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Official Review [Box Set]: "FROM THE TOP" (AM75021/6875)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS BOX SET?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 40 52.6%
  • ****

    Votes: 27 35.5%
  • ***

    Votes: 7 9.2%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.3%
  • * (WORST)

    Votes: 1 1.3%

  • Total voters
    76

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
Chris May, thanks so much for that brief taste of the recording history behind OFFERING. It really whets my appetite for more details about those sessions. To your knowledge, are there still extant records of those work sessions detailing what was done when? Beach Boys fans have (arguably) taken such investigations to extremes, of course, due to the circumstances surrounding the legendary SMILE album, and I don't want to go too far down that road--but it would be interesting to see just how and when Richard and Karen put things together (particularly that first time out of Joe Osborn's garage!!).:tiphat:
If anybody has them from '69 it would be Richard. Jack Daugherty was doing the contracting for the sessions with the local union I believe at that time. In '70 when Herb brought Hal in, he more or less took over the contractual duties based on whatever was needed for the session. I think I've posted one or two of these here before, but this is what some of the Close To You tracking and orch sessions looked like...

CTY 1.png CTY 2.png
CTY 2.png
CTY 3.png
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the documentary 'peek into music history' , Chris !
Appreciated very much.
Many questions pertaining to Carpenters career spring to mind--but,
I will keep them to myself, as they likely will yield no answers--and,
I have resigned myself to that fact.
 

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
Thanks for the documentary 'peek into music history' , Chris !
Appreciated very much.
Many questions pertaining to Carpenters career spring to mind--but,
I will keep them to myself, as they likely will yield no answers--and,
I have resigned myself to that fact.
I would ask away. There might be some answers available here. I would also be willing to run some stuff by Richard as well, as he's not doing much in the way of public fan interaction these days.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
Did you notice on the 2nd contract from the above on the left hand side it says "I Kept On Loving You" it says number of minutes 2:25
We know that on the Japan Single Box we finally got the cleaner intro which clocks in at 2:16....so there was 9 more seconds?? Hey I want those extra seconds!!! :laugh:
 
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Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
Did you notice on the 2nd contract from the above on the left hand side it says "I Kept On Loving You" it says number of minutes 2:25
We know that on the Japan Single Box we finally got the cleaner intro which clocks in at 2:16....so there was 9 more seconds?? Hey I want those extra seconds!!! :laugh:
Most likely it's the track in its entirety to the very end, which would include whatever extra play beyond the fade-out. Generally this is how time codes are figured when logged on the tape legend.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
I just noticed that someone voted worst on how you would rate "From The Top" huh? no way....this has to be my favorite box set of all time. I'd sure like to know why this person rated it as worst.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
But it was like I had to do that album, I didn't care if we had gotten signed in 1980.That was what the first album was going to sound like.And, that's what we did. And, that's why there is such a big difference between the Close To You album and the Ticket to Ride album."
It's a good job they didn't get discovered and record this in 1980...it would likely have bombed. Definitely a product of its time. I often think of 'Your Wonderful Parade' as the sister track to 'Mr Guder'. Both of them have that irreverence and rebellion of the 60s.
 
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newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Did you notice on the 2nd contract from the above on the left hand side it says "I Kept On Loving You" it says number of minutes 2:25
We know that on the Japan Single Box we finally got the cleaner intro which clocks in at 2:16....so there was 9 more seconds?? Hey I want those extra seconds!!! :laugh:
Maybe it's the alternate version they tracked, with Richard's longer spoken intro? From the Carpenters Resource Page:

"There are two separate mono mixes found on various 45’s of “Ticket To Ride”. One has a longer spoken opening by Richard, the other is shorter".
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
Maybe it's the alternate version they tracked, with Richard's longer spoken intro? From the Carpenters Resource Page:

"There are two separate mono mixes found on various 45’s of “Ticket To Ride”. One has a longer spoken opening by Richard, the other is shorter".
Wrong song. You're referring to "Your Wonderful Parade" and Chris was talking of "I Kept On Loving You."

Harry
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
For purposes of reference--
Richard Carpenter Liner Notes,
From The Top
Medley 1980 Music,Music,Music:
"...Karen was particularly happy to be re-recording at least part of 'Someday',
as she was never happy with her performance on our 1969 recording."
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
For purposes of reference--
Richard Carpenter Liner Notes,
From The Top
Medley 1980 Music,Music,Music:
"...Karen was particularly happy to be re-recording at least part of 'Someday',
as she was never happy with her performance on our 1969 recording."
and I agree with Karen 100%...the re-record is just perfection but why or why did Karen and Richard not complete the whole song?
 

arthowson

Active Member
I think Someday is actually the Carpenter/Bettis team's best composition. Just wish there was a cleaner full recording of it.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Another tidbit from the Official Carpenter Web Site:
Richard Carpenter:
"...Until she was around 21 Karen had a huskier sound, which she didn't care for as much as what her voice ultimately became,
and she preferred her matured sound.
As a result, when the time came in 1978 to make "Christmas Portrait" she asked to record a new lead ( of Merry Christmas, Darling).
"Top Of The World" -she felt she could do it better.
The original is perfectly fine, however, Karen just felt she could do better."
 

mr J.

Active Member
If they'd re-recorded the complete song, it would have made a nice replacement for 'Somebody's Been Lyin'' on MIA.
K&R were planning on rerecording "Someday"(and "Eve") in 1982.As most of us are aware,this didn't materialize due to Karen's prolonged NY therapy sessions.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
What would they have done with the re-recorded 'Someday' and 'Eve' though? Put both of them on the projected next studio album alongside new tracks? Although the re-recorded part of 'Someday' in the 1980 medley is nicely done, both songs would have had a rather 'dated' sound that I don't imagine would have meshed well with other tracks on an album unless they were intending of putting out a whole album of updated previously recorded tracks.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
Here is a pre-notice ad of upcoming box sets that ran in Billboard Sept 08, 1990 they mention Carpenters new box set "From The Top" to be released in Nov 1990. This would have been the original 12" x 12" box version (this is the one I have)

 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
Billboard ran a few articles about the revised Box Set "From The Top" (I believe this was the smaller sized long box, same 4 CD's)
Billboard must have got info that the set was to be titled differently?
July 13, 1991



Billboard issue Nov 16, 1991, the box set is official released.


Nov 16, 1991 Review of Let Me Be The One from the box set


Issue Nov 23, 1991 from a Disco article referring to solo track on "From The Top"

 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
I forgot to list that the above article on "From The Top" was issued in April 1992, Recording Engineering Production Magazine (The Pro Audio Applications Magazine)

I love the "Special Interest" section, Karen...what a tone!!!
"She fills up the spare parts of an arrangement effortlessly and is able to consistently support full arrangements without getting buried or lost"

That's some good writing and spot on. :)
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
The above review was great to read ! Thanks for the scan, Chris !
Richard Carpenter's arranging skills are aptly described, as is Karen Carpenter's vocal prowess.
I had been listening to this Set, as of these last few days, it is a favorite.
If only more from the 1976 period had been represented (as such, it includes only Ordinary Fool
and I Need To Be In Love). Richard says --regarding Ordinary Fool---"one of several extra songs tracked
for Kind of Hush LP."
(Interestingly, the solo LP is represented by three songs, A Kind of Hush LP represented by the above two.).

The photo--large b/w on page three Liner Notes --with Karen, Richard and Wes remains a favorite.
 
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