• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline! The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy will be available on November 16, 2021 and can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is being released January 14, 2022, and is available for ordering here.

📣 News Carpenters: The Musical Legacy (Discussion)

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
I was just in our local Books-a-Million and rather surreptitiously relocated their display of the book from the back of the second table in from the entrance door to the front of the first table, including a double upright display in front of the 5 copies lying flat on the table - I don't think it's illegal to do this although it could be cause for an embarrassing public reprimand - but the guilty pleasure was worth it!
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
I was just in our local Books-a-Million and rather surreptitiously relocated their display of the book from the back of the second table in from the entrance door to the front of the first table, including a double upright display in front of the 5 copies lying flat on the table - I don't think it's illegal to do this although it could be cause for an embarrassing public reprimand - but the guilty pleasure was worth it!
Good job, John! Hahaha!
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
I must have misunderstood - I had the impression the recordings were not effected...only the tour schedules.

In either case, I maintain that much more should have been included about Karen's growth and development as a musical artist, since this is such a gigantic part of their Musical Legacy...but I guess we can debate this at length later when the discussion fully opens up.
To be honest with you, I could talk for HOURS about Karen's development as an artist.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I’m really surprised to read this…
Richard says he’s not happy with An Old Fashioned Christmas except for 2 tracks Home for the Holidays and Little Alter Boy. He says that if there was ever a new edition of Christmas Portrait these are the only 2 recordings he would include. So he would leave out the title track AOFC that’s my favorite off the album and what about Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and He Came Here for Me and I Heard the Bells.

Does this mean when he releases the upcoming new Christmas album (maybe next yr) that most of the tracks from An Old Fashioned Christmas will not appear?
I’m surprised, too. These are some of my favourite Christmas vocals.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I’m surprised, too. These are some of my favourite Christmas vocals.
Yes!!
The book sorta contradicts what Richard said earlier in the Talk shop Live broadcast. In the broadcast he says he found everything on An Old Fashioned Christmas Except for a few bars of the Overture medley but that he would re record it if they can’t find it. Then he says he will most likely have another go at the ballad version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town from AOFC (I’m sure he’s talking about re doing the instrumental part of the song but leaving Karen & Richard’s vocals intact? What about the sax solo IDK.

So what I mean is he says this but in the book he says only 2 songs from AOFC would be worthy of putting on the new Christmas album.

I’m really confused, does he plan on including everything from AOFC or only some of the tracks.

Am I the only one that caught this?
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I admit I haven't been able to delve into my book yet, but am referencing it for some videos I am uploading to YouTube right now (citations were provided!)

One fact I had no idea about was that "You're Enough" was among the last of Karen's vocals--I feel like it's common knowledge in the fan community that "Now" is the last song Karen recorded, but according to the book, "You're Enough" was recorded just two days before "Now."

Did anyone else know that? (Besides Chris)
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
@Chris May, I'm really a dweeb to be asking this, but... 1) thank you for putting out what kind of tape each song was recorded on, wow! and 2) if there is ever a part 2 to this project, could you divulge what IPS each song was recorded at? I can only guess that almost everything pre-Horizon was recorded at 15 IPS and everything post-Horizon was recorded at 30 IPS... is that fair to say?
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Because it's Christmastime...
Page 286 says that the rerecorded sax solo on "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" for "An Old Fashioned Christmas" was recorded on July 18, 1984. When was Richard's electric piano re-recorded? :o If I'm not mistaken, he played a piano piano on the 1974 single.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I laughed when I read that Richard described the "Honolulu International Center" (locally formerly known as H.I.C.) as "lousy acoustics." I've been to many concerts there. Since then, the venue has been renamed the Neal Blaisdell Center, and I bought an apartment unit that is literally a five minute walk from that venue. I believe my first concert ever was an Earth, Wind & Fire concert in the early 2000s at the Blaisdell Center, but I can't be too sure.

