• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline! The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy will be available on November 16, 2021 and 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 being released January 14, 2022, and is available for ordering here.

Anyone read this?

David A

Well-Known Member
Interesting to note that that #1 CD collection has the same photograph used for the cover of the coming new book...I would guess that's a coincidence.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Wow, there are 3 different Carpenters greatest hits albums in the top 10.
I find it interesting that 'N Sync and 2Pac are included in the "Easy Listening" category too. Hmm.

Are the Carpenters making a comeback? :shrug:
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Interesting that MIA is the only studio album in the top 100, sans Christmas Portrait. It’s often trashed on here, but I still love it, and nice too see it’s selling a bit today. . Thx Gary.
I'm on the hunt for an early pressing of MIA. If you have any leads, please let me know! ("Made in Japan" preferred.)
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
The Carpenters have 4 in the Top 50 today, 2 Gold, the 98 YOM and at #42 the UK Ultimate Collection.

Plus another favorite singer of mine, Michael Bolton, is #2 today!
 

Yamaguchi

Well-Known Member
Off topic, but something I thought worthwhile to mention. We all know the Carpenters and Karen have been and remain particularly popular in the Philippines, where even relatively obscure album cuts like "You" have been enormously popular to this day. Every Filipina Diva over the years has cut Carpenter covers, even the illustrious Broadway musical diva, Lea Salonga. Well, now there is a new Filipina Internet sensation who is really worth checking out, and, yes, she performs several excellent Karen covers. Her name is Gigi De Lana, with the Gigi Vibes Band, and she is receiving a lot of attention on YouTube. Here is a link to one of her best, "Yesterday When I Was Young." . Extraordinarily beautiful as well as talented.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Interesting to note that that #1 CD collection has the same photograph used for the cover of the coming new book...I would guess that's a coincidence.
The photo was taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz during the summer ‘74 photo shoot for the Rolling Stone feature. We ultimately picked it because it’s one of Richard’s personal favorites, with the duo looking healthy and in their prime.
 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
For reasons unknown I ended up combining my passion for gardening with my passion for the dynamic duo in my blog this weekend (it had been a long week). So far one person has just about picked up on it. I just wish I could have used Close to Yew, but alas I don't have any in the garden Six on Saturday: a place to hideaway (28 August 2021)
Very nice indeed! And you know, I think I vaguely remember a certain someone saying (or rather, singing) that "from the flower there comes a smile" 🌞
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
February 11, 1983 Radio & Records:
"They were probably the single most important act involved in propelling the stagnating pop establishment into the contemporary mainstream.
Combining Karen's rich and distinctive vocals with cushions of harmonies derived from the Beach Boys,
and varied instrumental flavoring (even including occasional hard rock guitar, as in "Goodbye To Love"),
the Carpenters carved out a highly identifiable sound and could be called one of the founders of the adult contemporary style."
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member

Epix greenlights...

‘Mr. A & Mr. M: The Story Of A&M Records’​

Music Docuseries From Frank Marshall & Ryan Suffern

"... the story behind iconic A&M Records. The premium cable network has set a December premiere date for Mr. A & Mr. M: The Story of A&M Records, a music docuseries from Laurel Canyon producers Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern, Kennedy/Marshall Company, Polygram Entertainment, Interscope Films and Universal Music Publishing Group. The two-part docuseries will premiere at 10 p.m. December 5 and conclude December 12."
---
“With firsthand artist accounts, and rarely-seen footage from the archives,
Mr. A & Mr. M: The Story of A&M Records is a definitive history of an iconic institution.”
Source:


‘Mr. A & Mr. M: The Story of A&M Records’
will be an immersive experience that celebrates the time and place, and above all, the amazing artists and music that Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss cared for and developed at A&M Records.”
Source:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS' DEAN DELEO Says SCOTT WEILAND Was 'Very Influenced' By KAREN CARPENTER​

Excerpt:
"Scott truly was a singer," Dean said. "Scott was a crooner. And I'm gonna tell you something that a lot of people won't know, and a lot of people will be, like, 'I'm not hearing that. I don't get that.' But, really, go listen. And listen to the way they breathe. Listen to the way they enunciate. And not so much the enunciation, but listen to how they breathe though the song and deliver a line and deliver a lyric and their melodic sense. Scott was very influenced by Karen Carpenter. And if you go back and really listen, and listen to Scott's delivery, and then listen to how Karen delivered a line or a lyric or how she breathed and where she took her breaths, Scott really, really was very much like her."

