• 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?

Guitarmutt

Well-Known Member
Lots of men talk a lot of crap, let's face it. Maybe Karen did have her weaknesses, for the sake of argument, but she was always improving, working. Her drumming got better. She was young too. Watch her drum solo in MMM, her drumming is complex and sophisticated. She is crossing her hands, for example, which is usually a sign of a top drummer. I imagine she spent plenty of time behind the scenes, at her beloved drums.

Alas, we only have what we have. It is a treasure trove though. Just listen to her drumming on 'This Masquerade': it is quiet and subtle, but listen to the details, every verse is different. She never plays any part the same way twice; just like Neil Peart, who is considered one of the best of all times, and he is not singing at the same time. Yet, he too, is better now than 30 years ago because he works at it.

Karen clearly did the same, but there was little support on that horizon.

Anyway, I should shut up now. Thanks for reading.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Watch her drum solo in MMM, her drumming is complex and sophisticated. She is crossing her hands, for example, which is usually a sign of a top drummer.

Absolutely spot on. If you watch the drums fills, they are very complex. Karen's cross hand tom tom fills are complex and sophisticated. Watch the video slowed down and you will see exactly what I mean.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Richard And Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center 20th Anniversary:
http://www.gazettes.com/lifestyle/c...cle_ae426640-33bd-11e4-bb87-0019bb2963f4.html

The season starts Sept. 20 with a concert by rock icon Dave Mason. The big 20th anniversary party is on Oct. 11, culminating in a concert by Brian Wilson, the singer-songwriter who led the Beach Boys.

“It will be a great time,” Roberge said. “The university has a new president who is an arts supporter, the city has a new mayor who loves the arts, and Richard Carpenter will be here… And, of course, we’ve got Brian Wilson. The original Beach Boy is coming back to the beach. It doesn’t get better than that.”

The concert appears to be sold out, Roberge said.
 

song4u

Well-Known Member
Richard And Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center 20th Anniversary:
http://www.gazettes.com/lifestyle/c...cle_ae426640-33bd-11e4-bb87-0019bb2963f4.html

The season starts Sept. 20 with a concert by rock icon Dave Mason. The big 20th anniversary party is on Oct. 11, culminating in a concert by Brian Wilson, the singer-songwriter who led the Beach Boys.

“It will be a great time,” Roberge said. “The university has a new president who is an arts supporter, the city has a new mayor who loves the arts, and Richard Carpenter will be here… And, of course, we’ve got Brian Wilson. The original Beach Boy is coming back to the beach. It doesn’t get better than that.”

The concert appears to be sold out, Roberge said.
Too bad it's sold out. It would have been worth the long drive.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Wow. I think I'll be in Los Angeles that weekend! Just a fluke I'll be there at the same time, and now I can't get a ticket.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Thanks Gary, as always. . .writing in the fall for the Carpenters next album. . .perhaps that's when You're Enough was written.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Here is an off- the- beaten- track article, referencing Carpenters:

