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Official Review Carpenters Royal Philharmonic Review and Comments Thread

How would you rate Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?

  • ⁕⁕⁕⁕⁕ (Best)

    Votes: 24 34.3%
  • ⁕⁕⁕⁕

    Votes: 33 47.1%
  • ⁕⁕⁕ (Average)

    Votes: 10 14.3%
  • ⁕⁕

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • ⁕ (Worst)

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • Did not listen to this album yet

    Votes: 1 1.4%

  • Total voters
    70

Kyle Thomas

Member
And, I hated the trumpet addition to "Goodbye to Love." The trumpet can be a mournful sounding instrument, but in this particular place it sounds triumphant and joyful, and it just wrecks the overall mood. It's a nice performance on the instrument for sure, but it's not a good addition to this amazing song. I'd be curious what the original session guys would think of it.
Mike, this is a great explanation of the extreme reaction I had to Goodbye to Love. It sounds triumphant and joyful right before the guitar begins to growl.

I don't want to overshadow however the amazingness of so much of this album, though, by pointing out a couple of the places I thought the decisions were wrong.
 

byline

Active Member
The piccolo trumpet at the end is an interesting touch.
That's the only change that doesn't quite work for me. The solo is beautifully done; it just feels shoehorned in. Maybe it's because I'm not accustomed to hearing it, and I will change my attitude over multiple listenings. Otherwise, I love this album! Richard's arrangements are getting a new treatment with a full orchestra, and Karen's timeless voice is center stage. Beautiful, and also a perfect aural tonic for these troubled times. Much as these songs were back when they were first released, come to think of it!
 
Omg my heart. Live long fan since the day I was born. What a profound album. Does anyone know if it was the OK Choral? I would swear the singer who sings "It's yesterday once more" is his daughter. Sounds just like her! Well anyway, I'm having the time of my life reading these comments!!! Best regards to all.
 

leadmister

Well-Known Member
I've listened to this a few more times and have read opinions rendered thus far. My conclusion remains unchanged. I am moved by what this album has to say more than how it sounds, and the little things in there that aren't necessarily ideal are part of that. This is the result of someone pressing on and continuing to try to convey something without necessarily being whole. Extra vocal parts that were imagined but impossible to flesh out the way we, and Richard, would like. Added trumpet parts, extra little pieces of orchestration here and there, mixing elements such as drum tracks having different places in the mix of each track, etc. These were things that, given the opportunity, his Associate Producer would have recommended he rework or leave out. Things that her second set of ears would have picked up and suggested tweaking of mixes, scooping of EQ's, etc. I hope that we can bear in mind that in her absence, a work such as this, no matter how grand, will always be incomplete, and at best, 98% of perfect. Nonetheless, speaking for myself, I am grateful for this, imperfections and all.
 
Interesting that the homage would be during Goodbye to Love. Richard, tell us why you picked that moment if it's fact it's a nod.
 

Tony

Active Member
It's very reminiscent of "Penny Lane"! We know that Richard is a huge Beatles fan, and he was recording at Abbey Road, so it had to be his nod to the Fab Four!
Not only is Richard a huge Beatles fan and this album was recorded at Abbey Road, but the ending of "Goodbye to Love" has been described by critics as being similar to "Hey Jude". And though "Penny Lane" makes use of it, I was also thinking about "All You Need is Love."
 

byline

Active Member
Several of you have remarked on the piccolo trumpet added to "Goodbye to Love". Is there any chance that this is an homage to the Beatles and their use of it?
I did think this, because the solo is so reminiscent of that song. It's a great idea, but almost a bit too deliberate for my tastes.

My complaint isn't that the solo is not well done, because it is. It's quite intricate, and beautifully performed. It just feels abrupt. Maybe if there had been a way to add more of the vocal chorus, so that we got our traditional overdubbed "aaaahhhs" in the first round, followed by the piccolo trumpet, and then finally the guitar solo, it would have created a more gradual segue.

As I said, maybe the more I listen to it, the less jarring it will sound.
 

Nick

Member
I love it! I have listened to the full album a few times. The first time was difficult to describe...but I think my ears were "confused" as I have listened to these songs probably hundreds, if not thousands of times, so the new instrumentation clashed somewhat. What I did notice at first listen was the prominence of Karen's vocals. Subsequent listens have picked up all sorts of gems and nuances that I absolutely adore. Thank you Richard for giving us this gift.
 

leadmister

Well-Known Member
Not only is Richard a huge Beatles fan and this album was recorded at Abbey Road, but the ending of "Goodbye to Love" has been described by critics as being similar to "Hey Jude". And though "Penny Lane" makes use of it, I was also thinking about "All You Need is Love."
I'm also reminded of the harpsichord solo in the bridge of In My Life. Even though it's not a trumpet, the baroque style melody is similar.
 

Kyle Thomas

Member
Well, I suppose the Beatles nod makes sense (and also why it shows up in Baby It's You). That softens my reaction a bit. I still don't like it in Goodbye to love, but the good news is that I still have the originals and the 2004 SACD mix! :)
 

Song4uman

Well-Known Member
Got the downloads today from ordering vinyl. Burned to cd
Listened to some in the car and I love it. I don’t have s CD player in the house any longer, so looking forward to listening to the vinyl with headphones.

Is there a difference in sound from the mp3s and what the cds will sound like?
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
The first time was difficult to describe...but I think my ears were "confused" as I have listened to these songs probably hundreds, if not thousands of times, so the new instrumentation clashed somewhat.
There you go. This is a perfect description of what I felt upon hearing the added orchestrations. I figured the same as you did -- it's just not what I'm used to. I have listened to it a couple more times since writing my first-impressions comment previously -- I think the new "Yesterday Once More" may be my favorite version eventually, because the orchestration covers up the electric guitar flourishes after "still shines" on the choruses.

Oh man, this can't be the last that he does.
One thing I noticed: On the CD, there is absolutely NO mention of the Carpenters 50th anniversary coming up. No sticker, no mention in the booklet, nothing. This leads me to believe there will be some other thing coming up for the 50th. I suppose the reaction and sales of this RPO album might be a driving factor in what happens.
 

byline

Active Member
The full article for those who don't have access to The Times site:

Richard is almost unrecognisable from his 1970s heyday; he looks more like a retired US Marines sergeant than an ageing pop star. The infamous pageboy haircut has been replaced by a short grey crop at the top of his small head.
It's funny to me how many reviewers cite Richard's pageboy/Dutch-boy/Prince Valiant haircut, as if he wore that forever. He had ditched it in favor of a much shorter hairstyle by 1974. But his iconic look lives on!
 

Tony

Active Member
One thing I noticed: On the CD, there is absolutely NO mention of the Carpenters 50th anniversary coming up. No sticker, no mention in the booklet, nothing. This leads me to believe there will be some other thing coming up for the 50th. I suppose the reaction and sales of this RPO album might be a driving factor in what happens.
Bingo.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
One thing I noticed: On the CD, there is absolutely NO mention of the Carpenters 50th anniversary coming up. No sticker, no mention in the booklet, nothing. This leads me to believe there will be some other thing coming up for the 50th. I suppose the reaction and sales of this RPO album might be a driving factor in what happens.
This is exactly what I thought when I saw the BBC interview and the other promotional video we saw with Richard interviewed: absolutely no mention whatsoever of the 50th anniversary.
 
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