• 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.

Bob Lefsetz blog

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Below is a post from a well-known music 'insider', Bob Lefsetz. Honestly, he can come off quite impressed with himself, but he's a good writer. His comments about Carpenters are rather rare. He did once post that he couldn't stop listening to 'Yesterday Once More' when it first hit the airwaves....even if was much cooler to hate the Carpenters.

I think a retort is in order for the comment below. Thoughts?

Bob (different Bob).


"Shout, shout, let it all out"

The younger generation is oblivious to MTV. Back when it was still labeled "Music Television," when it drove the culture, when everybody knew the hits and they were bigger than ever before, even than in the sixties.

You see now there was only ONE radio station, and we were all tuned in. If anything, radio followed television, and with KROQ personnel programming, the sound on television was anything but calcified and AOR stations started dropping like flies. No one thought KMET could ever fold, rock was forever, but it flipped and became smooth jazz.

Now when MTV launched, you couldn't get it. That's right, in August of '81 not everybody had cable, and not every cable system had MTV. So when you went to someone's house and they did...

It was like going on AOL for the very first time. You couldn't help but stare. You'd watch for hours and hours. Some bands were resuscitated by the format, but others were brand new, like Culture Club, like Duran Duran, like Tears For Fears.

Now before MTV became ubiquitous, when it was still 1983, Tears For Fears made its debut. And KROQ played "Pale Shelter."

But when the next album came out, "Songs From The Big Chair," in 1985, MTV was everywhere, ultimately this was the summer of Live Aid, which is remembered most as MTV's anointment of arrival, of meaning, of even gravitas, and that year, Tears For Fears ruled.

So what you'd do back then is...

After seeing a hit or two or three on TV, you'd buy the album, and "Songs From The Big Chair" did not disappoint.

And immediately you'd make a tape. Some people would buy tapes to begin with, but anybody with any audiophile cred knew prerecorded cassettes sucked, they were duped at high speed on crummy tape and you could buy a Maxell or TDK and roll your own that sounded much better, which I did, and inserted into my Walkman as I rode my bike down to the beach.

It was still winter, it was still blustery, but "Songs From The Big Chair" kept me pedaling. It was a private experience, one I recalled instantly as these songs were played last night.

At this point the most famous song from the LP is "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," which the band opened with.

But it was the encore that truly resonated, that had me thrusting my arm in the air and singing along.

Can you sing along to today's music? Is it a personal anthem that makes you feel powerful? Is it a comment on society that a mass of people believe in?

"Come on, I'm talking to you, come on"

It was a different era. At best, the millennials were just being born. Being a silent sheep in the mass was yet to come, boomers and Gen X'ers were individuals, who had no problem speaking up for themselves.

"Shout, shout, let it all out, these are the things I can do without"

Alienation. Thinking for oneself. Belief you're entitled to something better. These were the ESSENCE of our music way back when. It's hard to believe in today's divided era, but it used to be the youth were all on one side, against the establishment, and we felt if we kept pushing the envelope, things would work out for us.

All of this went through my head last night.

I was running on nostalgia, with quaint memories of yesteryear, and then Tears For Fears lit into "Shout" and the past and the present merged, I remembered the power of...

Rock and roll.

But Hall & Oates were a party.

Now you've got to understand, the upper deck was full. And many contemporary acts can't do that. I asked Rob Light why, and he said it was fifty year old nostalgia, the audience had just reached that age and wanted to remember when.

But only a few years ago, Hall and Oates played to 1,500, never mind 15,000, as they did on this mostly arena tour.

You see their time has come.

How did this happen? Was it "Live From Daryl's House"? Their new manager Jonathan Wolfson? Or did everybody suddenly agree, all these years later, after denigrating them for decades, that the band was great. Kinda like the Carpenters. They're crapped on, and then Karen dies from the criticism and everyone agrees they were stupendous. Huh?

Now there aren't many acts like Hall and Oates. I can't think of one. White boys who straddle the line between soul and rock and roll. But experiencing them last night I thought of their R&B side, they're from Philadelphia, home of MFSB, and when you hear that sound...

You can't help moving your body, dancing, feeling good.

The floor at Staples was seated.

