• The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available. Use this link to order, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

Analysis: I Just Fall In Love Again

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
I was reading Rick Henry’s insightful book “The Carpenters Online Interviews” and was fascinated by a description by writer Larry Herbstritt about how this song was born. I thought I’d share excerpts here. Anyone want to add their thoughts?

During a visit with Steve Dorff in his office in the 6255 Sunset Blvd. building (he had an office in Snuff Garrett's offices) I played my "chorus" for Steve. He liked it but assessed it as a "verse" that needed a chorus and went on about his business. I was disappointed that he thought it was a "verse" melody. When I got back to my apartment I decided to create a "verse" melody that would lead into what I still believed was a "chorus" in hopes that Steve would change his mind about my "chorus" being a "verse"[...] I then believed I had something to play for Steve that would convince him that my first melody was indeed a chorus. When I played it for Steve he was in agreement.

Steve sat next to me at the piano and while I played my verse chords he played a compressed variation of the chorus melody using the descending perfect 5th notes. (the first two notes of the verse "Dreamin'" are the same as the first two notes of the chorus "Oh I" played twice as fast). His melody was brilliant as it became a succession of descending perfect 5ths, upon which the words were written, "Dreamin' I must be dreamin' or am I really lying here with you-baby" and then back to my melody as I mention above. Steve was convinced we had a hit tune that needed words. I was not that convinced I must admit [...] We gave the melody to our friend and co-writer, Gary Harju. After a few days with the tune, Gary told us he could not find words for it. Gary was much more accustomed to writing lyrics first.

So Steve suggested we give the tune to one of the other writers who was signed to Snuff Garrett's company, Gloria Sklerov. Gloria was mainly a melody writer however. A few days later Gloria said she wanted to get some help from her co-writer, Harry Lloyd and so she did and the two of them came up with the lyric. I do not know who wrote what with the lyric. Steve and I did the demo using a simple piano/ string synth track. Steve sang the demo. Steve had befriended Ed Sulzer who worked closely with the Carpenters and had an office on the A&M Records lot. Steve and I had been to visit with Ed several times prior to this song and Steve had pitched songs to Ed for the Carpenters but with no luck. Ed played this new song for Richard and Richard he liked it. When Ed told us the song was on the list of songs to record for the Carpenter's next album but I admit I was skeptical. It seemed too good to be true. I had heard of other writers thinking they were going to have a song recorded by a major artist only to find it didn't happen. I was aware many of the possible pitfalls for a song making it through all the hoops. But a couple months later the Carpenters recorded the basic track.

Still I remained skeptical. It still wasn't on an actual record.... HA. Steve and I were invited to the sweetening session. It was an unusual sweetening session in that Richard was not the arranger. Instead Peter Knight had written an orchestration for the track. It was a great pleasure for Steve and me to meet Mr Knight. We sat spellbound amidst the orchestra as they recorded the orchestra and choir. Our piano introduction melody had been given to Earl Dumler, the Carpenter's constant oboe companion. The arrangement was amazing and like a flower coming to full bloom, a large vocal choir now in a new key for the last chorus, added to the unfolding of its petals. From the first two notes of the song's creation I had envisioned the song as a "big" orchestral piece and this arrangement was more than I could have asked for. It remains the definitive recording of this song. As it turned out, Carpenters recording “I Just Fall In Love Again”, really did not change my life. Because of the arrangement, with all the key changes, Richard could not edit the recording to a shorter length to make it suitable as a single. I was still living in an apartment in Glendale, CA. I remember sitting in a laundromat, when barely audible through the sound of washing machines and dryers, I heard Karen's voice singing "I Just Fall In Love Again". I guess some radio station was playing it but it wasn't a single and that was the only time I ever heard the Carpenters recording of "I Just Fall In Love Again" on the radio. I thought to myself, "What's wrong with this picture. I'm sitting here in a laundromat and the Carpenters are singing my song on the radio".
 

John Adam

"Two Lives"
Because of it's inclusion in the RPO album, this song has taken on a new life in my eyes. I was never really wowed by the original recording. But the RPO treatment, including less reverb on her vocal, really brought out the message of this song.

It is unfortunate that it couldn't be shortened and edited for a single mix in 1977, as I think I would of enjoyed the results. Kudos to Steven Dorff who had the fortune of Karen's voice on two of his compositions.

 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I was reading Rick Henry’s insightful book “The Carpenters Online Interviews” and was fascinated by a description by writer Larry Herbstritt about how this song was born. I thought I’d share excerpts here. Anyone want to add their thoughts?