My experience as a lab rat has left me feeling sick about how we treat animals
DAVID L. CLARK
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Sept. 21 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Somewhere in a laboratory, a rat with sleek white fur and a little pink nose peers out from behind the bars of a metal cage. Its eyes are small yet they contain worlds. Without saying anything, they tug at my conscience: “Why am I here? Why are you doing this to me? Stop. Please stop.”
Since my student days, I have felt a strong revulsion for the experiments on animals that go on at universities. As a humanities professor who writes about what it means to fall under the gaze of animals, I am sickened by the thought that creatures are being hurt and humiliated on campus.
Where did my profound sense of injustice begin, I wonder. Perhaps it was in graduate school, when a friend ushered me into a nondescript office, empty of furniture but full of kittens that had been blinded by psychologists doing experiments on the development of vision. Knowing that professors were robbing kittens of their sight left a deep impression on me.
Or perhaps my feelings about experimentation can be traced back farther, to my days as an undergraduate student. You see, I was myself the subject of animal experimentation.
I was a freshman and I was hungry. I lived in a student residence nicknamed, for good reason, “The Zoo,” where my meal plan did not cover weekends. So from Friday night to Monday morning I lived on dinner rolls and fruit smuggled out of the cafeteria during the week. I decided I had to find work to keep body and soul together.
Work found me in the form of a little poster outside my calculus class. “Subjects Needed for Motion Sickness Experiments,” it said. “Cash Reimbursement.”
Now, when you are a starving teenager, you see the world in a particular way. My eyes grew large at the sight of the word “Cash.” I didn’t pay much attention to the “Motion Sickness” part, and by the time I did it was too late. I had already signed up.
For more than a year, I was a modestly-paid guinea pig in an experiment testing the effectiveness of various drugs for motion sickness.
Every Friday morning, before physics class, I trooped over to the university hospital where the lab was located. Under the watchful eye of a guy in a white coat, I was given a breakfast of crackers and jam. He wasn’t much for conversation. He was just “lab guy” to me, and I was “experimental subject” to him. He would hand me a glass of orange juice and a pill of some sort. I say “some sort” because neither lab guy nor I knew what the drug was. I just took the pill and headed off to class. An hour later, I returned so the experiment could begin.
Testing for motion sickness is a very odd thing. The basic idea is to put you into a complicated machine whose purpose is to make you feel so ill you want to vomit. Each week, I was escorted into a darkened room at the centre of which stood a chair mounted on a motor that rotated it at astonishing speed. I was strapped into the thing like one of those chimpanzee astronauts. Electrodes were attached to my face and chest. I was then blindfolded and told to relax.
For a minute or so, while my vital signs were being monitored, I listened to a Carpenters song, Top of the World. Elevators have music, and, it turns out, so do experimental laboratories.
“Okay, David, just relax,” lab guy would say over a loudspeaker as the motor silently started up and began spinning the chair. The thing was diabolical in design, geared in such a way that I had no sensation that I was in motion. Although I couldn’t see him, I always felt lab guy’s knowing eyes peering at me. After a few minutes, his voice came over the speaker again, more imperious this time.
“Subject, bring your head out of the plane of rotation!” he would bark. Then: “Tilt your head to the left. To the right.”
A strange sensation of helplessness overtakes you when you are addressed as “subject.” It’s as if you’ve been emptied out at the hands of another. But when you’re hungry, you obey. And I did, crashing my noggin back and forth into metal brackets bolted into the headrest, presumably to prevent me breaking my neck. Round and round I went, week after week.
Some days I didn’t feel sick at all. Other days I was so unsteady I had to be helped out of the chair. But I never actually vomited, though I came close several times. This seemed at first to puzzle, then excite, and then exasperate lab guy, who grew more and more determined to make me throw up. It never happened, and I suppose that is why my life as a lab rat came to an end.
So, this animal was released back into the wild. But I can tell you this: Forty years later, the word “subject” still has the strangest resonances for me. If I had to describe them, I would say they are like the sensation of being stripped bare by another.
To be a lab animal means being treated not as a fellow creature, but as an inert thing. Subject. The very word makes me feel sick. The effects last forever for those animals lucky enough to walk away.
To this day, if I hear the opening bars of Top of the World my stomach flips. Lab guy didn’t need all that expensive equipment. The Carpenters would do the trick just fine.
Source:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life...k-about-how-we-treat-animals/article20704512/
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I plucked these tidbits out of the Coleman Biography,
being that these quotes provide fodder for rumination:

Page 320..." mentally, she (Karen) was lively...cheered by the outstanding comeback that she and Richard had enjoyed with
their last album (Made In America)."

Page 326 (Regarding Voice of The Heart LP):
"....containing some tracks recorded by Karen in Mid-1982 when she returned to California during her New York therapy sessions."