Source:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
A tie-in to the post (#1790) about the Epix A&M Records Documentary:
"The first trailer for EPIX’s Mr. A & Mr. M: The Story of A&M Records arrives today (Nov. 4), featuring snippets of interviews from
the late Karen Carpenter (at 40sec) and other label insiders.
At one point in the clip, an unidentified talking head runs through some of the artists on the label.
The list is staggering: “The Police, Cat Stevens, Supertramp, Joe Cocker, The Carpenters, Peter Frampton, Suzanne Vega, The Go-Go’s, Janet Jackson.”
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
On ABC-TV, (that's the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), on the music program, 'RAGE', there have been a number of Carpenters film clips screened this year. On August 21st there was 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft' and 'Superstar' by Carpenters, as well as 'Tunic, (Song for Karen') and 'Superstar', by Sonic Youth. On February 20th there was a Carpenters clip on a replay of "HIT SCENE" March 13th, 1971 - I think, probably, a b&w clip of the promo for 'Love is Surrender', (I think I've seen that episode before', plus a string of Carpenters film clips - the release suggests a Carpenters segment from just before 2:30am until just after 3am but doesn't list clips except for 'Superstar', 'Rainy Days and Mondays' and 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft'. On January 16th, there was "Please Mr. Postman". The promo for 'Close to You' was also screened last summer or the summer before.

In case you're wondering why "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" should be chosen for screening on a couple of occasions over Carpenters' other songs, that song has the second-longest chart life in Australia after "Close to You". It was on the charts here for 29 weeks. "Close to You" clocked up 31 weeks.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Australia's national broadcaster, mainly funded by grants from the Australian government.

It seems that there might be someone on 'Rage' now who recognises the significance of Carpenters. I used to religiously watch all of their vintage music programs, or record them, and for about 20 years, there wasn't a single Carpenters clip. It's good to notice the change.
 

John Tkacik

Well-Known Member
HOW THE CARPENTERS' 1970s CHRISTMAS SONG BECAME AN AGELESS HIT

By Marc Myers

"Merry Christmas Darling" is a holiday classic that began with a broken heart and a strange request. The song's lyrics were written for a crush in 1946 and the music followed 20 years later. After "Merry Christmas Darling" was released by the Carpenters in November 1970, the love song topped Billboard's holiday singles chart three times.

A seasonal favorite, the song featured a warm lead vocal that Karen Carpenter recorded twice--once for the single in 1970 and again for the Carpenters' "Christmas Portrait " album in 1978.

Recently, Richard Carpenter, Karen's older brother and the song's co-writer, arranger, pianist and background vocalist, talked about the composing and recording process. His new album, "Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook" (Decca), is due Jan. 14.
Edited from an interview.

Richard Carpenter: In the Fall of 1966, I was a sophomore and music major at California State University, Long Beach. My sister, Karen, was a senior at Downey High School. One day, after choir rehearsal, the choir director, Frank Pooler, took me aside. He said that in 1946, close to Christmas, he was out of town with his parents and missed his girlfriend back home in Onalaska, Wis. So he wrote her a song called "Merry Christmas Darling" as a gift. But before he could give it to her, he learned that their romance was over.

Frank told me he was never happy with his song's melody but liked his lyrics. Aware I was a budding songwriter, he asked if I'd compose music for his words. He never played the melody for me. Instead, he just handed me the lyric sheet.

During my lunch break that day, I took the page up to one of the music department's practice rooms. At the piano, I had a look at the opening verse: "Greeting cards have all been sent/ The Christmas rush is through/ But I still have one wish to make/ A special one for you."

Then I looked at the refrain: "Merry Christmas Darling/ We're apart that's true/ But I can dream and in my dreams/ I'm Christmas-ing with you."

