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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: 23 35.4%
  • ⁕⁕⁕⁕

    Votes: 31 47.7%
  • ⁕⁕⁕ (Average)

    Votes: 9 13.8%
  • ⁕⁕

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • ⁕ (Worst)

    Votes: 1 1.5%
  • Did not listen to this album yet

    Votes: 1 1.5%

  • Total voters
    65

Chris Mills

Well-Known Member
The wind-chimes are present on the original and updated files on iTunes. There is distortion when Karen sings the word both, I can't hear this distortion on the Now & Then recording.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
Chris, I think we all need to be more precise in our language choices when speaking of Carpenters recordings. There have been so many mixes, remixes, remakes, augmentations and formats that a phrase like "original and updated files on iTunes" can be confusing.

"Original" as in the first HORIZON releases on LP, etc? "Original" as in first CD release of the RPO disc? "Original" as in the first digital files releases?

I had to go back and edit my post above when I realized that one needs to be very specific in order to not be confusing. :)
 

Chris Mills

Well-Known Member
The original or first generation download from iTunes did have the wind-chimes. The updated download or second generation download from iTunes also had the wind-chimes. The distortion I’m hearing comes just after the wind-chimes as Karen sings the lyric both.
 

Chris Mills

Well-Known Member
I haven’t wanted to post any observations that might be perceived as being negative, so I’ve refrained from pointing out the little things that bother me when listening to a handful of tracks. I nearly always listen to this album with headphones, it just increases the amazing technical qualities of this production, but it also flags up things that some listeners might perceive as not sounding quite right. (Choosing my words very carefully now!) One of the little things that sound odd for me is at the end of Baby It’s You and the final ooooh . It starts off clear and then disintegrates, sounding very strange, can’t tell if it’s distortion, incorrect overdubbing, could be something that’s always been there, but now emphasised with this new recording. It’s still my favourite track on the album.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I still think the best way to listen to the RPO album is through a Dolby Pro Logic II decoder. It definitely sounds like it was mixed with surround sound in mind to give that concert hall feeling.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
After listening to:
I Believe You, the RPO version,
I will concede, this version is my favorite in comparison to previous mixes.
For instance, the background harmony sounds better to my ears.
 

WYBIMLA

Well-Known Member
I still think the best way to listen to the RPO album is through a Dolby Pro Logic II decoder. It definitely sounds like it was mixed with surround sound in mind to give that concert hall feeling.
But, it isn't advertised as needing that, so why would your general consumer take the time (or money) to do that?
 

GDB2LV

Active Member
Because Dolby digital or DTS, my preferred setting, separates the vocals and music even better than just left/right stereo and immerses you in surround sound. The amp can do that even if it’s not recorded in dts or Dolby stereo surround or 5.1 It can take regular recordings and make them even more awesome. With all the overdubbing the Carpenters have done it’s amazing to hear the vocals especially coming out of 4,6,8,10 speakers at the same time but the background vocals are split between all the speakers. Hard to explain, but it’s the ultimate Carpenters high, without them there in person. Take your favorite Carpenters cd to a high end audio store and ask them to play it on a home theater system, very loud. You’ll be amazed.
 

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
I just heard this and thought it sounds very nice.

An orchestral version of "Those Good Old Dreams" ! Sing along to it and imagine how the lost TGOD RPO would sound...

 

WYBIMLA

Well-Known Member
One of the little things that sound odd for me is at the end of Baby It’s You and the final ooooh . It starts off clear and then disintegrates, sounding very strange, can’t tell if it’s distortion, incorrect overdubbing, could be something that’s always been there, but now emphasised with this new recording.
Very good ears! I think it's the inevitable hiss created from overdubbing. By adding so many tracks you increase room noise.
Since Baby it's you ends A capella you notice it more.

I thought studios back then would have been built so you wouldn't have that, but there's not much anyone can do.
If microphones are sensitive enough they'll 'hear' just about everything.

I didn't notice the distortion on "both afraid to say we're just to far away" in This Masquerade either. Not sure why that happened.
Could've been because of the amplification that we hear it more.

These details would probably make Richard respond by saying "sorry!" as he did when a fan complained about a creaking noise in the intro of Sandy.

Over the decades, he honestly did everything humanly possible to rid of noise, creaks, pops, cracks, thumps, distortions, etc.
Sometimes it's just part of music recording and some artists don't mind it at all.

Also, it goes to show how digital music can put everything under a microscope.
Analogue sounds more natural and flaws are easier to hide.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Very good ears! I think it's the inevitable hiss created from overdubbing. By adding so many tracks you increase room noise.
Since Baby it's you ends A capella you notice it more.

I thought studios back then would have been built so you wouldn't have that, but there's not much anyone can do.
If microphones are sensitive enough they'll 'hear' just about everything.

I didn't notice the distortion on "both afraid to say we're just to far away" in This Masquerade either. Not sure why that happened.
Could've been because of the amplification that we hear it more.

These details would probably make Richard respond by saying "sorry!" as he did when a fan complained about a creaking noise in the intro of Sandy.

Over the decades, he honestly did everything humanly possible to rid of noise, creaks, pops, cracks, thumps, distortions, etc.
Sometimes it's just part of music recording and some artists don't mind it at all.

