^^Great comment newvillefan, I teared-up just reading it. Richard went back to work way too soon after Karen's death, he didn't give himself enough time just to grieve.
Maybe that's why there's so much choir. After Prime time and Your Baby he couldn't face it anymore.Whilst I've thought many times how difficult it must have been to produce the album without Karen, I've never really given much thought to the fact he had to stand there in front of the mic and record the background vocals on his own for the first time as well. Yeah, that must have been tough.
I remember reading an interview with Hal Blaine where he described what I assume were the remix sessions in 1985. He talked about how they were all in tears laying down the new parts and that it hit home that Karen was no longer with them.
I'm not so sure in the case of Prime Time Love. Richard's vocals on that track are thin and reedy, as well as being terrible lyrically (I'm thinking of the line "that's a bummer" in particular). On Your Baby Doesn't Love You Any More, however, his backing vocals are amazing and perfectly suit - and add to - the overall drama and pathos of the song and arrangement.Prime Time and Your Baby sound magnificent with Richard's backing.
It is so interesting that we can all be carpenters fans and have such different views. Now, make believe and ordinary fool are some of my favourite tracks amongs all their work. I always skip primary time love.I was just listening to this CD in the truck for the first time in a while today.
“Now” I just had to skip. Very poor opening track. It should’ve stayed in the vault.
“Sailing On The Tide” This should’ve been the opening track. A lot better vocal and arrangement and really should be on more compilations.
“You’re Enough” the best of Karen’s final tracks. This one could’ve been a. single and really needs to be on more compilations.
“Make Believe It’s Your First Time” Can I just make believe that this track just doesn’t exist and wasn’t released as a single? Neither version was great (why did Richard think it was a good idea to release both versions as singles?). Suffice it to say I skipped this track.
“Two Lives”. I had totally forgotten this track! Or maybe I got it mixed up with “Two Sides”. Anyway, another stand-out track.
“At The End Of A Song” very interesting song in light of what happened with Karen.
“Ordinary Fool” Another weak track. Not as bad as “Now” or MBIYFT so I was able to listen all the way through.
“Prime Time Love” This should’ve been the lead single. It is such a rocker of a song. The Best song on the album.
“Your Baby Doesn’t Love You Anymore”. A great follow up to “Prime Time Love” And a great single.
“Looking To Your Dreams”. Nice song, although too weak as the closer. Has that big band feel like “Because We Are In Love” but a lot better than BEAIL.
Agreed completely on the weak ones. Both are total elevator music that they shouldn't have been bothered with in 1982. "At the End of a Song" is muzak-y too so I'd add that one. "Look to Your Dreams" is another attempt at a standard that stumbles in the lyric department for me. An odd stumble by Bettis but a stumble nonetheless. It's like he was told to write lyrics fit for a standard and just strung clichés together until he finished it. It doesn't feel real to me at all. "You're Enough" is further proof that they didn't care about chart action or if they did, they had no clue how to create any again. 'Course, Karen sells all of them when no one else could. I'd dispose of them utterly if she weren't singing them.As I have oft repeated, the two weakest songs on VOH (imho) are Now and Make Believe It's Your First Time.
Very Strong songs: Ordinary Fool and Two Lives.
RC/JB gave us some very good songs: You're Enough, At The End of a Song, Look To Your Dreams (I love all three).
Sailing On The Tide is Tony Peluso wonderful.
Good songs: Your Baby and Prime Time Love.
In brief, a very strong album of music.
Of course, just my opinion.
Absolutely agree it’s the standout track. But recorded in 1976 so should have been on the “Hush” album"Ordinary Fool" sells this album utterly and it's the best thing here by many miles. How this was passed over on "Passage" I will never understand. Stranger still is that Karen didn't even like it. Bizarre...
Ah. Gotcha: Thanks for the correction. It’s just such a good song. There are dogs on the AKOH album that this could easily have been replaced to make room for this one. The last three chords are just spine-tingling.Absolutely agree it’s the standout track. But recorded in 1976 so should have been on the “Hush” album