During a visit with Steve Dorff in his office in the 6255 Sunset Blvd. building (he had an office in Snuff Garrett's offices) I played my "chorus" for Steve. He liked it but assessed it as a "verse" that needed a chorus and went on about his business. I was disappointed that he thought it was a "verse" melody. When I got back to my apartment I decided to create a "verse" melody that would lead into what I still believed was a "chorus" in hopes that Steve would change his mind about my "chorus" being a "verse"[...] I then believed I had something to play for Steve that would convince him that my first melody was indeed a chorus. When I played it for Steve he was in agreement.

Steve sat next to me at the piano and while I played my verse chords he played a compressed variation of the chorus melody using the descending perfect 5th notes. (the first two notes of the verse "Dreamin'" are the same as the first two notes of the chorus "Oh I" played twice as fast). His melody was brilliant as it became a succession of descending perfect 5ths, upon which the words were written, "Dreamin' I must be dreamin' or am I really lying here with you-baby" and then back to my melody as I mention above. Steve was convinced we had a hit tune that needed words. I was not that convinced I must admit [...] We gave the melody to our friend and co-writer, Gary Harju. After a few days with the tune, Gary told us he could not find words for it. Gary was much more accustomed to writing lyrics first.

So Steve suggested we give the tune to one of the other writers who was signed to Snuff Garrett's company, Gloria Sklerov. Gloria was mainly a melody writer however. A few days later Gloria said she wanted to get some help from her co-writer, Harry Lloyd and so she did and the two of them came up with the lyric. I do not know who wrote what with the lyric. Steve and I did the demo using a simple piano/ string synth track. Steve sang the demo. Steve had befriended Ed Sulzer who worked closely with the Carpenters and had an office on the A&M Records lot. Steve and I had been to visit with Ed several times prior to this song and Steve had pitched songs to Ed for the Carpenters but with no luck. Ed played this new song for Richard and Richard he liked it. When Ed told us the song was on the list of songs to record for the Carpenter's next album but I admit I was skeptical. It seemed too good to be true. I had heard of other writers thinking they were going to have a song recorded by a major artist only to find it didn't happen. I was aware many of the possible pitfalls for a song making it through all the hoops. But a couple months later the Carpenters recorded the basic track.

Still I remained skeptical. It still wasn't on an actual record.... HA. Steve and I were invited to the sweetening session. It was an unusual sweetening session in that Richard was not the arranger. Instead Peter Knight had written an orchestration for the track. It was a great pleasure for Steve and me to meet Mr Knight. We sat spellbound amidst the orchestra as they recorded the orchestra and choir. Our piano introduction melody had been given to Earl Dumler, the Carpenter's constant oboe companion. The arrangement was amazing and like a flower coming to full bloom, a large vocal choir now in a new key for the last chorus, added to the unfolding of its petals. From the first two notes of the song's creation I had envisioned the song as a "big" orchestral piece and this arrangement was more than I could have asked for. It remains the definitive recording of this song. As it turned out, Carpenters recording “I Just Fall In Love Again”, really did not change my life. Because of the arrangement, with all the key changes, Richard could not edit the recording to a shorter length to make it suitable as a single. I was still living in an apartment in Glendale, CA. I remember sitting in a laundromat, when barely audible through the sound of washing machines and dryers, I heard Karen's voice singing "I Just Fall In Love Again". I guess some radio station was playing it but it wasn't a single and that was the only time I ever heard the Carpenters recording of "I Just Fall In Love Again" on the radio. I thought to myself, "What's wrong with this picture. I'm sitting here in a laundromat and the Carpenters are singing my song on the radio".
It truly was a song that should have been their first single off the album. It would have been a great introduction to Passage. It could have stayed in the same key and cut some of the middle orchestral section and have Karen sing an ending with the original key. Then, used the existing version on the album only. I wonder if there was ever a first cut that stayed in the same key recorded. The tempo could also have been picked up just a bit for the single. Since we now have the RPO version with Karen front and center and the orchestra clear, the track is magical and one I can’t keep from listening to on repeat! It would be great to have this story and this version heard on PBS. I think it would gain the recognition it deserves.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
Since we now have the RPO version with Karen front and center and the orchestra clear, the track is magical and one I can’t keep from listening to on repeat!

