• 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. 3: "We've Only Just Begun"

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Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
In episode three, I talk in-depth about how the Carpenters' sound evolved during the early years, also giving a track-by-track vocal illustration taken directly from the original master tape of "We've Only Just Begun."

But first, I answer a couple of questions submitted by fans related to an unreleased recording of "Thank You For The Music," as well as Richard's ownership of the Carpenters television specials.


**NOTE: One inaccuracy I discovered when listening back to this, is my reference to "What are You Doing for Love." I meant to say that it was recorded for the "A Song for You" album and not the Tan album. The rest of what was stated related to the song is correct—in that, given the Tan album tracks were rather short in all, Richard didn't want to continue that trend moving forward, so the recording was never completed.
 
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Geographer

Well-Known Member
In episode three, I talk in-depth about how the Carpenters' sound evolved during the early years, also giving a track-by-track vocal illustration taken directly from the original master tape of "We've Only Just Begun."

But first, I answer a couple of questions submitted by fans related to an unreleased recording of "Thank You For The Music," as well as Richard's ownership of the Carpenters television specials.


It's amazing to me that Richard could hear, in his head, how the harmonies would sound before they even recorded them; especially after your demonstration here. I'm wondering if the engineer was thinking to himself "where is he going with this?"
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Awesome job, Chris! So great to hear that again. I remember how mesmerized the entire room was that night at the Thousand Oaks event. It’s so amazing to hear the vocals like that. You realize by listening to this just how precise and in sync those two were musically.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
Awesome job, Chris! So great to hear that again. I remember how mesmerized the entire room was that night at the Thousand Oaks event. It’s so amazing to hear the vocals like that. You realize by listening to this just how precise and in sync those two were musically.
That definitely was one of the highlights of the panel discussion. It kind of went sideways with a lot of music-industry talk, but the demo was great...as was the playing of "Simple Melody" with Agnes and Harold. Good times! Chris' demonstration from that night can be found on Youtube, too, BTW.
 

WYBIMLA

Well-Known Member
Thank you @Chris May for taking time to do these episodes! :) Very informative and exactly reason why I'm even on boards like this.
Brings me back to early days when I first joined a fan forum back in 2007. I'd find these gems or treasures that would give me that sense of excitement only a fan knows.
Been a while since I had that. Maybe 2018 and then by the time of the book, solo release. And again here actually.
You may not know it because you're immersed in this and been around it so long, but what you're doing by sharing your knowledge is invaluable fans.
It's sharing pieces of what can only be described as classic stardust. Cannot be duplicated, but that's the 'magic' as it were that is Carpenters.

So thank you again for your contribution.
Please, ignore any of the wild, nutty comments and things that go on here sometimes. We're all just passionate Carpenterologists.
I suppose with enough of us making noise we get some more robust answers or confirmation we've been wanting. It's great.
Now I'll crawl back into hibernation again and not say too much, eat some popcorn and enjoy the show cause there you've provided so much already to satiate that fan curiosity. I look forward to more of these episodes and what you can share! Take care Chris. Great work! Be well. :)
 

Richard’s namesake

Active Member
In episode three, I talk in-depth about how the Carpenters' sound evolved during the early years, also giving a track-by-track vocal illustration taken directly from the original master tape of "We've Only Just Begun."

But first, I answer a couple of questions submitted by fans related to an unreleased recording of "Thank You For The Music," as well as Richard's ownership of the Carpenters television specials.

Just wonderful Chris. Thank you.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
We are indeed fortunate to have someone like Chris here among us. He's been a consistent link to 'the source', as it were, and it's a blessing that he's been kind enough to share his knowledge with us.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
We are indeed fortunate to have someone like Chris here among us. He's been a consistent link to 'the source', as it were, and it's a blessing that he's been kind enough to share his knowledge with us.
I really appreciate that, @Harry as well as the rest of the kind words said here. This has always been a generally safe place to talk about the music first and foremost!
 
I can’t even explain how incredibly satisfying that play through of the vocal layering for ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ was! I’ve always wanted to hear the isolated harmonies for ‘Superstar’ in that same way. In all these years, that second verse never fails to give me chills.

Honestly my dream is to sit in that archive and listen to every song they ever recorded. I really hope that those differing versions of ‘Close to You’ are released someday. It must’ve been so interesting to listen back to what it could’ve sounded like. I was so surprised to hear that ‘Thank You For The Music’ was actually recorded as well. It’s one of my favorite ABBA songs, and their rendition on the Tonight Show is top tier.

Another amazing video, Chris! As someone hoping to be a future audio engineer, I am absolutely fascinated by their recording process. I was greatly looking forward to another episode of this series, and you did not disappoint!
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
One inaccuracy I discovered when listening back to this, is my reference to "What are You Doing for Love." I meant to say that it was recorded for the "A Song for You" album and not the Tan album. The rest of what was stated related to the song is correct—in that, given the Tan album tracks were rather short in all, Richard didn't want to continue that trend moving forward, so the recording was never completed.

Same difference, but I needed to make that correction here.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
One inaccuracy I discovered when listening back to this, is my reference to "What are You Doing for Love." I meant to say that it was recorded for the "A Song for You" album and not the Tan album. The rest of what was stated related to the song is correct—in that, given the Tan album tracks were rather short in all, Richard didn't want to continue that trend moving forward, so the recording was never completed.

Same difference, but I needed to make that correction here.
In your discussions did Try to Win a Friend or All My Life come up. At one point he was comfortable releasing these tracks. . .does he still feel the same way 30 years on?

Cheers

Neil
 

Electroliner

Active Member
Chris,

Thank You for this episode! Listening only to Karen and Richards isolated primary vocals finally explained their WOJB "Live Vocal Performance" on stage.

-Ken
 

Matthew Smith

Well-Known Member
This could really be used as an educational tool, as an example of recording techniques and good vocal arranging. Love that you do these! And….I’m still waiting to hear the “here to remind you’s” from “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” split up like this! 😇
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Did you guys catch the Spectrum photo and the names of three songs we've never heard before? Can you tell us about them, Chris?
 

WYBIMLA

Well-Known Member
How about any other known tracks with a lead on them Chris?
I forget the names now. Song titles have appeared in other threads. Not sure if they've been confirmed on what shape their in. There's not like a whole album's worth, but from what you said in the video there is still indeed unreleased material that is in good shape for release. There's been titles floating around the internet for some time, as you know. Is there anything in store for RPO2 or a future compilation containing previously unreleased material?
Blink twice if yes. Lol
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I think they might have been a couple of my questions answered at the beginning there, (probably along with many other fans), so thank you very much, Chris!

Karen & Richard really must have been very precise with each part of their harmonies, as you said. To be less precise, things just sound muddy and messy. (I’ve tried it!) 😁

Great video, Chris! Thanks again!
 
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