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Favorite Carpenters 'era' ?

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Simon KC1950, Apr 14, 2017.

Which is your favourite 'era' of Carpenters?

  1. 1965-1969

    6 vote(s)
  2. 1970-1971

    13 vote(s)
  3. 1972-1973

    10 vote(s)
  4. 1974-1975

    16 vote(s)
  5. 1976-1978

    7 vote(s)
  6. 1979-1983

    2 vote(s)
  7. 1984-present day

    3 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Simon KC1950

    Simon KC1950 Active Member Thread Starter

    The Carpenters did so much during their career. So I thought this would be interesting, what's your favorite years of the Carpenters career and why? I know it's a hard decision so I have given you all a maximum of 3 votes.

    Base your decision on the following:
    recordings, singles, albums, tv appearances, their look and other important events/releases during each set of years. Below are some examples.

    -home recordings, demos, minor record labels, "Looking For Love",
    Contract with A&M, first Album and single.

    Carpenters break through, 6 Huge Singles, 2 Albums, Grammy Awards, Make Your Own Kind Of Music,

    Handful of huge hits and 2 albums.
    multiple TV appearances

    more hit albums and singles, live in Japan album and taped concert.

    'A Kind Of Hush', 'Passage' and 'Christmas Portrait', Television Specials, Live in London album and taped concert

    Made In America, Solo recordings, Voice Of The Heart, Tv specials

    1984-present day:
    3 new Studio albums, numerous preciously unreleased songs, dozens of box sets, compilation albums and documentaries. DVD releases and Richards Solo albums.
    whatever the future holds ...
    Carpe diem, Jamesj75 and Don Malcolm like this.
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    A hotch potch for me. I loved their 72-73 success and constants run of hits, how gorgeous Karen looked in 74-75, but I'm pretty fascinated by their later years and all the family and career dynamics that were going on...the decline in their success, the aborted solo album, MIA, the lead up to Karen's passing and the aftermath.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  3. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    That's pretty easy for me....the first-five-albums era. After Now and Then I was still a fan, but my enthusiasm for what they were doing dropped fast because they stopped having fun with it, and their work reflected it... you could just feel it. There were still some fine singles from the later days, but the magic was slipping fast. This is just me, of course.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  4. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Hard choice! I chose 72-73 but it was close. I like 70-71 as well. I believe the duo in 72-73 were at their peak. I really enjoy downloading their 72 Australia and Japan concerts as Karen still looks incredible and sounds so good. This was the era when A Song For You and Now & Then were released and they were still dominating the charts. Being the fact that they were still so young, it never seemed like it was ever going to end; and the amount of quality material they were producing could go on till the end of the decade and beyond. It was before Karen's illness became evident and she was vibrant and healthy. Personally, I was in high school during this time frame and you have that "youthful optimism" and you start developing socially where your friends are very important. The music of the time becomes the background of your life when you are young. Good times as I remember! I leaned a lot towards 70-71 mainly for their "breakthrough" album and that 1971 BBC TV special where I believe they became international stars. Karen's live performance of For All We Know on said special is not-of-this world. Pure perfection.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  5. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    I went with these ones, often times because they go with my favorite albums:

    1965-1969 - Ticket to Ride, and I love the uniqueness of the early recordings.

    1974-1975 - Horizon, plus one of the best times in terms of fame, sound, and appearance of both Karen and Richard.

    1976-1978 - Christmas Portrait!
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  6. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    Kind of a mixed bag for me. I went for the 65-69 era, the 76-78 and the 84-present. "Looking For Love" and "The Parting Of Our Ways", along with "California Dreaming are some of my favorites from that era, while "All You Get From Love Is A Love Song", "Two Sides", "Sailing On The Tide" are favorites along with "Christmas Portrait". From the 84-present some of the stand outs have been Richard's "Time" album (unfortunately his second album doesn't even rank!), Karen's solo album, "Christmas Portrait Special Edition", "An Old-Fashioned Christmas", both the album and the song, "The Uninvited Guest", and the "Christmas Memories DVD"! Now if we can only get both Christmas specials in their entirety on DVD!
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  7. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    although the hectic pace of 74/75 could have been a contributor to lapse in their health, it is also my favorite era. both Richard and Karen looked their best, leaving behind the prom clothes of so many pictures. the release of Horizon, in my opinion, raised the bar for that era. just as Richard had introduced the power ballad with GOODBYE TO LOVE, the recording of I CAN DREAM CAN'T I opened the door for countless "standards albums" to be released.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  8. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    Simon, this is an interesting and fun exercise! When I first looked over your years, I didn't see 1975-1976 as such, as those 2 years mark my absolute favorite era. But then I noticed that you allowed us to select up to 3 choices: problem solved. And it even stretches out to 1978!

