• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy 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 available for ordering here.

Carpenters tune in the new Minions movie

Mike Blakesley

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Sometimes Carpenters songs turn up in the oddest places. Their version of "Goodbye to Love" crops up about 35 minutes into the new movie "Minions: The Rise of Gru". It seems odd to have this wild crazy kids flick with all these goofy gibberish-talking characters and all this mayhem going on, and then all of a sudden: "I'll say goodbye to love......"

You hear a pretty good amount of the song, too. I'm not sure what's going on in the movie when it comes up, since I haven't watched it yet... have just heard it from my office.
 

Portlander

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I wonder if Richard was approached about using the Carpenters version in the movie. At least Richard and John will receive some monetary gain from the use of their song, correct?
 

Harry

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OK, so which is it? Phoebe Bridgers or Carpenters in the actual movie?
 

Mike Blakesley

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OK well that's news to me -- it sure is a dead ringer for the Carpenters version, at least when heard with one ear out my office door. I'll give it another listen tonight.
 

Portlander

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Looks like most of the recognizable songs are performed by artists other than the original so I'm guessing it was budget related which is disappointing.
 

tomswift2002

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Looks like most of the recognizable songs are performed by artists other than the original so I'm guessing it was budget related which is disappointing.
Or the Carpenters version was only licensed for the theatrical release and Phoebe Bridges’s version was used for the CD and home video/ streaming/broadcast.
versions.

A similar thing happened about a decade ago when Marvel’s The Wolverine was released and the theatrical version contained the Carpenters version of Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft but all the home video/streaming/broadcast versions contain a recording by a different artist.
 

Mike Blakesley

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OK I'm here to settle the mystery. I just listened to the movie itself, and the Carpenters version IS the version that you hear in the movie. (I'm not sure if the cover version mentioned above is heard elsewhere in the movie or not, at this point.) You hear the the whole first verse and all the way up to the line "something I could live for." I knew I wouldn't have mis-recognized that voice! There is a certain amount of echo and other sound effects going on at the time the music plays, so I can't be sure what mix it is, but I think it might be the RPO version.

There is a long history of soundtrack albums containing songs that aren't in the movie. It started when soundtracks started selling in the mega-millions. The studios saw a good thing and would pad-out a soundtrack with "related" or "inspired by" songs to go along with the few hits in the movie.

The other side of the coin is a movie that has 30 or 40 songs in it but only a dozen are on the soundtrack album. That probably happens more, actually.

I'm a little surprised they even still make "soundtrack albums" these days.
 

Mike Blakesley

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Looks like most of the recognizable songs are performed by artists other than the original so I'm guessing it was budget related which is disappointing.

Listening to the movie tonight, it appears that most of the "oldies" in the film are the original versions and the soundtrack versions don't appear in the film, which means that the soundtrack album is basically consumer fraud, considering it says "original motion picture soundtrack" right on it. That's NOT what it is, at all.

Besides "Goodbye to Love"...
- "You're No Good" is the Linda Ronstadt version
- "Born to be Alive" is the Patrick Hernandez version
- "Funkytown" is the Lipps Inc. version

I didn't hear some of the others, but maybe I'll pick up on them as the movie plays on -- we have it for another 8 days after tonight.

At least Richard and John will receive some monetary gain from the use of their song, correct?

Undoubtedly, yes.
 

John Tkacik

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Listening to the movie tonight, it appears that most of the "oldies" in the film are the original versions and the soundtrack versions don't appear in the film, which means that the soundtrack album is basically consumer fraud, considering it says "original motion picture soundtrack" right on it. That's NOT what it is, at all.

Besides "Goodbye to Love"...
- "You're No Good" is the Linda Ronstadt version
- "Born to be Alive" is the Patrick Hernandez version
- "Funkytown" is the Lipps Inc. version

I didn't hear some of the others, but maybe I'll pick up on them as the movie plays on -- we have it for another 8 days after tonight.



Undoubtedly, yes.
Mike, the next time that you watch the movie, can you let us know if the song is mentioned in the ending credits and who they say is performing it?
 

Mike Blakesley

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Here is a picture from our screen. I don't know why the "powers that be" can't get it through their heads that it's "Carpenters," not "The Carpenters." But whatever, at least they're in the movie!

screengrab.JPG

In other news, I'll have to stand corrected, myself -- some of the "covers" of the popular songs do indeed appear in the movie. "You're No Good" plays in both versions (Linda R.'s version is in the movie proper, the other version is over the end credits) and "Born to Be Alive" is a soundalike of the Patrick Hernandez version, but it's the cover that's in the movie.
 

Mike Blakesley

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You have to pick your battles and that's probably not one worth waging, in the big picture.
 

Another Son

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Good to hear that ‘Goodbye to Love’ appears in the movie.

Allowing this sort of use can introduce a song or an artist to a whole new legion of fans.

With ‘Goodbye to Love’, Richard and John Bettis demonstrated that they could write a song as strong and as special as the very best of Carpenters’ repertoire. And Karen proved again that she could nail the most difficult of melodies and invest her performance with great emotion and warmth.

Another current event proving the power of a popular movie or TV show in bringing a new lease on life to an old song is the case of Kate Bush, with ‘Running Up That Hill’.

Kate Bush wrote, arranged and produced the song, as well as playing various keyboards, and it was originally released in 1985.

Kate Bush licensed it to appear this year in the smash Netflix show, ‘Stranger Things’ and the song was screened a couple of months ago. Since then, Kate Bush’s video for ‘Running Up That Hill’ is receiving one million views on YouTube every two days. It’s been the Number One watched music video in the world on YouTube for at least the last couple of weeks. In the last month, it has reached Number One in eight countries around the world, including the United Kingdom for three consecutive weeks and Ireland for five weeks. It has also reached the Top 5 in the USA on the Billboard Hot 100.

Kate Bush began recording with EMI Records, UK, at the age of 16, recording all self-penned songs in the earlier part of her career. Her first entry on the Billboard Hot 100, ‘The Man with the Child in His Eyes’, was partly written when she was 13, then recorded live at 16 with the London Symphony Orchestra. This live version was finally released and charted when she was 19.

Kate Bush has been an astute business-person since her teens. As a teenager, she formed her own music publishing company, her own management company and also took control over the visual images that would appear of her. She began producing all of her recordings in her early 20s and has recorded almost entirely her own material, down through the decades. She now also has her own label, Fish People.

Licensing ‘Running Up That Hill’ to ‘Stranger Things’ is her latest savvy move. I read that she is making one million US dollars in royalties either a month or every two weeks from the song at the moment. (I can’t remember which).

K & R also demonstrated this strong type of talent, as teenagers - maybe not as song writers, but in their own fields. Unfortunately, they didn’t have such strong control over their careers early on, even though Richard arguably produced their recordings, right from the beginning. However, Richard now firmly controls Carpenters product, licensing it when and for what he believes is best. This is another thing that he is to be commended for.

Wishing ‘Goodbye to Love’ great success.
 
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