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Official Review [Album]: "VOICE OF THE HEART" (SP-4954)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 18 19.8%
  • ****

    Votes: 31 34.1%
  • ***

    Votes: 34 37.4%
  • **

    Votes: 7 7.7%
  • *

    Votes: 1 1.1%

  • Total voters
    91

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
She didn’t want Karen to steal her vocal spotlight. Olivia is a good singer, but let’s be real, she was never near Karen’s level. It would have been good to have Olivia on Karen’s show, but I can see her people saying that it was bad for her image given how terminally uncool they were.
I think you have that the other way around. :wink:
"Karen is a good singer, but let's be real, she was never near Olivia's level"
:agree:
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
^^^ I wish that Karen and Olivia would have recorded a song together. That would have been my dream duet!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
For what it’s worth... I’ve never ranked Olivia in the same league as Karen. As Rick says, she’s a great singer and I love some of her stuff but she doesn’t have the depth of emotion, resonance or vocal quality that Karen possesses. They’re just different singers with a different style. I have a friend who adores Olivia and for him the Carpenters are the worst band ever. Just ever. So go figure that one out!
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
The wild-scenario that Make Believe It's Your First Time might have been "requested" by Karen in order to appear on
the duo's 1980 MMM TV special is without foundation.
Carpenters Fan Club Newsletter, Jan 1980: "Karen is in New York, now, working on the final segments (of her solo album)."
"Tentative plans are in the making for a TV Special....Taping is scheduled to begin next month (Feb)."
CFCN September 1979: "Before their tenth anniversary expires...they expect to send a token of their appreciation
to the fan club members (The Carpenters DECADE Book)...and intend to release a Christmas SINGLE,
to be selected from EXCESS material recorded from Christmas Portrait..."

By the way, at least one source claims that Olivia's TV Special, Hollywood Nights,
was TAPED in 1979 (page 151, Tina Turner: Break Every Rule).
Source:
https://books.google.com/books?id=egQHNLQqiBYC&pg=PA151&lpg=PA151&dq=tina+turner+hollywood+nights&source=bl&ots=-pPaW7b_mL&sig=ACfU3U3cPUYH6idE_EPbrBX2rcMiiw7kfw&hl=en&ppis=_c&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwihk7zWvM7nAhWRiOAKHe4DC6Y4HhDoATAFegQIChAB#v=onepage&q=tina turner hollywood nights&f=false
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
The wild-scenario that Make Believe It's Your First Time might have been "requested" by Karen in order to appear on
the duo's 1980 MMM TV special is without foundation.
Carpenters Fan Club Newsletter, Jan 1980: "Karen is in New York, now, working on the final segments (of her solo album)."
"Tentative plans are in the making for a TV Special....Taping is scheduled to begin next month (Feb)."
CFCN September 1979: "Before their tenth anniversary expires...they expect to send a token of their appreciation
to the fan club members (The Carpenters DECADE Book)...and intend to release a Christmas SINGLE,
to be selected from EXCESS material recorded from Christmas Portrait..."

By the way, at least one source claims that Olivia's TV Special, Hollywood Nights,
was TAPED in 1979 (page 151, Tina Turner: Break Every Rule).
Source:
https://books.google.com/books?id=egQHNLQqiBYC&pg=PA151&lpg=PA151&dq=tina+turner+hollywood+nights&source=bl&ots=-pPaW7b_mL&sig=ACfU3U3cPUYH6idE_EPbrBX2rcMiiw7kfw&hl=en&ppis=_c&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwihk7zWvM7nAhWRiOAKHe4DC6Y4HhDoATAFegQIChAB#v=onepage&q=tina turner hollywood nights&f=false
I’m sorry but I don’t follow. All that says is what’s been discussed before. There was an overlap between Karen’s solo and MMM. You didn’t provide a “smoking gun”. We know that by March 2, 1980, the Carpenters were recording tracks for MMM (and those tracks would’ve been made before the video was shot). And by May 1980 they were onto MIA, when Karen’s solo was cancelled.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Make Believe It's Your First Time:
"Believing this song to be one of the better selections from Karen's solo project, and
now knowing that project was not going to be released, I set out to arrange the song
for the album on which we were starting production. In the process, I contacted the
writers, asking them to write a bridge, which it originally did not have...the revision was made..."

Since the decision was made by Karen in MAY of 1980 to shelve the album,
the events described by Richard for the song MBIYFT take place AFTER MAY 1980.
There is no overlap, because the bridge for MBIYFT had not been written, or recorded, until after MAY 1980.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Make Believe It's Your First Time:
"Believing this song to be one of the better selections from Karen's solo project, and
now knowing that project was not going to be released, I set out to arrange the song
for the album on which we were starting production. In the process, I contacted the
writers, asking them to write a bridge, which it originally did not have...the revision was made..."

