• 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.

🎧 Podcast Carpenters: Q&A, Ep. 2: "A Kind of Hush" (Album)

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Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
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In episode two, I talk about the Carpenters' seventh studio album, "A Kind of Hush," and how many of the songs were selected—including some nuggets of trivia related to several of them. Also, Richard personally explains the story behind the title track, here in his own words.

But first, I address the question that many fans have asked over the years related to Karen's "work" lead vocals, and how she might have recorded those for tracks she also played drums on, without causing leakage in to the drum mics. The answer is really quite simple!

 
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Geographer

Well-Known Member
In episode two, I talk about the Carpenters' seventh studio album, "A Kind of Hush," and how many of the songs were selected—including some nuggets of trivia related to several of them. Also, Richard personally explains the story behind the title track, here in his own words.

But first, I address the question that many fans have asked over the years related to Karen's "work" lead vocals, and how she might have recorded those for tracks she also played drums on, without causing leakage in to the drum mics. The answer is really quite simple!

Not to distract from you, Chris, at all, but I really like the "Richard in his own words" part of this. I would humbly submit that, when appropriate as in this case, you include this when you can in future Q&As. Of course, your explanations are fantastic, too. But it's good to hear Richard tell his stories.
 

Chris May

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Not to distract from you, Chris, at all, but I really like the "Richard in his own words" part of this. I would humbly submit that, when appropriate as in this case, you include this when you can in future Q&As. Of course, your explanations are fantastic, too. But it's good to hear Richard tell his stories.
Completely agree! This is why I felt it was good to include.

To hear Richard speak candidly, versus the way he normally would speak when he's being formally interviewed is quite different. I wanted listeners to be able to hear the contrast here.
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Interesting info on "I Need to Be In Love" but I gotta be real here for a sec. That Richard took that long to give Albert his cut of the publishing is, honestly, pretty shady. Without Albert's contribution, the song doesn't exist. He should have been properly credited/paid right away. It's not all that "upstanding" to compensate someone twenty years later for work they should have been compensated for immediately. He didn't get the cash from the first twenty years of sales of the album. Albert certainly could have pursued legal action and one wonders why he didn't.

Ed
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^
Exactly !
"Without Albert's contribution, the song doesn't exist."
I will say, I was shocked when hearing this particular incident regards I Need To Be In Love,
that is, shocked to find that Richard could (apparently) be petty when it comes to someone else's contributions.
Perhaps, had the song --in 1976--scaled the charts, that story would have ended differently, for had it been
a top hit in 1976, I bet Albert Hammond would not have been so kind through so many years.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Speaking of the song, There's A Kind of Hush,
thankfully, and happily for posterity,
the concert version has no 'double-tracked' lead and Karen sings it "full on."
She sings it flawlessly in concert.
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
How much of a song does someone need to write, in order to get a songwriting credit, and be entitled to a percentage of the royalties? I'm thinking of "Goodbye to Love" here, and Tony Peluso's guitar solo. Adding a fuzz guitar solo was Richard's idea, but the solo itself came from Tony's mind. It could therefore be argued that Tony "wrote" a very iconic part of the song. Why was he not credited as a co-composer?
 

Harry

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My oldest copy of A KIND OF HUSH lists Albert Hammond as co-writer. Why would it be Richard's job to make sure that Albert Hammond got paid?
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Chris May says:
"Albert was given a mention but was never given a royalty up until the mid-90s....they went back to the 'publishing agreement,' they modified that..."
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
Speaking of the song, There's A Kind of Hush,
thankfully, and happily for posterity,
the concert version has no 'double-tracked' lead and Karen sings it "full on."
She sings it flawlessly in concert.
Be very careful - stating a preference for Karen's pure, real, natural voice over her distorted, hollow, mechanical "double-tracked" voice could be highly triggering and get you labeled a "Karen Purest" and insure that you are shunned and placed in "ignore status"...