Unfortunately, while Honolulu used to get tons of high-profile artists, like the Carpenters, or Olivia Newton-John, or Journey, or the Police, and of course, Elvis Presley, whomever brings acts to Hawaii these days does a lousy job. We don't get top acts playing here like we used to.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
@Chris May, I'm really a dweeb to be asking this, but... 1) thank you for putting out what kind of tape each song was recorded on, wow! and 2) if there is ever a part 2 to this project, could you divulge what IPS each song was recorded at? I can only guess that almost everything pre-Horizon was recorded at 15 IPS and everything post-Horizon was recorded at 30 IPS... is that fair to say?
Most everything recorded on 16 track (pre Horizon), as well as the 24 track masters from around '74 on, were done at 30 inches per second, also utilizing the Dolby noise reduction technology when applicable. 15 IPS was utilized on the 2 track, 1/4" tapes during mixdown.
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
Doing the basic math on the peak position and the weeks on the Hot 100 and the Easy Listening/Adult Contempory Billboard charts for all of the Singles listed in the book (with the exception of Merry Christmas, Darling which has had too many releases to reasonably count) these stats were ascertained:

1. Singles listed on Hot 100 = 29 (from Ticket to Ride to Make Believe It's Your First Time)

2. Singles listed on EL/AC = 30 (from Ticket to Ride to If I Had You)

3. Average peak position on Hot 100 (all 29 Singles) = 27 (rounded)

4. Average peak position on Hot 100 (first 16 Singles released) = 11 (2 Singles: Ticket to Ride @54 and Bless the Beasts & Children @67) raised this average considerably - without them the average would have been 4)

5. The average peak position on EL/AC (all 30 Singles) = 6

6. Average peak position on EL/AC (first 16 Single releases) = 3

7 Average number of weeks on Hot 100 (all 29 Singles) = 11

8. Average number of weeks on EL/AC (all 30 Singles) = 13

9. Singles reaching No. 1 on Hot 100 = 3

10. Singles reaching No.1 on EL/AC = 15 (incl. 6 in a row from I Won't Last a Day Without You to I Need to Be in Love)

11. Singles reaching No. 2 on Hot 100 = 5

12. Singles reaching No. 2 on EL/AC = 3

13. Single reaching No. 1 on both Hot 100 & EL/AC = 1 (Please Mr. Postman)


From the above a very strong case could be (and probably has been) made for the importance of the Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary chart as the true indicator of the appeal and success of the Carpenters and the major reason for their immense record sales over the decades - and the chart they should have concentrated on during their recording/touring days.
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
As a sort of addendum to my post above concerning the Billboard charts, a few additional thoughts:

1. It's really difficult to believe, or accept, the fact that only one Single reached No.1 on both the Hot 100 & EL/AC charts, and that that one was Please Mr. Postman, when far better songs (musically speaking) such as We've Only Just Begun, Rainy Days and Mondays, Superstar and Yesterday Once More didn't (but did actually reach No.1 on the EL/AC chart) - and further, that the songs that kept them out of the No.1 position on the Hot 100 chart were not in their same class musically...all of which speaks volumes about the unreliability of that Hot 100 chart, and the need to have placed far less emphasis on it...

2. The EL/AC chart seems to have been much more reliable and reflective of the broad demographic that was buying Carpenter records over the years - the fact that 18 Singles reached either No.1 or No.2 (15 +3 =18 & 18 of 30 = 60%) is astounding - and these numbers probably would have been higher if other really good album cuts such as A Song For You, One More Time, You're the One, Where Do I Go From Here, Leave Yesterday Behind, A Place to Hide Away, One Love, If We Try, Desperado and others had been released as Singles...

One wonders how their career would have progressed or unfolded if they had stopped touring excessively , stayed in the studio most of the time making great records, and had either ignored the charts, or concentrated on the one that most closely reflected reality, the EL/AC chart..another "What if" that boggles the mind.
 
Last edited:

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
As a sort of addendum to my post above concerning the Billboard charts, a few additional thoughts:

1. It's really difficult to believe, or accept, the fact that only one Single reached No.1 on both the Hot 100 & EL/AC charts, and that that one was Please Mr. Postman, when far better songs (musically speaking) such as We've Only Just Begun, Rainy Days and Mondays, Superstar and Yesterday Once More didn't (but did actually reach No.1 on the EL/AC chart) - and further, that the songs that kept them out of the No.1 position on the Hot 100 chart were not in their same class musically...all of which speaks volumes about the unreliability of that Hot 100 chart, and the need to have placed far less emphasis on it...

