• 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.

Favorite Selections Where Richard’s Piano Playing Shines


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In light of the new album, I began to think about this. Two immediately come to mind: This Masquerade and Our Day Will Come.

I do have a very tired old copy of him playing Slaughter on Tenth Avenue from Music, Music, Music. That would be next.

Two questions-
1- What selections would you consider your favorites?
2- What would you like to hear on a second volume? (Is this even a consideration, @Chris May?)


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Along those lines....
Q: Do you have any other ideas about what you might do with the next album ?
A: Richard Carpenter:
“Well, I didn’t do 'Only Yesterday' for this album. I was thinking of themes, and then some songs that were hits years ago, featuring the piano. So whether it be the theme from Love Story, or The Godfather, or Autumn Leaves, things with great melodies, and where the hit record versions of them featured piano. That’s one idea. The other was to do one called something like ‘The Flip Side of the 50s’. If you’re listening to radio and they’re playing stuff form that era, it’s like the first half of the decade never existed. And there are a lot of really great songs from 1950 to 1955 that were hits at the time, and that you just don’t hear much any more."


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I really like your choices, Mark! I also enjoy the jazz themed Santa Christmas medley on An Old Fashioned Christmas.


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Richard also played piano on “Heather” and “Flat Baroque” and “Piano Picker”.
Unfortunately, “Heather”’s piano suffers from a mono piano recording played against stereo recordings of the other instruments. It would be nice if Richard would re-record his piano in stereo to get rid of that outdated mono sound.


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Richard's piano in the original version of "Maybe It's You" from "Close to You" brings tears to my eyes- the tinkly sound of it feels so innocent and sweet, fitting the song well. I much prefer the original to the re-recorded, more "professional" version on "From the Top" (which also has too much reverb). But the original version is one of my favorites.
Two that I constantly come back to are his arrangements of Carol of the Bells (with that infectious swing in the rhythm that hearkens back to his take on Garota de Ipanema) and My Favourite Things (just the sheer OOMFPH, that joyous, unbridled joy that defiantly bursts out of the minor-to-major). Both are essentially my all-time favourite interpretations of both songs, based a great deal on Richard's emotional interpretation of the material. I'd spend nights listening to Carol of the Bells on my portable CD player (boy, did it get scuffed, crazy it still plays at all), snuggled up in the top bunk as I was getting ready to go to bed. I like to visualize these huge bombastic Disney park-esque visuals to both Christmas albums, as if they're being performed live in concert as one huge Fantasia-type experience. One night in 6th Grade, I imagined a whole movie while replaying Carol of the Bells over and over... and then, the morning, I wrote it all down as a script! So, huge thanks to Richard, for always taking me on a journey when he plays.
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