For me it was always a mildly loved album track but when I heard the RPO version, it was completely transformed to my ears. To this day it’s head and shoulders above every other track on that collection for me - rescued from the muddy original thanks to the clean up of Karen’s lead, the removal of the reverb and the new orchestration. Without the reverb, Karen sounds like she’s just having a heartfelt conversation with you on the sofa. An absolute knockout. Of all the reviews I read, this one stuck with me the most:

Standouts include the orchestra-backed version of Yesterday Once More, the jaw-droppingly stunning I Just Fall In Love Again and Goodbye To Love. A must-have album for any fans of the Carpenters. Or just anyone who enjoys music, full stop.

Music reviews: The Carpenters lead the way with reworked offering
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
I was reading Rick Henry’s insightful book “The Carpenters Online Interviews” and was fascinated by a description by writer Larry Herbstritt about how this song was born. I thought I’d share excerpts here. Anyone want to add their thoughts?

During a visit with Steve Dorff in his office in the 6255 Sunset Blvd. building (he had an office in Snuff Garrett's offices) I played my "chorus" for Steve. He liked it but assessed it as a "verse" that needed a chorus and went on about his business. I was disappointed that he thought it was a "verse" melody. When I got back to my apartment I decided to create a "verse" melody that would lead into what I still believed was a "chorus" in hopes that Steve would change his mind about my "chorus" being a "verse"[...] I then believed I had something to play for Steve that would convince him that my first melody was indeed a chorus. When I played it for Steve he was in agreement.

Steve sat next to me at the piano and while I played my verse chords he played a compressed variation of the chorus melody using the descending perfect 5th notes. (the first two notes of the verse "Dreamin'" are the same as the first two notes of the chorus "Oh I" played twice as fast). His melody was brilliant as it became a succession of descending perfect 5ths, upon which the words were written, "Dreamin' I must be dreamin' or am I really lying here with you-baby" and then back to my melody as I mention above. Steve was convinced we had a hit tune that needed words. I was not that convinced I must admit [...] We gave the melody to our friend and co-writer, Gary Harju. After a few days with the tune, Gary told us he could not find words for it. Gary was much more accustomed to writing lyrics first.

So Steve suggested we give the tune to one of the other writers who was signed to Snuff Garrett's company, Gloria Sklerov. Gloria was mainly a melody writer however. A few days later Gloria said she wanted to get some help from her co-writer, Harry Lloyd and so she did and the two of them came up with the lyric. I do not know who wrote what with the lyric. Steve and I did the demo using a simple piano/ string synth track. Steve sang the demo. Steve had befriended Ed Sulzer who worked closely with the Carpenters and had an office on the A&M Records lot. Steve and I had been to visit with Ed several times prior to this song and Steve had pitched songs to Ed for the Carpenters but with no luck. Ed played this new song for Richard and Richard he liked it. When Ed told us the song was on the list of songs to record for the Carpenter's next album but I admit I was skeptical. It seemed too good to be true. I had heard of other writers thinking they were going to have a song recorded by a major artist only to find it didn't happen. I was aware many of the possible pitfalls for a song making it through all the hoops. But a couple months later the Carpenters recorded the basic track.

Still I remained skeptical. It still wasn't on an actual record.... HA. Steve and I were invited to the sweetening session. It was an unusual sweetening session in that Richard was not the arranger. Instead Peter Knight had written an orchestration for the track. It was a great pleasure for Steve and me to meet Mr Knight. We sat spellbound amidst the orchestra as they recorded the orchestra and choir. Our piano introduction melody had been given to Earl Dumler, the Carpenter's constant oboe companion. The arrangement was amazing and like a flower coming to full bloom, a large vocal choir now in a new key for the last chorus, added to the unfolding of its petals. From the first two notes of the song's creation I had envisioned the song as a "big" orchestral piece and this arrangement was more than I could have asked for. It remains the definitive recording of this song. As it turned out, Carpenters recording “I Just Fall In Love Again”, reaIt remains the definitive recording of this song. lly did not change my life. Because of the arrangement, with all the key changes, Richard could not edit the recording to a shorter length to make it suitable as a single. I was still living in an apartment in Glendale, CA. I remember sitting in a laundromat, when barely audible through the sound of washing machines and dryers, I heard Karen's voice singing "I Just Fall In Love Again". I guess some radio station was playing it but it wasn't a single and that was the only time I ever heard the Carpenters recording of "I Just Fall In Love Again" on the radio. I thought to myself, "What's wrong with this picture. I'm sitting here in a laundromat and the Carpenters are singing my song on the radio".

"It remains the definitive recording of this song."

That says it all!