Page 329 ( Lovelines ):
"..in 1989...Lovelines included four songs prepared for the aborted Phil Ramone- produced album. Substituting a contrived sexuality
for Karen's normally understated discretion, these inferior tracks proved the wisdom of the earlier decision to stop the album."

Page 277 Richard Carpenter--"She truly looked terrible during the making of the solo album, and after it.
--"Karen's solo album could have come out while we were recording what became Made In America.

Page 276 Richard Carpenter--"And, I'm convinced there wasn't a hit single on her solo album with the possible exception of "If I Had You".'
John Bettis--"..Agrees...there was no hit on the album."
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Sonic Youth, Anyone?
STAYING KOOL SONIC YOUTH SURVIVES A MAJOR LABEL
Comments (0)By John Blanco Wednesday, Mar 20 1991
A couple of years back, Sonic Youth singer-bassist Kim Gordon interviewed L.L. Cool J for Spin magazine in an attempt to get a feminist/hard-core perspective on rap's estimable MC. Early in the interview, it became obvious that the two shared little common ground. Their clashes were sometimes comic, as when Gordon tried to turn L.L. on to the Stooges, while all L.L. could talk about was his love of Bon Jovi. At other points--like when the rapper asserted, "The guy has to have control over his woman"--you could tell Gordon would have loved to deck him with her notepad.
This head-butting interview served as the inspiration for Sonic Youth's "Kool Thing," the star single of the band's major-label debut Goo. Gordon says her Cool J encounter proved that New York's hard-core and rap scenes might as well exist on different planets.
"It was totally ridiculous for me to assume that we had anything in common," she admits in a telephone interview from a tour stop in New Orleans, Louisiana. "That's why I tried to make the article show how elite and small the downtown scene that I come out of is. I was trying to make fun of myself. I don't know if that came across."
Actually Gordon makes a stronger statement with "Kool Thing" than she did with the Spin piece. She injects irony into the pair's culture clash, at one point even making fun of her politics by asking Cool J stand-in Chuck D, "Are you going to liberate us girls from the male, white corporate oppression?"
Boosted by mainstream radio play and medium rotation on MTV, "Kool Thing" has become the band's most successful single to date. Of course, there have been some compromises. Gordon originally wanted to wear a beret and carry an Uzi in the "Kool Thing" video, part of a "poseur-leftist girl lusting after Black Panthers" concept. Her bosses at Geffen Records quickly vetoed that.
Otherwise, Sonic Youth's transition from the indies to the majors hasn't been all that traumatic. There's been no pressure from Geffen to commercialize the band's guitar noise--Thurston Moore still strums with a drumstick on a couple of songs from Goo. All in all, Sonic Youth is in an enviable position. The band's selling more records than ever before, but still maintains its alternative status and hip cachet.
"We're on a major label, but we're not in the middle of the mainstream," says Gordon.
Granted, Goo is poppier and more accessible than Sonic Youth's previous effort, the ambitious double album Daydream Nation. A few bubblegum- punk tunes like "Mary-Christ" and "My Friend Goo" call to mind the stupid fun of the early Ramones. But the lightweight stuff is just there to provide a breather between the record's dark, evocative songs like "Disappearer." To the band's credit, even filler--the sixty blissful seconds of feedback entitled "Scooter and Jinx" for example--earns its spot on the disc.
It's tough to decide whether Goo peaks with the sharp-edged "Kool Thing" or the strangely tender "Tunic (Song for Karen)," a tribute to fresh-scrubbed Seventies pop star Karen Carpenter. "Tunic" throws in a few sick jokes at the expense of the anorexic singer such as, "I feel like I'm disappearing, getting smaller in every way." But mostly the song is sad and genuinely sympathetic--not mocking.
"It was meant to have a note of humor in it," explains Gordon.
"But I truly think Karen Carpenter was a wonderful singer. I can look at a video and be completely in awe of her. She emits so much power."
Karen, with her Breck-girl glow, and her brother Richard, looking as blandly well groomed as a TV weatherman, were dismissed as purveyors of parent-sanctioned corporate pop. But Gordon feels the wholesome twosome never got its due. "If their image hadn't been so Establishment they might've been taken more seriously," she reasons. "Now they are judged more fairly because their music has transcended the time. It's not attached to the context of the Seventies Establishment anymore."