    I thus pick this era (1974-1978), as my top 3 albums were released then: Horizon, A Kind of Hush, Passage. It includes my favorite Carpenters' song of all time, "Solitaire," as well as other favorite singles ("Only Yesterday," "There's a Kind of Hush," "I Need to Be in Love," "All You Get From Love Is a Love Song") and favorite album cuts ("I Can Dream Can't I," "Happy," "You," "I Have You," "Two Sides"). Of course, I don't mean to downplay the first half of the 1970s, as those years provided wonderful songs and stronger sales. My personal preference, though, is for the mid-70s.
    GaryAlan and Simon KC1950 like this.
  9. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Early Carpenters for me. My favorite Carpenters' album is their self-titled "Tan Album"- followed closely by Ticket to Ride and Close to You. Besides the hits, I really like the album cuts on these albums! Ticket has the favorite "Don't Be Afraid" and the ambitious "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing". Their second record has "Maybe it's You" and "Mr. Guder" (and the extended version of the title song!! :D).
    gets me from the hit-single-trio ("Rainy Days", "Superstar", "For All We Know") all the way to the delightful "Saturday", elegant "One Love" and "Hideaway" and fun "Druscilla Penny". I'm an outlier on "Druscilla" for sure but that song interests me- I'm a sucker for the harpsichord!
    A Song For You and Now and Then are also in there. Thinking of "Road Ode"... "Crystal Lullaby"... the oldies medley.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  10. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    James pretty much echoes my sentiments.
    What I find interesting is that although the Hit Singles (hitting the charts Top 5,say)
    pretty much ended with Only Yesterday (my own absolute favorite),
    the Albums for me are the determining factor in my decision.
    As much as I love the albums Close To You and A Song For You,
    I find Horizon, Passage and Christmas Portrait to be my real favorites.
    I love Jim Gordon's drumming and Karen's vocals on Horizon. That mesmerizing inner-photo !
    I love the variety of Passage (Especially: Two Sides,Smile,Occupants) The Colorful Cover !
    I love the entire original Christmas Portrait Album.

    And, listening to, say,
    Trying To Get The Feeling Again,You're The One, Where Do I Go From Here, Little Altar Boy,
    and those 1978 radio jingles (Karen's drumming on those),

    I would go for 1975 to 1978.

    You realize, I am unable to choose !

    I just finished listening (!) to
    (I am re-listening to each album, chronologically, today).
    And, I love it !
    I have a sneaky suspicion I am going to fall in love with these albums all over again.

    Jamesj75, Carpe diem and Simon KC1950 like this.
  11. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    I think you have discovered the true objective of this board :D
    David A, Jamesj75, K.C. Jr and 2 others like this.
  12. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    I just realize I get 3 votes?! So as previously mentioned 72-73, 70-71, AND 65-69

    I will be brief: I also select 65-69 because it was before they were famous and they were "hungry". But they never took their "eyes off the prize". They were "rough around the edges" during this era, especially Karen, she had that whole headband, go-go boots, banging the sh** out of the drums, Joan Jett bad ass swagger going on at the time...Interesting thread Simon, it's been a lot of fun!
    theninjarabbit and Simon KC1950 like this.
  13. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    Fun exercise, thanks. Not sure what I would have done with only one choice. Karen's voice was in top form during the 74-75 era, and despite the health issues she looked great, so that was easy. The best singles came in the 70-71 phase, so that too was an easy one. Third choice was 76-78, and that wasn't so easy. I think Karen still sounded great. Passage and Christmas Portrait, both terrific albums, fall here as well. So, OK. What makes it tough are Hush, Weintraub, Ken & Mitzi (the stage show) and the TV specials. Aargh.
    GaryAlan and Simon KC1950 like this.
  14. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I like it all. As long as Karen is singing, I enjoy listening.
    Simon KC1950 and theninjarabbit like this.
  15. AM Matt

