• The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available. Use this link to order, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

Official Review Carpenters Royal Philharmonic Review and Comments Thread

How would you rate Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?

  • ⁕⁕⁕⁕⁕ (Best)

    Votes: 31 36.5%
  • ⁕⁕⁕⁕

    Votes: 37 43.5%
  • ⁕⁕⁕ (Average)

    Votes: 14 16.5%
  • ⁕⁕

    Votes: 1 1.2%
  • ⁕ (Worst)

    Votes: 1 1.2%
  • Did not listen to this album yet

    Votes: 1 1.2%

  • Total voters
    85

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Thanks Robert. Likewise, I’m not going to download something I already own.

The versions that were released to radio did differ from the CD versions. For instance, Yesterday Once More had an odd cold ending on the radio version which isn’t present on the CD. And, of course, Merry Christmas Darling had its ending intact on the radio version.
Radio probably received the single versions. Merry Christmas, Darling/Yesterday Once More were released as a digital-only single on November 1, 2018, with Ticket To Ride following on the 16th. The tracks had abrupt endings for the singles, or were edited in other ways to be singles.
 

CarpentersToYou

Somehow you brought the gambler out in me...
I am listening to the latest and I believe the last version of the album and I’ve got to say that I like the album before Richard tinkered with it too much. I feel like the older Interlude before I just fall in love again was much more contemplative and beautiful. Oh well, I can just play the Cd instead of posting for digital version
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I feel like the older Interlude before I just fall in love again was much more contemplative and beautiful.
I’m the same where that interlude is concerned. It’s pretty much then only track I listen to from this album but the re-recorded intro doesn’t have the same feel to it. There is such a thing as too perfect.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I’m the same where that interlude is concerned. It’s pretty much then only track I listen to from this album but the re-recorded intro doesn’t have the same feel to it. There is such a thing as too perfect.
I like both but prefer the new one. I just wish he would put some of the vocal layers back into the Top of the World chorus. I feel he fixed all the others. Much of all of them feel as if the instruments have been re-recorded and the first time around it felt as if the song’s shell was still using the original. I could be wrong but it feels like more than the drums are touched up, especially in the older songs. Even Merry Christmas Darling feels like it finally has a new orchestral feel that better matches Karen’s ‘newer’ lead. And it’s more than just flair added. I kinda like the piccolo in Goodbye to Love, but it’s just too loud above the rest. Tony’s guitar sounds original as does most of I Just Fall In Love Again. I just love that song from beginning to end!

I like most of how Richard applied the orchestra, but I would also like a version where the orchestra feels “live” with Karen’s voice added as if she were ‘live, kinda like the orchestra in the Bacharach songs of Music Music Music. I would think there are live recordings of Karen singing most of those songs that could have been used. Maybe it just was not possible to match it up.

Maybe that is another reason the Singles 1969-1973 is still popular: all the vocal stacks are present!
 

Alan71

Member
I bought this album when it first came out but have to admit, I haven’t listened to it all that much since. It’s a different way of hearing those songs, which is welcome, but doesn’t replace them.

However, my preferences are more for the versions done in Karen’s lifetime. Richard has done many remixes and tweaks since, many of which undoubtedly do make some songs sound better, but to me they’re not “true” Carpenters as they were done after Karen’s passing and she never heard them like that. That’s probably another reason I wanted the UK Yesterday Once More compilation - unlike the other collections of that name, there are no remixes or tweaks other than those done in 1973.

(And thanks again Harry for being the ultimate reference point on which versions are where and how they differ!)

Just my preference though. I enjoyed the RPO album as a diversion and nothing to specifically fault, but the originals win out.
 

John Adam

"Two Lives"
Carpenters With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Richard's vision of what the Carpenters music could sound like
in 2018 if he had his way......and he did!
My recent admission as to my #5 choice in the Top 10 Carpenters Albums thread. Top Ten Carpenters Albums- 2020 Edition

I've been comparing the two (USA) physical CD's, the regular issue and the Target Store bonus track version. It "seems" Richard toned down the reverb even more on the bonus track CD. Plus the regular issue is just mastered "louder." I am playing the comparisons through my Panasonic DVD/CD player via my Samsung flat screen hooked into a Samsung sound bar and woofer. I like the quality of the sound on the bonus track (Target) CD so much better. Play it on quality sound equipment, and give it another listen! It is filling the room with glorious sound and voice!

The RPO disc needs to be heard and enjoyed, even before Richard started "perfecting" it more in the (later) I-tunes updates. Being truthful, which I enjoy also. But today it's all about these two compact discs!
 

David A

Well-Known Member
Just a personal anecdote. Not changing my opinion (again) about this album, but...