"Tunic (Song for Karen)" is an example of Gordon's fascination with tragic pop figures and the dark side of celebrityhood in general. She's a connoisseur of tabloid journalism, especially the Star, which she describes as "not as cheesy as the Enquirer." Gordon herself penned a column of highbrow gossip for Spin recently. Entitled "Media Whore," it dished eloquently about Madonna.
"Growing up in L.A., it becomes a part of you," Gordon says of her celebrity obsession. "I think everyone is fascinated by it--maybe just subconsciously. If somebody gets in the newspaper, people think, `Oh, isn't that wonderful!' It's kind of absurd."
Gordon has become something of an underground celebrity herself lately. Redd Kross immortalizes her on its current album with "Debbie & Kim," a tune about the entirely mythical friendship between Gordon and Debbie Gibson. ("One plays bass, and the other, well, she's the dancer.") Gordon says she knew something was up when the McDonald brothers of Redd Kross called her from the studio wanting her to scream, "Hi, Debbie!" into the phone. "I'm flattered," she says, "but I have to say I don't really understand the lyrics."

Source :http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1991-03-20/music/staying-koolsonic-youth-survives-a-major-label/
 

byline

Well-Known Member
Excellent analysis of Karen Carpenter's voice. The only point I would correct is that the author believes Karen never drummed on any of her songs, which is not the case. That was one of the extraordinary things about her, how well she could sing and play while drumming ... till her drums were effectively taken away from her, that is. http://rfrick.info/interpretation/carpenter.htm
 

byline

Well-Known Member
Here is a quote from Toni Tennille (Source:http://www.classicbands.com/ToniTennilleInterview.html ):
A - I'm a one take person. I'll get it within one or two takes. And in the new CD, same thing. There's a school of thought about recording that came from Karen and Richard Carpenter, and Richard Carpenter in particular as a producer. And, this is a valid school of thought. Richard would have Karen sing over and over again and he would punch in until he got exactly the way he wanted it - one word, or one note. Consequently all of their recordings are perfection...absolute perfection. You cannot hear a flaw anywhere. But, my philosophy is I want the performance. I want it to be all of one, all in one. I don't care if there's a little glitch here or a little attack of a note that's not quite perfect. If the emotion is there, if the feeling is there, that's what I go for. Now both are equally valid. It's just a style that you choose. Daryl has always understood that I'm a performance person. When I go out to do a concert, I don't get to do two or three takes. I go out there and that's it. I believe a recording should be the same. That's just my philosophy.
I'm not sure if this has been linked here previously, but I just spotted it and wanted to share it. In 2006, Toni Tennille related her thoughts on Karen on her blog (scroll down about three-quarters of the way down the page). It's an excellent view of the nasty side of show business ... and frankly, I am in agreement with Toni that this was a trigger for Karen's anorexia nervosa: http://captainandtennille.net/tonis-take_blog_06.htm
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure if this has been linked here previously, but I just spotted it and wanted to share it. In 2006, Toni Tennille related her thoughts on Karen on her blog (scroll down about three-quarters of the way down the page). It's an excellent view of the nasty side of show business ... and frankly, I am in agreement with Toni that this was a trigger for Karen's anorexia nervosa: http://captainandtennille.net/tonis-take_blog_06.htm
Thanks, byline! Great comments.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
A snippet for today:

