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Official Review Carpenters Royal Philharmonic Review and Comments Thread

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Harry, Nov 26, 2018.

How would you rate Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?

  1. ⁕⁕⁕⁕⁕ (Best)

    20 vote(s)
  2. ⁕⁕⁕⁕

    26 vote(s)
  3. ⁕⁕⁕ (Average)

    8 vote(s)
  4. ⁕⁕

    0 vote(s)
  5. ⁕ (Worst)

    1 vote(s)
  6. Did not listen to this album yet

    1 vote(s)
  1. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I haven’t finished listening to the CD yet, however from what I’ve heard so far, the CD’s really sound their best when they are going through a high quality stereo system with wood speakers, and not the porcelain speakers found in “boom boxes” or car stereos. Also headphones don’t do it justice.
    Joeyesterday likes this.
  2. John M

    John M New Member

    I purchased this CD in mid-December, and I am still listening to it nearly every time I'm driving in the car. I agree with many comments, particularly liking how Karen's vocals have been brought to the forefront. My favorite tracks are "Baby It's You" and "Ticket to Ride." A few comments...

    (1) I really enjoy the instrumental interludes, except for the choir at beginning and end. But why stop after the first 8-or-so tunes? To me, it makes the CD feel somewhat "imbalanced". Did Richard run out of composing time? Or was there no room left on the CD? It stands out to me how the interludes cease after "Baby It's You" and don't resume until nearly the end, at "We've Only Just Begun".

    (2) I immediately noticed Karen's vocal edit on "Close to You". On all other releases of this glorious tune, she sings, "on the day thatCHoo were born...". While I believe Karen to be the finest female vocalist of all time, her diction here always somewhat annoyed me. Somehow, Richard was able to edit Karen's diction here to "on the day that you were born..." I'm kind of surprised no one else has mentioned this.

    (3) I too, like so many other folks, would have preferred less of the hits and more of the album tracks. But I understand the [sales] rationale. I've always been drawn to the remixed snippet of "All of My Life" in the made-for-TV KC story, and was hoping this tune would have made it onto the CD.

    (4) I am longing [a severe understatement] for Richard to re-consider, perfect with his magic touch, and release those unreleased tracks in the vault with Karen's lead. I am led to believe there are enough of such tunes to complete a CD. Some of my favorite tunes are those released posthumously -- "Trying to Get the Feeling Again", "Leave Yesterday Behind", and "Where do I Go from Here?" This has been my greatest wish for YEARS, and now [50th Anniversary] it would be a most wonderful gift for dedicated fans.
    David A and Carpe diem like this.
  3. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    ^^ Agree with point #4 John M, and if I may add another Karen gem that could be vastly improved with an instrumental arrangement do-over...the song "Goodnight". Lose or replace the CSLB choir, pull Karen's vocal performance to the front (if possible), and stretch the song out a bit with great orchestral interludes.
    Song4uman likes this.
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I don't think this would be possible as the master no longer exists. The version on the box set was I believe pulled from an old vinyl copy.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  5. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Respectfully disagree. That recording is a moment in time. I feel it should always Ben left as is. She was so young and it’s so great as it is.



    I sat last night and listened to the album again, for I think the 5th time and really enjoyed it. The philharmonic stuff was just right I think and any more would have spoilt the songs, but that`s my opinion :)
    I`m still impressed with Superstar and that guitar, what a difference that one instrument has made to that track!
  7. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Maybe the orchestra went over-budget like it did in 1977 :laugh:
  8. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    That was similar to Singles 69-73....side one is full of interesting segues plus the intro. Side two is just a stack'o'tunes.
  9. AM Matt

    AM Matt Well-Known Member

    I just listened to the CD which is 69:27 in total length. I bought the CD at Target. The songs "Merry Christmas, Darling" & "Baby It's You" should have left a space blank between. The song "We've Only Just Begun" is missing the tamborine part in the bridge. There is 7 seconds of silence & then the bonus track "Please Mr. Postman" comes in. A great CD though!! Matt Clark Sanford, MI
    no1kandrfan likes this.
  10. no1kandrfan

    no1kandrfan Active Member

    I REALLY miss the tambourine on this song.
    Matthew Smith, AM Matt and Jeff S like this.
  11. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    This may be something already mentioned, but I saw on a Carpenters FB page a copy of the last weeks Billboard "Classic" charts and the Carpenters were at #5, having been #1 for a few weeks then sliding down to where they are currently. I have no idea what this chart means in terms of sales.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  12. John Adam

    John Adam Well-Known Member

    #5 Billboard Classical Albums/Week of February 16,2019.

