• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 19 18.1%
  • ****

    Votes: 38 36.2%
  • ***

    Votes: 39 37.1%
  • **

    Votes: 7 6.7%
  • *

    Votes: 2 1.9%

  • Total voters
    105

John Adam

"A House Is Not A Home"
They actually began work on the track to Sailing On The Tide as early as February of '75, with the bulk of it being completed in March and April of '77.
Chris, do you know if the lead vocal was recorded in 1975, or 1977?
 
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Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
Chris, do you know if the lead vocals were recorded in 1975, or 1977?
The vocals were cut in '77. Essentially what happened here, is, the track was started in '75, then essentially rebuilt and completed in '77. So it's safe to say that the wholesale recording we're listening to today in reality is from 1977. :)
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
The vocals were cut in '77. Essentially what happened here, is, the track was started in '75, then essentially rebuilt and completed in '77. So it's safe to say that the wholesale recording we're listening to today in reality is from 1977. :)
With my discovery of the Alfa CD, I'm now very curious to read the section of your new book that talks about "Voice of the Heart."

If this isn't discussed in the upcoming book, when were the lead vocals for "Two Lives" and "Prime Time Love" cut? (If it is discussed, I'll wait until it's released to read it!)
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
With my discovery of the Alfa CD, I'm now very curious to read the section of your new book that talks about "Voice of the Heart."

If this isn't discussed in the upcoming book, when were the lead vocals for "Two Lives" and "Prime Time Love" cut? (If it is discussed, I'll wait until it's released to read it!)
Actually, the book includes a complete Carpenters studio discography containing the all of the recording session dates and additional minutiae related to a number of the recordings, various mixes and their respective years, with album cross-references.
 

John Adam

"A House Is Not A Home"
Actually, the book includes a complete Carpenters studio discography containing the all of the recording session dates and additional minutiae related to the recordings, various mixes and their respective years, with album cross-references.

Then the "Curious" can stop bothering you all the time!
Can't wait to have the book. Thank you again, Chris!
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Then the "Curious" can stop bothering you all the time!
Can't wait to have the book. Thank you again, Chris!
Personally, I can't wait to read all about the various sessions that led to these recordings! I'm thankful that this information that may have been documented privately will now be made publicly available in an authoritative book. There have been various books like this for groups like the Beatles, with session dates, take information, etc., so I am very pleased to see that the Carpenters will be receiving the same treatment!
 

Without A Song

Active Member
I'm really looking forward to the book as well. I hope it will include details on the two songs with Richard singing leading that were apparently recorded in the early 1980s.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Actually, the book includes a complete Carpenters studio discography containing the all of the recording session dates and additional minutiae related to a number of the recordings, various mixes and their respective years, with album cross-references.
I'm really looking forward to the book as well. I hope it will include details on the two songs with Richard singing leading that were apparently recorded in the early 1980s.

This also made me wonder if the book includes session dates and additional details covering unreleased tracks as well as previously released material, similar to the Carl Magnus Palm book on ABBA.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Actually, the book includes a complete Carpenters studio discography containing the all of the recording session dates and additional minutiae related to a number of the recordings, various mixes and their respective years, with album cross-references.
Music to my ears
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
We've waited 50+ years to find out the session dates and other pertinent info! That alone is worth the price of admission! Can't wait. I do know from a previous post that Chris shared the recording date for the basic tracks of "We've Only Just Begun". It actually happened on my 8th birthday, which is a birthday party I still remember. : ) Little did I know what was happening on the West Coast that very day.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
If anyone is interested in the rare 1st pressing of "Voice of the Heart" (with pre-emphasis), I know someone who may be willing to sell their copy. Please PM me if you would like details.