Even though the song's lyrics weren't particularly sophisticated, they were musical. My melody for the song just spilled out. When I finished, I played the music for Frank, who was impressed. He thanked me, and that was that. Or so I thought.

In April 1969, Karen and I signed with A&M Records. Our debut album didn't do very well, but in the Summer of 1970, "(They Long To Be) Close To You", off our second album, became a huge No. 1 hit. We were on our way.

While touring that Fall, as the leaves changed color and the weather grew colder, I remembered the song with Frank's lyrics. Not long after returning home to L.A., I wrote an arrangement.

With our second single, "We've Only Just Begun", climbing the charts, we needed a follow-up hit. Our next album wouldn't be out until the Spring, and A&M wanted to avoid releasing any more singles from the album out at the time, "Close To You".

As I worked on the arrangement, I changed only one of Frank's phrases. In the last line of the second verse, his original was, "Holidays are joyful/ There's always something new/ But every day's a holiday/ When I'm close to you."

Instead, I made it, "When I'm near to you." With "Close To You" a hit, I didn't want people to think we were trying to milk that phrase.

In November, we went into A&M Studios to record "For All We Know" for our next album, "Carpenters", due out in May 1971. While there, we recorded "Merry Christmas Darling".

First, we recorded the song's basic rhythm track. I was on piano, with Joe Osborn on bass and Hal Blaine on drums. It didn't take long. I decided to open the song with a fast, ascending roll of an A-minor 7th chord. It set the tone and would cue Karen's vocal on the intro.

There was no rehearsal. Karen was long familiar with the song. We had performed it from time to time over the years at small gigs before our recording career began.

Karen recorded her lead vocal in two takes. Next, we overdubbed Bob Messenger's tenor sax solo. Bob was a musical improvisor, a sound I wanted for the song.

The instrumental and vocal arrangement went smoothly--until the end. There, we found ourselves in the quandary we had faced with "Close To You". "Merry Christmas Darling" just came to a halt. We needed something more inspired to close it out.

Remember, the idea to record the song came fairly late in the year, and we had other things scheduled. There was no time to orchestrate.

So Karen and I overdubbed a stacked vocal harmony that we had echo the title phrase--"Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas, Darling". Recording this vocal-harmony outro took us about 90 minutes.

Karen loved the song, but over time she wasn't crazy about her sound on the 1970 single. She was just 20 at the time, and her voice was husky. So she rerecorded her vocal in 1978 for our "Christmas Portrait" album. Her voice was higher then and more the way she liked it.

Right after we finished recording the single, I called Frank Pooler. "What are you doing tomorrow night? Come up to A&M. We have something we want to play for you." I gave him directions.

The next night, Frank arrived in studio B. He sat down in the control room, curious as to why we sent for him. Karen and I punched up a rough mix of the song on the 16-track tape machine, turned up the volume on the bank of 15-inch monitor speakers to "excitement level", as our engineer called it, and sat back.

At A&M, we played him something fully realized that was larger than life. Frank listened while looking up at the speakers. At the end, he could barely speak. He just shook his head. As I recall, the most he got out was, "This may be the greatest moment of my life."
,
 

goodjeans

Well-Known Member
HOW THE CARPENTERS' 1970s CHRISTMAS SONG BECAME AN AGELESS HIT

By Marc Myers

"Merry Christmas Darling" is a holiday classic that began with a broken heart and a strange request. The song's lyrics were written for a crush in 1946 and the music followed 20 years later. After "Merry Christmas Darling" was released by the Carpenters in November 1970, the love song topped Billboard's holiday singles chart three times.

A seasonal favorite, the song featured a warm lead vocal that Karen Carpenter recorded twice--once for the single in 1970 and again for the Carpenters' "Christmas Portrait " album in 1978.

Recently, Richard Carpenter, Karen's older brother and the song's co-writer, arranger, pianist and background vocalist, talked about the composing and recording process. His new album, "Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook" (Decca), is due Jan. 14.
Edited from an interview.