Since the decision was made by Karen in MAY of 1980 to shelve the album,
the events described by Richard for the song MBIYFT take place AFTER MAY 1980.
There is no overlap, because the bridge for MBIYFT had not been written, or recorded, until after MAY 1980.
There still is, as it was Karen who ultimately shelved it, but Richard could’ve been thinking of an earlier time in April even when the execs were thinking of cancelling it but Karen might’ve still been pushing or doing some tinkering to try to please.

Also Richard’s comment about the start of MIA, was he really talking about the 80’s or thinking back to the sessions for “I Believe You” in 78 and considering that whole time as the start of MIA? Here’s the thing, because there was so much going on in 1980, how do we know that Richard wasn’t misremembering a small detail, like instead of MIA, it was MMM it was recorded for? You know there’s the whole month of February 1980 where MMM was in pre-production and we don’t know what was going on. Maybe Richard asked them on Feb 4 and the writers got the bridge to him on the 8, and it was recorded the 9th?

All we know for sure is that it was recorded in 1980. When, we don’t know. And with all the overlap...

What Richard has said about MBIYFT (VOTH) is vague at best.
 
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GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Your original premise is that Karen would have requested the song MBIYFT as "a promotional thing" on MMM.
However, it was Richard who felt the song MBIYFT was "one of the better solo selections."
Why would Karen choose to use the song as "a promotional thing," when the song MBIYFT is NOT really
an accurate reflection of her solo project ? We know Richard wanted to re-record it, but WHY on earth would
karen prefer a revised song to her outstanding SOLO version ? It defies credibility.
Ultimately, the song is not a very good song. Thank heavens, Karen did record it, because no version by any other
artist is worth listening to---the song is a dog. Only Karen's voice is able to elevate it to a listenable experience.
Be that as it may, her solo version is definitive.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
^^Your original premise is that Karen would have requested the song MBIYFT as "a promotional thing" on MMM.
However, it was Richard who felt the song MBIYFT was "one of the better solo selections."
Why would Karen choose to use the song as "a promotional thing," when the song MBIYFT is NOT really
an accurate reflection of her solo project ? We know Richard wanted to re-record it, but WHY on earth would
karen prefer a revised song to her outstanding SOLO version ? It defies credibility.
Ultimately, the song is not a very good song. Thank heavens, Karen did record it, because no version by any other
artist is worth listening to---the song is a dog. Only Karen's voice is able to elevate it to a listenable experience.
Be that as it may, her solo version is definitive.
Gary that’s pretty harsh huh?
I’d never say MBIYFT was a dog song. It’s a great album cut for me not single worthy but a great song.

I’d put Man Smart Woman Smarter as a bad song shouldn’t have been recorded on an Carpenters album.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Chris, allow me to explain my opinion on MBIYFT: When Karen performs MKBIYFT, it becomes a song worth listening to (the solo).
On all of the other versions, when other artists, perform MBIYFT, I can not listen to the song !
Regards the VOH version, while Karen sings it beautifully, I really do not care for the choir.
On the SOLO effort, I believe Karen MAKES the song.
Otherwise, I would pass on it.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Chris, allow me to explain my opinion on MBIYFT: When Karen performs MKBIYFT, it becomes a song worth listening to (the solo).
On all of the other versions, when other artists, perform MBIYFT, I can not listen to the song !
Regards the VOH version, while Karen sings it beautifully, I really do not care for the choir.
On the SOLO effort, I believe Karen MAKES the song.
Otherwise, I would pass on it.
Thanks Gary
I can’t fault Karen for the choir so for me it doesn’t lessen that fact it’s a great song from Karen certainly not a dog in my book. By the way who is Chris? I thought my avatar might help check it out or I’ll put Olivia back :)
 

Toolman

Simple Man, Simple Dream
To each his own... when I first heard MBIYFT on the radio (Adult Contemporary station), never thinking I would hear another new Carpenters song, everything about it seemed right. Wistful melody; lyric about forgetting the sadness of the past for a moment (how perfect was that); gorgeous vocal. I'll never question the pure joy of hearing it, never look at it in hindsight as an imperfect song or whatever. It is what is was -- a moment in time that was somehow much needed and just right. I feel the same way now when I hear it as I did then. As far as I'm concerned, Richard pulled the right track for the first VOTH single and while the arrangement compared to the solo version may be a bit heavy-handed, it works. I even love the little snip of studio chatter at the front. A sentimental favorite, maybe, but a favorite nonetheless.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I remember when the Single MBIYFT came out (1983). Very little airplay did it get.
Even TODAY, very few people are familiar with the song. Yes, it is a sentimental selection and Karen sings it beautifully.
Be that as it may, my sister heard the song At The End of A Song
(for the first time a few days ago)and immediately stated it was one of her favorites.
I think that song backed by Look To Your Dreams would have made a better SINGLE release.
But, yes, everyone has their own tastes.
In my opinion, MBIYFT and Now are the two weakest songs off of this album.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
^^Your original premise is that Karen would have requested the song MBIYFT as "a promotional thing" on MMM.
However, it was Richard who felt the song MBIYFT was "one of the better solo selections."
Why would Karen choose to use the song as "a promotional thing," when the song MBIYFT is NOT really
an accurate reflection of her solo project ? We know Richard wanted to re-record it, but WHY on earth would
karen prefer a revised song to her outstanding SOLO version ? It defies credibility.
Ultimately, the song is not a very good song. Thank heavens, Karen did record it, because no version by any other
artist is worth listening to---the song is a dog. Only Karen's voice is able to elevate it to a listenable experience.
Be that as it may, her solo version is definitive.
Really it is the only track from the solo album that would’ve worked with the other songs on MMM.