But everybody stood. They didn't worry about aged knees. The music lifted them, literally.

And stunningly, it was half men. Hall & Oates is not a chick thing. And maybe Tears For Fears brought out guys, but I saw guys without women standing and dancing together. Kind of amazing. That something so far from the mainstream really IS the mainstream.

So the story of Hall and Oates is they put out a single that didn't hit until years later, i.e. "She's Gone," and then labored in the wilderness until they switched labels, from Atlantic to RCA, and broke through with "Sara Smile."

Both of which they performed last night. It was an all hits revue. With one track from "War Babies," which was a welcome respite, for leavening.

How many other acts can play a headlining show where each and every number is a certified hit?

You can count them on few fingers, my friend.

And the last couple of times I've seen Hall and Oates it was outside.

But they belong inside. Because of the nighttime party atmosphere. The sound is trapped, you start to sweat, you've got the music in you.

And they played 'em all. From their cover of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" to the track that made me rush out and buy their album immediately, "Rich Girl." Now that's a hit, something that drives you to listen to it incessantly.

And "Rich Girl" was as fresh as ever last night.

But what put the show over the top, what had me grinning like a goose, was the finale...

YOU MAKE MY DREAMS COME TRUE, WHOO, OO!

You see Hall and Oates could not follow their hits. They went fallow. Within years they were playing clubs, I saw them at the Roxy! And then, when they looked completely done, toast, they released an album in the summer of 1980, pre-MTV, produced by themselves, that slowly went NUCLEAR!

At this point they were playing it safe, with the Cynthia Weil/Barry Mann/Phil Spector classic. Once an act resorts to covers, you know they're lost.

But there are exceptions to every rule. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin" stalled at number 11, but within a few months the wholly original "Kiss On My List" went to number one.

And then they were off to the races.

It was the following album with the MTV video, "Private Eyes," the single was everywhere.

But not as much as "I Can't Go For That," which became a cultural staple. NO CAN DO!

And last night Daryl broke in the middle and said everybody had a line.

And I knew exactly what he was talking about. At some point you've got to say no. Which in today's world is taboo. But that's what got Trump elected, too many left behind people who the elites shun who said I CAN'T GO FOR THAT!

Oh, of course it was more complicated than that, with racism and delusion but...never forget, the elites rule the world but they're out of touch.

And that was a hit on 1984's "Big Bam Boom," along with "Method of Modern Love." And in between came "H20," with "Maneater," "One on One" and "Family Man." Whew! It was a MACHINE!

Which engendered a label switch to Arista, which put the band in the ground.

But the public was through, the backlash had begun, and Hall and Oates were in the wilderness.

But why? Why is it when you've got so many hits the cognoscenti turn against you? It's happening right now with Ed Sheeran, it's like they want you to be less talented, just like them.

And Daryl Hall has paid his dues. He's gonna be 71.

And Oates played music long before the Beatles broke.

They were not chasing fame, they were chasing the SOUND!

And it took them years of effort and experimentation to break through, and then they came back, AND NOW THEY'VE COME BACK AGAIN!

They got a new agent. A young 'un who wasn't around the first time. He said they needed to play Madison Square Garden.

No promoter would buy the show. Finally, a west coast outfit stepped in. The band made concessions.

And almost half the house sold immediately.

Now when I used to go to shows, it was a religious experience. We'd sit in chairs and marvel at the band, hearing the records we knew so well, kind of like watching Tears For Fears.

But Hall and Oates is something different. It's a celebration. Of life.

You are alive, right? You can move, right? You do want to feel good, right?

So the fourth single from 1980's "Voices," the one released after "Kiss On My List" went to number one...

Starts with this funky keyboard intro, that sounds like the synthesized 80s married to the soul of the sixties, that's got you up and twitching like a Mexican jumping bean.

And the verses resonate and the chorus is catchy, but the magic is in the break...

"Well listen to this..."

And the chords drop down, the song completely changes and then...

"I'm down on my daydream
Oh, that sleepwalk should be over by now
I know

Ah YOU!"

It's that exclamation that puts it over the top. Because unlike too many pretenders Daryl Hall has the music in him, it's not only about the pipes, but the HUMANITY!