Source: http://forgottenhits60s.blogspot.com/2012/11/channeling-karen-carpenter.html
"When I asked Karen Carpenter about their song "Sweet Sweet Smile" (which had sadly only climbed to 44 on the Hot 100 a few months earlier in 1978), her eyes lit up as she told me with great delight how she had found the song and considered it's writer a bright new talent with a very hopeful future. "
That writer turned out to be Juice Newton, whose career as a hitmaker in her own right did not take off until 1981 -- two years before we lost Karen.
Gary Theroux
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
For October 10,2014:
Source: http://www.udiscovermusic.com/carpenters-british-breakthrough
THE CARPENTERS’ BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH
"Richard and Karen Carpenter had a spectacular 1970. It started slowly, with their interpretation of the Beatles’ ‘Ticket To Ride’ stalling at No. 54 in the US, but by the summer, they were ruling the Hot 100, spending a month at No. 1 with the Bacharach & David composition ‘(They Long To Be) Close To You.’ Then came the Carpenters’ British breakthrough. The single, which charted in the UK in September, peaked at No. 6 exactly 44 years ago today.
Their debut British hit made a cautious start on the bestsellers, edging up the chart, and in the last week of September, the track seemed to be running out of steam when it improved just one place to No. 14. But then, on the October 10 survey, came its surge into the top ten, as ‘Close To You’ raced eight places to No. 6. Seven days on, it fell two places, but still it wasn’t done, climbing back to No. 6 before starting a slow descent that earned it three more weeks in the top 20.
In the week of its first peak, with the Carpenters creating the hottest new sound in easy listening pop, Freda Payne was in the fourth of a six-week reign with ‘Band Of Gold.’ British record buyers were showing their affection for reggae (Desmond Dekker), hard rock (Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, side by side in the top five five with ‘Black Night’ and ‘Paranoid’ respectively) and more soul sounds by Diana Ross and Chairmen of the Board.
All the same, perhaps surprisingly, the Carpenters’ transatlantic success didn’t immediately lead to UK chart domination. The ‘Close To You’ album only reached No. 23 there, and they would have to wait another two years for a second top ten single with ‘Goodbye To Love,’ backed with ‘I Won’t Last A Day Without You.’"
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
From LAMagazine feature profiling Herb Alpert:
Source:
http://www.lamag.com/longform/herb-alpert-always-in-tune-11/

"Predictably, when a demo by a pair with an innocent sound and a sweet, straight-cut look came over the transom in 1969, A&M rejected it. “Every other label in town had also turned us down,” says Richard Carpenter, who’d written the four tracks to showcase the voice of his sister, Karen. “But I thought we had something, and I arranged for the demo to be resubmitted circuitously to Herb.”
Alpert’s first-floor office, with its fireplace, hooked rugs, and flawless sound system, was a perfect place to immerse oneself in music. “I closed my eyes and played the tape,” he recalls. “It wasn’t the kind of thing I’d have gone out of my way to listen to, but I could immediately tell that these kids were making the music that was real to them. It was an honest reflection of who they were as musicians. It’s the same thing I look for in jazz, and when I find it, it always interests me. On top of that Karen had a remarkable voice. She reminded me of a singer I loved in high school, Patti Page. It felt like she was sitting in my lap and singing just to me.”
Drawing on the wisdom Sam Cooke had imparted, Alpert told Jerry Moss that they should sign the Carpenters. So close was the relationship between the partners (they had a handshake agreement) that A&M made the deal. But the group’s first album did only modestly well, and many at the label lost faith.
“A lot of people informed Herb, ‘This band will never sell. Cut your losses,’ ” says Richard Carpenter.
Alpert was undeterred. “He said, ‘There’s something there,’ ” Carpenter recalls. “He said, ‘I’m going to give them another go.’ ”
Trusting his instincts, Alpert, who two years earlier had enjoyed a rare hit as a vocalist with the Burt Bacharach-Hal David song “This Guy’s in Love with You,” slipped the Carpenters another Bacharach-David tune. “Herb gave us the lead sheet to ‘(They Long to Be) Close to You,’ ” says Carpenter. “It was just lyrics, melody, and chord symbols. I did the arrangement. A&M released ‘Close to You’ in May 1970.”
The record shot to number one, selling more than three million copies in its first run. The Carpenters became the best-selling act in A&M history.


