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

Anyone read this?

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by ullalume, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    The discussion's direction is because most of our members reside in the US, so we naturally look at things from a "home" perspective. There was no intention of dismissing other territories outright, but the bulk of our members reside in the US and can only listen (on terrestrial radio) to those radio stations near them.

    Of course with the advent of the Internet, many more international sources for music can be found.
    Geographer likes this.
  2. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I know we have quite a few members posting here from the UK. However what has always surprised me here on this forum is that we have very few members that post from Japan. Japan is one of the largest fan base of the Carpenters but very few post here to give their homeland perspective including past remembrances of the duos work and accomplishments, feedback and direct knowledge of the duo from their country. It doesn't have to be past fans but even new fans we have very little postings from Japan fans on this forum. I always looked forward to Sakaura (sp?) who use to post here on this forum from Japan. She always brought great knowledge about info of the Carpenters. Maybe there is another Japan forum I am not aware of where fans gather.

    I think this Forum is a testament of how great the US fans have kept and continue to keep the Carpenters music alive. We may not always agree on things but we are still here talking about Karen and Richard. That accounts for something in my book to USA fans.
  3. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    I suspect that the language barrier is a huge factor here Rick. The Carpenters have a large Japanese fan base, but how many of those fans speak English? Or read/write in English, at a level where they would feel comfortable participating in this forum? If a Japanese fan forum exists, the members there probably wonder why so few Americans post! :laugh:

    I've always been fascinated by the level of success the Carpenters enjoyed in Japan. I suspect that, especially in their heyday, the vast majority of listeners there couldn't understand the lyrics (hence the lyrics sheet with Japanese translation, which was included with most of the albums), yet they embraced the music anyway.
    newvillefan likes this.
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    That’s actually true. The Japanese have a great penchant for following artists like Carpenters and ABBA and being able to “sing along” to the songs parrot fashion, without having a clue what the sounds mean.
  5. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Maybe we are too analytical sometimes. It’s nice to see international defense for our
    Even though we try to rationalize analyzations of Carpenters music from what we understand it has a fresh appeal to hear the defense of the international market. Maybe it is correct to look not at the music but at the perspective of American tastes not having a longing for music that is classically influenced. But despite the reasoning the facts remain for us who live in America. I think we all want to hear more praise and excitement from around the world about the influences of Karen and Richard from their perspective. In the process, a reflection may influence future musicians all over the world. Maybe the celebration specials of the Carpenters we see from overseas will awaken our own market and those celebrations will reach outside our group! That excitement was discussed here in our circle. I browsed and found this: "Celebrating The Carpenters" on ITV1 with Richard
    I can see it in sections on YouTube but would love an entire video of the program. I love what I have seen so far, and as I have mentioned before Ronan Keating captures the spirit of I Won’t Last A Day Without You. It would be nice to see our group have the popularity in America as in Japan and the U.K. to overcome and silence of those who claim a classical influence as syrupy music.
  6. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Lots of artists have ongoing appeal in Japan, in particular. I'm not sure why that is, but there are several of my favorite Sergio Mendes albums that I wouldn't own on CD if it wasn't for Japanese issues.

    I remember reading once that the Carpenters were popular in Japan not just because of their fine music, but because their English lyrics were easy to understand and follow, so some young Japanese people who were learning English would use those records to help them. I don't know if that still holds true today or not.
  7. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    This is off topic but such phenomenal news I had to make people aware as I know there are many ABBA fans here. It was announced by the band today and is currently going viral online.

    ABBA to release new music after 35 years
    David A and GaryAlan like this.
  8. Yamaguchi

    Yamaguchi Member

    Just to add one more point about Carpenters' "classical element" and their special enduring appeal in Japan and East Asia in general: An East Asian (not sure which country) music prof arranged a wind and strings-based medley of Carpenters' music for high school and college bands and orchestras called "Carpenters Forever." It became a widespread favorite from Japan to China to Malaysia and elsewhere in E. Asia with such groups and classes. "I Need to Fall in Love" has achieved similar "classical" status in Japan, but renamed as "Seishun no Kagayaki." It is played regularly, as though it were classical music instrumentally, by bands and orchestras in Japan like the military bands of the Japanese Self Defense Force. Picked this up on YouTube, where there are numerous videos of these orchestras playing these Carpenters' now-classics.
    CraigGA and David A like this.
  9. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    Yes! Saw this as well and was going to post it too. I never thought this would happen, Agnetha seemed so uninterested for so long, in doing anything.
    newvillefan likes this.
  10. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    London Letter
    Stereo Review Feb 1972
  11. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Broken Through The British Barrier
    Record Mirror July 14, 1973

    Carpe diem, GaryAlan and newvillefan like this.
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    The phrase (from the article of Feb 1972)
    " ingenuous eclecticism"
    is quite a good description !
  13. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    I am on the weekly e-mail list for U.S. cable channel MeTV (Memorable Entertainment Television ), which plays classic TV shows from decades ago. MeTV also its own online music channel (MeTV Network | MeTV Music ), which does feature Carpenters. The e-mails often include quizzes about old TV shows as well as music. Today's e-mail included a quiz about album covers from 1977 (Can you identify these hit albums of 1977 by their cover artwork alone? ). Carpenters were given as an incorrect option in question #3.

