned. That wouldn’t have exactly helped sales if people thought it was full of substandard material.Did they even do any research before publishing this article?
I listened as well. I have always promoted the version Karen did with Phil Ramone. It’s inviting and it’s simplicity makes me fell as if I am in the same room with Karen. The choir in the background with Richard kills the song. I think the bridge is nice, just not needed. I have no idea why Bobby Vinton chose to record that song with an arrangement that only Placido Domingo could fulfill. Maybe they wanted Maureen McGovern to sing with him as she did with Domingo in the song A Love Until The End Of Time. I feel if Richard wanted to use Karen’s songs from her solo they should have released the solo version out of respect, but I guess that shows that I know little about the music business. Maybe that’s why it was not chosen for Made In America. Despite all of these comments, I think it stands that Make Believe it’s Your First Time is a good song, well chosen to record. One aside comment: if A Sing For You used the chorale for harmony it would be a forgotten version and no one would have purchased the album that followed which is what happened to Voice Of The Heart. It could have sold much more with different arrangements without the chorale. The use of the chorale removed it from radio station playlists that had followers who purchased music. Radio stations in our area refused to play it. I feel that the solo album version would have received radio play.I had to re-listen to Make Believe It's Your First Time:
These are the versions I listened to this morning,
(1) Bobby Vinton,
(2) then Karen's solo,
(3) then the augmented 1983 release (the "requested" bridge).
Now, for my tastes, the first one is terrible.
The second one is quite inviting.
The last is almost tolerable.
But, my big question remains this:
If you are going to re-record a song (as Richard did with Karen's solo MBIYFT)
then, Why request a new bridge, where the "key" of the bridge ("so close your eyes and....)
is higher--or, at least as high of key--as anything on the aforementioned Solo album ?
How does that make any sense ?
If that bridge had been sung in a lower key, I might have been sold !
Just my two cents worth.
Based on the interview, it seems to have been part of his healing. That makes sense to me. He was doing the thing that brought him closest to her.She asks Richard “It must have been quite a while before you could go in and listen to her voice and work with it again?”
Richard’s response? ”Oh yeah, yeah. It was about a month”.
That response always really, really shocked me. When I first watched this years ago, I thought he was going to say six months or so. But he was back in the studio working with those tapes just four weeks after she’d died.
The problem is, what else was Richard supposed to do with Karen gone and unable to contribute any backing vocals to the remaining songs? Most of the outtakes would have sounded unfinished and bare stripped back and without something else on there. Maybe he could have gone down the road of using established a small group of session singers similar to those used on Strength Of A Woman. At least with that kind of sound the songs might have sounded more personal and less like elevator music.It could have sold much more with different arrangements without the chorale. The use of the chorale removed it from radio station playlists that had followers who purchased music. Radio stations in our area refused to play it.