2. The EL/AC chart seems to have been much more reliable and reflective of the broad demographic that was buying Carpenter records over the years - the fact that 18 Singles reached either No.1 or No.2 (15 +3 =18 & 18 of 30 = 60%) is astounding - and these numbers probably would have been higher if other really good album cuts such as A Song For You, One More Time, You're the One, Where Do I Go From Here, Leave Yesterday Behind, A Place to Hide Away, One Love, If We Try, Desperado and others had been released as Singles...

One wonders how their career would have progressed or unfolded if they had stopped touring excessively , stayed in the studio most of the time making great records, and had either ignored the charts, or concentrated on the one that most closely reflected reality, the EL/AC chart..another "What if" that boggles the mind.
Agreed, John. And all are convinced here that someone “had it against them” at Billboard at the time, as there’s no excuse as to why the number 2s never made it to number 1.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Speaking of charts and the difference between Cashbox and Billboard, ‘Merry Christmas, Darling’ peaked at No. 41 on Cashbox in 1970 but didn’t appear on the Billboard mainstream Top 100. I guess this means that, if Billboard had allowed Christmas singles on the Top 100, ‘Merry Christmas, Darling’ would have likely added another tally to Carpenters’ Top 40 total.

I also notice that ‘Merry Christmas, Darling’ reached Number 60 on the Rolling Stone Top 100 in 2019.

Speaking of the Hot 100, it’s quite a hot Christmas morning here and is forecast to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit later today.

I hope that everyone has a great Christmas!
 

Grainne

Well-Known Member
Hi all. I was lucky enough to receive two copies of The Musical Legacy, under the Christmas tree this year...
If there is anyone in Ireland ( or UK & Europe) who would like my spare copy please message me and I'll send it on free of charge.
 

[email protected]

Well-Known Member
I was amazed to find this fascinating book available to borrow from Hoopla, an online library service in which my local library has been participating. I wasn't sure I wanted to invest in it as I already have a couple of piles of books that I don't read anymore. I may still purchase it if I finish and decide it's going to be a reference of ongoing value.
 

byline

Well-Known Member
I just finished reading this beautiful book. Thank you to Chris May and Mike Lennox, and, of course, Richard, for giving us this wonderful Christmas gift! Some of my favorite photos made it in, which makes me happy!
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
Are we still using the SPOILER tags in this thread?

In rereading the book in Chapter 2 about the "Offering" album I'm struck again in the "Richard's Take" section in which he states that "Certainly other than 'Invocation', 'Benediction', 'Your Wonderful Parade' and 'Ticket [to Ride]' nothing else should be on the album".

What was he thinking? I still disagree emphatically with this. "Invocation" and "Benediction" are interesting, but not real songs at all, just short little exercises in multi-track harmony, and "Your Wonderful Parade" is just simple sophomoric social commentary without much musical value at all, and wouldn't have been all that exciting even if Karen had sung it.

What about "Don't Be Afraid", which could easily have been the first single, or "All of My Life", which could have been the second...

What about the beautiful "art song" "Someday" or Neil Young's "Clancy...", which is far superior musically and lyrically to "Parade...".

And then there's the sidebar on the chart climb of "Ticket...", which reached No.54 on the Hot 100 and No.19 on the Easy Listening charts.
It's my opinion that this outstanding recording could have gone much higher on both charts if (1.) they had released it as the 2nd or 3rd single from the album, and (2.) if the single version (but not the album version) had been edited to eliminate all of the instrumental intro except the last few piano figures right before Karen starts to sing, i.e., deleted the 1st 30 seconds - this intro is beautifully crafted and absolutely belongs with the album version, but is far too serious or "classical" in feel for most consumers of the pop radio sound of the day. This would have created a killer single short enough for radio of the day and may have been all that was needed for a much bigger hit.
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
OK, good - will we be able (or enabled) to go back now and remove those tags from our posts?
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Likely not, but if there is a particular post that you'd like to have "in the clear", just ask a moderator to fix it.
 
Top Bottom