I'm not sure what my dreams are anymore. Get old enough and not only does the brass ring become hazy, you're not sure grabbing it will satisfy you if you grip it anyway. We live in a dissipated culture with no center, overwhelmed with input with no variation based on veracity or worth, and we end up beaten down and disoriented.

But then I was singing along with a nearly forty year old cut which sounded fresher than what's on the radio today and all I could think was...

Hall and Oates were making my dream come true.

LISTEN TO THAT!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Kinda like the Carpenters. They're crapped on, and then Karen dies from the criticism and everyone agrees they were stupendous. Huh?

I had to look two or three times for the above but eventually found it. The article is quite waffling and although harshly worded, he does have a point with the above. The general record-buying public had all but ditched the Carpenters by the early 1980s, their records weren't really selling any more and then after Karen's death there were a couple of huge resurgences in their popularity, notably in 1985 and again in 1990. Similarly, ABBA were banished to the wilderness during the 1980s after they stopped operating as a band but then found themselves in the middle of their own huge resurgence in the early 1990s. It happens. It's called nostalgia. Just a shame that Karen wasn't around to see their latter day emergence as a widely respected act.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
I always found it quite cold that VOH only got to #46. I assumed that a lot of the buyers who'd drifted from them a decade earlier would have bought the album almost as a sentimental goodbye. . . .but nope. At least it got to No. 6 in UK.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Agreed ! I, too, saddened that Voice Of The Heart fell short on the USA Charts.

One issue here--for me--is: one year... 1976

Here we have the Kind Of Hush Album, the July People Magazine article,
and at year-end the First TV Special.
(I like the LP, dislike the article, really dislike the Special).
I do believe that the combination of those three things--all 1976--conspired
to drive the record-buying public away.....
And, especially given that the first TV special was #6 in the ratings--yes, it was watched--
but, IMHO was not that good, and really did nothing for the "image" issues......
(whereas, Space Encounters--while awful, a ratings bomb-- hardly impacted an-already-bad "image" !).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I always found it quite cold that VOH only got to #46. I assumed that a lot of the buyers who'd drifted from them a decade earlier would have bought the album almost as a sentimental goodbye. . . .but nope. At least it got to No. 6 in UK.

That just goes to show how fickle the American record-buying public can be. A fact Richard and Karen knew all too well by the late 1970s. On the other hand, many artists who have experienced peaks and troughs have always commented how UK fans stuck with them. Neil Sedaka, Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick and Dusty Springfield all said as much later on in their careers. That's evidenced by the top 10 chart placing of VOTH.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I think the pick and choose of loose information packed into your own reality is what this writer did. Any of us can do the same thing and come up with different conclusions, it’s not that hard, it’s just that you’ve got to be in love with yourself and your opinion more than actual facts represent themselves, then loosely fit the words inside your own self created logic. It’s kinda a poetic politics of banter. An inflated opinion around loosely fit and self assumed or at best a part of pop culture assumed information as facts. The Kiss on His List is a self reflection.
 

ars nova

Well-Known Member
one reason for the upsurge in CARPENTERS sells was due to the new format, compact discs, which were introduced near the time of KAREN'S passing. any artist with a decent catalogue will have a boost in sales when a radical new format is offered.
 

jaredjohnfisher

Well-Known Member
Remember, too, music to many, or most, is ROCK AND ROLL, HARD ROCK, ACID ROCK, BIG HAIR ROCK, etc.! Carpenters' soft sound was a success in spite of that and because their sound went against that (though not intentionally). Realize for a moment how the majority of the population views the Carpenters success; as quite a small ripple.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Below is a post from a well-known music 'insider', Bob Lefsetz. Honestly, he can come off quite impressed with himself, but he's a good writer. His comments about Carpenters are rather rare. He did once post that he couldn't stop listening to 'Yesterday Once More' when it first hit the airwaves....even if was much cooler to hate the Carpenters.

I think a retort is in order for the comment below. Thoughts?

Bob (different Bob).


"Shout, shout, let it all out"

The younger generation is oblivious to MTV. Back when it was still labeled "Music Television," when it drove the culture, when everybody knew the hits and they were bigger than ever before, even than in the sixties.

