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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. ****

    26 vote(s)
  3. ***

    30 vote(s)
  4. **

    6 vote(s)
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
  1. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Again, keep in mind that the album was originally slated for a Summer 1983 release.
    Thus, Richard Carpenter was working against that deadline. It was finished quickly and then
    the powers-that-be decided to hold the release up until the Fall season.
    Recall, too, during promo interviews (1983) Richard insisted that the songs on VOH were
    NOT outtakes. He later changed his tune in that regard.
    Needless to say, it appears as if he really did get into the "chorale" sound--
    that is, we were going to get that sound on that album no matter what.
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    In 1983 TV interviews, Richard (supported by A&M to a degree) really tried to make the public believe that this was an album of ten songs that were all virtually in the can by February 1983. Nothing was further from the truth.
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Here is the Entertainment Tonight Interview, 1983, Voice Of The Heart:
  4. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    I guess it just made for a better story, avoided any accusations of cashing in on the tragedy and diverted attention away from what Karen had been doing before she passed (i.e. she'd been in therapy for most of 1982). I recall that one of the press releases issued by the family's publicist after Karen died said that they'd been recording an album and were due to resume touring in the summer of 1983, which again wasn't true.

    Having watched the ET interview with Richard, it does seem a shame that he was so defensive about the reasons why Karen developed anorexia, immediately ruling out any possibility that the family or her career might have had some influence on it without being prompted. Of course, I'm sure there's no one 'smoking gun' reason, but I can't imagine it was helpful for those around Karen to be refusing to be open to possibilities in terms of helping her.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    November 1983, GMA:
    "We were on our way along with the album (VOH) and after giving it a great deal of thought,
    I decided to go back into the studio and complete it....I feel it's a tribute album, and that it should
    be heard. To have all that wonderful singing just sitting on the shelves of the record company didn't
    seem right."
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Listening to the EMI-UK LP Yesterday Once More....
    Now, Make Believe It's Your First Time plays....
    I can't help but wonder how this version would sound if most everything
    (except the lead vocals) were stripped away. Get rid of the choir and the flute-type instruments.
    Accentuate the pedal-steel guitar and harp, though.

    Then, I'd love to hear it !
  7. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Actually Rumbahbah, they were due to tour that summer, domestically at least. I think some dates had even been booked. Plus officially they had begun work on their new album. . . I suppose that the 2 weeks in April '82 were spent laying down potential tracks for the new album. . . .and apparently they were booked in to re-start work in earnest on Fri 11th Feb with a Summer album release planned.

  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    The April 1982, Fan Club Newsletter#74, is interesting:
    "Richard and Karen are laying tracks in readiness for the next album, and have completed a few songs.
    "They hope for completion later this year."
    Q: Has a concert tour been formulated, yet ?
    A: Currently in the planning stages.
    Then, June 1982:
    " A fall tour remains a possibility"
    "Richard and John (Bettis) have completed four songs, as of this writing."
  9. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    It's inconceivable that they could even be thinking of a tour in autumn 1982, with Karen in NYC indefinitely and a dehydrated skeleton of around 90lbs. Unless they were just saying this to the fans to create a sense that all was well.
  10. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Ullalume is correct on all counts. They’d actually been in negotiations with The Starlight Theatre in Kansas City for an appearance in 1983.

    Also, I personally spoke to a former employee at A&M who (a week before her passing) had just started at the label and recognized Karen on the street in Beverly Hills. He introduced himself to her, and she said, ‘Stop by the studio on February 11th if you want to hang out. We’ll be working on the new album’.
  11. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    For anyone interested, this is the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City. It sounded like a small venue when I first read the above, but true to its name, it's an outdoor venue.

  12. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    That's interesting - I've never heard actual confirmation of that. Although it still was a big stretch to claim that they were in the midst of recording a new record at the time of Karen's passing (only two of the ten tracks on Voice of the Heart were technically 'new' and Richard has since said that only 'Now' would have been carried forward had they actually proceeded properly with a new project).

    This does raise a whole raft of further questions though. Given that Richard has frequently mentioned his and his family's concerns that Karen still wasn't well after returning from New York in late 1982/early 1983 (including the showdown at Werner Wolfen's office), why on earth would they then be charging ahead with recording a new album and booking tour dates as if everything was just fine? Given how few tracks they'd actually recorded for a new release by early 1983 (a maximum of four were recorded in 1982 I think and clearly most of those weren't going to make the final cut), why would they be booking tour dates without having made more progress with the actual recording (touring without a record to promote would be pretty pointless)? It just all sounds very odd and at variance with what was really going on at the time.
  13. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    This picture was taken in April 1982, during Karen's two week trip home and the same period in which she cut those tracks with Richard. It's hard to believe someone who looks as ill as this could still sound so beautiful on record.

  14. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I was also told this exact story. Probably the same employee. :)
  15. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    The image is not displaying.
  16. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    What is it with this site and hosted images? We know Photobucket doesn’t work but I’ve tried uploading images from several well known image hosting sites and all I get is an error IMG. Really frustrating.
  17. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Actually, Photobucket is now working again!

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  18. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    As Richard did on a couple of occasions I'm sure he held Karen back as long as he could. He made her wait 'til June '80 to record MIA since she was worryingly thin in MMM. And I'm sure Karen was eager to hit the studio the day she got off the plane in late '82 but Richard made her wait for 2 months, presumably for her to just take it easy and maintain her weight.

    From what I've seen of Karen she seemed like quite a force of nature, so Richard probably did well to keep her out of the studio 'til Feb 11th.

    Alas, she never made it to that date, but she kept the weight on, god bless her.

  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    It really is sobering to realize that ten years had elapsed between the groundbreaking song
    Goodbye To Love (1972)
    the final recording,
    Now (April 1982).

    There is virtually no comparison between the two songs.
    It is perhaps saddening to then realize that "the Carpenters"
    music we "grew up with"
    no longer existed.

    If Karen was not too keen on
    Solitaire, or Ordinary Fool, or Rainbow Connection....
    I'd love to read her opinion of the song

    As the years moved ahead, the songs continued into a more "easy listening" trend......
  20. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    Isn't that picture from the same sessions as the photo used for Lovelines?
  21. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Yes it is.
  22. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's just touch up, but Karen looks pretty good in those photo's.
  23. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I only posted that photo as it was one of mine that was still up on Photobucket, and it happened to be Carpenters-related.
  24. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Listening to the song....Two Lives....one of my favorites, another "Work-Lead."
    Which point leads into my (unwavering) positive assessment of this album:
    Many (some) consider it a weak album. I do not share that sentiment.
    Quite a few "work leads" on this album---and, they are redeeming.
    We love "Happy"....why not the same love for "Sailing On The Tide" ?
    Ordinary Fool....is anything but ordinary, vocally up there with Solitaire (imho).
    Very good Carpenter/Bettis songs--At The End Of A Song, You're Enough, Look To Your Dreams.
    (All better--imho--than Mr.Guder, or Sandy, or Saturday....).

    Thus, an album which apparently was finished within two months.
    And, the "average" Carpenter-album (apparently) took three months (Passage).
    LP Made In America took far longer to complete--and, look how it turned out, for contrast.

    So, I still like the album quite a bit.
  25. New Horizons.

    New Horizons. Active Member

    I have said before how much I love this album.My escape album. One of my cd's when I play it seperates the piano at the end of Look to your dreams.It displays 11 tracks on any cd player I play it on. Enjoyed listening to Tony Peluso's version of Sailing on the tide on youtube too with slightly different lyrics.

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