    Carpenters With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

    #3 Last week
    #2 Peak position
    David A and Jamesj75 like this.
  13. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    Thanks John, for the clarification and specifics. The chart I saw was from a few days ago and showed them at #5, but the guy who posted that graphic on FB stated that they had been #1 for 2 or 3 weeks. He was mistaken, it appears.
    John Adam likes this.
  14. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    Kind of ironic if they never hit #1, reminds me of the number of songs they had that hit #2 but couldn't make it over the hump to #1 :)
    John Adam likes this.
  15. Matthew Smith

    Matthew Smith Member

    Me too!! Glad I’m not the only one.
    newvillefan and no1kandrfan like this.
  16. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    This project was not about grand orchestral gestures, it concentrated on the emotive feel of reharmonising Carpenters vocals with a sleeker orchestration, if anyone could pull one more ounce of emotion and feeling from a stringed instrument, not forgetting the wind instruments as well, Richard Carpenter achieved a new standard for their recordings. Richard Carpenter was more than qualified at being able to make us appreciate his gift of enhancing the emotional feel of a song.
  17. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I disagree. The project was supposed to be a collaboration between the RPO and the featured artist with the intent of reimagining the original songs and I think in that respect it didn’t achieve its goal. The end result was around 80% a cut and paste job of the original recordings, to the detriment of the RPO. All that was achieved was a little more polish.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
    Murray, GaryAlan and Mark-T like this.
  18. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Maybe you're both right! :)
    Kacfan and Nawvish74 like this.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I feel Stephen is correct.
    Murray and newvillefan like this.
  20. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    What if they ONLY had used Karen's (and maybe Richard's) vocals and cut out all the original recordings? Would that have been better? Is that what was done on the other RPO projects? I haven't listened to any of them because I have no interest in those artists. (If they ever do one with Alan Parsons I'll be all over that.)
  21. Kacfan

    Kacfan Member

    Karen’s voice will continue to fascinate, and her isolated vocals are out there, and so I hope that someone someday (could be many years) takes on such a project.
  22. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I keep track of KWORB's charts every morning.
    What does stand out is that the Carpenters' Gold compilation is still on those charts (5 countries today)
    whereas the RPO album totally dropped off the list a while back.
    It isn't that the RPO album isn't good. It is well worth hearing.
    But, it is simply too similar to every compilation already available.
    It needed to distinguish itself in a big way to make a big difference.
    newvillefan likes this.
  23. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    The level of satisfaction with this project could depend on the point of reference used. Comparisons with previous RPO releases might raise expectations to a yearning for similar already released RPO orchestrations, but when the point of reference is to make a comparison with original Carpenters recordings, the overwhelming feedback from most fans, is a positive one.
    Jamesj75 and Song4uman like this.
  24. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    I spent some time looking at numerous reviews of the RPO Carpenters effort, and I have not found a single negative review. I'm sure there's some out there; but in the main, I think it's accurate to say that this effort was received very favorably critically. I would have expected this RPO effort to be a softball pitch for critics (I personally have no use for professional critics - people who get paid for their opinions, for some reason) to use as yet another way to slam the Carpenters. An easy criticism to make would have been that the songs were too similar to the originals, and that it was the "same old (bad) hit songs, warmed over". Again, haven't seen anything like that.

    Instead, the critics seem quite taken with exactly what Richard has done here; re-imagining the songs as if, back in the 1970's, he had access to the RPO when recording their songs originally.

    I think for those of us who have memorized every nuance of the Carpenters songs, who have listened to them hundreds or even thousands of times, dissected them, fans who can tell when there's a change in a song that the typical fan wouldn't even notice, this effort can easily be seen as too similar to the originals, a lost opportunity for something more grandiose.

    I get that; I just disagree. I would have been disappointed had it been similar to other RPO efforts I've heard, and I would own it more as a curiosity, and rarely if ever played it.
  25. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    I believe Karen is the center of every Carpenters song...I think Richard got it right...I don’t want to be wowed by the RPO to the extent that Karen is not the center of attention...I want the RPO to compliment the Carpenters songs and make them sound new again...I feel this album fulfills that purpose.
    Geographer, Jamesj75, David A and 4 others like this.

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