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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: 21 35.0%
  • ⁕⁕⁕⁕

    Votes: 29 48.3%
  • ⁕⁕⁕ (Average)

    Votes: 8 13.3%
  • ⁕⁕

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • ⁕ (Worst)

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • Did not listen to this album yet

    Votes: 1 1.7%

  • Total voters
    60

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
An addition to credits for
Drums on Ticket To Ride:
Karen Carpenter and Gregg Bissonette.
Is any of Karen’s drumming left on these tracks where new drums have been recorded? Because I can’t hear them, so I don’t understand why she’s credited.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Is any of Karen’s drumming left on these tracks where new drums have been recorded? Because I can’t hear them, so I don’t understand why she’s credited.
They are there, however Karen’s drums are in mono, whereas Bissonnette’s drums are in stereo so his drums are doing the audible acrobatics.
 

WYBIMLA

Well-Known Member
I've said it before... This is the first time we've experienced The Carpenters in a digital format.
So, hearing added drums and strings is a bit jarring because you can perceive each track a lot clearer than before.

Modern advances in music seem to add more sparsity to the sound.
The analogue hiss is no longer there.
It used to be that everything blended quite well together, imo.
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
An addition to credits for
Drums on Ticket To Ride:
Karen Carpenter and Gregg Bissonette.
Interesting--Bissonette was a local. His family went to my great aunt's church back in the days, so she sort of followed his (and his brother, bass player Matt Bissonette's) career along the way. He played in a lot of the local big bands, and has played on numerous jazz and rock gigs, notably on two of ex-Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth's solo recordings, Santana's Supernatural, and was with Maynard Ferguson's big band on Live in San Francisco. Very talented!
 

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
Just heard back from Richard's team, here's his schedule:

He arrives in London tomorrow.

Monday - (March 25th)
- "Today Show" - Australian TV (morning)
-"The One Show" BBC One 7pm

Tuesday (March 26th) Radio recordings day
Radio 2
Tracks of My Years with Ken Bruce
Steve Wright interview
Malcom Prince interview
Universal Music
W Radio interview

Wednesday (March 27th)
I'm told he's at White City Studio's for a live breakfast TV interview which is where both BBC breakfast and currently the ITV shows are filming (whilst ITV studios are under work) so he could be on Good Morning Britain, Lorrain or This Morning.
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
I've said it before... This is the first time we've experienced The Carpenters in a digital format.
So, hearing added drums and strings is a bit jarring because you can perceive each track a lot clearer than before.

Modern advances in music seem to add more sparsity to the sound.
The analogue hiss is no longer there.
It used to be that everything blended quite well together, imo.
Yes, this is exactly my complaint about this IMHO unlistenable release--nobody, nothing, can replace those original performances, both in terms of the original musicians and the way they were originally recorded. I'm not knocking the talents of any of the musicians or engineers involved, but layering new elements on top of the originals destroys that original chemistry, both in terms of musicianship (with them all playing together at the same time in the studio) and in terms of how it all gels with the sonics of it--I found the handful of tracks I listened to sounded very disjointed and unsettling. Sounds like music assembled by committee or worse yet, "constructed" in ProTools. We can't add pristine new digitally recorded tracks on top of analog recordings made in the 70s--it just doesn't work. Nothing sounds right. Even the re-recorded parts on prior compilations suffer from this.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Even the re-recorded parts on prior compilations suffer from this.
Do we know when Richard switched to "all-digital" for the remixes, since according to the richardandkarencarpenter.com website, in the early-2000's Richard was still using the analog recorders and Dolby equipment at A&M/Universal to record the remixes, and then doing the editing digitally. So it would seem that, at least up to 2009 (and the 40/40 release), all the remixes had an analog component, albeit in some cases, like when he used the DX-7 keyboard, that was a digital instrument, but recorded on analog tape.
 

WYBIMLA

Well-Known Member
Even the re-recorded parts on prior compilations suffer from this.
The only time I heard anything jarring or disjointed remix-wise was "Merry Christmas Darling 1992 Time-Life Remix."
Other than that his remixing in the 80s-2000s didn't have anything jump out at you.
I'd notice vocals being moved to the centre stereo field or re-recorded keys, etc... stuff like that.
And just a cleaner sound overall.

The RPO experience for The C's was the first time I could say I wasn't crazy about the album's mix.
As a long time fan that's never happened! :oops: There was a loudness and messiness about it I didn't expect.