Great contribution Newvillefan; Fascinating!
 

Graeme

Well-Known Member
That was an interesting read. I've always really liked the song. I think I'm the odd one out here though as I prefer the original over the RPO version. I was initially wowed by Karen's more upfront vocal on the RPO version but I think the overall build up to the final chorus in the original works better overall to my ears. For example, the choir coming in during the last chorus on the original rather than coming in during the chorus before the guitar solo on the RPO one gives it more impact somehow. The initial guitar solo is also too muted on the RPO version too (unless there's yet another RPO remix out there I've not heard yet!)
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Quoting from the text, above:
(1) "Steve had pitched songs to Ed for the Carpenters but with no luck."
Which songs were previously pitched to the duo ? (or, rather, probably pitched to Richard Carpenter).
(2) "Steve and I were invited to the sweetening session."
I wonder, how often was anyone "invited" to a sweetening session ?


By the way, this song was definitive the moment I heard it off of the Passage album (1977).
It's bombastic nature (the arrangement builds itself up as the song progresses) is brilliant.
The RPO version may have tweaked it a bit, in terms of bringing Karen's vocal forward,
but, the original version is definitive to my ears.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
It’s a reason to buy Passage alone. It’s just few heard it in 1977. To me, as in 1975 with Love Me For What I Am, it was another missed opportunity. As with Ordinary Fool for the A Kind Of Hush album, someone was making the wrong decisions.
 
Last edited:

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
It’s a reason to buy Passage alone. It’s just few heard it in 1977. To me, as in 1975 with Love Me For What I Am, it was another missed opportunity. As with Ordinary Fool for the A Kind Of Hush album, someone was making the wrong decisions.

Missed opportunity indeed. I agree with your observations. When I think that Anne Murray scored a big hit with this a year later, just makes me crazy. Karen's version is superior in every way IMHO...
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
With all due respect to Richard Carpenter, it is difficult to believe that this song,
I Just Fall In Love Again, was seriously considered for a single back in 1977/1978.
Yes, I have read the liner-notes and the "explanation" of excessive-length and being not-editable....
be that as it may, this song is simply too great to ignore.
Had it been a serious single-worthy consideration,
they could have kept the Passage version on that LP,
but re-recorded a re-arranged "single" version specifically for single release.
I would imagine that after Anne Murray scored a 'hit' with it, only then did t became obvious to them that the song
was single-worthy.
The moment I heard this Carpenters' song in 1977, I fell in love with it.
It is great, and I knew it should be released as a single.
Anne Murray's version is inferior in every way (I thought so the moment I heard it back in the day).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
Had it been a serious single-worthy consideration,
they could have kept the Passage version on that LP,
but re-recorded a re-arranged "single" version specifically for single release.

In theory this would have been a great idea; in practice, hugely expensive. It wouldn't have been as simple as redoing a vocal take (Can't Smile Without You) or adding organ and guitar overdubs (Solitaire) to prepare the song for single release. The problem in this case is the key change. If Richard had re-recorded the song without the key change so he could edit it down, it would have involved re-recording virtually the entire track from scratch: the electric guitar solo, bass, keyboards, the entire choir and the orchestration, because everything is affected by the key change. If there were lingering doubts by anyone as to its potential as a single, this would have all but ruled out the risk of going to the expense of re-recording everything. The only options would have been to leave it as is and take a gamble on it, or not release it at all (which is ultimately what happened).
 
Last edited:

Proudofyou

Well-Known Member
I wish I could listen to this with no history. It was just so overplayed by Anne Murray in its day, that I just can't get past that. She is flawless in this recording though.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
For me, nothing beats the wonderful piano background and the direct, warm, conversational delivery of Anne Murray on 'I Just Fall In Love Again'.

Carpenters' version is a completely different take on the song - all fantasy and over-the-topness - which does tie in with the fairytale-style lyrics - but the Anne Murray production, arrangement and performance is the more accessible version, I feel.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
For me, nothing beats the wonderful piano background and the direct, warm, conversational delivery of Anne Murray on 'I Just Fall In Love Again'.

Carpenters' version is a completely different take on the song - all fantasy and over-the-topness - which does tie in with the fairytale-style lyrics - but the Anne Murray production, arrangement and performance is the more accessible version, I feel.

This take I agree with. Anne's version is the version any radio would fall in love with. Her voice is excellent on it and the production is just as it should be - simple and effective. Jim Ed Norman (the producer) got it completely right and it was a huge hit - #1 Country and it crossed over pop at #12. Carpenters opens with that oboe that pretty much ends its chances of any possible radio play. Richard decided it was a trademark and it shouldn't have been. Peter Knight's strings are just too much. It's all very pretty but Karen should have been the focus, not swirling strings. As usual, Karen saves this for me like she does so many others. Her vocal is just gorgeous and it keeps my attention enough to make this listenable.

Richard throws everything he can think of at this. He's like a kinder, gentler Jim Steinman here. If he thought of it, it he threw it in - strings, choir, fuzz guitar solo a la "Goodbye To Love" - it's all here. The thing is just massive and Karen almost gets lost in it. Her considerable gifts as a singer ensure that she doesn't but the threat is ever-present throughout. Sadly, by "Made in America", Richard made good on that threat on most of the album.

Ed
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
In my opinion, Carps version of I Just Fall in Love Again suffers from the same mistakes as the duo's version of Make Believe It's Your First Time compared to Anne's version and Karen's solo version. I like them, but sometimes less is more.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
^^True to my form, I could not disagree more with both Ed and Mark. I can hardly listen to Anne Murray's version of the song.
But, that's okay !
To each his own.
And, that's okay !

I know, I know. Here comes cranky old Ed again. 😂😂. I always enjoy reading dissenting opinions. All are worthy and I learn something from each one. My mind is always open to be changed and it does sometimes. This is the most enjoyable place on the net for that reason (and many others too).
Ed
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
England Dan (the late Dan Seals) & John Ford Coley did the song "Broken Hearted Me" (from 1979 "Dr. Heckle And Mr. Jive") & then it was Anne Murray who did that song (from 1979 "I'll Always Love You").
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
I know, I know. Here comes cranky old Ed again. 😂😂. I always enjoy reading dissenting opinions. All are worthy and I learn something from each one. My mind is always open to be changed and it does sometimes. This is the most enjoyable place on the net for that reason (and many others too).
Ed

Cranky old Ed...Say it ain't so! "Nasally" Anne Murray beating out Karen Carpenter?! Not in a million years!! Karen SOARS with that vocal! I got you dead to rights Ed, I could swear that in this very forum you confessed that "KC was the best female pop vocalist that ever lived" or close to it. Am I wrong? I can go back and find it...
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
The oboe (complemented by keyboards) which begins the song (from 0 to 14s) has its counterpart with the ensuing flute (begin at 1:11 to 1:24s).
What is that beautiful instrument coming in at 40 sec ? Strings are subdued in most of the first half.
There is a modulation, a progression, of the flute (1:27-1:39) to a modulated counterpart of the strings (1:40-1:47).
Full string ensemble really begins after 1:47.
In any event, there is a lot going on, arrangement-wise, in this song. Lots to grab hold of.
The guitar break is divine (2:27-2:55). The drums are tasteful without being intrusive. Same with choir (after 2:55).
The repeat of "... can't help myself I fall in love with you..." (3:20 then, 3:28) is a fitting conclusion to the song.

I feel that this arrangement is one of the best I have ever encountered in a pop song.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Anne Mulrray's version


Carpenters RPO version

The "chill factor" as far as vocalizations is not in question...It is hands-down Karen Carpenter, arrangements aside. Not a big fan of the long and drawn-out intro on the RPO version, but still superior.
 
Last edited:

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Cranky old Ed...Say it ain't so! "Nasally" Anne Murray beating out Karen Carpenter?! Not in a million years!! Karen SOARS with that vocal! I got you dead to rights Ed, I could swear that in this very forum you confessed that "KC was the best female pop vocalist that ever lived" or close to it. Am I wrong? I can go back and find it...

Oh, I agree. I said as much. Karen's voice is all I said it was. I was talking about the production: Jim Ed Norman's vs. Richard Carpenter's. In that sense, Carpenters' loses utterly IMHO. Way too much sturm un drang for that intimate lyric. That's all I was saying. Karen is the better vocalist for sure. :wink:

Ed
 

CarpentersToYou

Somehow you brought the gambler out in me...
It’s funny how certain projects in the last 10 or 15 years have brought a new life to some new songs. I felt that way about “I believe you” when the SACD came out. Also I never really paid much attention to “maybe it’s you” until about 15 years ago after the inclusion on “Gold”. However, I have always been smitten with IJFILA. For me the song somehow captures those early days of when you fall in love. It’s amazing how Karen was capable of taking us to a place that could describe exactly how we were feeling in a certain moment.
 
Top Bottom