Also, it goes to show how digital music can put everything under a microscope.
Analogue sounds more natural and flaws are easier to hide.
It could also be some tape hiss that was amplified. Sure they were probably using Dolby A in 1970 (which was only introduced in 1965, so did all of A&M’s studios have Dolby equipment in 1970?), but it wasn’t as good as Dolby SR (introduced in 1986) would’ve been had the vocal been recorded 16 years later.


. (Skip To about 7 minutes in to the relevant section.)
 

David A

Well-Known Member
After listening to:
I Believe You, the RPO version,
I will concede, this version is my favorite in comparison to previous mixes.
For instance, the background harmony sounds better to my ears.
Late reply here, but I agree 100% I wasn't a big fan of IBY before, but whatever Richard did for this one, it really resonates with me now, and has been added to my usual playlists.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
Is there a chance that the songs on the RPO album has a different lead vocal aside from I Believe You?

I tried to listen to the RPO version and to the original songs at the same time and the RPO has a slower phasing than the original ones. The original songs and or remix is faster compared to the RPO.
 

David A

Well-Known Member
Apologies if this is already covered.

Did Richard play any instruments on the added musical elements of the RPO album (including the musical segue's) , or were all instruments no matter the kind, performed by RPO musicians?
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Apologies if this is already covered.

Did Richard play any instruments on the added musical elements of the RPO album (including the musical segue's) , or were all instruments no matter the kind, performed by RPO musicians?
My ears hear re-recorded piano parts on some tracks.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
I just got done listening this morning. I was going to listen last night to an early release I had been sent, but I suddenly got so tired I had to sleep and be fresh when I finally was ready to hit play. It just felt right to wake up and put this on first thing in the morning. Please be kind in response to what I am about to write, and if you don't get it, it's OK. Just scroll on to the next one.

I was prepared to join the crowd and provide my "expert" analytical and critical analysis of these offerings but I just can't do it. Not only was I prepared to do it, but I was prepared to clamor to be "first." The way this made me feel eclipses any technical or musical "glitches" anyone has perceived. And pointing out the differences in orchestration in these new offerings compared to the originals will not score me any points where it truly matters. I hesitate to express a lot of my feelings as they pertain to Carpenters music because most people just don't understand and treat me like I am crazy. I am confident that here, however, I am among kindred spirits who would appreciate me saying what a few might be feeling along with me at this time. At least I hope.

How do I begin to describe what I have not only heard but seen? Something happened here. Richard was given one more peek, one more glimpse into that higher level that he was so blessed to have attained at such a young age, with the destiny to share a divine vision that is worthy to accompany such a divine voice. The best voice deserves the best accompaniment and the best accompaniment deserves the best voice. They were made for each other and put here to say something, not just to show something. All inspired work eventually has a conclusion, a final revelation designed to tie up the loose ends, sum up the great truths that we have been blessed to see, and finally let us know that everything is going to be OK. It's saying goodbye.

I guess that's the most difficult thing to acknowledge as I sit here, seeing the sky parted and the heavens opened one last time, feeling her here one last time for a little under 70 minutes. I get what Richard meant. I understand so much now. I feel not only his burden, but hers too. I've always felt hers, which has drawn me to her voice my entire life, but I see it clearly now and I am left shattered. Not necessarily in a bad way, I don't think. I honestly don't know in what way at this time, as that will take quite a bit of exploring to determine. A big part of that, no doubt, is a kneejerk reaction to being punched in the gut.

The universal truth, which many realize but few understand, is that great understanding comes through great pain. As much as it kills us to know what she (and he) went through to convey the message with which they were both burdened, to exercise those God-given gifts, it was necessary, otherwise it wouldn't be real. It would be superficial. All great artists suffer to create beautiful, divinely inspired things. It's the price one must pay to touch that higher plane of creativity, and one that many of us have. Richard said in that recent interview (to paraphrase) that the casual listener won't get this, but the fans will see what is happening. This was very much for fellow travelers, and most painfully of all, it is what I and a lot of other people here may not want to accept. Final.

There is one thing that I would urge everyone to do, who feel connected with this offering and are as moved by it as I am. Spread the word. The final thing truly inspired work leaves us with as the message floats back into the ether is the desire to not hide our light under a bushel. I won't be hiding mine anymore and I am hearing new music in my head for the first time in years. For those who don't have their own light, but have art like this as their light, I urge you to not hide this under a bushel either. Don't be ashamed of what you love, of how this makes you feel. I spent many years doing that, years that I lost being miserable and denying who I am.

Or maybe this is all just an emotional overreaction to this long anticipated release. I'll let you decide. :agree:
I was re-reading comments on this thread today, refreshing my memory. This post really is unforgettable. It is written so well. Maybe this fan should write a music book! Of a really long thread, this post really sums up the "heart" of this project.

Just like the singer, the author was with us for just a short amount of time, but look at the legacy he left us! :)
 

Malu Makana

Timeless Images
Thanks John for reposting leadmisters piece. I missed it. I've been trying to form up something similar, but unable to pull it from the haze.
Well done Leadmister. Already given away 10 copies of RPO. And yes, people think I'm crazy. But I'm not. Well maybe not.
My hope is eventually, they'll get it. (sigh)
 
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