You see now there was only ONE radio station, and we were all tuned in. If anything, radio followed television, and with KROQ personnel programming, the sound on television was anything but calcified and AOR stations started dropping like flies. No one thought KMET could ever fold, rock was forever, but it flipped and became smooth jazz.

Now when MTV launched, you couldn't get it. That's right, in August of '81 not everybody had cable, and not every cable system had MTV. So when you went to someone's house and they did...

It was like going on AOL for the very first time. You couldn't help but stare. You'd watch for hours and hours. Some bands were resuscitated by the format, but others were brand new, like Culture Club, like Duran Duran, like Tears For Fears.

Now before MTV became ubiquitous, when it was still 1983, Tears For Fears made its debut. And KROQ played "Pale Shelter."

But when the next album came out, "Songs From The Big Chair," in 1985, MTV was everywhere, ultimately this was the summer of Live Aid, which is remembered most as MTV's anointment of arrival, of meaning, of even gravitas, and that year, Tears For Fears ruled.

So what you'd do back then is...

After seeing a hit or two or three on TV, you'd buy the album, and "Songs From The Big Chair" did not disappoint.

And immediately you'd make a tape. Some people would buy tapes to begin with, but anybody with any audiophile cred knew prerecorded cassettes sucked, they were duped at high speed on crummy tape and you could buy a Maxell or TDK and roll your own that sounded much better, which I did, and inserted into my Walkman as I rode my bike down to the beach.

It was still winter, it was still blustery, but "Songs From The Big Chair" kept me pedaling. It was a private experience, one I recalled instantly as these songs were played last night.

At this point the most famous song from the LP is "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," which the band opened with.

But it was the encore that truly resonated, that had me thrusting my arm in the air and singing along.

Can you sing along to today's music? Is it a personal anthem that makes you feel powerful? Is it a comment on society that a mass of people believe in?

"Come on, I'm talking to you, come on"

It was a different era. At best, the millennials were just being born. Being a silent sheep in the mass was yet to come, boomers and Gen X'ers were individuals, who had no problem speaking up for themselves.

"Shout, shout, let it all out, these are the things I can do without"

Alienation. Thinking for oneself. Belief you're entitled to something better. These were the ESSENCE of our music way back when. It's hard to believe in today's divided era, but it used to be the youth were all on one side, against the establishment, and we felt if we kept pushing the envelope, things would work out for us.

All of this went through my head last night.

I was running on nostalgia, with quaint memories of yesteryear, and then Tears For Fears lit into "Shout" and the past and the present merged, I remembered the power of...

Rock and roll.

But Hall & Oates were a party.

Now you've got to understand, the upper deck was full. And many contemporary acts can't do that. I asked Rob Light why, and he said it was fifty year old nostalgia, the audience had just reached that age and wanted to remember when.

But only a few years ago, Hall and Oates played to 1,500, never mind 15,000, as they did on this mostly arena tour.

You see their time has come.

How did this happen? Was it "Live From Daryl's House"? Their new manager Jonathan Wolfson? Or did everybody suddenly agree, all these years later, after denigrating them for decades, that the band was great. Kinda like the Carpenters. They're crapped on, and then Karen dies from the criticism and everyone agrees they were stupendous. Huh?

Now there aren't many acts like Hall and Oates. I can't think of one. White boys who straddle the line between soul and rock and roll. But experiencing them last night I thought of their R&B side, they're from Philadelphia, home of MFSB, and when you hear that sound...

You can't help moving your body, dancing, feeling good.

The floor at Staples was seated.

But everybody stood. They didn't worry about aged knees. The music lifted them, literally.

And stunningly, it was half men. Hall & Oates is not a chick thing. And maybe Tears For Fears brought out guys, but I saw guys without women standing and dancing together. Kind of amazing. That something so far from the mainstream really IS the mainstream.

So the story of Hall and Oates is they put out a single that didn't hit until years later, i.e. "She's Gone," and then labored in the wilderness until they switched labels, from Atlantic to RCA, and broke through with "Sara Smile."

Both of which they performed last night. It was an all hits revue. With one track from "War Babies," which was a welcome respite, for leavening.

How many other acts can play a headlining show where each and every number is a certified hit?

You can count them on few fingers, my friend.