You're absolutely correct about this, but the same thing, of course, could be said about a number of other songs that - free of technical manipulation - sounded far better when she sang them live, including the aforementioned "I Need To Be in Love"...
 

Mike Blakesley

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These videos always make me hungry....I guess it's because of the word "EAT" on the kitchen wall. The power of suggestion! :)

My oldest copy of A KIND OF HUSH lists Albert Hammond as co-writer. Why would it be Richard's job to make sure that Albert Hammond got paid?

Agreed. Richard is a songwriter, arranger, producer, and artist -- not a bookkeeper, a lawyer, or an accountant. Most likely, he (or someone else) discovered that a mistake had been made and it was then corrected.

stating a preference for Karen's pure, real, natural voice over her distorted, hollow, mechanical "double-tracked" voice could be highly triggering and get you labeled a "Karen Purest"
Not unless he continues to repeat it over and over and over again ad nauseum, even after repeatedly being told "we get the point."
 
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I am thoroughly enjoying this series so far. I've always wanted to see a Carpenters podcast of some sort happen-- And who better for the job?
I honestly would listen even if they were hours long! That audio clip of Richard was really fascinating. Can't wait for the next episode. :)
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Thanks Chris, another wonderful analysis. I especially liked the first part which leads me to ask this...so did Karen do a work lead (as you mentioned with piano, drums, bass guitar) on every single song they recorded on an album? Or was there any songs where they didn’t do a work lead for Karen? So after the work lead was laid down and they added instrumentation, what would happen to the work lead on the tape, was it tossed aside and left as a reference tape or was it recorded over with a final lead from Karen?

I hope you plan to continue these podcasts, love them!!
 

Chris May

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Thanks Chris, another wonderful analysis. I especially liked the first part which leads me to ask this...so did Karen do a work lead (as you mentioned with piano, drums, bass guitar) on every single song they recorded on an album? Or was there any songs where they didn’t do a work lead for Karen? So after the work lead was laid down and they added instrumentation, what would happen to the work lead on the tape, was it tossed aside and left as a reference tape or was it recorded over with a final lead from Karen?

I hope you plan to continue these podcasts, love them!!
Typically, yes—a work lead was recorded along with the rhythm tracks, or orchestra (for some of the bigger productions, i.e. Christmas Portrait).

Often times if the work lead was good enough, it would be kept until it was time to mix, and a composite made between the work and master leads. If it wasn't up to Karen's standard, it would be abandoned to free up space and recorded over—either by the master lead, or another instrumental or backing vocal track that was needed for the arrangement. :)
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Great job, Chris! Love finally hearing the back story behind this album. I never could figure out why ‘You’ wasn’t released as a single. It certainly grabs the listener more than the singles they ultimately chose.

I remember a college friend of mine telling me that ‘You’ from Carpenters became something of a tradition/theme song at the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority at The University Of Kansas.

It took me by surprise that she knew every word of it, which speaks of its high quality as a song and a record. And she was telling me this story around 1985, so ‘You’ had already been a ‘tradition’ for them for nearly a decade by that time.
 
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Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
These videos always make me hungry....I guess it's because of the word "EAT" on the kitchen wall. The power of suggestion! :)



Agreed. Richard is a songwriter, arranger, producer, and artist -- not a bookkeeper, a lawyer, or an accountant. Most likely, he (or someone else) discovered that a mistake had been made and it was then corrected.


Not unless he continues to repeat it over and over and over again ad nauseum, even after repeatedly being told "we get the point."

Listen to what Chris said. Gary referenced it above. This wasn't just a blind move. Chris said Richard admitted he could be "hard-headed." He knew what he was doing...and that's a shame.

Ed
 

Chris May

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Listen to what Chris said. Gary referenced it above. This wasn't just a blind move. Chris said he could be "hard-headed." He knew what he was doing...and that's a shame.

Ed
Well, in all fairness to Richard as well as the countless other "co-writers" out there, it's not uncommon for someone to come up with a small piece of some lyric or melody, with the credit only going to the majority writers.