(Keep in mind, this 1st pressing of "Voice of the Heart" is literally the very first time the Carpenters appeared anywhere on compact disc--the disc was originally pressed by Alfa Records for A&M Records in December 1983. The audio master is unique to this pressing, and I can confirm it is different from the 1984 Japan-for-U.S. Denon AM+ CD. I've uploaded scans of my own copy at MusicBrainz here: Release “Voice of the Heart” by Carpenters - MusicBrainz)
 
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Martin Medrano

Well-Known Member
If anyone is interested in the rare 1st pressing of "Voice of the Heart" (with pre-emphasis), I know someone who may be willing to sell their copy. Please PM me if you would like details.

(Keep in mind, this 1st pressing of "Voice of the Heart" is literally the very first time the Carpenters appeared anywhere on compact disc--the disc was originally pressed by Alfa Records for A&M Records in December 1983. The audio master is unique to this pressing, and I can confirm it is different from the 1984 Japan-for-U.S. Denon AM+ CD. I've uploaded scans of my own copy at MusicBrainz here: Release “Voice of the Heart” by Carpenters - MusicBrainz)
How different is the master to the one i have. The screenshot i sent you?
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
You're Enough charted as high as #80 in Austria this week, today at #96.
But, nice to see it charting at all in 2021 !
Still, I much like this album and love this song.
Source:

How cool! It’s a great tune.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
Karen sings it very well, but I would think At The End Of A Song would be more appealing. It’s definitely one of my favorites from Voice of the Heart, but great news, none the less.
 

Someday

Well-Known Member
Just a shout-out to the superb photograph of Richard on the reverse of Voice of the Heart. It’s one of the best ever, though I’ve never seen a high-def version of it.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Just a shout-out to the superb photograph of Richard on the reverse of Voice of the Heart. It’s one of the best ever, though I’ve never seen a high-def version of it.
Do you have the LP? On he LP it takes up the entire back cover, and is more detailed than the CD because of the size of the LP jacket.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
How amazing it would be to see a digitization of this color negative.

For what it's worth, the reverse artwork on the 1st pressing Alfa CD basically uses an identical composition as the 12" reverse as digitized by Ed (sans barcode). My scan of the 1st pressing CD is below:

29802172829.png


It really is a shame that CD inserts are all printed with that ugly dot matrix pattern. I can't blow up the image to much bigger than 600 px high before starting to notice the dots on the screen.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
"Carpenters: Musical Legacy" spoiler below...

I listened to "Prime Time Love" and saw in the book that the two major additions post-Karen's passing were the horns and strings. I tried to picture how the song would sound without those horn hits, and I can't picture it... I would imagine the song would sound really flat. To me, this speaks volumes of Richard's ability to hear a song and figure out what instruments can fill that empty space to make the music sound so full and vibrant.

Then, there are other songs like "Two Lives" that only had orchestra fill-ins post-Karen's death... and while the orchestra does add a lot to the music, I can imagine the song could be considered pretty close to finished (a work lead, nonetheless) even without the orchestra.

Stay tuned for re-ups of the 1st pressing of 38XB-4. iTunes did a better job at de-emphasis than SoX, imho. Old videos are still up but unlisted, for those of you who favorited them the first time around.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
P.S. I don’t think this was mentioned in “Carpenters: The Musical Legacy,” but “Voice of the Heart” was not only the first time the Carpenters ever appeared on CD anywhere in the world, but also there are two pressings of catalog no. A&M 38XB-4, and they sound different. First pressing (which I uploaded to YouTube) has pre-emphasis in the subcode. Second pressing is identical to the “first pressing” Denon CDs released in the U.S. at around the same time (c. 1984) and does not have pre-emphasis.

Although many debate the musical merits of this album, my personal take is that, after hearing the 1st Japanese pressing properly de-emphasized for the first time, this album represents to me a pinnacle of Richard’s instrumentation AND is a testament to the strong tape engineering in the studio in the months directly following Karen’s passing. Songs on here like “Ordinary Fool,” recorded at the same time as “A Kind of Hush,” are not marred by the questionable mastering/mixing sound quality that affects the entire “A Kind of Hush” album.

Carpenters – Voice of the Heart (38XB-4, 1st CD pressing)
 
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