Also Richard has said that he liked “If I Had You” as well, and he even remixed it for inclusion on a Carpenters album. However, “If I Had You” would’ve stuck out like a sore thumb on MMM, and would’ve felt more shoehorned into the special, whereas MBIYFT goes with the style of the other songs on the album. Sure it’s not a good song, but for promotional purposes on MMM it would work better. Plus it’s a slow dance song, in either version, so it could’ve been paired with “I’ve Got Rhythym” or placed elsewhere. Or would you have preferred “My Body” and it’s disco dance being plopped in the middle of MMM? Yeah it would’ve been a big number, possible the biggest number, but it would’ve stuck out and felt like “what were they thinking?”

As for the arrangement, considering the special used a band for its music and you had a big band sound, the solo’s piano only wouldn’t have worked. Ultimately the one solo piano track (“When I Fall In Love”) got its second cut and even when I watch the DVD and compare it to the special, sure it was cut for time, but Karen sitting at a piano by herself would’ve felt out of place and if the had used the solo MBIYFT she would’ve been shot in a similar way or dancing with just one partner and it wouldn’t work. But rearranging it for big band would’ve worked better for TV. Imagine Karen and John Denver dancing to MBIYFT with other couples on the dance floor while she sang it to him.

Also there were other specials by other artists that used reworked versions of current hits to fit into the special.

So I think Karen and even A&M execs would’ve requested it for the special to promote the solo album.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Another thing with MMM is that it doesn’t feature the Carpenters, in 1980, most current hit “I Believe You”, which when you look at their other specials usually contained a recent single or album track (“Man Smart, Woman Smarter”). However in spring 1980 the only album to promote would’ve been “Passage” or Karen’s solo. For MMM ‘Calling Occupants’ would’ve fit, but it had already been done. And I don’t think Karen would’ve wanted “Becsuse We Are In Love” performed before her wedding. And the other solo tracks, to fit, would’ve needed to have been arranged very differently, whereas both the solo and VOTH MBIYFT have very similar arrangements.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
In my opinion, MBIYFT and Now are the two weakest songs off of this album.
The inherent problem with the album is that none of the songs - with the possible exception of Now - were ever meant to see the light of day. It’s an album of outtakes, which I think is what always leaves me feeling a little unsatisfied when I listen to it. It doesn’t have the ebb and flow of a normal studio album...it’s pretty much one sleeper track after another, as lovely as some of the songs are. Richard has said as much himself:

This was, with the exception of “Now” (1982), a collection of other outtakes from various years. “Make Believe It’s Your First Time” was chosen as the debut single, even though I didn’t believe there was a hit in that album”.

Carpenters •• Make Believe It's Your First Time

“...had Karen lived, we would have turned our attention to the new songs (along with some standards, no doubt) and not thought of these tracks again“.

http://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com/Album_Voice Of The Heart.htm
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^But....all the while during the 1983 promo tour and in the newspaper interviews,
Richard inisited that this was NOT an album of outtakes,
that Karen would have wanted these songs released.
In fact, he was quite forceful in that opinion--at that time.
Actually, I like the entire album very much.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
It’s funny how the outtakes are better than what we got on MIA. As to a single from VOTH, I still think “Prime Time Love” would’ve been a good choice for a single. I think that was VOTH’s “Top of the World”.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I like what Richard says at the conclusion of this interview (regards VOH album):
"I think you will enjoy it a great deal."






I did...and I still do.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
^^But....all the while during the 1983 promo tour and in the newspaper interviews,Richard inisited that this was NOT an album of outtakes, that Karen would have wanted these songs released. In fact, he was quite forceful in that opinion--at that time.
True, but I strongly suspect he was told to promote it as such by the label and create the impression they'd recorded all the tracks for impending release as a new studio album. Imagine if he’d gone on TV and explained it as a collection of tracks that were not good enough for release when originally recorded? I also think that’s why there are no liner notes in the album explaining which album sessions each track was from. That information only came out years later. If you were clever you could check the production details on each song’s credits and that gave the year away for the most part.
 
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