- See more at: http://www.lamag.com/longform/herb-alpert-always-in-tune-11/#sthash.BRlCh0a3.dpuf
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Although unable to upload, here
http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...2NQxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=oOMFAAAAIBAJ&pg=3847,767293
is a newspaper article,
"For Karen Carpenter, A Fantasy Ends",
dated February 13, 1983:
It begins-
"...it seems unlikely that the death of Karen Carpenter will have anything more than a minor effect
on the recording industry. It seems unlikely that hoards of mourners will gather outside of the
Carpenter home to light candles and sing "We've Only Just Begun." And, won't Karen's death be all the
more tragic because of this?"
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Thanks Gary for the news link, I never saw that article and written just weeks after Karen passed away. It's interesting to see what writers were saying around this time, even in death Karen can't get a break
"it seems unlikely that the death of Karen Carpenter will have anything more than a minor effect on the recording industry"

huh? How could someone even write something like that? I think that Mr. Mark S has never visited this forum to see that it was more than a minor effect, singers and songwriters are still emulating Karen and Richard and speaking of them in the highest regard 30+ yrs later since Karen left. How rude of him to write something he knows nothing about especially weeks after Karen passed. Some of these writers have no heart.....a fantasy? If only more artist today could be like they were. It's funny to hear a writer say something like, "in the end, one wonders how Karen Carpenter's music will be judged through the years" We have had our fair share of writers putting them down, making fun of their image, even articles after her death putting down music she made when she has no voice to reply. "In the end" the music has stood the test of time, the money keeps pouring in...someone is buying those albums and it ain't just ussing's.
 
Last edited:

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Oh and one more thing while I'm on my soapy box....yes we have a typo, middle of the article top paragraph "Just what did Karen Carpernter" Yikes!!! and he was a teacher at Wilson Senior High....what would his students think?
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Chris, thanks for reading and commenting on the linked newspaper article.
I, too, still get disgusted when I find those archival news links, from 1983 especially,
wherein Karen Carpenter is not given her due.
It still gets under my skin, after all of these years.
At the time, the headlines should have included "Greatest Female Vocalist" .
And, I do not know about everyone's hometown news, but if Karen Carpenter was not on the Front Page,
then it was not good enough!
Radio Station WROK in Rockford, Illinois had an hour devoted to Carpenters' music that night (4th) and put together an
awesome multi-hour tribute later that month. The Rockford Register Star Newspaper did quite honorably, also.
So, there were those who knew that this was quite a loss to humanity and music.
(Although, I never understood why the Grammy Awards made no mention).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
It's interesting to see what writers were saying around this time, even in death Karen can't get a break
"it seems unlikely that the death of Karen Carpenter will have anything more than a minor effect on the recording industry"

huh? How could someone even write something like that?

Even though most of us are staunch fans on this forum, it still saddens me to read stuff like this because what it means is that they weren't recognised in those days for the amazing contribution they had made to popular music and just how talented they really were. I've read other similar articles and quotes from critics (and even comedians) which mirror this one. I'm paraphrasing, but the one I remember most went something along the lines of "no one cared about her or bought her records in the last few years of her life and now everyone is saying how great she was?". For her family especially, stuff like that had to be massively hurtful at the time they were still grieving her loss. Yet, they aren't the only ones who suffered at the hands of uneducated critics who were more bothered about attacking the image than really listening to the complexity and beauty of what mattered most - the music. Look at ABBA and how immense their comeback has been, with so-called hip artists like Bono from U2 tripping over himself in documentaries to say how much he adore their music, when in their heyday he was one of the people who would have gladly dropped the guillotine on them. It's exactly the same in the Carpenters' case.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
By the way, Newvillefan, the paraphrased quote from your post is attributed to Joan Rivers.
And, you are quite correct in your assessment.
 
Top Bottom