    AM Matt Well-Known Member

    The 1970 - 1971 era when I was 5 or 6 years old. Yep, I watched "Make Your Own Kind Of Music" on NBC when I was 6 years old at the time & when my late mom bought the "Tan" album. Matt Clark Sanford, MI
    Simon KC1950 and Jamesj75 like this.
  16. Kind of cheating, but I picked 1984, onward, because of all the ridiculously amazing releases and re-releases in that timeframe (that span all eras and uncovered much buried treasure).
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I must admit, listening to the Lovelines album,
    I love many of the songs from the 1977-1980 period....
    1980: Uninvited Guest and Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night
    (I love both of these songs--both excellent arrangements !)
    1977: You're The One
    (Fantastic song,fantastic vocal !)
    1978: Where Do I Go From Here and Honolulu City Lights
    (I love these two songs !)
    Four from Karen's solo album
    (love them all !)
    Little Girl Blue and When I Fall In Love
    (lovely renditions)
    Oh well, Slow Dance....nice vocals, but not a favorite....
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  18. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I'm with you there, this album has probably grown to be my favourite of them all. I listen to these songs individually and on compilations etc much more than I do the tracks from their earlier years.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Another aspects of these era's:
    Karen on drums.....
    1970/1 Morton Potato Chip Jingle
    1973 Yesterday Once More
    1973 Sing
    1973 This Masquerade
    1974 Chocolate Commercial ('from the heart...")
    1974 Please Mr. postman
    1975 Good Friends Are For Keeps
    1977 Suntory Pop Jingles 1&2
    1977 (date ?) KFRC Radio Jingle
    1980 Medley Music,Music,Music (closing).

    I like to listen to these songs in order to ascertain
    how Karen evolved as a drummer....especially when compared to
    her drumming on the entire
    Offering album.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Her drumming work on the 1980 TV special was amazing, very sophisticated with some complicated cross arm techniques on I Got Rhythm.
  21. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    My favorite year was 1973. My first album purchase, (Now & Then), my first single purchase, (Sing), and a summer of listening to that lp until the grooves practically wore out. I started playing drums that summer, inspired by Karen, and my one and only Carpenters concert was November 17, 1973.

    Yet I chose 1974-5 in honor of Postman (number 1 tune) and Horizon, (favorite album). IF you had chosen 1973-5 - that would have clinched it for me 150%! With an enormous honorable mention for the 1978, Christmas Portrait release.
  22. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Barry, nice to read your mini-biographical post !
    That concert must have been awesome !
    I realized that I had never purchased a Carpenters' Single until very late (as in internet era),
    so, basically I listened to albums as I purchased them...
    first purchase--Passage, although first listen was Horizon followed by A Kind of Hush.
    The 1974-1975 era is awesome for many a reason:
    Postman (brilliant),Only Yesterday(#1 fav),Solitaire (awesome), Trying To Get The Feeling....
    Not to forget,
    the Como Christmas Special.....
    or, LP Live In Japan......
    BarryT60 and Simon KC1950 like this.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Speaking of "eras,"
    as much as I love the "later" period for Karen's vocals,
    I equally love the "earlier" period for Karen's drumming.
    In particular her drumming on the songs from
    Offering , and--as I only realized today--
    those songs from the Radio Program
    Your Navy Presents.
    And, too her drumming on the "Then" half of LP
    Now & Then
    along with her equally compelling vocals !
    So, good grief, this lady surely had it all in my eyes.....
    BarryT60, Guitarmutt, David A and 2 others like this.
  24. David A

    David A Active Member

    I enjoy most of the C's music in each "era", but have to go with the 1970-1973 periods simply because those were the most connected to my growing up and experiencing my first puppy love.

    In particular, my first serious puppy love was right when I was [forcibly heh) moved from PA to AZ when I had just turned 15. She's that one many of us had in our life where you wonder "what if". After the move, we would talk on the phone (parents furious at the long distance bills) and play Carpenters songs while talking, because we connected to each other through their early songs, which we both loved and often played and sang together. Usually something from the 1970-73 period. We stayed in touch all the way through college and often talked about the what-if.

    Anyway, she fell in love and went on to marry a good friend of mine who lived back in PA, and so of course we moved on. But the early C's songs connect me to my youth and that formative time, in a pleasant, nostalgic way.

    The 3rd period I went with was '76-'78, the Christmas songs.
    BarryT60, Simon KC1950 and Jamesj75 like this.
  25. Outputwise I have to go with 74-75. The Singles (with its refinements to some tracks) and Horizon represent their most polished work. Nostalgiawise I go with 76-78, when I was finally getting enough pocket money to start buying their albums!
    Simon KC1950 and Jamesj75 like this.

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