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Christmas Portrait: Special Edition (1984)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by tomswift2002, Dec 14, 2015.

How Would You Rate This Album

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  1. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I'm sure Universal will still be pumping out Carpenters compilations in 2106 :laugh:
    theninjarabbit likes this.
  2. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member Thread Starter

    I usually find that ITunes is more expensive than buying the actual CD. I've seen copies of the 69-73 album in Walmart for $5 (before tax), whereas on ITunes (and I just checked) the album in going for $7.99, with the average single track price being $1.29.
  3. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I probably mentioned this in another thread here on this release, but I probably played mine only a couple of times since I felt it completely upended the perfect sequencing of the original Christmas Portrait album. And that new overture...that really spoiled it for me.

    As an experiment, I made up my own "special edition" by using the original album configuration, then inserted the remaining KC tracks (there aren't many...Old Fash was high on filler content and padding) and maybe one of Richard's instrumentals into the running order, clustered together in a couple of spots in the original album (I think it was somewhere in the original LP's side two). Works perfectly. Why A&M didn't do this originally, I don't know. It dumps so much of the filler.
    CraigGA and GaryAlan like this.
  4. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member Thread Starter

    I was just listening to this CD in the car over the past two days, and I must say, to me it sounds more complete than the original "Christmas Portrait". I can see why the 1974 "Santa Claus" or the 1984 "Do You Hear" singles or "I Heard The Bells" were not included, as those three songs are really slow festive songs, and even in this expanded edition, would not have worked properly like "Home For The Holidays".

    Plus Richard's voice on "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" sounds more brighter and more festive than his voice on "O Come, O Come Immannuel". It could also just be that Immanuel was written in a lower key, whereas Midnight is in a higher key, but I think Midnight just gives a more festive opening.
  5. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I love the opening and it's far better than the one on the original 1978 album, my issue with it is that we have to wait around 13 minutes before Karen sings a note. If the opening instrumental medley had been limited to around 4 minutes, it would have made that side of the album a lot more palatable.
  6. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member Thread Starter

    Do we know for sure that there are no Karen vocals in the Overture? When comparing the two Overtures it's odd that if Richard was going for a duplicate style that he put vocals into the OFC Overture when the CP overture was just instrumental. And I always thought that I could hear some Karen mixed into the choir, almost like she had recorded snippets for an Overture that was dropped from CP or just snippets from other Christmas projects.
  7. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Karen's not featured anywhere in the overture on An Old Fashioned Christmas. We know that because a) Richard has confirmed that there were seven songs Karen sang on, which are all represented elsewhere in the tracklist and b) Karen never performed as part of the choir on any of their studio albums. I think the reason for the added vocalists was to make up for the fact she was nowhere to be heard for the first quarter of an hour of side 1 :laugh:
  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

  9. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member Thread Starter

    As to your part B we know that when Richard wants to, he is able to blend Karen's voice into a choir, as he did on "Sandy" for his solo album. Also her voice has been blended into other mixes quite well, as on the Perry Como special when she was singing "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas". And even earlier she was part of the choir on those couple of Jesse James tracks. Plus, isn't she apart of the vocals on "Silver Bells" or is that all choral?
  10. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Jesse James tracks?
  11. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Wow- interesting!
  12. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member Thread Starter

    So we were putting up the tree last night and I had this CD playing. Really brought back the Christmas Memories.
  13. This RollingStone rock list baffles; it ranks the “25 greatest Christmas albums,” with Carpenters coming-in at 16, but not with Christmas Portrait (1978), nor with CP Special Edition (1984), but with Christmas Collection (1998), except they list it as released in 1984.

    A quote from the RS blurb: "It's almost like Christmas was invented for Karen Carpenter to sing about; her milk-bath vocals fit "Sleigh Ride" and "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" like a reindeer sweater. Richard's soft-rock production and gloppy orchestral arrangements aren't bad either – a kind of warmed-over, sunken-den-Seventies version of Forties merriment.”

    The 25 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time

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