And the last couple of times I've seen Hall and Oates it was outside.

But they belong inside. Because of the nighttime party atmosphere. The sound is trapped, you start to sweat, you've got the music in you.

And they played 'em all. From their cover of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" to the track that made me rush out and buy their album immediately, "Rich Girl." Now that's a hit, something that drives you to listen to it incessantly.

And "Rich Girl" was as fresh as ever last night.

But what put the show over the top, what had me grinning like a goose, was the finale...

YOU MAKE MY DREAMS COME TRUE, WHOO, OO!

You see Hall and Oates could not follow their hits. They went fallow. Within years they were playing clubs, I saw them at the Roxy! And then, when they looked completely done, toast, they released an album in the summer of 1980, pre-MTV, produced by themselves, that slowly went NUCLEAR!

At this point they were playing it safe, with the Cynthia Weil/Barry Mann/Phil Spector classic. Once an act resorts to covers, you know they're lost.

But there are exceptions to every rule. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin" stalled at number 11, but within a few months the wholly original "Kiss On My List" went to number one.

And then they were off to the races.

It was the following album with the MTV video, "Private Eyes," the single was everywhere.

But not as much as "I Can't Go For That," which became a cultural staple. NO CAN DO!

And last night Daryl broke in the middle and said everybody had a line.

And I knew exactly what he was talking about. At some point you've got to say no. Which in today's world is taboo. But that's what got Trump elected, too many left behind people who the elites shun who said I CAN'T GO FOR THAT!

Oh, of course it was more complicated than that, with racism and delusion but...never forget, the elites rule the world but they're out of touch.

And that was a hit on 1984's "Big Bam Boom," along with "Method of Modern Love." And in between came "H20," with "Maneater," "One on One" and "Family Man." Whew! It was a MACHINE!

Which engendered a label switch to Arista, which put the band in the ground.

But the public was through, the backlash had begun, and Hall and Oates were in the wilderness.

But why? Why is it when you've got so many hits the cognoscenti turn against you? It's happening right now with Ed Sheeran, it's like they want you to be less talented, just like them.

And Daryl Hall has paid his dues. He's gonna be 71.

And Oates played music long before the Beatles broke.

They were not chasing fame, they were chasing the SOUND!

And it took them years of effort and experimentation to break through, and then they came back, AND NOW THEY'VE COME BACK AGAIN!

They got a new agent. A young 'un who wasn't around the first time. He said they needed to play Madison Square Garden.

No promoter would buy the show. Finally, a west coast outfit stepped in. The band made concessions.

And almost half the house sold immediately.

Now when I used to go to shows, it was a religious experience. We'd sit in chairs and marvel at the band, hearing the records we knew so well, kind of like watching Tears For Fears.

But Hall and Oates is something different. It's a celebration. Of life.

You are alive, right? You can move, right? You do want to feel good, right?

So the fourth single from 1980's "Voices," the one released after "Kiss On My List" went to number one...

Starts with this funky keyboard intro, that sounds like the synthesized 80s married to the soul of the sixties, that's got you up and twitching like a Mexican jumping bean.

And the verses resonate and the chorus is catchy, but the magic is in the break...

"Well listen to this..."

And the chords drop down, the song completely changes and then...

"I'm down on my daydream
Oh, that sleepwalk should be over by now
I know

Ah YOU!"

It's that exclamation that puts it over the top. Because unlike too many pretenders Daryl Hall has the music in him, it's not only about the pipes, but the HUMANITY!

I'm not sure what my dreams are anymore. Get old enough and not only does the brass ring become hazy, you're not sure grabbing it will satisfy you if you grip it anyway. We live in a dissipated culture with no center, overwhelmed with input with no variation based on veracity or worth, and we end up beaten down and disoriented.

But then I was singing along with a nearly forty year old cut which sounded fresher than what's on the radio today and all I could think was...

Hall and Oates were making my dream come true.

LISTEN TO THAT!
A few random thoughts - This blog brought to mind the influence that can be wielded when there's just one voice that's looked on as the authority. There was just one MTV way back then, and the programmers on it chose what people would see, listen to and buy.

All the youth on one side against the establishment - better, in some situations, that there was a range of opinions and lots of freedom for discussion and varying points of view.

