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Carpenters & James Bond

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Someday, May 4, 2018.

  1. Someday

    Someday Active Member Thread Starter

    Having listened a lot to James Bond film themes recently for a special project, I got to thinking, what if ...

    Obviously, the Cs were a little out of favour by the 80s, but wouldn't it have been amazing if Sheena Easton & Rita Coolidge didn't exist. For Your Eyes Only and particularly All Time High would have been perfect ...
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  2. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I seem to remember Harriet saying she always wanted to record a song from a James Bond movie or something like that. I really like her Love Will Burn that sounds very James Bond movie like to me.
    BatzDD and Jamesj75 like this.
  3. I LOVE ! the Bond themes !!!

    out of my Top 3 artists (Carpenters, Nancy Sinatra and ABBA) only 1 has done a Bond theme... The fact the Carpenters never did one is a crime !!!

    They could have made an excellent Bond theme, just imagine... Karen's vocals and Richards arrangements.

    When I listen to them all, I don't think there's a single one that Karen couldn't have sing (obviously not belting out the Shirley Bassey ones, but handling herself quite easily)

    My favourite Bond theme is "You Only Live Twice"... The lyrics of that song would play nicely with Karen singing them, mystical almost, "You only live twice, or so they say, one life for yourself and one for your dreams"
    Geographer likes this.
  4. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I can hear Karen doing a Bond film theme...the women who sang them universally had a powerful, sexy voice that exuded action, romance, adventure, and sex.

    God knows, anyone reading my posts on here know how much I adore Karen's vocals, but not sure she is ideal for a Bond theme though.
  5. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    B'wana makes me think she could have pulled it off if given the right arrangement.
    Geographer likes this.
  6. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    With that pesky wholesome image, Karen was about 180 degrees opposite from what the Bond producers would have been looking for. I just can't see it.

    For what it's worth, I also thought Rita Coolidge was an odd choice to do "All Time High." Her voice didn't really have that Bond-song sexiness to it, I didn't think.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation and David A like this.
  7. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Agreed but because she didn't have the right look.
  8. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Their image was such that I doubt they'd have been considered even for a second to sing a Bond theme. Their style just wasn't a fit for the image or the sound. Rita Coolidge's 'All Time High' is the only Bond theme I can even vaguely imagine Karen singing, and it was one of the less successful Bond singles on the chart in any case.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation and David A like this.
  9. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Label-mates Herb Alpert & Lani Hall both got to do Bond themes for two "unofficial" 007 movies. Herb did Bacharach's "Casino Royale" of course, and wife Lani Hall got to do "Never Say Never Again."

    I agree with others that the image was just not right for Carpenters - or Karen - to do a Bond theme.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  10. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    Call me crazy, but I've always felt I Believe You has a vaguely Bondesque vibe. Not lyrically (though I'm sure some of the 1960s-1970s Bond Girls would have lived in a cave if he'd asked them to) but the flute bit is very Bondesque.
  11. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I don’t think Karen had the power in her voice for a sweeping, dramatic Bond number, especially post 1975. Many of the songs performed by female vocalists are constructed to have really dramatic lifts (usually the choruses) that would not have fitted with her vocal style (or image for that matter, as others have said). You’ve really got to belt them out. There’s a Bond-esque moment in the song Because We Are In Love: listen at 3:23, where Karen tries to go for that sweeping lift on the word “because” and imagine that as the sound of a Bond song...it just sounds so weak.
  12. I dunno. One of the attractive qualities of Karen's voice and song reading skills is that she could be, sometimes all at once, your girlfriend, lover, mother, daughter, sister, girl-next door, or any other "role" the song required. She pulls them all off, depending on what the song required. Because of this, I think she could have definitely "pulled off" a Bond song, as long as it was the right song. On a side note, wasn't "Never Say Never Again" out around the same time "Make Believe It's Your First Time, was out?
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  13. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Both were 1983 releases.
    Geographer likes this.
  14. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    It seems most of us have found different ways to essentially say the same thing; Karen's image at the time, and her voice overall, isn't really suited for a 007 number.

    This is one of those questions that would be great to somehow ask Richard. Had they been approached to consider writing and performing a Bond song, what would HIS thinking on this, be? I suspect he'd think as we do; not a good fit. But you never know.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  15. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    I always thought that Someday from Offering/Ticket To Ride was very James Bond intro-like. This was back when Karen's voice had that youthful edginess. I think she had the chops to do it back then but she was relatively unknown at that time. Also, This Masquerade has a James Bond feel to it.
  16. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I've sort of wondered how Karen would've done with a cover version of Rita Coolidge's An All Time High from Octupussy. Or even Duran Duran's A View To A Kill.
  17. I can imagine the possibility only around 1971; when Karen's voice was strong, low and often dark (think: Superstar, which had an air of mystery in its intro and verses).
    David A, newvillefan and Mark-T like this.
  18. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    Yes, both you and @Carpe diem hit on something, I think you're dead-on. Karen's voice that sang Ticket might well have been able to pull it off. Deep, emotive, powerful, in some ways raw - and that rawness is needed in something like a Bond song.

    Digressing, but although I love Karen's voice through-out their career, I wish she has stayed with that "version" of her vocal style. Artists evolve and it was inevitable, I guess, that she'd refine her voice, and she was probably a better singer "technically" later on, but it lost something in my view, when she did so.
  19. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Funny, while working in my garage and having the "Sinatra & Friends Weekend" playing from a not-to-distant over the air radio station in my area (KAHI-AM Auburn, CA); Shirley Bassey's "Goldfinger" was played, and I had to come on the forum and comment. Has to be, the definitive Bond song...Really started the whole bond song intro phenomenon, with vocalist's lining-up, wanting to get in on it.
  20. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Karen is all wrong for Bond. I can’t imagine that working at all.


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