Richard Carpenter: In the Fall of 1966, I was a sophomore and music major at California State University, Long Beach. My sister, Karen, was a senior at Downey High School. One day, after choir rehearsal, the choir director, Frank Pooler, took me aside. He said that in 1946, close to Christmas, he was out of town with his parents and missed his girlfriend back home in Onalaska, Wis. So he wrote her a song called "Merry Christmas Darling" as a gift. But before he could give it to her, he learned that their romance was over.

Frank told me he was never happy with his song's melody but liked his lyrics. Aware I was a budding songwriter, he asked if I'd compose music for his words. He never played the melody for me. Instead, he just handed me the lyric sheet.

During my lunch break that day, I took the page up to one of the music department's practice rooms. At the piano, I had a look at the opening verse: "Greeting cards have all been sent/ The Christmas rush is through/ But I still have one wish to make/ A special one for you."

Then I looked at the refrain: "Merry Christmas Darling/ We're apart that's true/ But I can dream and in my dreams/ I'm Christmas-ing with you."

Even though the song's lyrics weren't particularly sophisticated, they were musical. My melody for the song just spilled out. When I finished, I played the music for Frank, who was impressed. He thanked me, and that was that. Or so I thought.

In April 1969, Karen and I signed with A&M Records. Our debut album didn't do very well, but in the Summer of 1970, "(They Long To Be) Close To You", off our second album, became a huge No. 1 hit. We were on our way.

While touring that Fall, as the leaves changed color and the weather grew colder, I remembered the song with Frank's lyrics. Not long after returning home to L.A., I wrote an arrangement.

With our second single, "We've Only Just Begun", climbing the charts, we needed a follow-up hit. Our next album wouldn't be out until the Spring, and A&M wanted to avoid releasing any more singles from the album out at the time, "Close To You".

As I worked on the arrangement, I changed only one of Frank's phrases. In the last line of the second verse, his original was, "Holidays are joyful/ There's always something new/ But every day's a holiday/ When I'm close to you."

Instead, I made it, "When I'm near to you." With "Close To You" a hit, I didn't want people to think we were trying to milk that phrase.

In November, we went into A&M Studios to record "For All We Know" for our next album, "Carpenters", due out in May 1971. While there, we recorded "Merry Christmas Darling".

First, we recorded the song's basic rhythm track. I was on piano, with Joe Osborn on bass and Hal Blaine on drums. It didn't take long. I decided to open the song with a fast, ascending roll of an A-minor 7th chord. It set the tone and would cue Karen's vocal on the intro.

There was no rehearsal. Karen was long familiar with the song. We had performed it from time to time over the years at small gigs before our recording career began.

Karen recorded her lead vocal in two takes. Next, we overdubbed Bob Messenger's tenor sax solo. Bob was a musical improvisor, a sound I wanted for the song.

The instrumental and vocal arrangement went smoothly--until the end. There, we found ourselves in the quandary we had faced with "Close To You". "Merry Christmas Darling" just came to a halt. We needed something more inspired to close it out.

Remember, the idea to record the song came fairly late in the year, and we had other things scheduled. There was no time to orchestrate.

So Karen and I overdubbed a stacked vocal harmony that we had echo the title phrase--"Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas, Darling". Recording this vocal-harmony outro took us about 90 minutes.

Karen loved the song, but over time she wasn't crazy about her sound on the 1970 single. She was just 20 at the time, and her voice was husky. So she rerecorded her vocal in 1978 for our "Christmas Portrait" album. Her voice was higher then and more the way she liked it.

Right after we finished recording the single, I called Frank Pooler. "What are you doing tomorrow night? Come up to A&M. We have something we want to play for you." I gave him directions.

The next night, Frank arrived in studio B. He sat down in the control room, curious as to why we sent for him. Karen and I punched up a rough mix of the song on the 16-track tape machine, turned up the volume on the bank of 15-inch monitor speakers to "excitement level", as our engineer called it, and sat back.

At A&M, we played him something fully realized that was larger than life. Frank listened while looking up at the speakers. At the end, he could barely speak. He just shook his head. As I recall, the most he got out was, "This may be the greatest moment of my life."
,
Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I see that ABC TV, (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), are playing the film clips for Carpenters’ ‘Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft’ and ‘Please Mr. Postman’ early this coming Sunday morning, (January 16th), on their program, ‘Rage’.
 
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