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Favorite lead and/or background vocal by Richard?

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Without A Song, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. Without A Song

    Without A Song New Member Thread Starter

    Since my first post about unreleased songs with Richard on lead vocal drew such a strong response. I thought I'd ask a related question. What is your favorite lead and/or background vocal by Richard?

    For me, I'd have to say my favorite lead vocal by Richard is "Without A Song." I absolutely love hearing him and Karen trade lines on this track!

    My favorite background vocal by Richard is from "Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore." Like all great background vocals, Richard's on this tune don't just echo or preface Karen's words, they provide an additional emotional wallop to the lyrics: "Give it up!"
  2. His best, and only truly great, lead is "I Kept on Loving You" - he conveys a feeling of hope and longing in the words without weighing down the lightness of the song. I actually wish it was longer. It's single material but I can't imagine A&M would release one with Richard on lead, people would have wondered who the hell was singing.
  3. Portlander

    Portlander Active Member

    No contest, "I Kept on Loving You" with "Saturday" a distant second.
  4. "I Kept On Loving You" and "When Time Was All We Had".
  5. Without A Song

    Without A Song New Member Thread Starter

    I thought "When Time Was All We Had" was a great lead vocal by Richard as well, Harry. It's tied with "Something in Your Eyes" as my favorite song on Time.
  6. arthowson

    arthowson Active Member

    Calling Your Name Again… "remembering aaaaallllll the love you gave to me."
  7. I absolutely love that trumpet(?) solo played by Herb, I think. So wistful and atmospheric. Richard does a good job with the barber shop quartet vocals, but that solo is the best thing about the track.
  8. Herb Alpert did not play trumpet on any Carpenters recordings. (He played "shaker" on their first album.) The trumpet was played by Chuck Findley, mimicking Herb's style at times.

    Ah, just re-read your post, you were referring to "When Time Was All We Had" - and yes, THAT was Herb Alpert on flugelhorn.
    Geographer and Jarred like this.
  9. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    I Kept On Loving You would be my vote for the best Richard lead. I think he did a good job on The Night Has A Thousand Eyes on the oldies medley on N&T. Backing: Crystal Lullaby.
  10. Okay, yes, I knew it had a trumpet-ish sound but wasn't one and that Herb had played something on it. They should have used it on Carpenters recordings, the oboes needed a break now and then.
  11. Without A Song

    Without A Song New Member Thread Starter

    Richard also sounded great on his part of the Carpenters/Perry Como medley. I think he and Karen out-Comoed Perry on his songs. "Crystal Lullaby" is another fine backing vocal. I almost picked it as my favorite one.
  12. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I really wish he had done studio versions of “Daddy’s Home” and “Book Of Love” since the are really good on LIJ.

    Also “Night Has A Thousand Eyes”, “Get Together”, “Do You Hear What I Hear”, “Say Yeah”, “Who Do You Love”, “Your Just In Love” and “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” are some favourites.
  13. Actorman

    Actorman Active Member

    As far as tracks released on their regular albums, I agree that "I Kept On Loving You" was the best of the Richard lead tunes. However, I think Richard's best vocal overall was on "You're Just In Love" from "As Time Goes By."
  14. It's too lispy and dry for me. It sounds like he's in desperate need of liquid in his mouth. Also, how the hell did he not realize that he's literally singing a love song to his sister? Should have just stuck with Davidson.
  15. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    Always thought Richard's best vocals were on the N&T oldies medley. Still...in a way...asking "what's Richards's best lead?" is kind of like asking "What's the best song Karen wrote?" or "What's your favorite Karen Carpenter arrangement?" They had different talents and didn't need to step into the other's shoes, nor should they have. Karen was the incomparable vocalist. Richard was, at best, OK on select tracks. But he didn't need to be the lead singer. And Karen didn't need to write/arrange when Richard had that nailed.
  16. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    While I do agree it is a love song, I think that the way Richard sings it makes it sound like it's an older brother giving his younger sister advice on her first love, while at the same time he remembers his first love.
  17. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Every word of this. Richard could, at times, have a pleasant voice but it was never really a lead instrument. His best lead, I think, is "I Kept on Lovin' You'. He sounded invested in the lyric at least. Still, he had Karen Carpenter to work with. I'm honestly not sure what he was thinking by taking leads on anything. She should have done all the leads every single time.

    Carpe diem and GaryAlan like this.
  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Too judge by most reactions to the Bettis/Carpenter composition
    Because We Are In Love,
    Richard even lost his way in terms of composition !
    However, I do like that song--the arrangement is the real issue there !

    But, imagine if Richard had sang a variant of that song at his own wedding.
  19. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    It is painfully true that Richard didn't possess a "lead" voice. He would've never been successful as a single act singing songs as a lead. But, when he harmonized with Karen it was really something special. Their harmonies were just as good if not better than anything the Beach Boys, Beatles, or any of the "Doo-Wop groups of the 50s ever came up with IMHO. I could listen to him harmonizing with Karen all day long and never get tired of it.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation and Jarred like this.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Fan Club Newsletter #75, June 1982:
    "On the forthcoming album, however, there will be at least two cuts that feature Richard's lead."
  21. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Why, by 1982, would Richard or the label even be considering having at least two of his leads on the new album? They were way past that by this point. Unless they were planning on recording yet another oldies medley - this time songs from the seventies :laugh:
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  22. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    What are those song titles and do those recordings exist in the vaults?
  23. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    One known to feature Richard on lead vocals is called “Fool Me”, another one is “Some Guys Have All The Luck”.

    Three more tracks exist, “Stop Me”, “Fallin' For Love” and “Love You Through and Though”. Two of these could be the other songs featuring Karen on lead vocals that we believe exist (apparently four songs in total were cut with her in those sessions).
    Carpe diem and GaryAlan like this.
  24. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    One known to feature Richard on lead vocals is called “Fool Me”, another one is “Some Guys Have All The Luck”.

    The Rod Stewart song? Man, I would love to hear Richard doing that one!
  25. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    So, there we have it, as of June 1982, and 'on the table' for the 'next album'
    are at least two Richard Leads.....
    Explain to me how that would make any sense whatsoever at that point in time ?

    To have Ordinary Fool rotting in the vaults--since 1976---
    1977-1978, You're The One and Where Do I Go From Here sitting in the vaults....
    To know that the song--Now--was the type of song Richard was aiming for....
    Are we sure he ever kicked that so-called addiction ?
    (That is, if that's what we 'blame' these career decisions on).....
    newvillefan likes this.

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