Hall and Oates - They made some nice sounds and had some reasonable songs but were about as dead-ahead commercial and poppy as you could get. Every note in their songs was tuned to the ring of the cash register. I'm not sure how much real soul there was there.

I thought the writer wasn't necessarily bagging Carpenters or Karen.
 
Last edited:

Guitarmutt

Well-Known Member
A few random thoughts - This blog brought to mind the influence that can be wielded when there's just one voice that's looked on as the authority. There was just one MTV way back then, and the programmers on it chose what people would see, listen to and buy.

All the youth on one side against the establishment - better, in some situations, that there was a range of opinions and lots of freedom for discussion and varying points of view.

Hall and Oates - They made some nice sounds and had some reasonable songs but were about as dead-ahead commercial and poppy as you could get. Every note in their songs was tuned to the ring of the cash register. I'm not sure how much real soul there was there.

I thought the writer wasn't necessarily bagging Carpenters or Karen.
Hi. Just curious? How much Hall & Oates did you listen to? Being a member on this board, it's obvious you listen deeply to the artists you wish to explore. You dig. Carpenters can surprise. So call Hall and Oates. Listen to the album, the blogger cited, War Babies, or Beauty on a Back Street, Along the Red Ledge, for example. There are no hits and a great deal of exploration. They searched. Even the albums with hits galore have outliers.

It seems to me, a Carpenters listener would look a little deeper before criticizing, or maybe I'm wrong. Nothing is ever as it seems, it seems. We all just do the best we can. Regards.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Hi. Just curious? How much Hall & Oates did you listen to? Being a member on this board, it's obvious you listen deeply to the artists you wish to explore. You dig. Carpenters can surprise. So call Hall and Oates. Listen to the album, the blogger cited, War Babies, or Beauty on a Back Street, Along the Red Ledge, for example. There are no hits and a great deal of exploration. They searched. Even the albums with hits galore have outliers.

It seems to me, a Carpenters listener would look a little deeper before criticizing, or maybe I'm wrong. Nothing is ever as it seems, it seems. We all just do the best we can. Regards.
I do have a number of Hall and Oates CD's. I think I have seven albums on CD and two solo albums.

What I'm saying is that Hall and Oates clearly had producing commercial singles very high on the agenda. Take 'Kiss On My List', 'Private Eyes' and even 'Man Eater', for example. They had all the trademarks that would hook the listener, drum the song into their head and entrance them such that they would float out and snatch up the record. From this, I am comparing commercial content to true soul content

I am aware that a certain amount of Hall and Oates' work demonstrates the influence of soul. Man-eater does, while still having a strong punch of pop commerciality.

I am sensitive to the fact that one person's critique can sometimes touch a nerve of a fan who treasures the music being written about but my posts only express my personal opinions, after all. I value being able to express what I believe about various product from the standpoint of my own knowledge, experiences and tastes. :)
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Listen to the album, the blogger cited, War Babies, or Beauty on a Back Street, Along the Red Ledge, for example. There are no hits and a great deal of exploration. They searched. Even the albums with hits galore have outliers.

It seems to me, a Carpenters listener would look a little deeper before criticizing, or maybe I'm wrong. Nothing is ever as it seems, it seems. We all just do the best we can. Regards.
I haven't listened to some of these albums. It would be interesting to explore some of Hall and Oates' earlier stuff. I would like to hear some of their more exploratory work. You've given me a mission.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I think Hall and Oates' music post-Voices was really good, but the earlier stuff was far more adventurous. Every album was a new experiment - you never knew what was going to happen. A person who got onboard with them after "Kiss on My List" missed a lot of great songs. The albums mentioned, plus my personal favorite Bigger Than Both of Us are all worth checking out.

That blogger is a very stream-of-consciousness writer, but that's what going to a concert can do to you. There are all kinds of artists who are revered now who were universally dissed when they were popular, so the Carpenters didn't exactly have that problem to themselves. They are, however, one of the few acts who had the problem partially created for them by their record company (the image problem). The e-z-listening style of their music certainly contributed, but there were lots of other mellow acts which didn't suffer from the same anti-coolness the Carpenters did.
 
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