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Can you imagine Karen singing "Nothing all All"?

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Intuitive Samba, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Intuitive Samba

    Intuitive Samba Member Thread Starter

    Can any of you imagine (in your musical mind's ear) Karen Carpenter's alto voice singing --
    "Nothing at All" ?

    The songwriter, I believe, is Kerry Minnear of Gentle Giant -- and this appeared on that band's self-titled debut album which was released in 1970.

    -- At least the verses of that song … and also the bridge, maybe.
    However, the more aggressive Rock riff passage may not have been any good match for Karen.
    In fact, Derek's voice is well-suited for that more aggressive louder ("heavier") style.

    But the verse, I mean, at least.

    Here is the B.B.C. version --
    Derek Schulman essentially provides a demo vocal track:

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
    Brian likes this.
  2. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I had never heard this song or heard of the band. I like it. I’ll have to chase down the studio version. This version does sound very ‘demo’. I think Karen’s voice was suited to doing alternate stuff. Maybe it was the tinges of darkness that people talk about - although I mainly only hear warmth. Yes, I can imagine her reaching the highs and lows of this song with aplomb. I can imagine this type of arty, alternate style providing a contrast and variation to her romantic ballads. She could have done similar stuff to this very well. K&R did dabble in some almost alternate material early on, (as everyone knows).
    Intuitive Samba likes this.
  3. Intuitive Samba

    Intuitive Samba Member Thread Starter

    I'm glad that you liked it, Brian :agree:. (Search for Gentle Giant's self-titled debut album from 1970. In a way, I like this BBC version better, though.)
    "arty, alternative style" -- it is a ballad, wouldn't you say? ( -- at least until the hard-rock riff comes in, and then percussion middle movement).
    Brian likes this.
  4. Intuitive Samba

    Intuitive Samba Member Thread Starter

    I suppose, once the hard-rock riff kicks in (by 1972 (was it?), the Carpenters band had a Rock guitarist who could have gotten the right feel and sound for that) --
    But -- as far as Karen's voice -- maybe the best idea for their rendition would have been to not sing and just let the riff dominate (instrumentally). I say that because I can't imagine Karen's vocals being a good match for that passage.
    In the Gentle Giant rendition, Derek Schulman does a good belting-out Soul vocal. He had a rather good voice for that kind of part.

    It's a matter of style (stylistic fit).

    But, there's also a drum solo (percussion feature) in the middle !
    Karen could have ripped on drums (much more than Martin Smith did here. He doesn't have any blazing chops. He was wonderfully-suited for grooves/accompaniment, in my opinion, though.)

    This could have blown the minds of the young kiddies at Carpenters concerts (and maybe offended some others, with sensitive sensibilities). They wanted safe-as-milk M.O.R. pop -only!

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