I figured by 2018 this stuff would be down to a science. Perhaps everything was set "just right" but my ears didn't adjust.
With help from board members I can put my finger on why that is. Again it comes down to the industry moving quickly to pump out content... there could have been more time and testing put into this one, imo.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
The RPO experience for The C's was the first time I could say I wasn't crazy about the album's mix [...] There was a loudness and messiness about it I didn't expect..
For me, the overall “blend” of the individual multitracks is compromised on some of the RPO songs. The instruments sound too separated spatially, the drums are too loud and too busy and, dare I say it, the digital airbrushing has removed a lot of the ambience. You can actually make things too perfect sometimes. One of the most noticeable differences for me is that on For All We Know, the beautiful background vocals on the second chorus are almost inaudible due to the new orchestration, so there’s something not right about that mix to my ears.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
It's a phenomenon I've noticed many times.... the "first" version of something you hear turns out to be your favorite. There are a lot of Beatles tunes that were recorded by A&M artists and without fail, the version I prefer is the one I heard first. I suppose the same thing is true with the Carpenters albums -- if you'd heard the RPO version first, the originals would sound lifeless. If you hear the originals first, the RPO's sound fussed-over and overproduced. So it goes.
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
The only time I heard anything jarring or disjointed remix-wise was "Merry Christmas Darling 1992 Time-Life Remix."
Other than that his remixing in the 80s-2000s didn't have anything jump out at you.
Agreed--remixing isn't as big of an issue, if they are true remixes where existing parts are mixed differently. But in cases where Richard re-records his piano part, as one example, you have this modern-sounding piano recorded in a different studio, using different mics and recording console (and most likely a different engineer who has his own methods of recording, which can include mic placement, different ways of manipulating the sound before it's recorded to tape). I find it never gels.

The SACD was a mixed experience for me--the proper surround mixes are a novelty, yet the re-recorded bits on there sound similarly disjointed. New, pristine parts over the original 70s-era analog recordings never can work. Especially when revealed in high-resolution audio. On the RPO album, I really can't fault how the new parts sound on their own--they did a great job recording them. But they just don't mesh with the 70s era recordings--it comes across as an awkward sound to me.

It's a phenomenon I've noticed many times.... the "first" version of something you hear turns out to be your favorite.
This is more about how it actually sounds wrong, sonically, than preferring a specific version.
 

WYBIMLA

Well-Known Member
Strange how, to my ears, "As Time Goes By" has a better overall blend than RPO.
That album had even wider variety of equipment used and most of those songs were purposed for Television.
Arguably, there's inconsistencies you can point out in those recordings too, but fans were more forgiving on that.
For whatever reason, this didn't live up to expectations for some of us... and others enjoy it.
Despite all this I'd still give Part 2 a listen if it ever comes to fruition.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
With the RPO, I don’t think that Richard And Universal were looking for a “remix” album, but an album that made you feel like you were at the NAC in Ottawa or another concert hall and you were hearing Karen and Richard performing their hits, but with the RPO. In a way, the RPO album is a “Live” album —- just think of how in a “Live” concert everything is not going to sound just like the CD but you are able to pick out certain instruments.
 

jaredjohnfisher

Active Member
With the RPO, I don’t think that Richard And Universal were looking for a “remix” album, but an album that made you feel like you were at the NAC in Ottawa or another concert hall and you were hearing Karen and Richard performing their hits, but with the RPO. In a way, the RPO album is a “Live” album —- just think of how in a “Live” concert everything is not going to sound just like the CD but you are able to pick out certain instruments.
That’s basically what I said at an earlier thread. With ‘Merry Christmas Darling’ in the middle of the program, to my ears it plays like a “greatest hits/ holiday concert”.
 

Portlander

Active Member
I know it's already achieved Silver status awhile back in the UK, it has to be getting close to Gold by now Simon? Still surprised that there has been no promotion or appearances by Richard in the US!
 

WYBIMLA

Well-Known Member
With the RPO, I don’t think that Richard And Universal were looking for a “remix” album, but an album that made you feel like you were at the NAC in Ottawa or another concert hall and you were hearing Karen and Richard performing their hits, but with the RPO. In a way, the RPO album is a “Live” album —- just think of how in a “Live” concert everything is not going to sound just like the CD but you are able to pick out certain instruments.
But, Richard said in the past he doesn't even like live concert albums. :rolleyes:
Very rarely did he feature live recordings on compilations.
So, it comes across as another update or cleanup of their songs.
 

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
I know it's already achieved Silver status awhile back in the UK, it has to be getting close to Gold by now Simon? Still surprised that there has been no promotion or appearances by Richard in the US!

It must be, last nights rapid charting at #1 and on the Amazon best sellers must push it over the threshold for gold. We'll see !
 

GDB2LV

Active Member
I just checked Amazon for the RPO vinyl and they moved the release date to 6/21/19. That’s what most vendors are saying now. So frustrating.
 
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