After not listening to it for some time, I fired it up yesterday. I felt a...hmmm...warmth? A good feeling, listening to the segues (interludes, whatever the proper term is for those) between most songs, realizing that I was listening to and enjoying something musical that Richard put his heart and creative energy into, so many years after their heyday. While they are not new songs, they are musical creations from Richard and work incredibly well, in my view - as such, I'm glad we have them, and glad for Richard he had the opportunity to create them.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I've come to revisit this album.
I had not listened to this for a long time and realized that I never ripped my vinyl. It didn't help that I had a very bad experience with numerous purchases. In the end, Universal refunded my entire purchase price, I assume they knew something was wrong. So I ended up with 3 copies of the white vinyl. I still have them labeled with sticky notes, 1st set, 2nd set and 3rd set.

At the time of getting each set of white vinyl, I ended up writing extensive notes about each track, each interlude and what was good and bad about each. For instance, this track or interlude had 4 major loud pops or this one had surface noise on part of the song or this track had too many rough spots or this track was nice and quiet and so on. I'm no stranger to vinyl so I can take some imperfections in the quest that I can usually get rid of some stuff through audacity without removing quality. However this vinyl from Ume was much worst than I had ever experienced. So it ended up becoming a much more time consuming experience in my quest for a near perfect performance of this entire album on vinyl.

I literally had to jump around from the 1st set to the 2nd and to the 3rd in finding which one had the most listenable version of each interlude and track, then piece them back. It became a challenge with the interludes. I was lucky that I only had to split one of the interludes and piece it together with the next track from another set in order to get the best version. I ended up getting it to work perfectly with Audacity. However since I'm an amateur, it took me hours to accomplish the entire project.

So I'm happy to finally finish this project and have a very nice vinyl rip for my collection on the go. It worked out better than I had expected. Revisiting this collection has made me appreciate it more, this collection of work has allowed me to hear Karen's vocals in a whole new listening experience. It's something I will treasure more with time.

I've never had an album that I bought so many copies of in such a short period of time :laugh:
Digital Download
iTunes Download
Target CD
Japan CD
3 sets of the White vinyl
1 set of the Black vinyl

So now I'm ready for RPO II on vinyl :bangwall::laugh:
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I've come to revisit this album.
I had not listened to this for a long time and realized that I never ripped my vinyl. It didn't help that I had a very bad experience with numerous purchases. In the end, Universal refunded my entire purchase price, I assume they knew something was wrong. So I ended up with 3 copies of the white vinyl. I still have them labeled with sticky notes, 1st set, 2nd set and 3rd set.

At the time of getting each set of white vinyl, I ended up writing extensive notes about each track, each interlude and what was good and bad about each. For instance, this track or interlude had 4 major loud pops or this one had surface noise on part of the song or this track had too many rough spots or this track was nice and quiet and so on. I'm no stranger to vinyl so I can take some imperfections in the quest that I can usually get rid of some stuff through audacity without removing quality. However this vinyl from Ume was much worst than I had ever experienced. So it ended up becoming a much more time consuming experience in my quest for a near perfect performance of this entire album on vinyl.

I literally had to jump around from the 1st set to the 2nd and to the 3rd in finding which one had the most listenable version of each interlude and track, then piece them back. It became a challenge with the interludes. I was lucky that I only had to split one of the interludes and piece it together with the next track from another set in order to get the best version. I ended up getting it to work perfectly with Audacity. However since I'm an amateur, it took me hours to accomplish the entire project.

So I'm happy to finally finish this project and have a very nice vinyl rip for my collection on the go. It worked out better than I had expected. Revisiting this collection has made me appreciate it more, this collection of work has allowed me to hear Karen's vocals in a whole new listening experience. It's something I will treasure more with time.

I've never had an album that I bought so many copies of in such a short period of time :laugh:
Digital Download
iTunes Download
Target CD
Japan CD
3 sets of the White vinyl
1 set of the Black vinyl

So now I'm ready for RPO II on vinyl :bangwall::laugh:
Hopefully Universal will go with a different plant next time. I would expect the vinyl to sound like it did if I had bought it in a pawn shop or Value Village, but not from a brand-new pressing!
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
WIth all the pandemic hoopla going on, I kind of forgot about the Carpenters 50th and what might happen. We know nothing happened on the anniversary of their signing, but then there were rumors that there would be a celebration of their first breakthru song, which would have been 2020.... but then Covid came along and wrecked the whole year. I wonder if something WAS planned that got shelved, or if they were just going to let it pass.
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
Universal has had...issues. Their vinyl in the past has been so questionable that I tend to shy away from any of their product now. I've had some with perfectly quiet surfaces, but the mastering was terrible--all the life sucked out of the music, with a dull and uninvolving sound. Then I had some with great mastering, but the pressing quality was poor; my two copies of Dire Straits' On Every Street were pressed by the dubious GZ Vinyl in Europe, and there were actually visible scuffs on the vinyl, through mishandling. (Dire Straits are on Warner in the US, but Universal throughout the rest of the world.) And that's just one example. The Carpenters box set was no different from others I've come across. In fact, if I see that "Back to Black" sticker on a record, it goes right back into the bin.