    Several of the quizzes or articles at this site include mentions of Carpenters. Use of their search option will elicit such references.
  14. I never knew it took them that long to “break” the UK.
  15. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    They had broken the UK in 1970, when the 'Close to You' single went to #6. What I think the article means is that it wasn't until 1973 that they really broke into the big league in the UK - the first few albums made the Top 20 and they'd placed a few singles on the charts too, but Now and Then and 'Yesterday Once More' went Top 5, which then set the stage for 'Top of the World' to do likewise and The Singles 1969-1973 to spend an epic 17 weeks at #1 there in 1974.
    jaredjohnfisher likes this.
  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Having 'discovered' a package of "Joe Osborne Guitar Strings" in my mom's thrift-shop,
    I decided to investigate a bit. Here is pic:
    Lakland Joe Osborn Signature Flatwounds - Light 5-string (.040, .060, .080, .102,.128) - Best Bass Gear

    And, here is a nice Joe Osborn (October 1998) interview:
    Joe Osborn

    "You also play with a pick.
    "I always have. Remember, I went from guitar to bass overnight, and I just kept the pick.
    It eventually became part of my signature sound. Other bass players would always give me a hard time,
    but I never changed, and I’m not going to stop now."
  17. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Here’s a double for Karen if ever I saw one...

    Carpe diem likes this.
  18. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Pretty darn close! Adrienne Barbeau was the ONLY reason I ever watched "Maude"...:love:
    goodjeans and newvillefan like this.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    More Coleman Biography:
    Page 79, September 1969: "Richard believed she (KC) would appear almost as a novelty act--
    that unusual sight, a female drummer ! And, that was precisely how she was perceived."

    Page 102:
    John Bettis... "it was very indicative that she (KC) played drums, because they are very loud and
    you can hit them very hard, and Karen was very physical, so that was no surprise. She was doing
    something she was born to do."
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  20. Look at the picture caption. Is it a coincidence that a Carpenter is involved?
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  21. Also, we shouldn't overlook Carpenters' sustained sucess in Ireland too, which, might I add, lasted for way longer than one might expect i.e. way after the theorised 'heyday' of the first half of the 70s. Something of a phenomena, I guess. For example - There's A King Of Hush and I Need To Be In Love charted higher than anywhere else in the world at #7 and #14 respectively, they were still hitting #1 with 'Occupants' in '77, and even in 1983 hit #20 with 'Make Believe It's Your First Time' - radio airplay still reflects how well-recieved they have been. Heck, my relatives remeber hearing Sweet Sweet Smile together on their radio!

    What is interesting is that this went along with a sort of craze/penchant in Ireland for US country-pop, or for that matter any American-y vocal music. Seemingly, any classical undertones or 'syrupiness' were not clocked, as such, as good or bad things! The novelty perhaps in Karen's homely, accented singing style and the odd country flourish in the music may have appealed, aside from originality and outright 'Americanness'. Honestly [unusually?] that whole trend lingers- the only 'country' music tv channel over here in Europe is 'Keep It Country' which is full of Irish musicians and presenters whilst 'Ireland West Music TV' is country music ga lore, crooners singing in tractors are still around[de facto music video concept, hehe], the relaxed and breezy 'west-coast' style always does well, and live bands (show bands) still love the American 70s ditties.

    It's sort of amazing how, from place to place, a band's image, what 'trend' they represent(ed) to people, their longevity, and appeal, can vary...
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
    Brian, Yamaguchi, David A and 3 others like this.
  22. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    For those interested, a MeTV update:

    My weekly e-mail today contained a quiz from MeTV: The biggest songs of the summer each year in the 1970s . Guess which song starts off as the summer song of 1970!
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
    GaryAlan, CraigGA and Geographer like this.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^That was interesting, James.
    They (MeTV) write....
    " If birds did not suddenly appear every time this song was played, imitators certainly did.
    The tragic-beautiful duo set the mold for the decade. You could argue that half
    of the songs on this list owe a debt
    to the sound and vibes of "Close to You."
    It topped the charts for four weeks that first summer of the 1970s, though
    its golden haze hung over the following ten years.

    Quite frankly--I think one could successfully argue--
    Close To You, We've Only Just Begun, Rainy Days And Mondays, Superstar, Hurting Each Other,
    Goodbye To Love, For All We Know
    --that all of those songs, played a large part in "setting the mold" for the decade that followed.
    --Each song for different reasons, at that.

    goodjeans and Jamesj75 like this.
  24. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    Maybe if Carpenters released the right song at the right time for a certain market, it would be a hit, despite, (or maybe partly because of), people's preconceptions of their image. 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft' reached the Top 10 in around half the states of Australia in early 1978 and hit the Top 5 in South Australia. (Link below).


    'Very Best of The Carpenters' climbed near the top of the Australian album charts in the weeks before Karen died and finally hit Number One just after. (See below).

    Carpenters album Number One, 1983

    I think that people are always prepared to ignore image, if the music is good enough. Personally, I liked the image of Carpenters at the time and maybe a lot of other people did, too.
    Seán Pendlebury and Jamesj75 like this.
  25. Yamaguchi

    Yamaguchi Member

    You are quite right about the net positive effect of the Carpenters' image. It is only from the distorted perspective of decades of cynical hipster critics that we have the canard that their positive, congenial image was a problem (even Richard came to swallow this trope). In fact, millions of music fans, from the U.S. to the UK to Japan, were attracted to the Carpenters largely BECAUSE of their (well, mainly Karen's) warm and friendly image. Then they stuck with them because of the fabulous music.
    Seán Pendlebury and Brian like this.

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