Here's the way I look at it—even if Richard was in the wrong, he turned it around and made it right. I'll take that all day long from someone, versus someone who could care less and never change. It's all about perspective, I suppose. :)
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Well, in all fairness to Richard as well as the countless other "co-writers" out there, it's not uncommon for someone to come up with a small piece of some lyric or melody, with the credit only going to the majority writers.

Here's the way I look at it—even if Richard was in the wrong, he turned it around and made it right. I'll take that all day long from someone, versus someone who could care less and never change. It's all about perspective, I suppose. :)

Without that "fragment" (the first half of the first verse which would also be the first half of the second verse - melody and chords), the song doesn't exist; you said as much. That it's common (it most definitely is) does not make it right by any metric. It also doesn't matter that he willingly admitted it. Had he done the right thing from the beginning, there'd be nothing to admit to.

Again, it took him 25 years to make it right and only when it began to get more attention. That's just awful. I appear to be a bit more of a realist and the deal is he took money from Albert Hammond for 25 years. That's dead wrong.

Songwriters are notoriously disrespected and have been for ages. They'll even do it to each other as this proves - anything for the songwriting income apparently. Too often, they feel they can't defend themselves so they don't even try. This is just another occurrence of it...

I promise I'm not mad; just disappointed in Richard. Not a good look at all.

Ed
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
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Without that "fragment" (the first half of the first verse which would also be the first half of the second verse - melody and chords), the song doesn't exist; you said as much. That it's common (it most definitely is) does not make it right by any metric. It also doesn't matter that he willingly admitted it. Had he done the right thing from the beginning, there'd be nothing to admit to.

Again, it took him 25 years to make it right and only when it began to get more attention. That's just awful. I appear to be a bit more of a realist and the deal is he took money from Albert Hammond for 25 years. That's dead wrong.

Songwriters are notoriously disrespected and have been for ages. They'll even do it to each other as this proves - anything for the songwriting income apparently. Too often, they feel they can't defend themselves so they don't even try. This is just another occurrence of it...

I promise I'm not mad; just disappointed in Richard. Not a good look at all.

Ed
Yeah... I totally get it.
 

Harry

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I suppose that I'm ignorant on the ins and outs of music publishing rights and royalties, but it still seems like a bookkeeping measure as to whether Albert Hammond would get his royalties from the song. On the very first original LP - I have promo copies - the credit is given:

On the rear of the jacket, and the stunningly lovely label:
I Need To Be In Love 3:47
(Richard Carpenter & John Bettis, Albert Hammond) Almo Music
Corp./Sweet Harmony Music/Hammer & Nails Music/
Landers-Roberts Music, ASCAP

On the innersleeve:
Music: Richard Carpenter
Lyrics: John Bettis & Albert Hammond
©Copyright 1976 Almo Music Corp., Sweet Harmony
Music, Hammer & Nails Music, and
Landers-Roberts Music. (ASCAP)


Landers-Roberts Music appears to be the publishing company for Albert Hammond's compositions. So did this album fly under the radar when it came time to divvy up the profits? Was Lander-Roberts Music ignored? More importantly, why didn't Mr. Hammond simply step up and ask where his share of the royalties were?

As I said, I'm totally ignorant on all of these processes. I've only ever written one song, and it's never been published.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
In my search of 1976 Billboard Magazine issues (site: RadioandWorldHistory),
for every instance of the song I Need To Be In Love which I located in that magazine for 1976,
Albert Hammond is listed as cowriter of the song. Therefore, this has nothing to do with his not getting listed for a songwriting credit.
It has to do with Albert NOT receiving monetary compensation for his share of the work, his share of the co-writing royalties.
As Chris May stated: "Richard and John went back and modified the publishing agreement."
Again, had the song not been a smash hit in Japan in the 1990s, this publishing issue would probably have flown under the radar.
 
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