Something like this, I'd download it from Qobuz in hi-res and be done with it.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Something like this, I'd download it from Qobuz in hi-res and be done with it.
Even with some of the imperfections of the vinyl, I still prefer hearing this on vinyl. It’s not as perfect as a digital copy but to me the vinyl emits more clarity and warmth. The vinyl I ripped after removing all the ticks and pops ended up sounding incredible and I’m hearing instruments with more clarity and adds more dimension to some of these tracks.

My newest favorite track is “We’ve Only Just Begun” I feel it makes the song complete and love the added spots of the orchestra.
 

no1kandrfan

Active Member
Even with some of the imperfections of the vinyl, I still prefer hearing this on vinyl. It’s not as perfect as a digital copy but to me the vinyl emits more clarity and warmth. The vinyl I ripped after removing all the ticks and pops ended up sounding incredible and I’m hearing instruments with more clarity and adds more dimension to some of these tracks.

My newest favorite track is “We’ve Only Just Begun” I feel it makes the song complete and love the added spots of the orchestra.
I agree with WOJB, but miss the tambourine.
 

scottb

Member
I am listening to the latest and I believe the last version of the album and I’ve got to say that I like the album before Richard tinkered with it too much. I feel like the older Interlude before I just fall in love again was much more contemplative and beautiful. Oh well, I can just play the Cd instead of posting for digital version
The last one I downloaded was from July of 2019. Has there been anymore tweaks done since then?
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Even with some of the imperfections of the vinyl, I still prefer hearing this on vinyl. It’s not as perfect as a digital copy but to me the vinyl emits more clarity and warmth. The vinyl I ripped after removing all the ticks and pops ended up sounding incredible and I’m hearing instruments with more clarity and adds more dimension to some of these tracks.

My newest favorite track is “We’ve Only Just Begun” I feel it makes the song complete and love the added spots of the orchestra.
I believe the project was recorded digitally and uses digital backups of the master tapes, doesn't it?

Ed
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Capitol Studios was completely renovated with state-of-art analogue and digital technology in 2014 but I’m fairly sure the project was recorded digitally because many of the analogue multi tracks no longer exist.
That’s what I thought. It’s digital through and through. Still sounds really good though; it just doesn’t actually benefit sonically from an analog end product.

Ed
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Capitol Studios was completely renovated with state-of-art analogue and digital technology in 2014 but I’m fairly sure the project was recorded digitally because many of the analogue multi tracks no longer exist.
Wouldn’t matter if the analog multi-tracks no longer existed. If Richard wanted to record in analog they could’ve had the digital multi-tracks copied to analog tape.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Wouldn’t matter if the analog multi-tracks no longer existed. If Richard wanted to record in analog they could’ve had the digital multi-tracks copied to analog tape.
But what would the benefit of that have been? He used digital technology to remove some of the ambiance and background noises that were there in the first place, so to transfer everything back to analogue again would seem a pointless exercise to me.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
so to transfer everything back to analogue again would seem a pointless exercise to me.
Not the same thing, but I kind of feel that way about buying new vinyl of old stuff. If I already own the old true analog vinyl, why would I be interested in digital tracks being put onto new vinyl? I know that there are many examples of real analog tracks being mastered to new vinyl, but I still get a "been there, done that" feeling.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
But what would the benefit of that have been? He used digital technology to remove some of the ambiance and background noises that were there in the first place, so to transfer everything back to analogue again would seem a pointless exercise to me.
As some people will point out, analog might have added a "warmth" to the sound that was missing from the digital. I remember when I was in college, on a number of assignments we were suppose to shoot on S-VHS, edit on S-VHS and master to S-VHS. However, a number of kids would cheat, and instead of editing on S-VHS, they would digitize the footage, and edit it on their computers and then export it back to S-VHS, thus preserving the quality of the video, rather than dropping down a generation. One of the teachers didn't realize it, however the other teachers and even the techies knew it, since the firewire ports on the JVC S-VHS/Mini-DV decks that the school had were always failing.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
As some people will point out, analog might have added a "warmth" to the sound that was missing from the digital.
It’s interesting that ABBA experienced problems with this when they acquired a new digital tape recorder at their Polar Music Studios in 1981:

In the spring the Polar studio had acquired a new 32-track digital tape recorder, replacing the 24-track analogue tape machine that Abba had used for the past five years. For [sound engineer] Michael Tretow, who felt that he was finally in total control of the studio when Super Trouper was recorded, adjusting to digital recording was almost like beginning everything all over again. The digital tape recorder had a tendency to cut off all sounds very sharply, leaving little in the way of lingering notes or delay. This gave the recordings a very dry and cold sound, so Michael worked on ways to outsmart the digital “perfection”.”

(From “Bright Lights, Dark Shadows: The Real Story of ABBA”).

To further complicate matters, by that point three tracks for 1981’s The Visitors (When All Is Said And Done, Slipping Through My Fingers and Two For The Price Of One) had already been recorded using analogue tape, meaning Michael Tretow had to transfer all subsequent tracks from digital to analogue and back again to avoid a difference in quality.

This isn’t quite the same as the scenario described above - transferring digital multitracks to analogue - because those Carpenters digital multitracks were originally analogue anyway.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom